Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?



  • Hey @Donahue. Have you looked at free Starwind Tape Redirector by any chance? It basically allows you to present a tape drive attached to the host as an ISCSI LUN to your Veeam B&R's Windows Server VM so the backup software would see it directly installed. Wouldn't this solve your problem?



  • @Pete-S said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Donahue said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    I'm not currently using tapes yet. I bought some LTO-7 tapes, but they've been on my shelf for like a year because other projects came up. I had been planning like 1 a week or some similar interval.

    LTO-7 is 6TB native / 15TB compressed so still a lot.

    Do you have a lot of VMs running on it? You might want to consider going bare metal. Solves your problem without any hassle.

    Or as mentioned, just get a second controller for the tape and pass that through the hypervisor. You only need a simple HBA SAS-2 (6Gbps) for a tape drive.

    Keep in mind the data going to the tape is likely already compressed, so expect to the native amount of "backup data".



  • @taurex said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    Hey @Donahue. Have you looked at free Starwind Tape Redirector by any chance? It basically allows you to present a tape drive attached to the host as an ISCSI LUN to your Veeam B&R's Windows Server VM so the backup software would see it directly installed. Wouldn't this solve your problem?

    I used this also, but in the end it was slower and unreliable.

    So I installed Veeam on hardware and all was well. You don't need veem server installed on the device you have tape drive connected to, so keep that in mind too.



  • @Obsolesce said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Pete-S said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Donahue said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    I'm not currently using tapes yet. I bought some LTO-7 tapes, but they've been on my shelf for like a year because other projects came up. I had been planning like 1 a week or some similar interval.

    LTO-7 is 6TB native / 15TB compressed so still a lot.

    Do you have a lot of VMs running on it? You might want to consider going bare metal. Solves your problem without any hassle.

    Or as mentioned, just get a second controller for the tape and pass that through the hypervisor. You only need a simple HBA SAS-2 (6Gbps) for a tape drive.

    Keep in mind the data going to the tape is likely already compressed, so expect to the native amount of "backup data".

    No, tape compression is way better.



  • @Obsolesce said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Pete-S said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Donahue said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    I'm not currently using tapes yet. I bought some LTO-7 tapes, but they've been on my shelf for like a year because other projects came up. I had been planning like 1 a week or some similar interval.

    LTO-7 is 6TB native / 15TB compressed so still a lot.

    Do you have a lot of VMs running on it? You might want to consider going bare metal. Solves your problem without any hassle.

    Or as mentioned, just get a second controller for the tape and pass that through the hypervisor. You only need a simple HBA SAS-2 (6Gbps) for a tape drive.

    Keep in mind the data going to the tape is likely already compressed, so expect to the native amount of "backup data".

    The compression averages on tapes already account for that.



  • @JaredBusch said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Obsolesce said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Pete-S said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Donahue said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    I'm not currently using tapes yet. I bought some LTO-7 tapes, but they've been on my shelf for like a year because other projects came up. I had been planning like 1 a week or some similar interval.

    LTO-7 is 6TB native / 15TB compressed so still a lot.

    Do you have a lot of VMs running on it? You might want to consider going bare metal. Solves your problem without any hassle.

    Or as mentioned, just get a second controller for the tape and pass that through the hypervisor. You only need a simple HBA SAS-2 (6Gbps) for a tape drive.

    Keep in mind the data going to the tape is likely already compressed, so expect to the native amount of "backup data".

    No, tape compression is way better.

    Wasn't the case for me when I was using Veeam, with tape compression after Veeam's compression. I got like no tape compression at all.



  • @Obsolesce said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @JaredBusch said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Obsolesce said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Pete-S said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Donahue said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    I'm not currently using tapes yet. I bought some LTO-7 tapes, but they've been on my shelf for like a year because other projects came up. I had been planning like 1 a week or some similar interval.

    LTO-7 is 6TB native / 15TB compressed so still a lot.

    Do you have a lot of VMs running on it? You might want to consider going bare metal. Solves your problem without any hassle.

    Or as mentioned, just get a second controller for the tape and pass that through the hypervisor. You only need a simple HBA SAS-2 (6Gbps) for a tape drive.

    Keep in mind the data going to the tape is likely already compressed, so expect to the native amount of "backup data".

    No, tape compression is way better.

    Wasn't the case for me when I was using Veeam, with tape compression after Veeam's compression. I got like no tape compression at all.

    The tape drive is designed to not compress already compressed data. It makes this determination in real-time as the data comes in.

    Thing is that the tape drive compresses the data on the fly. So there is no point wasting CPU resources trying to compress files before sending it to tape. The tape drive will take the 900 MByte/sec of data that you send to it and compress it down to 360 MByte/sec that gets written to tape. The 360 MByte/sec is the real limit, while the 900 MByte/sec is actually variable and depending on the compression ratio.

    And then when you want to read from the tape it will do the opposite, read 360 MByte/sec and decompress it for you on the fly and deliver 900 MByte/sec back to you (if the data is compressed by the drive).

    If you send data that can't be compressed it will only take 360MByte/sec and read 360 MByte/sec. So you gain nothing by using compression in the backup software. Unless there is some other reason to do it of course. Like sending the backup over the WAN before it goes to tape.



  • @Pete-S said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Obsolesce said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @JaredBusch said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Obsolesce said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Pete-S said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    @Donahue said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    I'm not currently using tapes yet. I bought some LTO-7 tapes, but they've been on my shelf for like a year because other projects came up. I had been planning like 1 a week or some similar interval.

    LTO-7 is 6TB native / 15TB compressed so still a lot.

    Do you have a lot of VMs running on it? You might want to consider going bare metal. Solves your problem without any hassle.

    Or as mentioned, just get a second controller for the tape and pass that through the hypervisor. You only need a simple HBA SAS-2 (6Gbps) for a tape drive.

    Keep in mind the data going to the tape is likely already compressed, so expect to the native amount of "backup data".

    No, tape compression is way better.

    Wasn't the case for me when I was using Veeam, with tape compression after Veeam's compression. I got like no tape compression at all.

    The tape drive is designed to not compress already compressed data. It makes this determination in real-time as the data comes in.

    Thing is that the tape drive compresses the data on the fly. So there is no point wasting CPU resources trying to compress files before sending it to tape. The tape drive will take the 900 MByte/sec of data that you send to it and compress it down to 360 MByte/sec that gets written to tape. The 360 MByte/sec is the real limit, while the 900 MByte/sec is actually variable and depending on the compression ratio.

    And then when you want to read from the tape it will do the opposite, read 360 MByte/sec and decompress it for you on the fly and deliver 900 MByte/sec back to you (if the data is compressed by the drive).

    If you send data that can't be compressed it will only take 360MByte/sec and read 360 MByte/sec. So you gain nothing by using compression in the backup software. Unless there is some other reason to do it of course. Like sending the backup over the WAN before it goes to tape.

    The thing is, the production data wasn't going directly to tape. Otherwise, yes, it'd make sense to not have the backup software do the compression and let the tape drive do it.

    Production data was going to a backup repository first (on-prem backup storage). That was super fast DAS, Veeam could back it up quick and compress it very well so there was more room for backups. We needed on-prem backups so we could restore data much faster than had it been off-site on a tape, plus it would costs to get the tape back.

    THen, what went to tape and was rotated off-site was the backup repo to tape. So that's why it was compressed first.

    It was an actual backup plan, not the typical ad-hoc style backup.

    X amount of daily or weekly backups were held on-prem depending on the data. Then that was thrown on to tape once a month and rotated back eventually. I think there were 3 sets, so restores could go back about 4 months depending on when something were to go sour.

    Restores were great coming from on-prem. Everything tested well.



  • @wrx7m said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    What is the plan for off-site storage with tapes? A service like Iron Mountain or someone takes them home and puts them in a closet?

    safe deposit box at the bank



  • @taurex said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    Hey @Donahue. Have you looked at free Starwind Tape Redirector by any chance? It basically allows you to present a tape drive attached to the host as an ISCSI LUN to your Veeam B&R's Windows Server VM so the backup software would see it directly installed. Wouldn't this solve your problem?

    I have, but you have to be running there VSAN too, which I don't have.



  • we probably have about 8-10 TB of real data, and I want to be able to store EVERYTHING on the tapes. I have two online backup copies in two locations, so this is my third and offline copy. The main backups are to disk, and so the tape is just backing up the disk and I think there is going to be less of an issue with transfer rates. The host that has the veeam VM has no other VM's on it currently, it's only running this one instance. That's one reason just going bare metal on it makes some sense.

    My plan right now is to run the backup every week and have like 5 tapes in rotation, one onsite and 4 at the bank. My disk backups should account for any archiving we need, tapes are really more for DR that for casual restores.



  • Veeam says:
    https://www.veeam.com/blog/tape-backup-best-practice-from-support-team.html

    You will need a tape server that will perform most data transfer tasks during archiving to tape. Check the following prerequisites:

    • This should be a physical machine or a VM connected through iSCSI, since direct pass-through is not supported.

    To run it as a VM you have to be able to use iSCSI to your tape. Since that doesn't work in this case there is only the physical option left.



  • @Donahue You're right. I saw this here: https://forums.starwindsoftware.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=4098 Free VSAN with a 30-day trial Starwind management console might be sufficient but this will cost your Hyper-V host an extra Server Standard OSE licence unless you're using Datacenter with it.

    EditA cheap second-hand physical Windows server with the directly attached tape drive is another alternative as others here already suggested. I have one running for offsite Veeam tape backups of vSphere VMs.

    Saw your other reply. I'd simply run Veeam Console bare-metal on that server with the attached tape drive since you're not using it for anything else. It's the best practice too. Better have a Veeam backup target on another host or NAS box too.



  • I've just installed on bare metal, but now I've run into an issue where backup tape jobs are not supported in my version of Veeam. I can backup files, but not VM's unless I upgrade to "enterprise" veeam



  • @Donahue said in Hyper V Tape passthrough possible?:

    I've just installed on bare metal, but now I've run into an issue where backup tape jobs are not supported in my version of Veeam. I can backup files, but not VM's unless I upgrade to "enterprise" veeam

    Why wouldn't you simply select the existing Veeam backup folders/files and archive them to tape? Here is an excerpt from the official Veeam guide: "When a backup to tape job runs, it does not create new backups: it locates already existing backups and copies them from backup repository to tape. You need to set the source of the tape job: jobs and/or backup repositories."


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