Tag Archives: B2

Veeam and Backblaze B2 – Introduction

Contents

Introduction
Phase 1 – Create the Backblaze B2 Bucket
Phase 2 – Install and Configure Synology CloudSync
Phase 3 – Configure Veeam Backup Repository
Phase 4 – Create the Veeam Backup Job
Phase 5 – Testing and Tuning
Summary

Introduction

B2 Cloud Storage is an object storage service offered by Backblaze that enables users and organisations to upload files to their heart’s content billed on a per monthly basis using a pay for what you consume model. Backblaze has evolved this object storage service ‘B2’ out of the already successful $5 a month unlimited backup plan which was built from the ground up using Storage Pods. Storage pods are designed in-house by Backblaze, leveraging consumer grade hardware and hard drives in a purpose-built chassis designed to minimise costs, reduce footprint and yield the best dollar per GB possible. For example, using 4TB drives, they can achieve a cost per GB as low as $0.036.

These Backblaze pods, which are now up to revision 6, are literally filled to the brim with hard drives, over 60 of them in fact in a 4U chassis. I recommend that you go and check out more on these awesome units here.

So, Backblaze takes these Storage Pods a step further for B2, by grouping 20 at a time into a Backblaze Vault it enables them to optimise reliability and durability of the entire system.

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Veeam & Backblaze B2 – Install and Configure Synology CloudSync

Phase 2 – Install and Configure Synology CloudSync
Ok, we have created a B2 bucket and we are now ready to configure our Synology NAS.
Now, in my case, I am just reusing a previously configured shared folder which is fine for my homelab testing so I’ll be going straight into installing and configuring CloudSync with B2. However, it is recommended to create a new shared folder dedicated for storing Veeam backup files and lock it down with authentication anytime you are deploying into production.
REMEMBER: It is important to size your volume correctly so that it can handle your retention policy capacity and performance requirements.
So let’s get started, first we need to install the Synology CloudSync Package, this will allow integration with Backblaze B2. During the installation, it will ask where you would like the packaged to be installed, I just picked ‘volume 1’ as that is where my other packages have also been installed.
 

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Veeam and Backblaze B2 – Summary

Summary
So Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage, in a nutshell, it works similar to Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure, allowing us to store vast quantities of data in the cloud but does it for 1/4th the cost of your typical object storage provider.

Because B2 doesn’t include any client software to interface with so storage is accessed primarily through either via the web GUI, API or CLI. In the case of Veeam, this means we need to rely on a ‘cloud gateway’ which there are several options available that are compatible with B2, in this particular article, I have explored configuring a Synology DS1812 with the CloudSync package.

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Veeam and Backblaze B2 – Create the Veeam Backup Job

Phase 4 – Create the Veeam Backup  Job
Now when designing our Veeam backup job settings there are a couple considerations.
  1. Ideally, we want to minimise the amount data that needs to be uploaded to our B2 buckets because we are charged per GB each month & upload bandwidth is typically our biggest bottleneck.
  2. We can’t leverage Veeam built-in WAN accelerators since there is no compute available at the object storage ‘B2’ side
  3. Veeam currently does not have native integration with object storage so we need to rely on ‘cloud gateway’ devices such as Synology CloudSync.
  4. Both Synology CloudSync and Backblaze B2 offer no data deduplication, meaning if we create several full Veeam backups files to our Synology CloudSync backup repository, each Veeam full backup file will be uploaded, in full. This is in contrast to other solutions such as Microsoft StorSimple which leverages a ‘volume-container’ global block-level dedupe which means even if Veeam sends multiple full backups files to a backup repository, the StorSimple will only upload changed/unique blocks due to its block-level dedupe capability.
  5. The Synology CloudSync package is not aware of when the Veeam backup files are being created/modified by Veeam, this can result in files being uploaded before Veeam has finished, this happens a lot with .VBM files.
  6. Veeam features such as Storage-Level Corruption Guard and Defrag/Compacting the full backup file should be avoided as this results in a new full backup file being created.

With the above in mind, we need to decide whether we should configure backup job (primary backup target) or a backup copy job (secondary backup target).

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Veeam and Backblaze B2 – Create the Backblaze B2 Bucket

Phase 1 – Create the Backblaze B2 Bucket

Ok, to get started we need to know that storage for a Backblaze B2 account is grouped into buckets. Each bucket is a container that holds files. We can think of buckets as the top-level folders in our B2 Cloud Storage account. There is no limit to the number of files in a bucket, but there is a limit of 100 buckets per account.

So I’m going to assume that you have already created a Backblaze account and are ready to start creating B2 buckets. In my case, I had already created an existing bucket for another test (which I have blurred out) but I will be creating a new bucket specifically for our Veeam backup files.

Let’s begin, first, we need to open up the Backblaze web portal and signing into our account.
Once signed in we need to create a bucket.

Create B2 Bucket

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Veeam and Backblaze B2 – Configure Veeam Backup Repository

Phase 3 – Configure Veeam Backup Repository 
Now the fun part, configuring the Veeam Backup Repository.
I’m going to assume this is an existing Veeam Backup & Replication server that has already been configured for the most part. So to begin, we need to open up the Veeam Backup & Replication console and create a new Veeam backup repository. I’ve given mine the name ‘Synology B2’ but I recommend you enter a description that is fit for purpose.
Because our Synology CloudSync is configured to use an SMB shared folder, we will be configuring a ‘Shared folder’ Veeam Repository.
Type in the UNC path of our SMB share, be sure to use to define the same folder that we configured CloudSync to use. In my case, my shared folder does not require any credentials but for any production environment, I strongly recommend you lock down the share with credentials. The risk of accidental or even malicious file deletion is a real risk and steps should be taken to minimise the likelihood of it happening.
Clicking next we are greeted with load control and advanced options, I’m happy to leave the load control as default but for a production environment we should size the concurrent tasks in line with Veeam Best Practices. Note:  https://rhyshammond.com/max-concurrent-tasks-veeam-br/
There a couple options we should consider changing on the Veeam Backup Repository to help improve performance and reliability especially considering we are leveraging Synology CloudSync to upload Veeam backup files into B2.
  • We don’t  need to enable ‘Align backup file data blocks’  as my Synology is not configured to perform de-duplication (I don’t believe it is even capable of such a feature)
  • We don’t need to enable ‘Decompress backup data blocks before storing’ as again, my Synology is not configured to perform de-duplication.
  • We enable ‘Use per-VM backup files’ because, without it, backup jobs that contained multiple VMs would result in a single large backup file. By enabling this option, it splits the VMs out into their own backup file. This is important as it makes uploading and download backups much more manageable.
Next, we need to choose a mount server, in my homelabs I have left this as default but considerations should be made if this is for production. Ideally, it would be a Veeam proxy that has a good connection to the repository.
Review and finish adding the SMB Synology Shared Folder.
We have created a bucket in Backblaze B2 and we are now ready to proceed to Phase 4.