Put Your Backup Data to Work: A Q&A on the HPE Nimble Storage Adaptive Flash Array

May 07, 2018 • Blog Post


  • Next generation HPE Nimble Storage Adaptive Flash Arrays built with Veeam Backup software integration
  • The alliance between HPE Nimble Storage and Veeam gives customers the resources to efficiently put their backup data to work

Jason Leiva from Veeam and Besnik Zekiri from CDW discuss the latest in backup and disaster recovery

For more than five years, the synergistic partnership of HPE Nimble Storage and Veeam has forged great inroads in the Hybrid IT storage and data protection marketplace.

Today, with the release of a new portfolio of next generation HPE Nimble Storage Adaptive Flash Arrays, which combine Flash arrays and a tight integration with Veeam Backup software in one solution, the partnership has gained further luster. Now, the HPE Nimble Storage/Veeam solution extends the simplicity and efficiency of its powerful, innovative data protection offering to address increasingly-important backup and disaster recovery requirements.

In this Q&A, Jason Leiva, Solutions Architect, Alliances, for Veeam; and Besnik Zekiri, Data Center Solution Architect at CDW (a longtime HPE Nimble Storage and Veeam reseller), discuss how the alliance between HPE Nimble Storage and Veeam gives customers the resources - and the confidence - to efficiently put their backup data to work.

Q: Before going into the details of the new platform, Jason, can you talk generally about the nature of Veeam's growing partnership with HPE Nimble Storage and what each company brings to the table?

Jason Leiva: Our partnership with HPE Nimble Storage has been really strong. We've found great synergy between the companies, with many mutual customers who have the same needs around data availability that we are able to address, together.

Originally, we integrated around primary storage, because it made the most sense to apply data availability closest to where the data lives and where the workloads are running. Since last year, HPE Nimble Storage announced a very exciting addition to their portfolio a true flash enabled secondary storage appliance that integrates very tightly with the Veeam software. We have seen huge adoption for this integrated solution in the market.

Q: What are customers looking for in storage these days, especially with respect to backup and data recovery?

Besnik Zekiri: From my standpoint, there are a lot of different backup appliance options out there for customers to consider. But many systems have a lot of complexity, and some customers what to move away from that.

I would say customers are most interested in ease of use and simplicity; they want to be able to do restores faster. And that has really piqued their interest in the new HPE Nimble Storage family of adaptive flash arrays. Especially for those who are already familiar with HPE Nimble Storage and Veeam and want to leverage more of that technology.

Q: What specific need is being addressed by offering the updated HPE Nimble Storage Adaptive Flash Array for the backup and data recovery market?

Jason Leiva: Historically, when customers think about data protection and backup, they think most about how they can quickly get a copy of all their data. They often dont think a lot about restores, or how they can best leverage that data.

But there are huge advantages to being able to use the Adaptive flash array. HPE Nimble Storage and Veeam give customers the ability to power on a backup and use it not just for recovery of an entire virtual server, but also for test and dev. A user can get a read-only copy of the backup file, and put that into a sandbox where they can do testing, development, application, updates, etc., and ensure its integrity.

I believe the real benefit of having a fast, secondary array built with flash is that the performance really improves. By putting flash into those secondary devices, you're able to do so much more like powering on virtual machines and doing more test dev.

To put it simply... it's about being able to leverage your backup data. Otherwise it just sits there dormant.

Besnik Zekiri: Putting backup data to work for test and dev, quality assurance, analytics, and instant restores with flash in the system these are all getting the attention of customers.

Q: What are the typical use cases for choosing, and using, HPE Nimble Storage Adaptive Flash arrays and Veeam software?

Jason Leiva: There are three common use cases, although people seem to find new ones every day.

One is to make sure patches don't cause negative impacts. Often, users have had to set up specific hardware and environments just for one purpose, like test dev. With Veeam and Nimble, they can leverage their existing hardware investments to be able to do that same kind of test.

The second one is being able to verify the integrity of the backups themselves, in an automated fashion. For every night the backup runs, for audit purposes or to ensure recoverability, we're able to power on those backups directly out of the secondary storage and test them to ensure they're going to be usable.

Furthermore, people also use this capability in cases where ransomware occurs, so they can easily test the recoverability and ensure which backups may have files that are not encrypted or compromised.

Q: How does the new solution stack up against what competitors are offering?

Jason Leiva: We did a study recently and found that 80% of restores are transactional only, meaning that when the administrator needs to restore something, it's only a file or a set of files. Not all the data on the server.

Most traditional backup storage addresses the need to restore all the data at once. So, having an array with the performance to be able to do granular data retrievals is really differentiating.

If it's not an entire server crash maybe a specific folder has gotten corrupted or edited all you want is to get that simple restore back. And that's the approach HPE Nimble Storage has now taken.


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