A lot of companies are looking for the extra protection of Immutability or Object Lock in their fight against data loss. From illegal action or just plain accidents or stupidity, these things happen but shouldn’t have to result in data loss.
So how do I do and what should I watch out for? I’ll share a few tips, tricks and reflections I’ve collected during the last year and hopefully I’ll save you some time and frustration.
We look at two scenarios – as a target for Veeam 12 and as a target for Simplivity. In both cases you need to have StoreOnce Gen4 and OS 4.3.2+ and configured Dual Authorization.
Veeam 12 and HPE StoreOnce
Here immutability is controlled through Veeam and set separately for each job. I won’t go through all the steps for this scenario because they are expertly presented by Regnor here.
And as he explores in the second blog, feel free to change the existing catalyst store as it will start to make the new restore points, not the existing ones, immutable! Read more.
HPE Simplivity and HPE StoreOnce
From Simplivity 4.1.1 you can use StoreOnce Catalyst stores as an external backup repository. When StoreOnce is used together with Simplivity it’s often as an off-site archive copy and as such backups are stored longer and might never have to be restored, so feel free to have longer retention and immutability. Have a plan though and know the consequences.
A note about restores
Also remember that Simplivity File Level Restore (FLR) are not possible from a StoreOnce repository and ALL restores are made over the VMware Management port, which often is 1Gb/s. Yes Express Restores are deduped data and only changed blocks but it will still take a significant amount of time when a lot of changes has been made, i.e. old restore points. I have a customer where a 4TB fileserver had to be restored in full from archive to retrieve one lost file and it took four days! Plan accordingly when creating your backup policies and put a higher retention period locally on Simplivity for servers that often needs FLR.
And a thought about Immutability
As opposed to the Veeam 12-scenario, Simplivity is totally unaware of any Immutability settings though and must be handled with care to not be higher than the job with the lowest retention rate. For example, if you have a backup policy with 7-day retention and another with 14-day retention using the same catalyst store you should not set Immutability higher than 7 days or you will get unexpected and unwanted results when the on day 8 the oldest restore point can’t be deleted.
Also a pitfall when testing
Also be careful when testing your newly configured settings, because if you look at the Event log you may have caught this one:
”Immutable Period modified on Catalyst store ID 1 key Simplivity1. Retention Period modified from 0 days to 7 days. Grace Period modified from 0 minutes to 60 minutes”
In short it means that all new backup files are NOT immutable for the first 60 minutes of their life! So if you, like I did, do a test backup and then immediately try to delete it will be deleted. I’m not aware of any way to change this. Let me know if you do.
Immutability is a useful tool when handled right and I hope that my experience taught you something useful. Please let me know if they did or if you have any questions!