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In order to create a SoftNAS Cloud® and Veeam Backup solution customized to your organization's individual needs, there is a fair bit of information you will need to gather, and a number of decisions that will need to be made. This primer is intended to help you identify the information needed to make informed decisions for your SoftNAS Cloud deployment with Veeam backups to the cloud. To guide you towards the solution that is right for you, the checklist below will help you record the key data required when you start your actual deployment of SoftNAS Cloud in Azure as a repository for Veeam backup data. 

This checklist can be copied and pasted into MS Word or the text editor of your choice in order to gather and record the information for easy reference when you start your SoftNAS Cloud deployment. Alternatively, this confluence page can be exported either as a word document or PDF, by selecting the menu icon in the top right corner. 

For each section of the checklist, additional information is provided in a linked section below. These informative articles can be used to help you make deployment decisions or create prerequisite resources that will be needed for your deployment.

Deployment Checklist:

The following document serves as a checklist, and as such is designed so that our users can copy and paste to a separate document (or export), and mark up as necessary. We recommend that the checklist be used to record all data to be used in your deployment for easy reference during both planning and your actual deployment. 

  1. Deployment: Determine your deployment type. SoftNAS supports two different deployment types. Select one of the below:

    • Premise to Azure Cloud
    • Azure Cloud to Azure Cloud

  2. Azure Account: Record your Azure account credentials (how to create an Azure account listed below)

    • Account ID or Alias:_____________________
    • User Name:_______________________
    • Password:____________________________


  3. SoftNAS Cloud Offering: Determine what SoftNAS Cloud offering you use for your deployment. Select one of the below SoftNAS Cloud Offerings:

    • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials 1TB
    • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials 10TB
    • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials 20TB
    • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials 50TB
    • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials 1TB+MMS Consumption
    • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials BYOL
    • Other non-Essentials:___________________________

  4. NetworkingUnderstand the premise data center firewall or other network changes required to access SoftNAS Cloud in Azure as your Veeam repository:

    • Data center networking and firewall changes requested and complete

  5. Azure VM Size: Select the Azure VM size for your deployment. 
    Select one of the below:

    • E4s_v3
    • E8s_v3
    • E16s_v3
    • D32s_v3
    • Other:______________________


  6. Azure Storage Accounts: In order to add the desired storage, you will need to create a storage account. For each type of storage used, a separate storage account will be required. For information on creating your storage account, see Create Storage Account.
    • Storage Account Name:____________
    • Storage Account Name:____________
    • Storage Account Name:____________


  7. Azure Storage SelectionSelect the type of Azure storage to use for your backup data in Azure.

    Select one of the below:
    • Azure Cool Blob(Recommended for Veeam and SoftNAS Cloud Essentials)
    • Azure Hot Blob
    • Other:________________________

  8. Add a self-signed certification to your SoftNAS Cloud and Veeam deployment:
    • Add the certification: 

  9. Azure VNet: Record the name of the VNet that you will use for your SoftNAS Cloud deployment

    • VNet Name:____________________


  10. Data Transfer Protocol and Azure Instance Security Group: You can select to use NFS or CIFs/SMB as the protocol to allow Veeam to transfer backup data to the SoftNAS Cloud repository.

    Select one of the below:
    • NFS
    • CIFs/SMB

  11. Deploy Your SoftNAS Cloud Azure instance via WAN:

  12. Connect Veeam to SoftNAS in Azure via WAN:

Deployment

There are two supported deployments of Veeam and SoftNAS Cloud to back up your data to the cloud.

Supported: Veeam Backup of On Premise Data to SoftNAS in the Cloud

If the data you want to backup is located on premise and you want to leverage SoftNAS Cloud on Azure to store backup data on Azure cloud storage, the deployment below is recommended and supported. 

  • Veeam and the data you want to backup will be located in you premise data center. 
  • You will need a VPN or other secure network connection to Azureto secure the NFS or CIFs/SMB traffic to the cloud
  • SoftNAS Cloud will be running in the Azure Cloud and connected to Azure object storage for your backup files


Supported: Veeam Backup of Cloud Data to SoftNAS in the Cloud

If the data you want to backup is located in the Azure Cloud and you want to leverage SoftNAS Cloud on Azure to store backup data on Azure Cloud storage, the deployment below is recommended and supported. 

  • Veeam and the data you want to backup will be located in the Azure cloud. 
  • Veeam will use NFS or CIFs/SMB to transfer data from Veeam to SoftNAS Cloud over the Azure cloud network
  • SoftNAS Cloud will be running in the Azure cloud and connected to Azure Blob storage for your backup files 

The below deployments are not recommended or supported by SoftNAS.

NOT Supported: Veeam Backup of Cloud Data to the Cloud with SoftNAS on Premise

The below deployment with SoftNAS on premise with Veeam and the data to be backed up connected to Azure Cloud storage is not recommended or supported.



NOT Supported: Veeam Backup of Cloud Data with Veeam in the Cloud to SoftNAS in the Cloud

If the data you want to backup is located in the Azure cloud and you want to leverage SoftNAS Cloud on Azure to store backup data on Azure cloud storage, the deployment below is not recommended or supported.

Azure Account

If you plan on saving you backups to SoftNAS Cloud on Azure, you/your company will need an Azure account.   If you/your company does not have and Azure Account, you can create one here.



Once you have your Azure credentials (Account ID or alias, IAM username, Password), you will be able to log into the Azure Marketplace and select a SoftNAS Cloud Essentials offering here.

SoftNAS Cloud Offering

SoftNAS recommends use of SoftNAS Cloud Essentials and Azure Blob object storage for use with Veeam for backups.   SoftNAS Cloud Essentials is our base offering which only supports Object storage.  Object storage is less expensive than Block storage and is a good option for use as storage for Veeam backups. 

SoftNAS offers 6 options for SoftNAS Cloud Essentials in the Azure Marketplace, depending on the capacity of storage you will need:

Fixed capacity Azure Marketplace offerings allow you to select a fixed storage capacity of 1TB, 10TB, 20TB or 50TB of total storage capacity for your SoftNAS Cloud Essentials deployment.  The selected capacity will be the maximum capacity you will have to save all of your Veeam backup files.

  • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials 1TB:   Up to 1TB of storage for Veeam Backup files
  • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials 10TB: Up to 10TB of storage for Veeam Backup files
  • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials 20TB: Up to 20TB of storage for Veeam Backup files
  • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials 50TB: Up to 50TB of storage for Veeam Backup files

Greater than 50TB fixed capacity can be obtained by using the BYOL (Bring Your Own License) option by contacting our SoftNAS Sales team.

  • SoftNAS Cloud® Essentials BYOL: If you require greater than 50TB of storage capacity for your Veeam backups, you can contact SoftNAS Sales for a BYOL license for the capacity of storage that meets your needs up to 16PB.

Networking

If you are deploying Veeam and SoftNAS Cloud to back up data from your premise data center to the cloud, you will likely need to make some network security changes to your data center’s network/firewall to allow Veeam running in the data center to be able to connect to the SoftNAS Cloud in Azure.    The information below is provided to help you make or request changes to your network team to ensure the network changes are ready when you are ready to deploy SoftNAS.

NFS

If you will be using the NFS protocol to transmit data from Veeam on premise to SoftNAS Cloud in Azure, you will need to allow the following ports to traverse from your datacenter to the SoftNAS Cloud instance in Azure.  Firewall changes may be required.

 

Type

Protocol

Port Range

Source

Source Value

Notes

SSH

TCP

22

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(ssh) SSH Access to SoftNAS

Custom TCP Rule

TCP

443

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(https) HTTPS Access to SoftNAS

Custom TCP Rule

TCP

2500-5000

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

Default range of ports used for Veeam data transmission job channels

Custom TCP Rule

TCP, UDP

2049

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(nfs) Standard NFS port

Custom TCP Rule

TCP, UDP

111

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(sunrpc) Standard NFS ports. Port 111 is used by the port mapper service.

 

CIFs/SMB

If you will be using CIFs/SMB to transmit data from Veeam on-premise to SoftNAS Cloud in Azure, you will need to allow the following ports to traverse from your datacenter to the SoftNAS Cloud instance in Azure.  Firewall changes may be required.

 

Type

Protocol

Port

Source

Source Value

Notes

SSH

TCP

22

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(ssh) SSH Access to SoftNAS

Custom TCP Rule

TCP

443

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(https) HTTPS Access to SoftNAS

Custom TCP Rule

TCP

135

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(dcom-scm) CIFs/SMB data transmission channel

Custom TCP Rule

TCP

137

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(netbios-ns) CIFs/SMB data transmission channel

Custom TCP Rule

TCP

138

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(netbios-dgm) CIFs/SMB data transmission channel

Custom TCP Rule

TCP

139

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(netbios:ssn) CIFs/SMB data transmission channel

Custom UDP Rule

UDP

445

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(microsoft-ds) CIFs/SMB data transmission channel from a gateway server to SoftNAS

Custom TCP Rule

TCP

2500-5000

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

Default range of ports used for Veeam data transmission job channels

Custom TCP Rule

TCP

389

Custom

x.x.x.x/32

(ldap) if connecting to Active Directory



Azure VM Size

A list of SoftNAS Cloud Essentials recommended VMs sized for use with Veeam can be found here.  You can learn more about how the resources of an Azure instance can impact performance below.

  • RAM:  SoftNAS Cloud automatically creates a Level 1 Read Cache using 50% of the available RAM on the Azure running VM.  This Read Cache is used to provide better Read I/O response and is especially useful to aid in performance of Veeam operations like Synthetic Full Backups.   Increasing the amount of RAM on you selected Azure VM can greatly increase your performance.  SoftNAS recommended VMs for Veeam backups with SoftNAS Cloud Essentials recommends 30GB or more RAM for smaller backup jobs and 60GB or RAM or more for larger backup jobs.

  • Instance Storage: To further increase the Read performance of operations like Veeam Synthetic Full Backups, SoftNAS recommends that you configure a Level 2 Read Cache using the Azure Disk Storage that is locally attached to the instance.  If you are using SoftNAS Cloud Essentials for your solution, you will not be able to allocate high performance disk storage to your instance, so selecting an Azure instance with local Instance Storage will be required.  How to create a Level 2 Read Cache is explained later in the getting started guide.  Azure E series VMs are recommended for use with Veeam because they have a good mix of RAM and a lot of VM Storage that can be used as a Read Cache.   SoftNAS recommends that you select an instance with Instance Storage of at least 10% the size of your standard backup job (E series instances likely have much more than the 10% minimum).  

    Note:
     Azure Disk Storage should only be used for Read Cache and you should not store any backup or other data on VM Storage.   All of your backup data should be stored on Hot or Cool blob object storage(Block storage is also supported in the other editions of SoftNAS cloud, but likely not needed for Veeam backup data).

  • Network:  SoftNAS does not recommend running any workload on an Azure VM with a network speed of less than 1Gb.   All of the SoftNAS recommended instances for a Veeam deployment have a network bandwidth of Up to 10Gb to help ensure the data you are transferring across the network from Veeam to SoftNAS Cloud has the necessary network speed.   If you determine that you have very large amounts of data being transferred for your backup jobs from Veeam across the network to SoftNAS Cloud, you may want to consider a network connection of 10Gb.    If you are driving a lot of network traffic to Azure for other reasons as well as performing Veeam backups to SoftNAS Cloud in Azure, you may want to consider use of Azure ExpressRoute as an option to get the required network performance.

  • CPU: For operations like Veaam Backups, the Azure SoftNAS VM usually does not require a lot of CPU resources.   SoftNAS recommends VMs with 4 vCPUs for smaller backup jobs and 8 vCPUs for larger backup jobs. 

If you are new to SoftNAS and Azure, you may want to start your deployment with one of the SoftNAS recommended instances here and use Azure Monitor or a similar tool to monitor you resource utilization and adjust accordingly.

Azure Storage Accounts

There are two general types of storage accounts for Azure:

  • General Purpose
  • Blob Storage Accounts


General purpose accounts are used for block storage, or Azure Virtual Machine Disks. For your Essentials and Veeam Backup configuration, block storage is not an option.

If deciding to add Azure object storage (otherwise known as Blob storage), you will need to have at least one Blob storage account set up, or you will not be able to call upon the storage within the SoftNAS UI. For more information on creating a storage account, see Create Storage Account.

Azure Storage Selection

When creating your Blob Storage account, you will also have another decision to make - whether you will leverage hot or cool storage for Azure. SoftNAS offers full support for both options:

  • Azure Cool Storage - Object storage that allows economical safe-keeping of less frequently accessed file data.
  • Azure Hot Storage - Object storage that optimizes frequently accessed stored data to enable continuous IO.

Note: You cannot mix hot and cool storage disks in a RAID configured pool. A decision must be made on storage type for each pool. As storage type is determined at the blob storage account level, you must be aware of the type of account created. SoftNAS recommends labelling them with Hot or Cool in the names to avoid confusion.

In a given pool, you can add any number of azure blob storage disks, by first creating blob storage accounts. It is recommended to name them in sequence with clues as to which type of storage they provide.


Never mix blob storage accounts within the same pool. SoftNAS will alert you should this occur accidentally.



Azure VNet

Your SoftNAS Cloud instance will need to run in a virtual network (or VNet) in Azure.   Creating a VNet is simple, and can be configured either during instance creation, or separately.   You can get more input on creating your VNet for use with SoftNAS Cloud with Veeam here. For more information on Azure Virtual Networks, see Azure's documentation, here.

Data Transfer Protocol and Azure Instance Network Security Group

An Azure Network Security Group is a set of firewall rules on the Azure network side that controls the network traffic for your instance. You can create new Security Group in the Azure portal in advance or as part of the instance creation process.

SoftNAS Cloud supports use of either NFS or CIFs/SMB to transfer your data with Veeam to SoftNAS in the cloud.   Depending on the protocol you are using, you will need to configure your firewall (see the Networking section above) as well as your Azure Instance Network Security Group for the protocol you select.  The below provides example Azure Network Security Group information for what SoftNAS recommends for use of Veeam with NFS and CIFs/SMB.  You will need this information when you launch your SoftNAS Azure Instance.

NFS

(You will need to change Source value of “<Inbound IP>/CIDR” to the IP address and CIDR or IP Address Range and CIDR for your configuration.  You can read more information on how to set the “Source” values here.)

CIFs/SMB

(You will need to change Source value of “<Inbound IP>/CIDR” to the IP address and CIDR or IP Address Range and CIDR for your configuration.  You can read more information on how to set the “Source” values here.)


Deploy Your Solution

Once you have made your deployment decision listed above and satisfied prerequisites such as firewall configuration, you are ready to start your SoftNAS Cloud deployment with Veeam.   SoftNAS recommends following the below steps to deploy your solution:

Step 1: Create Your SoftNAS Cloud Instance in Azure

Step 2: Create Your Azure Storage Account

Step 3: Configure your SoftNAS Cloud Instance

Step 4: Add Azure Cloud Storage to your SoftNAS Cloud Instance

Step 4: Configure your Read Cache

Step 5: Connect Veeam to your SoftNAS Cloud instance via WAN

Step 6: Add/Change Root Certificate

Step 7: Monitor your SoftNAS Cloud instance

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