There is a rich ecosystem of addons and tools for VMware, but the one we often install at most of our sites is Veeam Backup & Replication.
Every system should have a robust backup strategy. Veeam helps deliver one that is tailored to virtual infrastructures. It’s straightforward to implement and the pricing structure makes it suitable for small to large sites. This has helped Veeam Backup & Replication to take an estimated 11% and rising of the VM backup market across a customer base of 64,000.
Veeam Backup & Replication supports both VMware Vsphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. However, the complete feature set is only available on VMware and this is what the article will describe. Give us a call if you’d like to discuss what Veeam can offer to Hyper-V sites.
Veeam Backup & Replication integrates very tightly into VMware. Machine discovery is simply a matter of providing credentials and then navigating through the familiar datacenter hierarchy. The backup process requires no agents and makes full use of the VMware API to get consistent and fast backups. Your Veeam server can be a virtual machine too.
As the name implies, Veeam Backup & Replication allows both backup to disk, with flexible full and incremental strategy options, and also virtual machine replication. Backups use local or network storage initially but can be copied to external media such as tape or to a remote site. Replicas are created natively within VMware, in the production datacenter on small installations or in a dedicated backup datacenter for larger installations. Recovery points are stored as VMware snapshots. Any operating system or file system supported by VMware is also supported by Veeam.
The Veeam architecture allows the whole system to be run on a single server. But key components can be installed on dedicated servers to allow the system to scale for large installations or to be distributed to remote locations to improve backup efficiency on multisite installations.
Recovery is flexible and intuitive. Replicas can be easily recovered to provide almost immediate failover. But individual files can also be restored in minutes from either backups or replicas, even when they’ve been compressed and deduplicated to save space. Using the Enterprise Manager tool, it’s also possible to delegate file restore from backups to selected users.
Also included are tools such as SureBackup and Virtual Lab which help you to verify that your backups are recoverable and consistent, and the Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange which lets you recover individual items from Exchange backups.
IS People experience
We’ve implemented Veeam Backup & Replication at a number of sites. It significantly reduces backup and restore times while adding features not available with traditional backup technologies. Even accounting for integration of new backup storage into VMWare, the whole system can be running and checked within a day on a basic setup.
We are also using Veeam as the dedupe and compression engine providing our customers with automated offsite backups to secure storage and an environment where they can perform regular disaster recovery tests.
Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 has two levels – Standard and Enterprise. Pricing is based on the number of sockets on the VMware host servers. There is an Essentials edition of both Standard and Enterprise for 2 to 6 socket systems that bundles Veeam Backup & Replication with the Veeam ONE monitoring and reporting tool for less than the equivalent per socket price for Backup & Replication alone.
Later this year, version 7 of Veeam Backup and Replication will be released and new features are already being demonstrated.
A new level called Enterprise Plus is being introduced. This will include WAN acceleration which has been written specifically to optimise Veeam backups and claims to be up to 50 times faster at getting your backups offsite.
There are plenty of new features for Standard and Enterprise customers as well. Version 7 will have native tape drive support, meaning you won’t need another product just to spool your backups off to tape for offsiting or additional security. Recovery points which are on tape but no longer on disk will now be visible during item recovery so you can have longer retention times without adding extra online disk space.
The Virtual Lab tool will be extended to support replicas as well as backups. This means you will be able to use your DR replicas as a sandbox for testing and other purposes. Self service restore will be extended to replicas as well as backups, and the granularity of rights delegation will be increased.
There will be improvements to job management and definition, including Grandfather-Father-Son retention within a single job rather than having to set up three jobs to accomplish this. There will also be a new plugin for VSphere which will provide a Veeam dashboard within VMWare for greater visibility.
Explorer For Exchange will be joined by Explorer For Sharepoint with similar item discovery and recovery capabilities for your Microsoft Sharepoint environment.
Existing customers with paid up support will receive a free upgrade to version 7. Additionally, Enterprise edition customers will be offered the chance to move to the Enterprise Plus edition for no additional license cost – there will be a higher annual support cost. Veeam are planning a price increase on July 1st so now is a great time to consider your VMware backup strategy.