Working predominantly with virtualized server environments, backups are a common discussion point and the overall solutions I propose often pivot on RPO and RTO requirements (see previous article on RPO & RTO). With VMware dominating the world of virtualization technology, there exists a product designed for backup that is in itself an industry leader. It’s called Veeam.
What is Veeam?
Veeam Backup & Replication provides fast, flexible, and reliable recovery of virtualised applications and data. It unifies backup and replication in a single solution, increases the value of backup and reinvents data protection for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments.
Ideally Veeam sits on its own server whether as a virtual machine within a cluster or a separate server outside of the hosts / SAN setup. This is sometimes the case as I often propose that older servers replaced by new hosts can be reused as a backup server, extending the life of your IT kit.
What are the benefits?
Below is a table that shows the benefits of Veeam over and above physical backup tools.
Notably some of the best features are the speed of recovery, compression, and added benefits such as deduplication, coupled with a Microsoft Windows Server 2012 OS which itself has built-in deduplication, means that the overall backup process and storage requirements are far more efficient than other products that exist today.
Testing your backups
With older tape based backups, it’s hard to actually test and prove your backups work. Using Veeam, there is a product called Sure Backup. With SureBackup, you can automatically verify the recoverability of every backup, every VM, every time. SureBackup automatically starts VMs in an isolated Virtual Lab environment, performs a set of tests and sends a status report to your mailbox, so you know that your VMs are recoverable at any time.
There are 3 main versions of Veeam currently. Whilst I would advise that a qualified technical architect designs your backup solution, it’s worth looking at the differences and familiarizing yourself with what each version can give you. Clearly when price is a factor, you don’t want to overspend on a version you won’t really use, but equally you need to make sure you are getting all the benefits of your chosen investment.
- VMware vSphere 3.5 – 5.5
- Microsoft Hyper-V 2008 R2 and 2012 (through R2)
- Any operating system supported by the hypervisor
- Any file system
- Any application
- Any configuration—standalone or managed by VMware vCenter Server, vCloud Director or Microsoft SCVMM
So to summarise what i think of Veeam, you’d be wrong to ignore such a great product if you have a virtualised environment. Using VMware, this product fits nicely into an existing infrastructure and unlocks a whole world of rapid data backup and recovery options.
Get virtualised, get Veeam, protect your data.