Veeam Backup & Replication Review

Flexible and scalable, supports physical systems and VMs, integrates with major applications, and has a free edition

What is most valuable?

It is a flexible, simple, and scalable software-based solution. It has agentless functionality with specific hypervisors and agent-based functionality with specific operating systems. It gives you the flexibility to use your own hardware and back up physical Windows, Linux, IBM AIX, and Oracle Solaris systems as well as VMware VMs, Hyper-V VMs, and Nutanix VMs from one console. 

It also has integration with major applications that most companies are using, such as Active Directory, SQL, Exchange, or SharePoint. It has integrations, not just for the backup on the image, host layer, or hypervisor, but also for performing an application-consistent backup. It is helpful in backing up to the tape, cloud, DR site, etc. It is really flexible. It is really amazing that you can restore any backup on VMware, Azure, or AWS.

As compared to the other solutions in the market. Veeam has really integrated a lot in the past years. It has the best performance and perfect replication.

What needs improvement?

Veeam Backup Replication has agents for Linux, but they are not supporting Cluster Shared Volumes. It would be great to have agents for Linux be cluster-aware, just like the Windows agents. That's the main pain point.

In addition, we should be able to handle the automation of Oracle backups from the backup server. We should be able to schedule, control, and deploy them from the backup server rather than relying on scripts and/or the system you are backing up to perform the backup. Currently, we install the plug-in inside Oracle VMs and then use crontabs to handle the task schedule on each machine for scheduling the backups. Veeam Backup Replication should also support the automation of Nutanix backups from the backup server, not from the proxy.

The other not so major thing is that they don't support legacy systems because Veeam is a new company. It is not as old as other companies. They don't support physical workloads that are really old, which a major challenge, but they do have a point. Legacy systems should be virtualized, and if they're virtualized, then the backup is not an issue with Veeam, but some customers like the physical setup, and they don't want to have it virtual.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for the past three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have many users of this solution.

Veeam doesn't focus on a particular segment. Small, medium, and large businesses can use it for backup. Solutions such as Veritas, Commvault, and Rubrik are more focused on the enterprise segment, and they are not really SMB friendly. Veeam has really excelled on that part. 

If you are a small business today, you'll grow tomorrow, and Veeam will grow with you. There are certain scenarios where Veeam is not a perfect fit, but for a vast majority of scenarios, Veeam is basically the number one solution in the market, especially now with their new release in which they have a new feature to conduct beautiful backups to Linux repositories. 

The main challenge for small and medium businesses has been the investment in backup storage that can provide such features. Most of the solutions that can provide such features are pretty expensive, and they weren't an option for small and medium businesses. Now, they can just install Veeam on a Windows Server, Linux, Ubuntu, and other systems and configure the backups and store the backups on that storage itself.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their support is perfect for the Veeam Backup Replication for VMware and Hyper-V workload because Veeam started as a backup company for backing up VMware and Hyper-V environments. Now they have agents all over the place. They have lots of products and plug-ins. If you have an issue with a specific item of a pretty new product and the team behind is not so big, you can run into issues in terms of the response time and resolution in a timely fashion.

In certain situations, you need to contact a specific team, but they don't have a unified support model in which you just open a support case, and then they figure out internally which team to assign it to. You have to pick the team to which your issue belongs. So, if your problem is with VMware or Hyper-V backups or restores, you can open a case with the Veeam Backup Replication team. If you have an issue with the Agent for Windows, you need to open a case with the Agent for Windows team. If you have any issue with Nutanix backups, you need to open a case with the respective team. Sometimes, you get into a loop between teams because an issue can be complex and applicable to multiple teams. When a case is going from one team to another team, you get a lot of emails. Other than that, their support is great. 

How was the initial setup?

The installation doesn't take much time. It also depends on the customer environment, but installing the software is pretty much "next, next, next", and then you just have to wait for the installation to complete. It relies on your CPU, memory, and disk resources, so the faster your server is, the faster it can happen. Some installations can take one hour, and some installations can take 15 minutes. It really depends on the environment.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

They have a free edition that can back up up to 10 VMs or physical servers. Small and medium businesses can use this edition until they can afford to get a license, and after they get a license, they just activate it on the same console. That's the amazing thing about it.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this solution to others. It can be deployed on-prem or on the cloud. They also have a new cloud-specific product. They have an agentless backup for Azure Cloud, AWS Cloud, and Google Cloud, but you can still use Veeam Backup Replication on the cloud.

I would rate Veeam Backup & Replication a nine out of ten.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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