Veeam Backup & Replication Review

It ensures that backup times are kept to a minimum and reduces the amount of data that is replicated to additional disks off-site.

Valuable Features

The functionality available with Veeam enterprise licenses, allow a VMware vSphere snapshot to be integrated and transferred to HP 3PAR storage snapshots; this effectively off-loads all backup traffic to the storage network. The Original VMware snapshot is then released (this process takes less then a minute), and Veeam continues the backup operation directly form the 3PAR storage. This operation ensures minimal impact on the VM, VM network and Host hypervisor, while ensuring backups are performed at storage network speeds (8Gb fibre).

Reverse incremental backups with block level changes - Following the initial seed backup, only block level changes are captured in the following daily backups. This ensures backup times are kept to a minimum and reduces the amount of data that is replicated to additional disk off-site.

50x WAN optimisation - With the enterprise licence option you get WAN optimisation. this reduces the amount of bandwidth required to replicate VMs or backup copies off-site. I use this to transfer all VM backups to a co-location storage device at a dedicated DR site.

Instant recovery - this allows a Veeam protected VM to be instantly booted direct from the backup image. Veeam creates an NFS Datastore and presents this to the selected Esxi host. This can be used to test backups are being taken correctly, to recover a live VM or as a low cost DR solution. Once a VM is booted, this can be migrated live using vMotion back to production storage.

Improvements to My Organization

By using Veeam, backups times for the entire virtual environment have been reduced, and backup windows now have no impact on production VMs.

Instant recovery has revolutionised client DR plans, reducing recovery time objectives (RTO) and improving available recovery point objectives (RPO).

Also as Veeam "just works" less time is spent troubleshooting backup technologies and failed backups.

Room for Improvement

The amount of disk space required for the long term storage of backups (archiving Weekly / Monthly / yearly backups) can be higher then expected if you have a large daily change rate in your VM. This needs to be planned for when considereing long term arciving of backup files.

Use of Solution

I have been working with Veeam for 18 months since the initial pilot.

Deployment Issues

If using off-site replication with WAN optimization, the initial Seed backups of VMs need to be taken locally and then transferred to off-site. Attempting to transfer these over the WAN can cause bandwidth saturation.

Stability Issues

No issues.

Scalability Issues

No issues, additional physical or backup servers can be added using existing hardware or VMs to distribute the backup load as the envirnmnet grows.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Very good support from account manager and on-line portal.

Technical Support:

Very good support, however as Veeam is simple to deploy only limited technical support was required during deployment.

Previous Solutions

Backups of VMs were previously taken using i365 data vault this added additional load to ESXi hosts and VMs during backup windows, switching to Veeam removed this load and enhanced recovery options for all VMs; i365 also provides block level incremental forever backups and replicates to our DR site, we continue to use this for the remaining physical machines.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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