Veeam Backup & Replication Review

It has provided us with much needed high availability for our retail sites, although it's not exactly ready for very large scale and complex environments with more than 1000 VMs.

What is most valuable?

The main feature we're currently using is the replication function that allows us to provide high availability in all of our company's retail sites throughout Europe & Asia. Backup is also a good tool, but we mainly use it in our HQ.

How has it helped my organization?

First of all, it has provided us with much needed HA for our retail sites. Until Veeam, the servers from stores were backed up, and in case of disaster with the production hypervisor, we would have faced a far too long restore time that would seriously impact the business.

Second, it allowed us to replace the older, slower, and much pricier backup solution in our virtual environment.

What needs improvement?

It still doesn't feel like a fully mature solution because it's not exactly ready for very large scale and complex environments with more than 1000 VMs.

For how long have I used the solution?

Personally I've been using it for almost a year-and-a-half, but I'm part of a team that started implementing it in our infrastructure three years ago. Currently, the product is providing availability to almost 80% of our company's Windows & Linux virtual infrastructure and we're looking forward to the day when it will be doing this 100%. I've been using it since v6. Currently, our environment is fully updated to v8 with the latest patches, and we're looking forward to trying out v9 when it's released and confirmed by the community as a stable version.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

The only issues we encountered until v8 was the fact that we couldn't automate the patching and upgrading of our environment. Starting with v8, Veeam optimized their silent install procedure, and now we're working on automating the whole process of keeping the product up to date with major releases and patches.

Besides this we've only experienced minor setbacks, such as proxy servers not being able to upgrade or uninstall properly due to the older local installer/uninstaller kits being overwritten in time by constant updates.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Anyone who's used Veeam in large or very large environments knows you can get a lot of errors from it. In time, you learn how to mitigate most of them fast or even optimize the environment to not get some of them at all.

Some design flaws, such as the fact that it automatically deletes replica's if it finds that the VM's disk sizes have been changed, can be pretty frustrating sometimes

But overall, I think "It just works!"

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The main issue we're still facing with scalability is the fact that the EM (Enterprise Manager) is not designed to handle a very big number of Backup & Replication servers (some of which having hundreds of jobs). As so, we've been recently forced to deploy an EM in each of our HQ locations so that the Veeam infrastructure in the country is managed by it and not by a single unique EM server like we had until now. Automatic upgrades and patches were also an issues, but, as stated above, we seem to have found a solution thanks to the guys from Veeam.

How are customer service and technical support?

Opening an incident to them is quite easy and fast, and their initial response times are pretty decent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we used IBM Tivoli Storage Manager. Besides costing a lot more, it was also outdated, having very high upgrade costs. Also, it was a lot more complex (especially for the needs of a virtual environment). Besides this, it didn't provide us with the much needed Replication function for VMs. Currently, Tivoli Storage Manager is still being used in some of physical environment but since a year ago, we've slowly started to replace it with another backup product.

How was the initial setup?

It definitely doesn't get more straightforward than Veeam when it comes to setup (and operating it, too). GUI is user-friendly and well designed. Installation process is simple and very fast. The Backup & Replication architecture itself is easy to understand and implement.

What about the implementation team?

The entire implementation was done in-house by the team of which I'm a part.

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

For what it's capable of providing, I think pricing for this product is pretty decent both in functional and support licensing. Regarding licensing, all I can advise is that you either get the Standard version or the Enterprise Plus for the advanced features. There aren't that many reasons to get the Enterprise version.

What other advice do I have?

For what it's designed to do, providing high availability and backup for virtual environments, it's definitely a jewel. I still think there's room for improvement on things like stability & scalability; it doesn't quite feel like a fully mature product yet that's capable of being implemented on very big and complex enterprise environments. And of course, I don't even want to think about the ripples it will send if they decide to implement support for physical environments in the same product.

Before contacting the support team, remember that the Veeam Community forum is a small treasure chest, spend a little time getting to know it, and it will get you out of the majority of issues or setbacks you encounter.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

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

author avatarChris Childerhose
ExpertTop 5Real User

You should be able to backup up the 1000+ VMs with Version 9 definitely and with Update 3 coming that will improve things including Agent Management. If architected correctly I can see Veeam being able to back up 1000+ VMs. Just depends on placement of servers, proxies, etc.