What is most valuable?
For most clients I look after, the most often used feature is a simple restore. Once the backup is on disk, most restores can kick in within 15 minutes and be restored within 30 minutes for files, emails and SQL databases etc. It doesn’t matter if it’s from last night or last year, the restore timeframe is often the same.
After a simple backup, the next most used feature I see is restoring a full VM due to doing a DR test to validate systems, VM corruption, testing new software, testing windows updates, ransomware/virus corruption or human error in managing the VM. A VM of say 40GB can, in most cases, be restored within an hour from the get go. Naturally, the faster the infrastructure (10GB, fibre), the faster the restores. Restoring to different locations naturally takes more time as often one needs to prep the environment.
As for the most valuable feature I suppose it’s bringing in the disaster revovery functions (SureBackup, Replication, offsite jobs) to sites that just wouldn’t normally have the budget or be bothered due to the complexity of the more traditional solutions.
How has it helped my organization?
Veeam B&R saved many files that had accidentally been deleted. By using file level recovery, all of them got restored easily and in a timely manner.
From a business point of view the recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) can now be realized and improved.
What needs improvement?
Cross job deduplication and dedupe across full backups would be interesting. This would help the backup footprint for long term backups. Saying that, Server 2016 dedup (when it's released shortly) should cover some of this for small to medium sites, and larger sites can pick a number of appliances to do the job (Dell DR4300, ExaGrid Storage, EMC Data Domain etc.).
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been working with many clients over the years, and I have been using Veeam since v4, which I think was around 2011.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
Patch release and support are both very efficient and it doesn't take ages for most issues to be resolved.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
As with any product things can break down. Backup to disk is very intensive and all the parts need to be reliable. Poorly configured NAS devices as Veeam repository can cause all sorts of issues. Lack of free space or resources will be a burden.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's been able to scale for our needs. Simply add more Veeam proxies if compute is needed or more cheep storage for backup as needed.
How are customer service and technical support?
Excellent is the word I'd use. Technical Support
The support from Veeam is very good and most issues I’ve logged with them over the years turned out be non Veeam related. One such call related to failed backups on a number of VM’s. After some investigation it turned out to be Symantec AV device control on servers blocking a VSS snapshot from within the guest (from MS Shadow copy or Veeam). Another issue where backups which were taking over 10hours failed and turned out to be a Linux/NAS time out. I’m always very satisfied with their support levels, more so than any other backup vender I’ve used over than last 10 years.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I’ve worked with agent based backup solution and other virtual backup solutions over the years. PHDVirtual for XenServer has very good dedup but wasn’t compatible with Hyper-V or VMware (superseded now by Unitrends). Agent based backups usually rely on a bare metal restore which can be time consuming. Veeam just makes the whole restore process very simple. Veeam upgrades take a fraction of the time that most other products take.
How was the initial setup?
Veeam backups in its simplest form is very straightforward. Install on a clean VM, point to Hyper Visor and repository, create backup jobs and go. Saying that it’s a very powerful product with many options and one would be advised to seek professional advice on the backup solution as a whole before jumping straight in and buying hardware/software.
What about the implementation team?
I’ve being installing Veeam for our customer base for many years and gained a lot of experience and my advice to anyone is to seek professional advice on the backup solution as a whole. Buy more backup to disk pace than you think you need and play with the Surebackup function.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
It wasn’t too long ago that one paid a high price for something that would cover DR and was usually out of the reach for most small customers. Veeam fills that gap with very keen pricing, reliable backups, reliable restores and ofsite VM replication. For me its a small investment for peace of mind.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Over the years we have seen more Hyper-Visor backup products hitting the market, and those I have tested still fall behind Veeam, but to be honest I don’t bother testing them much these days as Veeam ticks most, if not all, of the boxes that my clients require.
What other advice do I have?
Try it out, Veeam B@R give a free 30 day trial key. Seek professional advice.
Take a look at the new Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365