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Initial thoughts on Veeam Backup & Replication

Veeam Backup & ReplicationRecently I have been looking to revamp our backup scheme as frankly, what we had wasn’t working (I won’t get into this now – a bit of a mess). One of my key requirements was that I could do file level restores on my VMs without having to restore the whole VMDK.

After talking to various vendors and playing around with a few choices, I ‘stumbled’ upon Veeam. Now, I knew the name Veeam from when their product originally launched, but I hadn’t really looked to see what they were up to lately.

Veeam Backup & Replication is their current flagship product, and as the name insinuates, it backs up and replicates VMWare machines. But the real question was how well does it do it.

Quite well.

OK, I’ll elaborate. Veeam Backup & Replication has a few different options for their back ups – full, incremental or reverse incremental. Their reverse incremental essentially takes incremental back ups (to save time and space) but it writes the data necessary to ensure that the latest job can do a full restore (i.e. you only need the full job and the last reverse incremental to get back to current – if you want to go further back then you need the incrementals from the newest to that time).

Speed wise, this thing is excellent. Most jobs only take minutes as it just does a differential. Dedupe is also built in to help decrease the data set size.

On the restore side, individual files can be restored from OSs (Windows / Linux) as can MS SQL DBs. Exchange mailboxes and Active Directory objects. I’ll touch on these at a later date.

Lastly, what made this a no-brainer for me was the price. It licensed per physical processor, so what would have cost me $20K + for software agents with other vendors, is under $3K  for three processor licenses (two for main VM host and one for replicated host).

I’ll do a follow up post with a few more details (including replication), but so far I am quite happy with it.