Clearpath’s Blog on IT Infrastructure, Hybrid Clouds and IT Security

DR in the SDDC, Part 1: Veeam Backup and Replication

Posted by Sean Senior on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 @ 12:29 PM

Most backup tools were built for the physical world and simply retrofitted for virtualization. Their roots are in the physical world, which results in complications in today’s virtual world. Veeam Backup and Replication was designed and built specifically for the virtualized datacenter. Veeam has a long list of great features for backup and recovery, such as:

  • vPower which can run a VM directly from a compressed and duplicated backup file on regular backup storage
  • Veeam is agentless so there is no need to purchase, deploy or maintain backup agents on hosts or VMs.
  • With granular recovery you can recover individual emails, records or objects from any virtualized application or file system.
  • Instant VM Recovery allows you to simply start a VM from the backup without the need to extract the backup and copy it to production storage.

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But, frankly, it is Veeam’s replication and cloud options that are key for our SDDC disaster recovery list. Replication is no longer a luxury, it is becoming a requirement for most organizational backup strategy. Let’s take a look at Veeam’s replication feature. Veeam can dramatically improve RTOs and RPOs by combining image-based backup and replication for VMware in a single solution. This not only helps with maintaining replicas onsite for high availability, but importantly optimizes offsite replication for disaster recovery hitting RTOs of 5-10 minutes per VM and RPOs anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours (based on your backup scheduling).

Leveraging Veaam’s instant VM recovery your DR environment has a copy of VMs in a ready-to-start state, so if a VM goes down, you can immediately fail over to a standby VM. This ability gives users access to the services and applications they need with minimum disruption while the production environment issues are being resolved. Everyone knows that failover to a secondary environment is a critical component for disaster recovery, but just as critical (and rarely talked about) is failing back when the “event” is over. With Veeam, you have several options to return to normal operations while the DR VM is running. You can fail back to the initial production VM, completely re-homing a VM to the DR site or even move to a new site altogether. This really helps organizations gain peace of mind during failover and fail back events.

Bandwidth is always a challenge with any replication and off-site storage solution, no two ways about it. What good is replication if you struggle to get data from point A to point B. So, if your organization struggles with replication over a WAN or just plain slow connections, Veeam optimizes data transmission to improve performance by performing source-side deduplication and compression before it goes across the wire. In addition, Veeam will spawn multiple streams to fully utilize the bandwidth you choose to give it for replication. All things to help maximize your available bandwidth in an efficient manner.

veeam backup replication resized 600

Above is a typical configuration for offsite replication which includes one Veeam transport service on the production site and another Veeam transport service in the remote DR site. During backup, the Veeam transport services maintain a stable connection, which allows for uninterrupted operation over WAN or slow links.

While replication to secondary sites is ideal for DR, it is just not realistic for some organizational budgets. That doesn’t reduce the importance of having a cost effective option for getting critical business data off site. So, what do you do? Well one option is to leverage Veeam Cloud Edition to send your VM backups to one (or more) of the over 15 leading public storage clouds including major players like AWS, Azure and Google. Those backups are offsite and safe from regional disaster events. If your organization is sensitive to data being in the cloud, don’t worry, Veeam provides the ability to encrypt your backups during transmission and at rest. And, just as we touched on before, to help manage any potential bandwidth issues, Veeam allows you to control and schedule limits to ensure bandwidth remains available for normal operations during working hours. Bottom line, the Veeam Cloud Edition helps your organization obtain security of offsite backups while avoiding significant up-front costs with no commitment or vendor lock-in to a particular cloud.

The Disaster Recovery in the Software Defined Datacenter 4 part blog series:

As a Veeam Gold Pro Partner, Clearpath can answer any of questions you have about Veeam or even setup a trail for your organization to evaluate. Just reach out 1-866-892-3154.

Topics: Backup & Replication, Veeam, Disaster Recovery

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