Time and time again, I get asked by partners and customers what is the value prop behind Veeam Backup and replication integrating with the various storage arrays for offload operations. Why is there value there? I usually respond by stating that Veeam integrates with specific SAN arrays to let them perform the “heavy-lifting” when creating a backup job resulting in a lot faster backup and restore operations? By why is having quicker backup and restore options that important?
At Veeam, we speak about the 3 C’s of Backup challenges, Cost, Complexity and Capabilities. Inherent to backup architecture and environments that is considered “legacy” do these challenges exist – Why? The obvious reason is no doubt that these environments have grown organically and have never really been designed for the type of workloads that we are seeing in todays world. What is troubling is that customers simply get use to these environments and subsequently “accept” the pitfalls of having technology that has been retrofitted for newer trends and workloads – particularly for customers that are new to virtualisation, backup could be an issue that they don‘t realise they need to address.
For example, if a customer wants to restore a single virtual machine, how would they go about that with a conventional backup solution? With Veeam Backup and Replication it is extremely simple. Veeam has great momentum in the market and when you position it with primary storage arrays such as HP 3PAR or NetApp FAS systems with their unique integration points. These represent the “heavy-lifter” I mentioned earlier in this post, getting a more suitable device to handle specific tasks – for those who are familiar with virtualisation, think vStorage APIs for Array Integration or VAAI – certain storage operations that get offloaded to compliant storage arrays is very similar.
How do we do it? Veeam Software is an innovative provider of data protection solutions for VMware vSphere and Windows Server Hyper-V environments, and offers integration with HP 3PAR InformOS and NetApp ONTAP based arrays as of version 8 of our backup and replication platform. Veeam Explorer for SAN Snapshots enables IT administrators to recover whole virtual machines and application data directly from SAN snapshots, including HP 3PAR snapshots and NetApp SAN snapshots. This capability enables administrators to quickly restore any or all of a Virtual Machine directly from SAN snapshots, which can be taken throughout the day with very little impact on production systems. This enables short recovery point objectives (RPO) for the most common recovery scenarios: users accidentally deleting data, users deleting emails, and system updates gone wrong. This in turn provides a better return on investment in both your backup infrastructure as well as your storage infrastructure as its hardware utilisation increases making sure you get maximum use out of your investment, and reducing costs by not having to fork out for more CPU power to handle backup jobs.
Here are the key capability points for Veeam and Storage Array integration: It is fast – customers will be able to recover an entire VM or individual items in 2 minutes or less. It is flexible – Storage Administrators can restore exactly what they need -quickly and easily: a full Virtual Machine, individual guest files, individual Microsoft Exchange items, Microsoft Active Directory objects. In addition, it is also agent-free; there are absolutely no agents to deploy on virtual hosts or within Virtual Machines so upgrading the software in the future is straight forward. By having this architecture and ease of use, IT administrators can see a reduction in complexity and management of their backups.
So more aggressive RPO’s using compliant SAN based snapshots mean that quicker restore options and lower RTO’s are achievable using Veeam.
Note: Veeam currently supports HP 3PAR and HP StoreVirtual for snapshot integration, NetApp FAS systems will be supported in version 8.0 which is due out in the next month or so.