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Windows It Pro Veeam Backup 6 Review

Windows It Pro Veeam Backup 6 Review

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Published by Christopher Cole
Windows It Pro Veeam Backup 6 Review
Windows It Pro Veeam Backup 6 Review

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Published by: Christopher Cole on Jul 29, 2014
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sing a virtualization-specic backup
solution in a production environ-
ment signicantly simplies the re
store process, especially for servers that are difcult to restore, such as those running Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, or Visual Studio Team Founda
tion Server. Because the backup solutions essentially perform an image backup of the virtual machines (VMs), restoring a VM is as simple as restoring the VM’s disk les on the host and start
ing the VM. I recently tested Veeam Software’s Veeam Backup & Rep
lication, which supports both VMware ESX/ESXi and Micro
soft Hyper-V servers. It comes in two editions: Standard and Enterprise. Both editions include backup and replication (local or remote) functionality. The Enterprise Edition costs around 30 percent more than the Standard Edition, but I think that the features in the Enterprise Edition are well worth the addition
al cost, especially if you run applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server. You can upgrade from the Stan
dard Edition to the Enterprise Edition by paying the difference in price.
Veeam Backup & Replication’s licensing is based on the total number of physical CPU sockets you have on all your ESX/ESXi or Hyper-V hosts. If you have six or fewer CPU sock 
ets to purchase for your entire company, you can buy Veeam Essentials, which is sold in two-socket bundles. However, a company can only buy up to three two-socket bundles. If you have more than six total CPU sockets on your ESX/ESXi or Hyper-V hosts, you must purchase Veeam on a per-socket ba
sis. You have two options. You can purchase Veeam Backup & Replication as a standalone product or as part of the Veeam Management Suite, which includes Veeam Backup & Replica
tion and Veeam ONE (Veeam’s monitoring, documentation, and business categorization application). Veeam Essentials also includes Veeam ONE.
Veeam Backup & Replication consists of several compo
nents: • Veeam Backup Server. This is the main software that schedules and performs the backups. • Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager. This software pro
vides centralized management of multiple Veeam Backup Servers. You need only one instance of Enterprise Manager to manage multiple servers. Veeam Backup Search. Used in conjunction with Microsoft Search Server, Veeam Backup Search is used for ofine system catalog crawls and searches. If you have more than 200 VMs, you’ll have much faster search results with this software when the le to restore might be located on mul
tiple backups. From this point on, I’ll concentrate on the main features of the Veeam Backup Server component running in a VMware en
Installation and Confguration
Although you can install the Veeam Backup Server software on a VM, I suggest that you install it on a dedicated physical server because when the software is running, it places a signi
cant load on the server. Veeam suggests a server with at least two cores and 4GB of memory if you plan to use a local SQL Server instance. If you’re using a remote SQL Server instance, you can congure the server with 2GB of memory. The installation of the Veeam Backup Server software is straightforward. Because the backup server must communicate with either a vCenter server or ESX/ESXi host, the backup server should be placed in the same network as the vCenter server or ESX/ESXi console network. Ideally, this should be a separate dedicated management network that’s isolated from other VM trafc. Before you run the installation program, you should verify that valid entries exist for all vCenter servers, ESX/ESXi hosts, and the backup repository (which I’ll discuss shortly). These entries can reside either in a DNS server or local HOSTS le on the backup server. Make sure that all resources (vCenter servers and ESX/ESXi hosts) can be resolved. For me, the installation of the Veeam Backup Server went very smoothly. When you run the installation program, make sure you have at least 10GB of free space on the drive on which
Review: Veeam Backup & Replication 6.0
 Alan Sugano
 If you have ESX/ESXi or Hyper-V hosts running production VMs, you need this product. In my opinion, it’s the best backup solution available for ESX/ESXi or Hyper-V.
you install vPower NFS. This technology enables running VMs directly from backup les. After the software is installed, you need to create the backup repository. This is where the backup les, copies of VMs, and metadata for replicated VMs will be stored. The backup reposi
tory can be DAS on a server, NAS, NFS storage on a Linux server, or Just a Bunch of Disks (JBOD). I also recommend that you back up the backup repository to some type of ofine media, such as tape. I typically run a full backup of the VMs over the weekend and run incremental backups to disk during the week. After the daily backups are nished, I run a separate  backup job to tape. When planning for disk space, make sure to account for the total amount of disk space that your VMs use, plus space for the incremental backups. Veeam does a good job with compression and deduplication of the backup images to save space, but to be on the safe side, I recommend purchasing at least 1.5 times the amount of storage on the host or cluster. More storage lets you keep more backup history on disk, without having to restore from tape.
Once the Veeam Backup Server software is installed and the  backup repository is in place, you can create the backup job. To do so, you can use the Create Backup Job wizard, which you launch from the initial backup screen that Figure 1 shows. For testing purposes, I congured a full backup on Saturday, with incremental backups Sunday through Friday. If desired, you can have email notications sent when the backup job has nished. To do so, you just need to specify an SMTP server and the recipients’ email addresses, separated by semicolons. In the past, I struggled with other virtualization backup solu
tions when trying to back up Windows Server 2008 R2 VMs running Exchange and SQL Server on a VMware vSphere 5 host with Virtual Machine File System 5 (VMFS5) storage groups. I had to contact technical support multiple times to get the backup jobs working, with sometimes clunky workarounds. In stark contrast, I was able to get Veeam Backup & Replication working on the rst try, without contacting technical support. It was fast, reliable, and stable. For my tests, I installed Veeam Backup Server on both a VM and a physical server running VMware vCenter Server to compare the performance. The VM was running Server 2008 R2 congured with four virtual CPUs (vCPUs) and 4GB of memory. When backing up the other VMs on the same ESX/ESXii host, the CPU utilization stayed close to 100 percent. Throughput was good, running about 70MBps during a full  backup. The host was an HP ProLiant DL380 G7 with two six-core CPUs and 64GB of memory. The backup repository was on the local VM’s hard drive. This standalone ESX/ESXi host had eight 300GB Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives cong
ured as a RAID 5 array. The physical server was an HP ProLiant ML370 G5 with 40GB of memory and two quad-core processors. The backup repository was DAS, consisting of eight 146GB SAS drives congured as a RAID 5 array. CPU utilization averaged at 60 percent, but throughput was noticeably lower at around 48MBps during a full backup. The slower throughput was prob
ably due to the fact that the data was transferred over a single Gigabit Ethernet link. Veeam supports restoring individual les from a .vmdk im
age backup. However, Windows VMs with dynamic disks aren’t supported. If you have VMs with dynamic disks, you can either migrate the data to a basic disk or convert the disk from dynamic to basic using a partition utility such as EaseUS Parti
tion Master. Before you perform any type of conversion, make
Veeam Backup & Replication 6.0
 Basic installation is simple; backups worked reliably every time
 Getting the Virtual Labs to install and work for granular restores of Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint and other web applications when the ESX/ESXi server has a dedicated man
agement network was tricky and required a call to Veeam Technical Support
: 5 out of 5
 Cost based on the total number of CPU sockets and version; for example, costs $1,300  per two sockets for Veeam Essentials Enterprise Edition (includes Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam ONE; is for companies with six CPUs or fewer) and $1,099 per socket for the standalone Veeam Backup & Replication Enterprise Edition (for companies with more than six CPUs)
: If you have ESX/ESXi or Hyper-V hosts running production VMs, you need this product. In my opinion, it’s the best  backup solution available for ESX/ESXi or Hyper-V.
: Veeam Software • 678-353-2140
Figure 1: Initial backup screen

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