Veeam enables hosting providers to completely manage Disaster Recovery (DR) for businesses. It is the 2-in-1 backup and replication solution designed solely for virtualised machines (VMs). Veeam enables hosts to offer minimal Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) to customers.
So how exactly does Veeam work, and how is it different from legacy solutions?
What is Veeam?
Veeam is a backup and replication solution for Virtual Machines (VMs), specifically VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and mixed-hypervisor virtual environments. It enables you to easily initiate a full site failover to your remote DR site without disrupting production, and then easily failback to normal business operations once issues are resolved.
It works by taking snapshots of your entire VM disk and then copying these images to another location. This removes the need for application and file system indexing, and the agents that perform it.
Veeam includes several technologies that enable superfast and efficient virtual backup, such as:
- source-side deduplication and compression which prevents redundant data from being copied
- change block tracking which improves efficiency in performing incremental backups by keeping track of the storage blocks of virtual machines as they change over time
- parallel processing which allows simultaneous processing of multiple VMs and VM disks
- built in WAN acceleration which reduces the volume of data that is sent across the WAN by caching duplicate files
Should your VM fail, a replica from the latest backup, in a ready-to-start state, is instantly available to minimise disruption with near-continuous data protection. This enables the best RPOs and RTOs - i.e. the maximum period that data might be lost and the target time for resumption of service after an incident. Veeam provides an intelligent failover mechanism, which allows the automation of processes of network mapping and IP configuration to a DR site, which would usually need to be executed manually.
Once you’re ready to restore operations, you can failback to the original VM, to a machine in a new location, or you can make the replica VM your new production machine.
How do legacy solutions compare?
Legacy solutions cannot offer the speed and flexibility that Veeam provides for VM backup and replication.
Legacy tools require time and cost consuming agents inside VMs to perform functions, separate tools and licenses to enable advanced replication, special indexing of each backup and they can take weeks to deploy, even with a team of expensive consultants.
Ultimately Veeam is much better equipped to provide business continuity for virtualised infrastructures, because it is built specifically for VMs; it fully leverages the power of VMware and Hyper-V.
What does this mean for DR?
The full Veeam suite allows hosting providers to offer guaranteed full backups, with RPOs as quick as 15 minutes in their Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for VMs. As a storage agnostic solution that enables automation of DR scenarios, it can be used as part of a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offering to all customers, so businesses don’t have to worry about getting operations back online after an incident.