There haven’t been a lot of companies offering VMware VMFS backup applications, up until this point. Recently, Veeam, the company that offers FastSCP, has introduced Veeam Backup. In this article, learn what Veeam Backup has to offer and how it can help you backup your VMware Infrastructure.
Who is Veeam?
Veeam is a software company, dedicated to offering software tools to help manage virtualized environments – specifically solutions for VMware ESX Server. Veeam is best known for their FastSCP secure file transfer program, tailored for VMware ESX Server. Over time, they have come out with a number of different VMware ESX Server add-ons such as Veeam Reportor, Veeam Configurator, and Veeam Monitor. Still, they offer FastSCP, RootAccess, and their VMware Stencils for free.
Most well known VMware backup solutions
From going to VMware trade-shows and from talking with other VMware Admins, the two most well known VMware ESX Backup programs are: Vizioncore’s vRanger Pro and esXpress from PHD. Besides being the most well know, these two programs are also the most proven in the mind of VMware system administrators. Because these two applications and companies are so ingrained into VMware administrators, I was surprised to see a new offering from Veeam.
New from Veeam – Veeam Backup
Veeam Backup is a new VMware ESX Server / VMFS backup application. According to Veeam, what makes it unique is that it can perform backup, restore, replication, data de-duplication, replication rollback, and integration with VCB – all in one product (see the Veeam Product Data Sheet for more info). This does sound intriguing because with many other Virtualization products I have seen, most of these features have been different packages.
Additionally, I checked out the price on the Veeam website and thought that the $499 per socket price was reasonable.
Installing and Evaluating Veeam Backup
When it comes to evaluating Veeam Backup, I did appreciate that Veeam offered a Veeam Backup Evaluator’s Guide.
I thought that this was very helpful to someone who just wants to quickly evaluate the product, without having to go through the full administrator’s guide.
Because of my interest in the many features offered by Veeam Backup, I decided to download it and try it out. I went to the Veeam Backup for VMware Infrastructure page and clicked Download Trial.
From there, I took the default and chose to install Veeam backup and FastSCP. I accepted the license agreement and the installation began. The first task was for the installer to install an instance of SQL Server Express.
Next, I answered a few questions about the installation, which the following part being to give Veeam an account that has the right to login as a service. At that point, the installation began:
Note: if you want to test Veeam Backup using VCB, Veeam Backup should be installed on your VCB Server.
I then went to my Windows Start menu and saw that Veeam Monitor, FastSCP, and Backup were all installed. I ran Veeam Backup.
Here is what the interface looked like:
First, I installed the trial license that I received in email under the Help drop down menu.
One caveat that I did find out the hard way is that Veeam Backup is required to be able to SSH to each ESX Server for the backup jobs to function if Veeam Backup is not installed on the VCB Server. However, if you are using ESX Server 3i, you won’t have any SSH Server for Veeam Backup to connect to. What does this mean to you? It means that if you are using ESX Server 3i, you will HAVE TO install Veeam Backup on the VCB Proxy server for Veeam Backup to work.
To tell Veeam what servers to backup, I went to File and chose to Add a Server. I typed in the name of my virtualcenter server and username/password to connect.
Immediately, Veeam Backup found all the ESX Servers in my VMware Virtual Infrastructure. In the tree on the left, I had “My Computer” (for storage of backups), Servers (my VMware ESX Servers), and the Backup option to control Backup jobs, Restore, and Replication.
At that point, I used the backup wizard to create a backup. I found it easy to point and click and select what I wanted to backup. Here is what it looked like:
I chose where I wanted the backup to go to (just my local hard drive in my case).
From there, I could have chosen some advanced backup options like compression and whether I wanted to save the job or not for the future.
When the job was created and run, the backup began! That was easy.
As I am just starting my evaluation on this new product, I am not yet qualified to say that Veeam is better, worse, or the same when compared to any other virtualization backup options. Veeam certainly has a compelling case with their new backup program that seems to include many features at a reasonable cost. I think that Veeam is certainly worth comparing to the other backup options available for VMware ESX Server. I’ll keep you posted on how my evaluation goes.