Veeam releases Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition providing cloud storage gateway

Veeam Software today released a new product named Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition.  This edition has the same features which Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5 delivers plus it offers a storage cloud gateway.

This enables backup admins of small to midsized VMware or Hyper-V shops to store and retrieve files to and from cloud storage providers. Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition enables the storage of for instance the Veeam backup repository (known as .VBK files) to an external location. The cloud storage gateway software is targeted at the enduser of Veeam Backup & Replication (not yet at Service Providers) and will be sold as part of Veaam Backup & Replication.

An impressive number of 15 different cloud storage providers are support in this 1.0 release. Even more as each OpenStack based cloud storage provider is supported as wel.

The Edition is especially targeted at small, single site customers which are looking for a  simple and cost-effective
way to perform periodic offsite backups.

To reduce costs upfront a new subscription based license is available for 1, 2 or 3 years including 24/7 support.

See this video on YouTube for an overview of the new product.

Read the Press release  here.

cloud-edition

What does the product solve?
Backup data needs to be in a different  location than ‘live’ data. If not there is a chance that both live and backup data is lost because of a fire, flooding etc.  We all are aware of that and have actual data on alternative locations, have we?

In most scenario’s however the backup repository (stored on disk) is located in the same phyisical datacenter/serverroom as live data. To store the backup data somewhere else a few solutions are available.

  • Copy backup data from disk to  tape, removeable disk and do manual tape/disk handling.
  • Replicate the backup repository to a different location (secondary datacenter)
  • Replicate to cloud storage using a gateway

Veeam Backup & Replication does not support tapehandling. A script which copies VBK files to disk could be used.
Replication of the backup repository needs to be done using third party solutions like rSync or another backup solution.

UI

Replication of backup data to the cloud is an alternative for manual media handling or when a secondary site is not available. Mind however this is not very well suited for Disaster Recovery purposes. What if your datacenter is competely destroyed? If you have to copy the data back from a cloud provider storage over a slow WAN connection this could take days.

Make sure you do the calculations. Cloud storage can be very usefull for archiving or recovery of applications with a relative high recovery time objective (RTO).

So far a few cloud storage gateways have been available. Twinstrata CloudArray is an appliance which works well with Veeam Backup & Replication. Veeam and Twinstrata even cooperate here. CloudArray 3.0 is available for prices starting at $4,995 for the CloudArray virtual appliance and $8,995 for the entry-level physical appliance.

For Amazon storage only, the AWS Storage Gateway can be used. More details here.

With the release of Veeam Backup Cloud Edition third party tooling is required anymore to store the backup repository in a different location. It enables to replicate files to 19 services providers offering storage in the cloud. Examples of providers which are supported are: Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Windows Azure, Rackspace, Google storage and HP Storage. See the screendump for a complete overview of supported providers. Supported providers are located all over the globe.

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Hans De Leenheer of Veeam  has a 19 minutes video showing how to setup a Windows Azure account.

Besides using cloud providers, it is also possible of course to manage your own destination storage. Cloud Edition can replicate to any Windows network share. Another possibility is to use OpenStack.
So setup a Windows Server/OpenStack in a secondary site, attach storage to it, make the network share available and use it as a storage provider in the Cloud Edition software.

Mind Cloud Edition does not backup the virtual machine data directly to the cloud storage. Data is first stored in the local repository (VBK file). Also retrieval nor restore of an individual virtual machine files from the cloud is not yet possible.

Features

To manage the costs of cloud storage a cost estimator is available. Here the costs per GB charged by the cloud storage provider can be filled in. A threshold can be filled in, either on total costs or GB of used space. Data will not be sent to the cloud storage if the threshold is reached.

cost-estimator

The main configuration of the product is the backup plan. Multiple backup plans can be created by the backup admin. The plan holds configuration information on the source of the data (Veeam *.vbk or any other file on a Windows accessible volume), the destination (cloud storage provider, Windows fileshare), the type of encryption, compression etc.

encrypt

This is a release 1.0 version which has the most wanted features for storage 0f data in the cloud. In this release there is no integration between backup jobs and replication jobs. However it is very simple to store a Veeam backup file into the cloud. Use the post job activity  script field in the Veeam Backup & Replication advanced job properties to start an executable. This will start the replication of the VBK files (or any other file) using a backup plan as one of the parameters. Very easy to setup.

Veeam Backup Cloud Edition post backup job properties

Veeam Backup Cloud Edition post backup job properties

To provide extra redundancy of the backup files, default three version of files are maintained on cloud storage. When the fourth version of a file is stored, the latest is deleted from the cloud storage location.

Bandwidth consumption can be fully managed. Both for cloud storage and for local storage the bandwidth used by Veeam Backup Cloud Edition can be limited. It is also possible to set schedules. This prevents situations where user sessions over WAN experience reduced performance because of active replication jobs.

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Another feature is the ability to mount an Amazon S3 bucket (cloud storage) as a Windows drive letter (virtual disk). Mind however that accessing files this way can be a bit slow.

Success and failures of storing data into the cloud can be sent by email or an entry to the Windows Server logfile is added.

notify

Licensing & pricing

The product is licensed per socket in the protected VMware ESX(i) host. For existing customers Cloud Edition can be purchased as an addon for perpetual usage. Customer can either purchase a subscription based license for the Cloud Edition or a Perpetual license.

For new Veeam B&R customers a subscription model only is available per CPU socket per 1, 2 or 3 years including 24/7 support. A mix of both is not allowed.  Costs are Euro 580,- for 1 year, Euro 1030 for two years or Euro 1380 for three years.This make a two year subscription more lucrative than a perpetual license (purchase license + 1 year of maintenance and do a renewal after 1st year).

The product is available in Standard and Enterprise edition just like Veeam Backup & Replication.
Cloud Edition is also available in Essentials and Backup Management Suite.

editions

Download

Veeam Cloud Edition is a small executable (around 12 MB). It is available starting Monday February 11 2013 for download.
Download the softwar here,

Andrea Mauro will do a webinar on this new product on February 12. I guess in Italian language. Registration here

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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