This is the second installment of a series by Systems Team Lead Matt Peabody to begin to answer a question he hears all the time: “Why vendor X?”
One of our account managers had been helping to look for a backup product as our primary offering. He brought Veeam to us over 4 years ago and was really excited about the product. I was one of the engineers installing Veeam for customers and was managing it internally for our own data protection once we verified it was a good fit for us. Over the years, our knowledge of the product continues to expand, and we have seen overwhelming success for our customers using the product.
Backup products are plentiful, and the list of companies offering backup continues to grow. There are a few things, however, that separate Veeam from the competition:
Veeam’s install has always been extremely easy to walk through. They continue to improve the process, and the latest install is nearly “Click install, next, next, finish.” From there, it usually takes us a few minutes to configure where to back up, what to back up and when to back up the data. There is much planning involved to get to this point, but once we have the information we need, the set up process is always a breeze.
Veeam’s scale out architecture allows it to grow into our largest customers. We can easily add more repositories if we need more space and more proxies if we need more network or CPU throughput. Since we can eliminate single points of failure and throughput bottlenecks, we have shrunk backup windows for many of our customers from hours to minutes or even multiple days to hours. Many of our customers utilize iSCSI arrays, and tapping into the SAN fabric with a Veeam server for backups greatly decreases load on the network and production infrastructure, further lessening the impact of backups.
3. Backup Testing
Whenever we talk to customers about their backup solutions we always ask if they have ever tested their restores. The answer is usually that their backup product told them the backup was successful and they didn’t assume otherwise. After working with many customers through many incidents, High Point Networks has adopted the mentality that a backup is not complete until a restore has been tested. Veeam’s SureBackup automates the testing process and uses their Instant Restore feature to turn on a live VM from the backup file and test to make sure all the services start. This guarantees the recovery of the files in a backup.
Many backup products back data up easily enough, but Veeam excels at restoring data too. They have multiple ways to restore data, ranging from an Instant Restore of the entire VM, to a single file, all the way down to item-level (email, calendar appointment) recovery for Exchange. Their Explorer wizards greatly improve the experience of restoring advanced items in different scenarios, and the user experience is just like browsing the backup using Outlook or the SharePoint management interface. The restores are quick to get data back into production, and Veeam continues to improve their user experience.
Veeam is an excellent product and is extremely easy to set up to demo for yourself. We rely on it in our data protection plan internally at High Point Networks, and will continue to recommend it as a primary backup solution to our customers. Next, I’ll be answering “Why VMware?”