Veeam SureBackup

Veeam has introduced a new technology named SureBackup. SureBackup is designed to not only use Veeam’s Backup technology to backup your virtual machines (VMs) but will also test the restoration of each of these VMs to ensure that they at least boot and at most the applications involved are actually running within the VM.

This is a great improvement over current backup methodologies which consists of by hand testing of only a scant number of virtual machines to ensure restorations result in boot-able virtual machines. The full test of restorability almost always happens during a disaster situation when everyone is under a fair amount of pressure. The current backup and restoration testing follows this path:

  • Quiesce the virtual disk employing VSS or other technologies
  • Backup the virtual disk
  • Copy the virtual disk to offline storage (tape, blu-ray, dvd, hot-site, remote disk array, etc.)
  • Choose some of the VMs for by hand restoration (perhaps rotating through all VMs eventually)
  • Restore chosen VMs into a testing pool (by hand)
  • Verify that the chosen VMs boot (by hand)
  • Verify that the chosen VMs applications work (by hand)

What is interesting is that the last 3 steps often do not happen and per backup schedule do not test ALL the virtual machines, instead a select number of them. However, this situation now changes. These last three steps may also have an additional license cost if running Microsoft Windows operating systems as the Microsoft EULA is based on running instance of the operating system which includes any restoration testing performed by hand or process.

Introducing Veeam SureBackup

Veeam Surebackup takes those last three steps and automates them so that every VMs restoration is tested. How much testing depends entirely on how SureBackup is configured. You can easily test to ensure all VMs restore and boot out of the box. You can also verify the integrity of certain applications out of the box. You can also add your own scripts to SureBackup to test other non-standard applications as well.

Since this is an automated task, human error is no longer an issue, the process is repeatable, and best yet, all VMs are tested to ensure restoration happens properly before you need it, preventing issues during the high pressured disaster recovery situation.

Veeam SureBackup can restore VMs on local systems, hot-site systems, or dedicated systems. VMs are restored into private virtual networks within specific resource pools so that your systems can be configured to lower the overall impact of restoration testing.

Backups take quite a while when you have 1000s of VMs, so incrementatl backups and Change Block Tracking is available to reduce this time. Backup takes quite a bit of disk space so data and disk de-duplication can be used. Restoration testing takes personal and system resources to complete, now SureBackup can alleviate much of these resource utilizations but not licensing issues.

Edward Haletky (362 Posts)

Edward L. Haletky, aka Texiwill, is the author of VMware vSphere(TM) and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing the Virtual Environment as well as VMware ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise: Planning Deployment of Virtualization Servers, 2nd Edition. Edward owns AstroArch Consulting, Inc., providing virtualization, security, network consulting and development and The Virtualization Practice where he is also an Analyst. Edward is the Moderator and Host of the Virtualization Security Podcast as well as a guru and moderator for the VMware Communities Forums, providing answers to security and configuration questions. Edward is working on new books on Virtualization. [All Papers/Publications...]

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