In the last episode of TechNet Radio: Virtualization and Cloud Experts Café, Chris Henley from Veeam was my guest and he had a chance to share about Veeam’s backup solution for Hyper-V.  Just recently, Veeam announced a new backup offering that integrates with Windows Azure.  I asked Chris if he would be willing to put together a guest blog post for my blog and he kindly agreed.  Below is the guest post.


There is a rule in data protection called the 3-2-1 rule. The rule says that you need to keep 3 copies of your primary data (the operating copy counts as one of the three) on 2 different media types (disk, tape, or cloud) and at least 1 of those copies needs to be housed in an offsite location. These rules were designed to be used in support of client server networks with a focus on physical disk storage. The world has changed. Today we are focused more and more on virtual machines hosting the server roles and our networks are becoming increasingly cloud like. Data protection is still tremendously important.

Modern Data Protection

This may sound very simple in today’s terms, but how real is modern data protection in practice? So many other technologies have been modernized: incredible operating systems like Windows Server 2012, robust virtualization platforms like Hyper-V, incredible compute power from servers, and ever-expanding cloud computing technologies. Does data protection fit into the top list of modern technologies? If you haven’t yet heard of Veeam, you may not put data protection on that list.

Veeam Software (Microsoft’s current Partner of the year for Management and Virtualization) builds Veeam Backup & Replication software specifically for virtual environments. In fact, only virtual environments! The physical disks are no longer the central component of our networks; instead it’s the virtual machines. Veeam has won several industry awards for their backup solution and their customers love it. Unlike the physical focused backup tools of the past, the Veeam Backup & Replication was designed and built to work in the virtual environment; they truly represent modern data protection. When we consider the 3-2-1 rule, getting to 3 copies of the data it is now easy with Veeam.

Windows Azure

Windows Azure is made up of several component parts allowing for everything from simple cloud storage to full service virtual machine operations and beyond. As we consider the move to public cloud Windows Azure has become the gateway to the public cloud for businesses both large and small. Azure Blob storage provides an enticing target when considering archive storage for backups. It fulfills 2 requirements from the 3-2-1 rule. First the Azure storage is of a different type than a traditional physical data repository and so fulfills the 2 different media types part of the rule. Not only does it meet the rule requirements but if we were to compare Azure storage to something like tape the reliability and accessibility of the Azure storage is so much better. Azure actually has a very good SLA for availability and reliability. Of course Azure storage is located offsite and thus fulfills the last requirement of the rule. The cool thing about the Azure storage is that you get to configure where the data will be stored in the Microsoft Cloud. You can choose how geographically diverse you want to go. Or you can localize the data to your chosen locale. It’s up to you! Windows Azure is a great storage target for archived backups of virtual machines.

Bringing Veeam and Azure Together

How do you get the Veeam backups of our virtual machines to your Windows Azure storage? The answer was released on Monday February 11, 2013 as Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition. This software includes built-in software functionality to automate the transfer of backup files, in an encrypted fashion if you choose, to Windows Azure storage. Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition provides the powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable backup and recovery of your virtualized applications and virtual machines with the ability to automate the archival process to the cloud, without sacrificing features for on-premise data protection.

How easy is this? It’s really easy! One of my co-workers, Hans DeLeenheer produced a short video on cloud storage with a demonstration of how to use the Azure trial account along with Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition to automate the process of archiving virtual machine backup. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkIoTwHG9do

 

3-2-1 Blastoff

Protecting your virtual environment is mission critical! Back it up! Replicate key VM workloads! Use Windows Azure for offsite storage. It’s an easy, cost effective, reliable method to meet and even exceed the standards of the 3-2-1 rule for backups.

For more information and to try Veeam Backup Cloud Edition for free (30 day fully functional trial) please visit http://www.veeam.com/cloud-backup-vmware-hyper-v.html

For a free trial of Windows Azure please visit the 90 Day Azure Trial Sign Up page