Veeam v8 and NetApp Snapshots

Veeam announced on Monday, 4/7/14, that they are releasing storage snapshot functionality for NetApp. Veeam expects to release this feature in the second half of 2014 with Backup and Replication v8. This is a major announcement as this feature can provide the best of both worlds for SMBs.

NetApp provides best of breed storage snapshot technology, and Veeam provides a cost-effective, simple and reliable backup solution. Veeam's snapshot functionality was already available with use of HP SANs, however HP's storage snapshot technology isn't as robust and flexible as NetApp's. Unlike backing up VMs using typical VM-level snapshots, SAN snapshots minimize the amount of time the VM snapshot is open. Without SAN snapshots, Veeam will keep a VM snapshot open throughout the backup window. This is usually quick and the backup window depends on the amount of data that has changed in the VM since the last backup.

This is a useful backup architecture, and SAN snapshots take this idea to the next level. With SAN snapshots, Veeam will take a snapshot, immediately delete the snapshot, then the SAN takes its snapshot in a coordinated effort. The SAN snapshot is then presented to the Veeam server to backup. The VM snapshot is required to quiesce the Windows operating system making the backup application consistent.

This provides the best protection for SQL and Exchange servers. Without the VM snapshot step, the OS would boot up after being restored as if it experienced a hard crash. The same NetApp SAN snapshot used during the backup process can also be replicated to a NetApp at another site using the SnapMirror feature. This configuration can help streamline the management of backups and DR. Restoring files in Veeam using NetApp snapshots is just as easy as it is today with the current version of v7 R2 and has additional flexibility. You will be able restore from the traditional backup set or directly from a NetApp snapshot. This includes VM, file-level or Exchange item-level recovery from either source. One practical use case is that organizations could maintain a short history of 4-hour snaps on the NetApp as a nice-to-have and backup a snapshot with Veeam once every 24-hours for point-in-time backups that are stored on a separate device. The design would depend on the RPO required by the business. Equilibrium is excited to get our collective hands on this combined solution when Veeam v8 is generally available later this year!


Author: Todd Bey

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