Veeam announces SureBackup: what is it?

Posted by Staff   |   Monday, March 22nd, 2010   |  

veeam logo

After teasing the customers for weeks, Veeam introduces today SureBackup, a set of technologies that greatly improves its backup/restore product for VMware vSphere.

First of all, SureBackup is not the name of a single new capability. It’s an umbrella for existing and upcoming features of Veeam Backup & Replication. And while this may sound like a typical marketing operation to turn old things into something new, the reality is that SureBackup includes at least a brand new, remarkable technology.

Dubbed Recovery Verification, this is the Veeam attempt to solve one of the most challenging problems when dealing with virtual machines live backups: testing that each guest operating system and its application will work properly after recovery.

In live (or hot) backups virtual machines are copied while the OS is running but when the backups are restored the OS starts from a powered off situation. This may lead to inconsistencies.
The Volume Shadow Service (VSS) technology that Microsoft offers since Windows Server 2003 and XP helps to reduce the risk when protecting Windows virtual machines, but to work effectively it must be supported by the applications that are running inside the OS.
Without VSS-aware applications, live backups don’t guarantee 100% safe restores. And there’s no way to have such guarantee without testing every single backup with a restore operation, which is way too expensive and time-consuming for a large number of corporations.

Recovery Verification, to be included in Veeam Backup & Replication 5.0 in Q3 2010, solves this problem by restoring protected VMs in an isolated portion of the virtual infrastructure.
The VMs are powered on from their backup archive (no VM is duplicated and moved across the data center), and put in a temporary virtual network that has no connection with other vSwitches or physical LAN.
Of course, every changes happening inside the VMs during this restore phase is recorded in a delta disk that is discarded as soon as the verification is completed. The archived image remains in read-only status to avoid any unexpected modification of the system state.

During the verification, the VMs are placed inside the existing virtual infrastructure if there’s no spare hardware, “stealing” some resources of the production environment. To reduce the impact, this operation can be scheduled at any time: after the VMs backup, during the night, etc.
Veeam says that each verification only requires a few minutes but this precious capability may turn into a completely new dimension to consider during capacity planning.
Alternatively, Recovery Verification can be used to test the disaster recovery hardware that is available inside the company.

The most interesting part is what happens to the VM after its backup image has been restored in the virtual infrastructure. Veeam goes beyond just checking that the guest OS can properly boot. The product runs specific scripts to verify that applications inside the VM are back in an acceptable operational status.
Veeam will offer some predefined scripts for the most common applications, but the key part is that customers will be able to use their own custom scripts to verify any sort of application activity inside the guest OS.
Clearly, not everything will be verifiable as the network connectivity is limited and other application tiers will probably be unreachable.

Once completed its tests, Recovery Verification will shut down the VM archive image, discard the delta disk and send a report with the results returned by the built-in checks and custom scripts.

This goes well beyond the verification of integrity for a backup image that disaster recovery vendors usually do and it’s definitively an interesting way to leverage virtualization. Veeam will support it with any guest OS (not just Windows) and any application. It will even work with Backup & Replication 4.x archives.
But the company has some news about restore too.

Less innovative, but still a very welcome addition, SureBackup also comprises the capability to restore application-level items, like emails from an Exchange Server, users from an Active Directory LDAP server or records from a SQL Server.
Proper roles and permissions for each object will be recovered too.

Veeam supports this capability in every guest operating system supported by VMware, without requiring the installation of agents, and by using the existing backup process used so far.

The same feature was announced in July 2009 by Vizioncore, as part of future releases of vRanger Pro.
And at that time speculated that Vizioncore’s parent company Quest may leverage the technology included in existing solutions it already sells for the physical world.

It will be interesting to see how the two companies will compete on this feature because part of the Quest expertise in application-items restore comes from the acquisition of Aelita Software, in 2004.
After the acquisition, several Aelita Software employees left Quest to found Veeam. The list includes Andrei Baronov: CTO at Aelita first, R&D Director at Quest after the deal, and finally CTO at Veeam.

blog comments powered by Disqus Newest articles
Release: VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.5

June 13th, 2017

Log Insight is a log aggregation, management and analysis tool, that VMware first introduced in 2013 and considered a competitor of Splunk.
Yesterday VMware announced the release of version 4.5, available for…

Release: VMware vRealize Automation 7.3

June 6th, 2017

Today VMware announced the latest release of its cloud management platform vRealize Automation, former vCloud Automation Center.
VMware vRealize Automation 7.3 release notes can be found at this link.


Paper: Introducing the NSX-T Platform

February 9th, 2017

“We see greater potential strategic opportunity in NSX over the next decade than our franchise product vSphere has had for the past decade.”
said VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger talking about…

Paper: VMware vSphere Virtual Machine Encryption Performance

November 22nd, 2016

Encryption of virtual machines is something that has been requested for years by the security community. VMware continued to postpone its implementation due to the negative operational impact that many…

Quest Software leaves Dell

November 1st, 2016

In September 2012 Dell announced to have completed the acquisition of Quest Software, a Californian company with an history in systems management, security, business intelligence and, falling back in our…

Citrix announces Q3 2016 results

October 21st, 2016

Citrix announced its financial results for third quarter 2016.
The revenues for the second quarter were $841 million for an increase of 3% compared to Q3 2015.
Net income was $132…

Release: VMware vSphere 6.5 & Virtual SAN 6.5

October 19th, 2016

2016 edition of VMworld US has been quite turbulent, on the other hand during VMworld Europe, happening these days in Barcelona, the company announced a few more products for the…

Release: VMware vRealize Log Insight 4.0

October 18th, 2016

Log Insight is a log aggregation, management and analisys tool, that VMware first introduced in 2013 and now is usually compared with Splunk.
Yesterday VMware announced Log Insight’s new major…

Release: Windows Server 2016 with support for Window Server & Hyper-V containers

October 13th, 2016

Yesterday Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Server 2016 which the company defines as a cloud-ready OS.
Beside fancy definitions, one of the most relevant perks of this release…

Release: Oracle VM 3.4.2

September 22nd, 2016

During Oracle OpenWorld 2016 the company released version 3.4.2 of its enterprise virtualization solution.
Oracle VM is available for both x86 and SPARC based processor architectures and uses the Xen hypervisor…

VMworld US 2016 Wrap-up

September 1st, 2016

Today was the last day of VMware’s flagship conference VMworld in Las Vegas, an highly controversial edition which left a good chunk of the audience disoriented if not properly disappointed….

Gartner releases its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for 2016

August 11th, 2016

Last week Gartner updated its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for the year 2016. The Magic Quadrant for the year 2015 was released in May last year…

Release: Ansible Tower 3 by Red Hat

August 2nd, 2016

Ansible is one of the four main players in the automation market, younger then the well known Chef and Puppet, has been launched in 2013 in Durham, N.C. and acquired…

IBM announces earnings for Q2 2016

July 19th, 2016

Yesterday IBM announced its results for Q2 2016.

If we compare with the same quarter in 2015 earnings per share, from continuing operations, decreased 22%. Net income, from continuing operations,…

Monthly Archive