Veeam Backup–Project A–Third Update

I’ve had this remote backup in place now for about a month and a half and the results have definitely been “mixed”.  In fact, I have shutdown the remote backup at this point pending moving the customer to a trial of the Enterprise Plus product that enables the WAN acceleration feature of Veeam.

I guess I should back up a bit …

The customer has standard Shaw Business service in the office and the same service at the owner’s house (remote backup site).  Upload speeds on these services are 5Mbps max (burst) with, probably, closer to 4Mbps sustained being the norm.  So, in practice, this really means that the most that could be transferred out over the WAN connections is about 4 ~ 5 GB per hour.  This is not a large amount in terms of backup, even if Veeam is doing its dedupe and compression “thing” to make the data transfer as small as possible.

I have seen some surprisingly large transfers take place on both the SBS server VM as well as the LOB app VM and the size does not necessarily correlate with what we have seen with data updates on the servers.  Apparently, other factors can also affect the actual “changed blocks” that Veeam tracks on a VM including A/V scanning activity (!!!).  The net result is we have had a lot of job failures due to timeouts or other network issues related to the sheer volume of data being sent out over what amounts to a very small pipe.

This is by no means a slam against Veeam; rather, it is a cautionary reminder that there is a lot more going on “under the covers” than you might think and it highlights the reason why Veeam makes such a big deal about the new WAN acceleration feature.  I’m hoping that it will allow me to overcome the inherent limitations of the “thin” Internet connection. It also serves to highlight an issue with the whole concept of “Cloud backup” (meaning backup over the Internet to wherever) in that you need bandwidth to make it all work.  Regardless of the service or the technology used, in the end it all comes down to how much data you can squirt out over your WAN links in a given timeframe.  All of the “tricks” used by programs/services like Veeam to thin down the data stream are all well and good but if it comes down to you having to move 20GB of data in a specific timeframe and you can only move 10, well, you have a problem.

Anyway, I’m going to bump them up to Enterprise Plus and we’ll see how it all goes.  Stay tuned for the next update!