Physical Server Backup

Availability for the Always-On Enterprise

Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby seleniumgroup » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:39 am

Here are my comments on this, not that it will make a difference.

As a corporation, rule number one is you never create a service and or product that severely limits your customers usage of that product. In this case, Veeam backup works extremely well, but in the end, it's extremely limited, I.E., it only can backup a VM. Of course in order to have a VM, you need a Physical Server and yet the product doesn't support the backup of this first and foremost important aspect of the very infrastructure which gives it purpose. If that isn't a priority I don't know what is. You say you listen to your customers - well my goodness, here is the scoop - the first and foremost aspect of any product usage in your environment is that you want to ensure you only have to use one! By default, Veeam by this huge deficiency ensures that another corporations product will be used. And that is not a business decision to plug that huge hole? Omg.

Dell backup, appassure which we use as well does all backup's. You can create any comment you want on how it does it, doesn't matter, it does it. Bottom line it is a single product that works, while Veeam doesn't matter how good it is for VM's, you need another solution for your entire network. Imagine if Facebook was designed to do everything it can do right now, except well it can't post items or information your own wall. How successful would the product be in that case? Not.

The challenge with appassure's replay is that when it works, it is awesome, when it doesn't it is a pain in the you know what to figure out why it isn't working. Which is why we use Veeam. It's awesome, but limited. I would never have bought this product if in fact I was aware before hand that it can't backup a physical server. Considering all backup's typically use a .net framework / virtual shadow copy service to run, I can't imagine it would take a few days for someone to configure the product to work on a physical server. So what is the deal on why this is not a priority, that is what I want to know.

When I first bought the product and asked about this, customer service basically said sorry, our product can't do that. Wow. I would never respond to a client saying sorry, take your business and requirements and needs somewhere else sorry about that, our product is very limited. Very sad. Veeam, spend 10 hours and get it done and more people would buy your product. We want one solution that does it all.
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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:24 pm 2 people like this post

seleniumgroup wrote:As a corporation, rule number one is you never create a service and or product that severely limits your customers usage of that product.

Personally, I disagree with you here. Seeing one type of companies born and die, and other type of companies born and blossom in my past 20 years in IT, here are the real rules from my perspective:

Rule #1 of successful corporation:
Define your market segment, your target customer, and stay laser-focused on them in terms of product functionality.

Rule #1 of unsuccessful corporation:
Try to be everything to everyone.

The latter is by far the best strategy to guarantee your solution will suck equally bad at everything, and as the result the company gets only a handful of customers, runs out of money, and gets acquired if lucky. Rings any bells?

seleniumgroup wrote:You say you listen to your customers - well my goodness, here is the scoop - the first and foremost aspect of any product usage in your environment is that you want to ensure you only have to use one!

Let's imagine you run a car dealership selling Ferrari. One day, you have a customer come to you demanding that the manufacturer adds a snow plow to Ferrari, so that he does not have to own both Ferrari and a snow plowing truck. He only wants to use one! What would be you response?
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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:38 pm 1 person likes this post

First: don't always assume your personal experience is a worldwide situation, it's "your" use case.

Point is: datacenters are moving towards virtualization, and any given year the percentage of virtualized workloads is increasing, while physical workloads are diminishing. If I would start a new data protection company, I would too focus on virtualized environment. Honestly, have you EVER seen a new company coming out with a solution for physical environments in the last 5-6 years?

As a customer instead, instead of wasting money/time/effort to protect physical workloads (and not succeeding completely in it, because of the inner problems they have) I would invest my money in moving those workloads to virtualization. It's not a simple activity for sure, but the more time I stay on physical, the more I'm wasting my resources.

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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby m.novelli » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:46 am 2 people like this post

I agree 75% with Gostev / Luca and 25% with selenium group

I manage many customers in SMB market and most of them have virtualized from 90 to 100% of servers, but…
But the PC?

Many customers still have a Symantec Backup Exec installation to save important data on production PC and VIP users…

To me a quick and dirty solution from Veem to backup physical servers and PC would be a nice addition… In my mind shouldn't be so hard to inject the vssagent.exe to those Server and PC and copy just some folders.

I don't mind about bare metal recovery, just having a simple GUI to select from network server / PC a couple of folders for each machine to backups (leveraging VSS!)

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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:10 pm

And again, your "many customers" could probably be a tiny percentage in the overall Veeam numbers. Be careful, I'm NOT saying Veeam should always say NO to this request, but there should be a business justification to it. And trends are completely against the chances of this request to be fullfilled.

As Anton, I prefer too a "best of breed" approach. I want the best software for backing up my VMs, and another solution for physical systems. For example, I have many customers (and I'm not saying "every Veeam customer") that simply replicate files from PCs and physical systems into a file server VM, and they then back it up with Veeam. And right because of the "best of breed" approach, the replication solution is not Symantec, but a software specifically designed to do this.

Obviously, that's my point of view.

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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby m.novelli » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:28 pm

Well I'm talking about 25-30 customers to put some numbers on the table (I don't know if this sentence is meaningful in english as in italian :) )

Working in Italy I'm facing mostly an SMB market (maximum 3 vmware hosts per customers) and just a couple of big customer (Dell and HP blade enclosures)

My feeling is that Veeam is looking at bigger customer/installations than SMB market. IMHO also the pricing is very high to afford for an SMB customer, a couple of years ago the pricing for a Standard license socket was about 450 euro and was right, now it's too expensive for a customer segment that use just the 20% of features of Veeam B&R

Sorry for going a little off-topic :) but I would like to iterate that for the SMB market would be nice to have single all-in-one solution with some basic backup functionality on physical Server / PC

Merry Christmas friends! :)

Marci
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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby Lon » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:32 pm

I'm evaluating Veeam Backup & Replication 7. It is true that most of my servers are VMs, however I do have a couple that are not and cannot be virtualized.

So if I'm forced to stay with 'Backup Exec' to back them up, do I really want 2 different backup programs to deal with?

I thought Veeam was the solution, however it has 2 major flaws. I am aware that Veeam believes their market does not want or need these features;
1) Will not backup a Physical Server.
2) Does not track removable backup drives.

This is so frustrating...

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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:28 pm

Hi Lon, actually this is not entirely true, as we do have a special functionality mode for supporting rotated drives. However, please refer to the corresponding existing discussions, not to derail this one.

As far as BackupExec - if you are happy with its capabilities and reliability for virtual machines protection, then you should certainly simply stay with it. Probably a good half of our 90'000 customer base have switched to us from BackupExec, so they were definitely not happy ;) but your requirements and needs might be different.
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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby BCosse-PLI » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:25 pm

Hi Gostev,

I take from your response that you represent Veeam within this forum. I'm a new customer who was somewhat mislead to get me as a customer but the product does work great supporting virtual backups. My company is not as large as most enterprise companies but big enough to say that if you are going to offer a single backup solution to clients you have to properly support both platforms. Every company has some form of requirement to backup critical (physical) systems which can be one or both PC / Servers. I'm sure Veeam' with its 90k client base have experienced a lot of negative comments due to this limitation. I bet a good 70% of those clients have given some flack over this issue and for Veeam to still not offer it is what we call hardheaded. I've wasted days troubleshooting the physical limitations of Veeam so to me Veeam is not an Enterprise Class product until it can properly support what is running in the Enterprise.

I'm not a fan of Symantec products but we do use BackupExec without any problems. Veeam offers something BackupExec does not which is the speed of backing up our VM clusters and replication offsite. This is why we explored Veeam which these discussions were lead by myself since I've implemented Veeam at other client sites. I had no idea of Veeam's limits on the physical side due to the other (small business type) sites were operating 100% virtually. My current and past employer whom are not 100% virtual do have physical server and critical production PC backup requirements so i cannot go to my president and say "I'm sorry but we can't backup the production computers anymore because the company i made this company switch too cannot backup physical systems"

Also, How about placing a large flashing banner on the main website www.veeam.com saying that Veeam does not and cannot back up physical systems so if you are looking to backup physical systems look elsewhere.
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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:16 pm 3 people like this post

Hi BCosse,

I am sorry you've wasted days of your time troubleshooting the physical limitations of Veeam, especially considering our product was built exclusively for virtual machine backup. I understand you are upset right now, so not sure if answering your comments is even a good idea, but perhaps it is a tad better than leaving your post unanswered. I will simply explain you our position regarding the points you have mentioned, and I'd appreciate if you don't start flame war in return.

BCosse-PLI wrote:How about placing a large flashing banner on the main website http://www.veeam.com saying that Veeam does not and cannot back up physical systems so if you are looking to backup physical systems look elsewhere.

That would be like Apple putting a large flashing banner on their main website saying "if you are looking for Android phones look elsewhere". Honestly, no vendors builds their web site, marketing materials or production documentation around what product does NOT do... that's just wrong.

There is the product description, system requirements, user guide and all other documentation that explains what specifically the product does. Anyone doing absolute minimum amount of due diligence before buying the product will immediately note that Veeam B&R is built exclusively virtual machine backup. This is something noted in the first sentence of every product description we ever had...

Also, our enterprise customers like Mazda will disagree with your assessment of Veeam not being an enterprise class product. You are making blind statement from your point of view here, but facts tell the opposite. Obviously, we would have never been able to get 75% of Fortune 500 as our customers if the product was not enterprise class? You are explaining above that we are not enterprise class because we do not address "small business type" scenarios, well this is quite contradicting.

I do definitely agree that we are not everything for everyone. We are laser focused on our target customer, and this is what makes us successful. If your "hardheaded" is synonym of "focused", then I like to be "hardheaded", because apparently this is what it takes to create the faster growing backup software company in the world, and beat a bunch of established competitors who "do it all".

Now, while we will always remain focused on our target customer, it does not mean our target customer is not expanding as we evolve. For example, up until recently we have been purely disk based backup solution, because this was sufficient for vast majority of SMB customers. Back 5 years ago, I've never thought we will ever have tape support. However, our focus lead to our great success in SMB, which in turn helped us to naturally grow into mid-market, and then into enterprise segment, where lack of tape support has quickly became #1 roadblock for further growth. So, we have delivered native tape support in v7 - huge, complex feature.

As you can see, it's not like we are not listening to our customers, and not addressing their pains. And while you may have a different opinion on priority of the specific missing feature, just remember that you are representing the opinion of only two companies here (your previous and current employee), and I get to review feedback from over 90'000 of our customers. So, in my position I see much bigger picture on what is the real demand for the specific feature comparing to all other features within our customer base. And trust me, we are not enemies to ourselves... We will never postpone highly demanded feature to be able to instead implement a feature that is in less demand - that would be complete nonsense from the business perspective, as you can imagine. We do prioritize all features according to the demand and value to the product, and our growth proves that we've been doing a very good job with that so far.
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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby bunger » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:46 pm 7 people like this post

Just to chime in my 2 cents here:

I am a consultant and have a few clients with mixed environments; that is, some physical and some virtual servers.

About a year and a half ago I moved away from Veeam as I wanted a single backup solution for everything. After a year and a half, I have returned to Veeam as my virtualized backup solution and am accepting having 2 backup solutions ( though my physical solution create server images and can restore a physical to virtual if need be ).

The reason I returned to Veeam is because no one on the market creates a stable, robust solution for both environments. Symantec and Computer Associates have super solid physical backup platforms, but their virtual implementations are sort of pieced into their overall product solution. While Acronis looks like a fantastic complete solution, it is a train wreck. Veeam, however ( and in my opinion ), is the best and most solid solution for virtualization. It is for this reason that we have decided to forgo the idealology of a single, unified solution and are happy with that.

While it would be nice if Veeam supported physical servers, their strength clearly lies in the virtual environment and they do it extremely well.
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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby Fiskepudding » Tue Jan 07, 2014 6:24 am 1 person likes this post

Bill, that was spot on. We used Acronis (and Backup Exec) before moving to Veeam. Acronis “does it all”. In theory it is perfect; bare metal recovery of physical servers, exchange, SQL, and Virtual. In fact their software is now useless, even the physical part. They just ruined it. I remember 10 years ago, Acronis was very good at physical backup and bare metal recovery. I think they tried to bite over too much when supporting the virtual platform and in the process failed at everything.

I am not saying that would happen to Veeam if they tried to do so, but I sure don’t hope they risk it. They don’t need to do everything for everyone. Their growing customer base kind of proves that, does it not?
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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby dellock6 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:20 am

This is the endless debate between the "holistic solution" and the "best of breed" concept. Some prefer to have fewer components to learn and manage, while others don't care and want the best for every components of their infrastructure. As always, there are pros anc cons to both approaches, and at the end it always comes down to use cases. I do prefer the latter.

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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby mibond » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:16 pm

I've been looking over this thread and its now over 15mos old...and it's still being talked about. That in and of itself to some degree gives notion to the fact that some in the customer base do indeed want this feature set. I can't imagine it would be difficult for a Veeam programmer to create some service or applet that would make a bare metal server "appear" virtual so that the existing code could back it up as it does normal virtual guests. This would work similarly to VMware's P2V client (and perhaps could utilize that functionality) to make the negotiation. This should not be something that would affect the continual development of your core business.
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Re: Physical Server Backup

Veeam Logoby kpier883 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:22 pm

The organization that I work for has about 150 or so servers. Of those, close to 110 are virtual and 40 or so are physical. We did a Request For Quote about two years ago where began the process of looking for a backup product to replace the one that has been in operation here since 1997. We did not include Veeam in that evalutaion due to two things:
    no support for physical servers
    no tape support

Fortunately for us, the vendor we currently use announced some changes that have enabled us to continue to use the product for a few more years. We still expect to replace our backup product within the next year or so.

It is important to me to avoid the solution sprawl associated with running multiple backup products. There are several reasons for this. Among them:
    Maintenance Cost - Most software falls into the 18 to 20 % of list price for annual maintenance. The cost of multiple products is not a cost we would want to incur.
    Training Cost - We run a very small IT Infrastructure staff and it is not practical for us to deploy, learn, and support multiple backup solutions
    Confusion - It is impractical to have to keep up with multiple solutions, given limited staff who wear many hats. We want to be able to go to THE backup/restore solution and perform the restore, regardless of the type of server (virtual or physical).

I periodically check on the state of Veeam to see what is going on from a development and new features standpoint. But I do have to say that it doesn't yet appear to me that we could run Veeam for our company. It would not meet all our requirements, and we are committed to running a single product solution that is going to be around for a long time. As I said, the current backup solution has been in place for 17 years. We like to keep things simple. Paying for and supporting multiple solutions is not in agreement with our minimalist approach to cost containment and efficiency.
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