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tomnewman
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Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by tomnewman » Feb 10, 2019 7:46 pm

I am looking for a backup solution for a small business with 4 VMs.

With Update 4, Veeam replaced Free Edition with Community Edition (CE) that allows backing up of 10 VMs. On a cursory glance this seems to be pretty full featured until you get to secondary backups to tape (as recommended as good practice by Veeam).

The comparison of B&R editions says the following about tape backup - "Back up and archive files and VM backups to standalone tapes, tape libraries and virtual tape libraries connected to any Microsoft Windows server in your environment. All editions support copying Windows, Linux and VM backup files to tape, parallel processing, Unknown Media Changer (via native SCSI commands), failover to SCSI and Global Media Pools (GMPs). Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions add tight integration with backup jobs and support full tracking of VMs and restore points on tape, as well as in media vaults."

What this means in practice is that if you try and setup a secondary backup to tape job then the software says you need to have an Enterprise Licence. I appreciate Veeam making CE available but if you can't follow best practice then how useful is it? It wouldn't be so bad if you could achieve secondary tape backups to tape with a Standard Licence but the minimum cost of an Enterprise Licence is £700/year, very expensive to backup 4 VMs.

When Veeam says "All editions support copying Windows, Linux and VM backup files to tape" what does this mean and how is it achieved? Am I missing something? Is there a way achieve what I want with CE?

With the old Free Edition, you could use VeeamZIP and a bunch of powershell scripts to achieve a backup that was then copied to tape and I presume you can still do the same but I had hoped for more with CE as doing restores is a pain.

I realise CE is new but does anybody have any suggestions?

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by HannesK » Feb 11, 2019 4:04 pm 1 person likes this post

Hello,
When Veeam says "All editions support copying Windows, Linux and VM backup files to tape" what does this mean and how is it achieved?
That means the File to Tape job which is available in standard / CE edition. With that feature you can copy your backup files to tape.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by Gostev » Feb 11, 2019 9:51 pm

Right. While it's not as integrated as Backup to Tape jobs in a higher editions, they should still do the job well for classic incremental backup chains with periodic synthetic or active fulls. However, you should avoid storage-efficient backup modes that maintain and transform a single full backup. Thanks!

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by tomnewman » Feb 12, 2019 9:41 pm

Thanks for the replies.

The problem with the file to tape is I can't see any way to automate it as you can't filter on date. Consequently, there is no way to automatically select the latest backup to copy to tape (I see there was a suggestion to add the ability to filter by date back in 2015 but it hasn't made it to the product). If I'm missing something please put me right!

If you can't automate it then it isn't a solution in my experience because anything that relies on the regular intervention of humans stops getting done just when you need it.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by Gostev » Feb 13, 2019 12:34 am

True, the solid solution is Backup to Tape jobs in the paid version. File to Tape jobs are really designed for a different use case, and I am sure you understand it makes no sense for us to add enhancements to it just to make it closer to... the existing feature.

However, F2T can still be helpful and you can make it do the job. For example, if you use reversed incremental backup mode for primary backup job, then you can configure F2T job to only process full backup files (VBK) - which there will be only one, containing the latest state of protected VMs.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by Regnor » Feb 13, 2019 8:20 am

If you have a single drive and change the tape daily then file to tape will work best with reverse incremental as Anton said.

If you have more complex requirements then you can set the file selection via a job script. Not ideal but it works.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by tomnewman » Feb 13, 2019 10:40 pm

Once again, thanks for the replies.

I had not thought about the fact that full backups had different file extensions to incrementals and so using reverse incremental I could filter on file extension and just copy the full backups. The only problem is I'm a real 'belt and braces' person and I like to do a new full backup once a week (in case there is an error in a vbk) so there will be more than one vbk file.

I'm not a great powershell expert but I have found some example code to return the newest file in a directory and I can probably integrate that into Vladimir Eremin's original powershell scripts but it won't be easy for me.

I think Veeam are missing a potential market. I have worked with many, many years in the small business market. Here, tape is still king because it is the most cost effective way to get data off-site for disaster recovery (and air gap backup). My impression has always been that Veeam has started aiming at enterprise and worked its way down. Not sure you have got to us small fish yet!

NAS backup is great and now cheap and in nearly every way is preferable to tape but it doesn't satisfy disaster recovery requirements unless you are big enough to afford fast internet links so you can backup to remote locations. "True, the solid solution is Backup to Tape jobs in the paid version" and I have no issue with that, but to me, being able to offload a copy of a NAS backup to tape is a basic (and required) function, not an "enterprise" function. For a small business with a few VMs, £700/year is just too expensive. How about creating a "Small Business Edition", enterprise functionality but limited to 10 instances at the price of a standard licence?

As an aside Gostev, the feature request was not to achieve what I wanted. It was so that if you had a directory with multiple versions of a document you could filter to just automatically select the latest version. It just so happened that it would suit my requirements too!

BTW Gostec, what's happened to "THE WORD FROM GOSTEV", always enjoyed reading those and haven't received one since December?

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by HannesK » Feb 14, 2019 7:07 am

Hi Tom,
please note that we already have a "Small business" edition called "Veeam Backup Essentials". I also recognized that you say that it is too expensive.

I tend to say "quality has a price". And the real value is not about backup - it's about restore :-)

About the Word from Gostev: it's still sent every week. Please check your forum settings & (spam)filters

Best regards,
Hannes

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by Regnor » Feb 14, 2019 7:21 am

In addition to Hannes answer, you would still need to license the Enterprise edition of Veeam Backup essentials. Standard edition also only includes file to tape.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by tomnewman » Feb 14, 2019 5:54 pm

Funnily enough I was looking at Backup Essentials today. I must say it took me some time to understand how BE related to the standard product. It was only going through the FAQ that I discovered that it was the same product but with limited to how 'big' you can go (and I think it includes Veeam ONE but as I'm not interested in that so I didn't pursue it further).

Lets look at pricing. For an SMB who will buy a single server that will last 5 years with no significant change, the cheapest way to purchase Veeam is to buy a perpetual licence. B&R Enterpise £1305, BE £1566. So BE is MORE expensive. Yes it includes two processor sockets and Veeam ONE but our SMBs don't have a second processor and don't want Veeam ONE so BE as a 'smaller' option completely misses the mark in this case. As a random comparison, Novastor NovaBACKUP Business Essentials £382.50. I'm not saying it is as feature complete but it gets good reviews and will do the job at a fraction of the price.

You may be right HannesK, as far as small SMBs are concerned, Veeam is just a luxury product that is out of their price range. Which comes back to what I originally said which is Veeam isn't addressing/interested in this market segment.

Thanks for the info regarding Word from Gostev. It's definitely not spam filtered to I will check my subscription settings.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by Regnor » Feb 15, 2019 10:36 am

Essentials of course only makes sense if you need 2 sockets in a bundle; if so the license get's rather cheap.
How many VMs/systems do you need to protect? Perhaps the instance (per-vm) based license makes more sense for your environment.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by Gostev » Feb 15, 2019 1:32 pm

Regnor is spot on. Since we're talking about very small businesses, they can get Veeam Essentials subscription cheaper than an iPhone. Is this still out of their price range? In that case, I am curios how much do they think an Enterprise data protection product with 24/7 support should cost?

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by devalian » Feb 18, 2019 4:30 am

just to give some opinion. i personally think if SMB is small enough, running Veeam as a VM/physical server, which backup directly to S3/Blob is the best option for me. longer backup window but without requiring on-site storage, nor worry about off-site complexity.

if SMB really have 500GB to 1TB of data, daily changes of 10GB. backup natively to s3/blob can be easily achieved within 8 hours backup window or overnight.

again, veeam missing the point where mandatory require SOBR (with equivalent storage size required) prior to S3, and license challenges.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by Regnor » Feb 19, 2019 7:28 am 1 person likes this post

I wouldn't use any cloud storage as the primary backup storage; it's great for archiving or DR but not suitable for regular restores.
What SLA do your SMBs have and how long can they wait for a full restore?
Especially in SMB I don't see internet bandwidths higher than 100Mb/s.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by ITP-Stan » Feb 19, 2019 10:47 am 1 person likes this post

Veeam B&R Standard Edition (1 socket license, or Backup Essentials Bundle) is a very good value.
All small SMB's can afford this solution that can back-up perfectly to NAS or USB disks and archive in the cloud or on premise.
Compare price for perpetual license (socket based) or per-instance subscriptions (depends on number of VM's).
And now with the new community edition you get all the standard functionality for free if you have a very small number of VM's and 1 host (Homelab for instance).

Some features, like Backup Copy to Tape and Scale Out Backup repo's are only reserved for the enterprise edition which costs a bit more, that's true but understandable.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by tomnewman » Feb 20, 2019 12:21 am

I think the responses here are missing the point. I'm not arguing the 'value' of B&R or that it is not a great, fully featured, product. I really like B&R and would love to sell it to the businesses I support.

BUT...just forget it's B&R, why would a small SMB pay £1305 (the cheapest option) for any product when there is one that will 'do the job' for £380? It doesn't have the same functionality but it will produce reliable backups that they can store off-site. How would I justify suggesting that their backup software that cost them £300 when they bought it five years ago will now cost £1305?

As I suggested earlier, I would love to see a 'micro' edition of B&R, like CE, limited to 10 VMs but with the 'enterprise' features of secondary backup for the price of a standard licence. I can justify something that costs double the price for the extra functionality but not 3.5x the price. I'm not arguing about whether it's worth 3.5x the price, I'm saying that the businesses we support just won't buy it at that price (and it's a market I've been involved with for 30 years so I have plenty of experience with it).

It may just be that Veeam is not interested in the very small end of the market and I respect that that is entirely their decision.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by Gostev » Feb 20, 2019 10:54 am

Tom, I think you're likewise missing the point I made earlier: £1305 is definitely not the cheapest option for a "small SMB". I get the price shown to me in local currency (Swiss francs), however it should be about £250 per year for Veeam Backup Essentials Standard Edition subscription for 10 instances.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by tomnewman » Feb 20, 2019 4:03 pm

Gostev, I believe you are, at least partly, mistaken. I'm looking at a typical customer's server with a single processor that will be in service for at least five years (we've had customers push that to eight!). As explained earlier, we would need the enterprise edition because the secondary backup to tape is essential for air-gap and off-site backup (and even if we are talking about standard licencing, the comparison of perpetual v instance licencing still holds true). If we didn't need the secondary tape backup we could just use CE and pay nothing!

Using your website pricing for B&R Enterprise:
B&R Perpetual - £1305 (will last the lifetime of the server and if you aren't going to need support or upgrades is the cheapest option)
B&R Perpetual with an additional four years of maintenance - £2349
B&R Subscription for five years - £696 x 5 = £3480

Using your website pricing for Essentials Enterprise:
Essentials Perpetual - £1566 (will last the lifetime of the server and if you aren't going to need support or upgrades is the cheapest option)
Essentials Perpetual with an additional four years of maintenance - £2819
Essentials Subscription for five years - £2784

For a single processor server, even like for like (with five years of support) the instance licencing is 1.5x as expensive as perpetual (the same applies to whatever edition you are looking). The closest comparison is between B&R Perpetual with 4 additional years of maintenance and five years of Essentials subscription but the perpetual is still cheaper by £435. If a customer wants to forgo support and upgrades then the cost difference is much greater (and in 30 years I have never needed to contact a backup companies support department). Also, if you have the server for more than five years then the cost difference becomes greater. Also, if you have more than 10 VMs the cost difference becomes greater.

If you have dual processors then Essentials pricing is pretty much a draw between perpetual and instance (£35 difference) unless you have a server for more than five years when the perpetual will work out cheaper or you don't want the additional maintenance and the perpetual works out much cheaper.

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by Gostev » Feb 20, 2019 5:00 pm

Tom, sorry I did not realized you were looking at the Enterprise Edition. Just couple of comments then:

1. Based on the numbers, it looks like you're adding different types maintenance: Basic support for perpetual, while subscription comes with Production (24/7) support. So for apples to apples comparison, you'd want to calculate use Production support, which makes the Perpetual option for 5 years more expensive.

2. With subscription, you don't consider the ability to exceed usage by up to 10 instances (or 10%, whichever is greater). So where subscription and perpetual break about even in your calculations, in reality subscription can actually be up to 2x cheaper than perpetual. Just something to keep in mind.

3. Subscription covers more types of workloads (not just VMs).

Otherwise, the bottom line here is that in case for your clients, £500 per year is too expensive for an Enterprise backup product with 24/7 support, then you are correct that this is too low end for Veeam. The main reason is that below this number, we're simply losing money on sale and support costs - so such sales make no business sense to Veeam. This was one of the reasons why have beefed up the new Community Edition so much, anyway :D

Thanks!

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Re: Secondary Backup to Tape with B&R Community Edition

Post by tomnewman » Feb 20, 2019 6:20 pm

Otherwise, the bottom line here is that in case for your clients, £500 per year is too expensive for an Enterprise backup product with 24/7 support, then you are correct that this is too low end for Veeam. The main reason is that below this number, we're simply losing money on sale and support costs - so such sales make no business sense to Veeam. This was one of the reasons why have beefed up the new Community Edition so much, anyway :D
It's a shame but that I can understand. I notice that when Backup Exec reverted to Veritas they dropped their SMB version, probably for the same reason.

Looks like I will just have to press my poor powershell skills into scripting a dump to tape when the NAS backup has completed.

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