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JoeH
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Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by JoeH » Feb 06, 2010 7:17 pm

Greetings!

I'm considering purchasing Veeam Essentials to go with VMWare Essentials instead of using VMWare Essentials Plus. I do have a few questions - if anyone cares to answer!

First - is there any part of VMWare Essentials Plus that Veeam uses? From what I can tell, the Plus pack only adds High Availability and VMWare Backup. I don't plan on implementing HA in the next year, and from what I read on the VMWare community forums...VMWare Backup has some reliability issues. Are there any pieces of the Plus pack that Veeam would use to improve backup/restore performance or reliability, or can I safely use Veeam Essentials to backup/restore my environment?

Second - a licensing question. My understanding of VMWare Essentials is that you are licensed a total of three 2-socket systems. Veeeam Essentials is listed as a 6-socket license tied to VMWare Essentials. I assume this means that the Veeam Essentials license will completely cover the three 2-socket systems licensed under VMWare Essentials - I'd just like confirmation.

Third - Offsite disaster recovery - Can I use Veeam Essentials to provide an offsite disaster recovery capability? In particular, in addition to the local backup/recovery data store I'd like to be able to set up a remote 'cold site' where I can ship backup data (either disk or electronic data transfer) only to be used to rebuild my environment in a catastrophic emergency. Does Veeam Essentials allow me to rebuild my protected environment in such a 'cold site' environment?

Thanks for your help - I'm sure I'll have more questions as I proceed!

-Joe

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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by vbussiro » Feb 07, 2010 7:46 am

1. As far as know, veeam essentials is the same product as the normal one. So you'll have same backup/replication functionnalities with vmware essentials or essentials plus. You'll only consider HA for your choice.

2. Yes, it's a six socket edition. I did a demo adding temporarily an enterprise plus licence, veeam didn't bother, so I assume it's exactly the same product.

3. Only backup/replication sources use licence, so your cold site don't need another one. It's a very good point. WAN replication is possible if your link is fast enough (read other posts in this forum...)

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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by rowdy » Feb 07, 2010 12:34 pm

JoeH wrote:Greetings!

Second - a licensing question. My understanding of VMWare Essentials is that you are licensed a total of three 2-socket systems. Veeeam Essentials is listed as a 6-socket license tied to VMWare Essentials. I assume this means that the Veeam Essentials license will completely cover the three 2-socket systems licensed under VMWare Essentials - I'd just like confirmation.

Thanks for your help - I'm sure I'll have more questions as I proceed!

-Joe
We just purchased VM Essentials and VeeAm Essentials ourselves as well and I had this same question.
I am using single CPU ESXi machines only.
The VMWare license is for three machines with up to two CPU's each (with up to 6 cores per CPU).
The VeeAm license however is for six CPU's.
So, if you have three machines with 2 CPU's each, it matches.
However, if you have six machines with 1 CPU each...
You do need to buy two editions of VMWare Essentials (however, VMWare also sends you 6 single-CPU licenses - it's really listed as that when you enter the key into vCenter, also if you enter the key directly into ESX(i) it states 'one CPU with up to six cores', so I guess you need to enter that key twice into ESX(i) to get two CPU's supported? I haven't tried that since I had no need to try).
So, licensing is a bit strange, especially the VM part. They state 'three machines with up to two CPU's' but you really receive 6 single-CPU licenses.
I wouldn't be surprised if something would change in the future.

But besides all this, I can really recommend VMWare and VeeAm, you really get two great products for a really good price!
Especially VeeAm Backup is a great product which is also very easy to use and understand, also because of a very clear and detailed manual.

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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by Gostev » Feb 07, 2010 7:34 pm

Hello Joe, basically vbussiro answers (thank you!) are completely correct... let me know if you need further clarifications.

Rowdy, thanks for your kind words. I will happily forward your feedback to our techwriter. Everyone usually talks how good the product is, but people very rarely notice documentation... or may be no one reads it? ;)
rowdy wrote:So, if you have three machines with 2 CPU's each, it matches. However, if you have six machines with 1 CPU each... you do need to buy two editions of VMWare Essentials.
Just a small comment on this one, as far as I know VMware only allows one Essentials per site, so using two Essentials in one site would be violation of EULA.

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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by JoeH » Feb 07, 2010 8:25 pm

Rowdy, Vbussiro, Gostev

Thanks for the clarifications - it seems that Veeam Essentials is a reasonable replacement for the VMWare Essentials Plus package. I really like that I can use my Veeam license at the cold recovery site and that Veeam does support offsite backups - that will make DR simpler.

From what I've read, VMWare is not exceptionally simple with their licensing (nor really affordable for the SMB once you graduate from the Essentials package). It will be interesting to see if we stay with VMWare as our environment grows past a requirement for 3 server hosts. Jumping from $1k for 3 hosts to over $14k to support 4 hosts...I hope VMware will become more reasonable when the time comes.

I am impressed that this forum is actively supported by Veeam people (Gostev!) - that makes me much more confident that I'll be able to find assistance when I need it!

Now, to begin evaluating Veeam!

Thanks - Joe

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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by rowdy » Feb 08, 2010 4:19 pm

About the maximum number of VMWare Essentials licenses, I did find this on the VMWare site (see below).
So it's also a bit open to interpretation, I guess. But perhaps in the EULA something more specific is stated?
However, I really don't hope this is true because there's a huge gap between the VMWare editions.

You now have:
ESXi Free
version 3.5 was quite complete, it even supported VeeAm in the beginning.
Hoewever, version 4 free is really limited, you cannot even change the DVD/CD when the VM is running! That's really stupid imho.

ESX(i) Essentials
3 licenses of ESX(i) 4 for $995 is not that expensive and really a fair price, $333 per server. Personally, that's all I need from VMWare. I have no use (yet) for HA or vMotion or other advanced features.

ESX(i) normal (vShere Standard it's called)
$1,118.00 per server...

So that's a huge difference.

Small businesses
VMware ofers two all-inclusive packages that enable you to
virtualize and consolidate many application workloads onto
three physical servers (up to two processors each) running
VMware vSphere, and centrally manage them with VMware
vCenter Server for Essentials. VMware vSphere Essentials
includes a 1-year license subscription with optional support
available on a per-incident basis. Support and Subscription (SnS
oferings are sold separately (minimum 1 year required).
For enterprises (10 or more retail stores or branch ofces)
VMware ofers two similar all-inclusive packages that enable
virtualization of applications onto three physical hosts per site
(up to two processors each). Both editions include VMware
vCenter Server for Essentials and can also be managed by
VMware vCenter Server Standard (purchased separately).
Several Support and Subscription (SnS) oferings are available
for purchase, and at least one year of SnS is required for both
editions. A minimum initial order quantity of 10 packages is
required to be eligible for these special “ROBO” editions.

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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by withanh » Feb 08, 2010 4:31 pm

rowdy wrote:Hoewever, version 4 free is really limited, you cannot even change the DVD/CD when the VM is running! That's really stupid imho.
I use ESXi v4 vSphere in my lab and have no problems changing the DVD/CD when the VM is running. I just tested it to make sure it worked and it does.

h
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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by Gostev » Feb 08, 2010 7:25 pm

Rowdy, yes I agree - difference is huge. My understanding is that VMware Essentials is designed specifically for very small shops. The price is so aggressively low because this is how VMware drives people away from "free" alternatives (XEN and Hyper-V).

VMware Essentials are specifically designed in the way to make enterprises not consider it:
- No upgrade path to better versions - it is simply non existant.
- vCenter "Special Edition" to prevent adding additional hosts to it.
- Limitation of one deployment per site.

With that said, I still thinks it is great deal for SMB. Most small shops (under about 200 of people that is) should be able to fit whole production on 3 modern and powerful hosts, well at least we are able to do so easily :)

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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by JoeH » Feb 09, 2010 2:15 pm

Gostev,

Thanks for the thoughts! I have another question related to VMWare and Veeam Essentials licensing. If we assume that my SMB needs to use all three of the VMWare ESXi host licenses to host our servers, does that mean that we cannot implement Veeam Replication? From what I've read, replication needs to go to a licensed ESX or ESXi host...and if I have all three Essentials licenses being used by production servers, then I don't have the ability to replicate the datastore to my cold site.

Hopefully I'm missing something...

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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by withanh » Feb 09, 2010 2:17 pm

Hey Joe,

Veeam can replicate to a free ESXi host, it doesn't need to be licensed on the receiving end of the replication.

h
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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by JoeH » Feb 09, 2010 2:32 pm

Withanh,

Whew! That is excellent news - now I believe that I can build the environment I need.

Thanks for the confirmation!

-Joe

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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by Gostev » Feb 09, 2010 2:46 pm

Actually replication indeed needs to go to licensed ESXi host. VMware specifically restricts WRITE operations on free ESXi hosts. What you can do however (someone has just posted this here recently), is to use periodic "VM Copy" jobs to copy VMs to NFS share, which also serves as storage for your free ESXi. Then in case of disaster, you will need to simply register (double click VMX) and power on those VMs manually. Drawback is that you use incremental replication, rollbacks and other advanced functionality replication provides.

I suppose Darhl meant that target ESXi host does not need to be licensed from our product's (Veeam Backup) perspective, which is correct - we do not require license for replication targets, only source hosts need to be licensed. However, the host itself must have paid VMware license installed.

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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by withanh » Feb 09, 2010 2:55 pm

Anton,

Did this recently change? When I was originally testing that for a solution, you told me (and I tested successfully) replicating to a free ESXi host. I thought that VMware changed their licensing so you could not use Veeam to backup a free ESXi host?
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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by withanh » Feb 09, 2010 3:31 pm

I just did some quick testing and indeed Anton is right (I didn't doubt you, I just thought I did it the other way). I could not do a replication to a free ESXi host. However, I was able to do a VMCopy to a free ESXi host, then as Anton suggested browse the datastore to the .vmx and add it to the inventory to spool up.

My apologies Joe, it appears I spoke out of turn.

h
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Re: Veeam Essentials Questions?

Post by JoeH » Feb 09, 2010 4:57 pm

Anton, Darhl -

This might cause me a problem. I wanted to use replication to my cold site as I planned on frequently replicating the data over a WAN link. I suspect that using VMCopy will send the entire vm each time I do the copy - rather than just the changed data. I'm pretty certain that my WAN links will not handle that type of data transfer load...

I need to rethink my architecture...I really don't know if I can get our servers on 2 of our existing hosts to clear up a ESXi license for the cold site.

It's a shame that Veeam does not support Citrix Xenserver....they are much more reasonable with their hypervisor licensing. I know that they don't have the market share, but they do have a decent product.

Again, I really do appreciate your help and guidance!

-Joe

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