Who takes care of your tapes if you are not allowed to go to your data center!?

A few days ago we received a call from a customer and he asked us for a possibility to get his backup data offsite to the cloud as soon as possible. And certainly you are wondering why since it is a customer in the public segment. Depending where you are while reading this post, let us tell you one thing: in Germany cloud usually is not the first choice when offloading backups. Germans usually prefer to take care of their data center and their applications on their own. Regarding offsite, air-gapped backups: Nothing beats Tape.
If you do not know why you need offsite, air-gapped backups, take a look at the 3-2-1 rule. The holy grail of every backup admin.

Do not get us wrong here! Of course we see a lot of customers that are using Veeam’s cloud native backup tools like Veeam Backup for AWS or Veeam’s Capacity Tier to offload their data to the cloud but mostly not with public clients. So the first questions you ask are “What are you currently doing? Why do you need to move your data to the cloud as soon as possible?” The simple answer can be found in the headline of this article. “Who takes care of your tapes if you are not allowed to go to your data center!?” Let us have a look at the alternatives. Spoiler Alert: If you are already a Veeam Backup and Replication customer, you do not need to spend a dime on additional licenses!

Let us consider the two main options we have when using Veeam Backup and Replication:

Veeam Cloud Services Providers

The first option we have is called “Veeam Cloud Service Providers”. Since Veeam does not offer an own “Veeam Cloud” that is managed by Veeam, we are working together with thousands of Service Providers worldwide that enable you as a customer to offload your backups to their infrastructure. The main benefit is trust because you exactly know where your data will reside. You can choose a local Veeam Cloud Service Provider, talk to him, visit his data center and even more. One of the main advantages is having a contact person at hand with whom you can negotiate your relevant terms like GDPR, data center location etc. (By the way: This is the option our public client chose at the end for exactly those reasons). You get the idea. If you do not know a service provider in your region, you can find one here.
And from a technical perspective: “Next, Next, Finish”. As soon as you have received the DNS/IP of your service provider together with your credentials, you are good to go.

Step 1: Add the Service Provider to your Veeam Backup and Replication installation:

Configure DNS-Name or IP-adress of service provider

Add your credentials provided by your Service Provider

You can now find a new repository in your backup infrastructure inventory

Step 2: Configure a Backup Copy Job that copies the local backup data to the Service Provider. For those of you struggling with smaller bandwidths that need to use the Veeam Software WAN Accelerator (which was also improved in V10): usually this is a Veeam Backup and Replication “Enterprise Plus Edition” feature, but when moving data to a Veeam Cloud Service Provider this will even work with the “Enterprise Edition”.

Define the service provider cloud storage as the target and setup your retention with optional GFS functionalities if needed (NEW V10 feature!).

Activate WAN accelerator feature if needed.

If needed, define synchronization times to avoid high bandwidth load during working hours.

After you created the job click finish.

Public Cloud

The second option is based on the Veeam Capacity Tier as part of the Scale Out Backup Repository, which offloads the backup data policy based to AWS S3, Azure BLOB or any other S3-compatible Object Storage, no matter if it is in the cloud or on-prem. With Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4 Veeam introduced a feature called “unlimited storage”, where you could define moving local backup data when it was older than X amount of days or a local threshold in % was reached. For example: move data to Object Storage when it is older than 30 days or my Repository has only 10% of free space left.

This feature really helped to have more flexibility but it did not help to fulfill the 3-2-1 rule because only old backup data was moved to the Object Storage. With Version 10 Veeam introduced a new feature that addressed the issue: Copy Backups to Object Storage as soon as they are created. With this feature enabled every restore point that is written will be automatically and instantly copied to the specified object storage. As a result you will always have a recent copy of your local backup data in the cloud or your on-prem Object Storage. This is usually the first choice if you already are a public cloud customer or you already own an on-prem Object Storage.
The setup is super easy. There is no need to configure backup copy jobs ! This is completely configured within the Scale Out Backup Repository.

You can add the object storage repository in the backup infrastructure section. Click on “Backup Repository” on the left side and “+Add Repository” in the menu.

Following object storage types are supported for now:

Configure your repository as a scale-out Repository by checking the box “extend scale-out backup repository…” and define the cloud storage you want to use.

If you wish to fulfill the 3-2-1 rule mentioned above instead of an archiving approach, use the option “Copy backups to object storage as soon…”.
Define a policy for how many days you want to store your data on premises and add optional encryption to your object storage backup files.

I hope we could show you how easy it is to setup a modern way of backup archiving.

Now it is time to say goodbye to your tapes ;-).

Cheers Chris + Bene

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