VeeamON 2018: The Attendee Kit

Source: Veeam

After a great 2017, during which the Veeam Team hit it out of the park for a new sales record, VeeamON 2018 is on the horizon. There are three months left until we’ll all be heading to Chicago and, if you have not decided yet whether to make the trip, just remember this is THE Availability event of the year.

In this blog post, I will share with you some event updates, as well as our NEW resource page on the VeeamON website, which provides everything you need to make VeeamON 2018 an unforgettable experience. Keep reading!

Travel, venue and accommodation

The conference takes place at McCormick Place in Chicago, May 16-18. This is the largest convention center in North America, ready to hold Veeam’s biggest event and connect the world’s leading IT experts and visionaries. The venue is in the proximity of the O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport, the two airports serving the Chicago metropolitan area.

To facilitate your staying during the event, there will be two hotels offering discounted rates for VeeamON attendees – Hyatt Regency McCormick Place and Marriott Marquis, both connected to the venue. To book a hotel room and for more information about the location, please check our dedicated page.

Make yourself visible through social media

Amid digital transformation, social media plays a key role in how we communicate and do business. At #VeeamON 2018, you have the chance to be part of the conversation by sharing your conference experience with the entire world through different types of content. To make your online presence even better, we shared some best practices and VeeamON banners on our resource page!

Other resources

Wondering what else you can find here? We’ve got you covered with personalized out of office messages to display during VeeamON 2018 and you’ll also find a neat set of digital banners to use when talking about VeeamON, including logos and email signature banners. Furthermore, there is a VeeamON mobile app coming soon for you, so stay in touch for updates!

We also invite you to listen to Rick Vanover, Product Strategy Director and one of the Veeam All-Stars, as he discusses Availability trends you will learn about at VeeamON 2018. See below!

Read also

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VeeamON 2018: The Attendee Kit

VMCE training at VeeamON 2018: What’s new

Source: Veeam

The Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE) certification program has already become a classic of the VeeamON conferences as we strongly believe education is the pillar of any IT professional’s job. Being a Veeam Certified Engineer not only confirms that you possess the required knowledge to deploy and configure Veeam products, but provides you direct access to support for critical on-site issues and will definitely help those looking to take their career at the next level.

Nevertheless, there’s much more about the VMCE certification program during VeeamON 2018 in Chicago and I will share all the updates with you in this blog post.

Training format at VeeamON 2018

While last year the VMCE training was open to everybody with no requirements, at VeeamON 2018 in Chicago, it will be slightly different, as there will be three classes. The first one will be dedicated to those who have already attended a VMCE standard training previously and now would like to pass the VMCE standard exam. The other two classes will focus on those who already have VMCE level knowledge and wants to either move to the next level on design and sizing or deep dive into our new product Veeam Availability Orchestrator.

Based on last year’s feedback, the classes will happen after the main event — except the Exam Prep class.

So, if you decided to sign up for the VMCE training, you can enroll in the following classes:

  • VMCE Exam Preparation

This is a one-day instructor-led class and will occur on Monday, May 14 with the goal of preparing the students to pass the certification exam. Prerequisite: Must have already attended a VMCE standard class.

  • VMCE-Advanced Design & Optimization (ADO)

This is a two-day (Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18) technical course meant to teach engineers how to design and optimize Veeam Availability Suite following Veeam solutions architects’ best practices. Prerequisite: VMCE level knowledge is required for this class.

  • VMCE-Orchestrator

This class also takes place on Thursday, May 17 and Friday, May 18 and will teach attendees how to deploy, configure and manage the new Veeam Availability Orchestrator. The class combines lectures and live Hands-On Lab exercises to offer a comprehensive learning experience, as well as maximum knowledge transfer to students. Please note that this class has very limited seating. Do not wait to register.

Important: All classes include a voucher that enables attendees to take the certification exam at the on-site Pearson VUE Testing Center after the class or post-event. Exam vouchers are valid for 12 months.

VMCE training registration and pricing

If you are interested in taking one of the three classes for VMCE training, go to our website and sign up as seats are limited! The price for VMCE Exam Prep is $450, while VMCE-ADO and VMCE-Orchestrator cost $999 each. The VMCE training can ONLY be purchased as an add-on to a VeeamON 2018 full conference pass.

See also:


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VMCE training at VeeamON 2018: What’s new

VeeamON 2018: Availability at its finest

Source: Veeam

There are six months left until the start of VeeamON 2018. Now is a good time to update you with all you need to know about our biggest event. The fourth VeeamON conference is taking place in Chicago, Illinois, from Monday, May 14 to Wednesday, May 16, 2018 and we are building on the previous editions’ success to make this one even better!

Don’t forget to subscribe for the latest news about #VeeamON 2018 registration. Keep in mind, the earlier you register, the better the price.

Next year, VeeamON should be at the top of your wish list. A conference pass gives you access to two and a half days of the main event, including the general sessions, industry leaders and Veeam executive keynotes, 60+ breakout sessions, Hands-On Lab, LabWarz and the Expo Lounge. The pass also includes event meals and access to the famous VeeamON party on Wednesday night. To find out more about the conference events, keep reading!

Breakout sessions

The breakout sessions are one of the main attractions of VeeamON conferences. Wondering what makes them so popular? Well, this is where you can get in-depth information on your areas of interest and discover new Veeam products and features. Moreover, if you want to showcase your own Availability story with Veeam products, we want to hear it. Submit your presentation here and you can take the stage at VeeamON 2018!

VMCE training

Here at Veeam, we never stop learning and our conference couldn’t be different. VeeamON 2018 is a great occasion to take your VMCE training to the next level. It’s important to know that the VMCE training at VeeamON 2018 comes with a few amendments to the last edition, meaning that VMCE level knowledge is a prerequisite for all the classes offered during the event, such as: VMCE Test Prep, VMCE-Advanced Design & Optimization (ADO) and VMCE-Orchestrator. Moreover, based on the feedback we got from previous editions, the training classes will take place after the main event.

Expo Lounge

The Expo Hall is one of my favorite parts of VeeamON conferences, and for those of you who want to see the big players at work, this is the place! In the Expo Hall, you’ll discover what the industry movers and shakers are cooking up for the Digital Transformation era and for the future of Availability. Companies like Cisco, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Microsoft, NetApp and VMware are a constant presence at VeeamON events and their innovations always impress. Don’t miss them!


And more!

VeeamON is about networking, exchanging business cards and being a part of the Availability conversation. If you’re determined to attend, and we highly recommend that you do, make sure to visit the VeeamON website for the latest updates about registration!


See also:

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VeeamON 2018: Availability at its finest

Happy Holidays! Win a FREE trip to a VeeamON 2018 event

Source: Veeam

This has been a remarkable year in Veeam’s history, one in which we received recognition from the world’s leading analysts, as well as the confirmation of different industries’ leaders in terms of customer satisfaction. We are committed to delivering the #1 Availability for any app, any data on any cloud and our customers are at the core of our innovation efforts.

Therefore, we are grateful to all of you for being with Veeam and, in the holiday spirit, we are happy to offer six lucky winners a fully paid trip to a VeeamON 2018 event organized in your respective region. All you have to do is to REGISTER ON OUR WEBSITE for a chance to WIN! A fully paid trip to a VeeamON 2018 event includes round-trip flights, accommodation in a top-rated hotel near the event venue and full access to the event.

VeeamON 2018: It’s all about Availability

At the VeeamON 2018 event series you will live the full Availability experience: Discover the latest Availability trends from Veeam experts and industry visionaries, take your knowledge to the next level through the breakout sessions and find out first about new products in our portfolio. Moreover, VeeamON sites are the right place to connect with IT pro fellows and Veeam-valued sponsors and partners. For more details about our VeeamON events, please check: VeeamON Chicago, VeeamON Forum EMEA and VeeamON Forum Sydney.

On behalf of everyone at Veeam, I wish all of you, Happy Holidays! May you have a happy new year filled with health, peace, prosperity and Availability.

Happy Holidays!

Giveaway conditions

This is a global campaign, meaning everybody from around the world is eligible to participate. The registration deadline is Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. You don’t want to miss it! We will randomly select six lucky winners and announce them on a weekly basis. Make sure you get all the updates by following us on Facebook and Twitter!

The post Happy Holidays! Win a FREE trip to a VeeamON 2018 event appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Happy Holidays! Win a FREE trip to a VeeamON 2018 event

VeeamON 2018 call for presentations – All you need to know

Source: Veeam

VeeamON 2017 was a remarkable success, and the next one is only going to be better! Renowned speakers, industry experts, our great partners and famous sessions — these made VeeamON 2017 THE Availability event of the year.

VeeamON 2018 is happening at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, from May 14 – 16, so mark your calendar because you don’t want to miss our biggest event! One of the biggest reasons people attend the VeeamON conference is the breakout sessions, where industry subject-matter experts and Veeam gurus present all the trends and innovations occurring in Availability. Not only can you attend the breakout sessions to learn from the best, but you can PRESENT a breakout session and showcase your technical knowledge in front of a tech-savvy crowd.

We are excited to announce that you can  NOW submit your abstract through the Call for Presentations (CFP) link on our website until Jan. 31, 2018. Keep reading to get all the details you need to create an abstract everybody will remember!

Make yourself heard and gain recognition

Here at Veeam, we are passionate about helping every organization protect their data and stay Always-On. If you have ingenious ideas on how to implement Veeam solutions or a success story of how Veeam products ensured the Availability of your organization, we want to hear it all!

If your presentation is chosen from the submitted abstracts, you will gain visibility among your industry fellows and industry leaders worldwide. Moreover, your presentation will help drive valuable feedback and innovative conversations about the future of Availability.

To support your efforts, selected presenters from North America may receive a complimentary registration pass, travel and hotel accommodations, while selected submissions from sponsors or partners will receive complimentary registration only.

Abstract requirements

To make sure your abstract is eligible for submission, it must be 200 – 250 words, including title and supporting bullets, and be educational in nature. You are welcome to submit abstracts on the following subjects:

  • Veeam product usage
  • Availability
  • Virtualization
  • Cloud & storage
  • Enterprise and business topics related to the above areas

All submitted presentations will be assessed by the Veeam experts based on the following criteria:

  • Overall quality
  • Relevance to the industry
  • Well-defined focus within the program track structure
  • Practical applications of material
  • Timeliness of the topic
  • Speakers’ qualifications

There is no specific requirement to qualify for CFP, meaning everybody that has knowledge and experience with Veeam products can sign up for the Call for Presentations at VeeamON 2018. Please note that abstracts submitted after Jan. 31 will not be considered. Good luck!

Don’t forget to subscribe for the latest news about #VeeamON 2018

More useful information about VeeamON 2018:

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VeeamON 2018 call for presentations – All you need to know

The three big industries ransomware targets

Source: Veeam

What would you do in case of a ransomware attack? This is a question I have heard a lot lately and I wish there was a simpler answer for it. Ransomware attacks have increased in numbers and complexity and spread to organizations of any industry across the globe. As a matter of fact, we need to accept that cyberattacks are more present than ever, and they can affect both our professional and personal lives, unless we prepare — this is the key for staying out of trouble!

One example comes from the education sector: Will Montgomery, director of teaching and learning at Bedford School, was a victim of a virus that encrypted innumerable files from years of teaching experience. In fact, the education sector is one of the favorite victims of ransomware attacks. These institutions are attractive to cybercriminals due to the valuable research data they contain and the vulnerabilities that come from undergoing a digital transformation through their infrastructure, staff and students. With employee records and research data at stake, higher education organizations must take proactive measures to avoid the loss of highly sensitive data, damaged reputation and low productivity.

Ransomware doesn’t discriminate, and education institutions aren’t the only ones affected by cyberterrorism. According to a recent report, 15% of the total global ransomware attacks hit health care institutions in 2016. Health care is well known for the magnitude of these attacks and for the high ransoms demanded, which in many cases were paid! Hospitals and other health care services are very sensitive to losing access to data — patient’s history or treatment tracking are essential for patient care, and their loss could put lives in danger.

Likewise, financial institutions are on the ransomware attackers’ radar and, unfortunately, on their pay slip. Some 55% of financial services firms recently surveyed by SANS report ransomware as the top attack threat, followed by phishing (50%), which previously held the top spot. Banks or insurance companies can be seriously impacted after a ransomware attack and thus lose customer confidence and encounter increased downtime and the excessive cost of ransom.

Protecting their data against ransomware attacks isn’t the only concern of organizations these days. They must also comply with an increasing number of regulations for sensitive data protection and Availability. For example, health care institutions are required to implement security measures to prevent cyberattacks, as well as having a clear set of procedures in place for recovery after similar attacks.

Here at Veeam, we understand how far the ransomware threats can go and how they can affect organizations by taking their data hostage. To support your efforts of preparing against these attacks, we are releasing a FREE set of solution briefs: 7 proven resilience best practices against ransomware for education, financial services and health care.

In these guides, you will find handy and straightforward best practices that will enable you to prepare and recover after a ransomware attack. For example, the golden 3-2-1 Rule is a timeless principle no backup strategy should ever lack: three copies of your data, two of them on different storage types and one backup off site. Another important aspect that is often neglected in an organization’s life is educating the employees on threats they face while being online. Remember that not only the IT staff is browsing the internet!

Read these industry briefs to learn how the Veeam 7 resilience practices will ensure you are prepared and can recover after a ransomware attack, while also maintaining the integrity of your brand and consumer confidence.

See also

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The three big industries ransomware targets

Demystifying Recovery Objectives

Source: Veeam

Downtime is not an option for modern organizations that must fulfill their customers’ needs and expectations. Different types of incidents can occur and impact your business revenue or even existence. Whether it’s a ransomware attack, a power outage, flood or simply human mistakes, these events are unpredictable, and the best thing you can do is to BE PREPARED.

Preparedness means that you should have a solid business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plan. One that has been tested and that can be put in motion smoothly.

Two of the important parameters that define a BCDR plan are the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). For those of you who are not familiar with these terms, let me give you a brief description:

  • RPO limits how far to roll back in time, and defines the maximum allowable amount of lost data measured in time from a failure occurrence to the last valid backup.
  • RTO is related to downtime and represents how long it takes to restore from the incident until normal operations are available to users

Demystifying Recovery Objectives

While RPO and RTO may sound similar, they serve different purposes and, in an ideal world, their values would be as close to zero as possible. However, back to our world, the cost for zero RPO and RTO would be extremely expensive and might not be worth the effort.

Let’s take a closer look at recovery objectives. RPO is about how much data you afford to lose before it impacts business operations. For example, for a banking system, 1 hour of data loss can be catastrophic as they operate live transactions. At a personal level, you can also think about RPO as the moment you saved a document you are working on for the last time. In case your system crashes and your progress is lost, how much of your work are you willing to lose before it affects you?

On the other hand, RTO is the timeframe within which application and systems must be restored after an outage. It’s a good practice to measure the RTO starting with the moment the outage occurs, instead of the moment when the IT team starts to fix the issue. This is a more realistic approach as it represents the exact point when the users start to be impacted.

How to define RTO and RPO values for your applications

The truth is there is no one-size-fits-all solution for a business continuity plan and its metrics. Companies are different from one vertical to another, have different needs, and therefore they have different requirements for their recovery objectives. However, a common practice is to divide applications and services into different tiers and set recovery time and point objective (RTPO) values according to the service-level agreement (SLA) the organization committed to.

Data protection classification is important to determine how to store, access, protect, recover and update data and information more efficient based on their specific criteria. It is essential to analyze your applications and determine which of them are driving your business, generating revenue and are imperative to stay operational. This process that is essential for a good business continuity plan is called business impact analysis (BIA), and it establishes protocols and actions for facing a disaster.

For example, you can use a three-tier model to design your business continuity plan:

  • Tier-1: Mission-critical applications that require an RTPO of less than 15 minutes
  • Tier-2: Business-critical applications that require RTO of 2 hours and RPO of 4 hours
  • Tier-3: Non-critical applications that require RTO of 4 hours and RPO of 24 hours

It’s important to keep in mind that mission-critical, business-critical and non-critical applications vary across industries and each organization defines these tiers based on their operations and requirements.

Now that you have ranked your applications and services and you know what the impact will be in case of specific incidents, it’s time to find a solution that can help you protect your business data and operations. Veeam Availability Platform is a complete set of tools designed to achieve stringent recovery objectives for virtual, physical and cloud-based workloads.

How do RTO and RPO work in practice

Quick application-item recovery

A sales representative deleted an e-mail which needs to be sent to a customer ASAP. Microsoft Exchange is an example of Tier-2 applications. Since the IT administrator schedules backup jobs throughout the day, the company can definitely achieve the RPO of 1 hour. With Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, which is part of all versions of Veeam Backup & Replication, it’s very easy to recover an individual email item within minutes or even seconds, saving time and resources on staging or restoring an entire application server VM!

Demystifying Recovery Objectives

Instant recovery of an entire virtualized server directly from a backup

Let’s imagine a bank that operates several ATM machines. The ATM system is business-critical for the bank’s operations (Tier-2), but if it crashes for few hours it will impact the bank transactions, not the whole bank integrity. With the use of Veeam Backup & Replication and the Instant VM Recovery feature, you can immediately startup the virtualized ATM server from the deduplicated and compressed Veeam backup file. This will result in an RTO of a few minutes! Moreover, with the use of hypervisor migration functionalities and Veeam Quick Migration you can easily migrate the running VM from the backup datastore to the production datastore to complete the recovery process.

Demystifying Recovery Objectives

Full-site failover

Maintenance workers caused an electrical failure in one of your data centers resulting in a full-site failure and loss of access to all your Tier-1 applications. Let’s say, you use Veeam to replicate all your critical VMs off site twice a day. This makes you able to easily achieve the defined RPO of minutes. From an RTO perspective, Veeam enables you to easily recover in case of major incidents with several built-in features: one-click failover, assisted failback, Re-IP to match the network in the DR site, and true cloud-based disaster recovery.

Demystifying Recovery Objectives

Protecting endpoints

Switching from your virtual infrastructure to the physical world, Veeam also provides backup and recovery solutions for your laptops or desktops. With Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows, you can restore files from your Recovery Media to your Windows-based computer or even power your PC backup image to a virtual machine to achieve low RPOs.

Demystifying Recovery Objectives

Furthermore, with Veeam Agent for Linux, you can protect your Linux workloads, whether they are running on-premises or in the public cloud.

Demystifying Recovery Objectives


Nobody can predict a disaster, however, you can act organized following your business continuity plan when facing such an incident. RPO and RTO values may vary across different companies, but at all times they will be a compromise between business needs for Availability and required investments in IT. Their estimation should be a result of a deliberation between your organization’s business and IT experts. But what goes beyond any deliberations is an implementation of a reliable Availability solution for virtual, physical and cloud workloads to ensure Always-On operations for your business.

Read also

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Demystifying Recovery Objectives

Why hybrid cloud is the new normal for enterprises

Source: Veeam

We are living in times when it’s hard to imagine our lives without technology. Our center of command is sitting in our pockets, and we are just a few taps away from booking a flight, checking our bank account or reading the news about our favorite football team. Our fast pace of life demands uninterrupted access to each application on any type of device from everywhere. Therefore, organizations need not only speed and versatility, they also need what we call Availability.

In a recent study, Forrester states that the hybrid cloud will open unlimited possibilities for enterprises around the globe to enrich their offerings through a customer-centric approach. The cloud storage deployments are evolving from simple storage silos and low-cost archiving to covering more complex use cases like global namespaces and policy-based migration.

If you thought cloud was already popular, just give it a bit more time. Hybrid cloud storage is now able to combine on-premises applications with cloud-based services, and this is only going to bring a whole lot more benefits for organizations: business agility, scalability and improved data sharing. Just think about it: a few years ago, cloud was more of a personal tool, mainly used to store documents and other files, but look at where it is today! The hybrid cloud technologies now support remote office/branch office operations (ROBO), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), the internet of things, file sync and share, and pretty much anything related to business technology.

While many organizations are migrating from expensive conventional storage systems to cloud-based systems — and this is the natural step of the IT evolution — it’s important to acknowledge that the cloud is not all milk and honey. There are a few considerations that you might need to deal with: security, regulatory compliance or long-distance data migration. However, the overall value of adopting the cloud is immeasurable, and its full-scale adoption is already happening.

Veeam enables modern organizations to deliver seamless digital life experiences to their customers through the Veeam Availability Platform, which integrates virtual, physical and cloud-based workloads. Embracing a hybrid cloud architecture opens new possibilities for both our customers and service provider partners looking to leverage the rapidly-evolving cloud computing best practices and adopting the next generation of Availability for the Always-On Enterprise.

The same report claims that “Cloud forces a new architectural approach to everything.” Of course, adopting a hybrid cloud architecture requires a new mindset, but the cloud will play a major role in our digital future, that’s for sure.

To find out more about the hybrid cloud and its benefits, I recommend you read the Hybrid Cloud is the Foundation for Storage Agility and Economics full report by Forrester.

Read also:

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Why hybrid cloud is the new normal for enterprises

Conversational Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: FREE e-books

Source: Veeam

Here at Veeam, we understand how important your data is and how it can affect your organization if it’s unavailable. The link between IT systems and the success of each business, no matter the industry, is undoubtable. Unexpected disruptions come in many shapes and forms, from human error, to malicious attacks, to fire, floods or natural disasters. Having a strong Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plan can prove vital.

But there is more to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery than meets the eye. BC Planning can help you analyze your infrastructure and detect the threats and weaknesses long before any disaster may occur, while DR reduces stress of the unpredictable and helps you, as well as your organization, become more proactive and open to change and improvement.

But what does a strong and efficient BCDR plan look like?

Veeam and Conversational Geek joined again and published a mini-series to help IT professionals better understand and easily apply BCDR planning in their day-to-day job. The guides are written in a conversational tone that makes it fun and easy to understand basic principles such as: Mapping IT systems to business function, setting clear RTOs and RPOs and splitting applications into tiers based on how critical they are to the business, create a backup & recovery strategy, adopt the right technology to meet goals.

The mini-series offers a good starting point to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning for Health Care, Higher Education and Financial Services.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for Health Care

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for Health CareFor Health Care institutions, the link between technology and patient care leaves no room for mistakes. Physicians and hospital staff make important decisions based on up-do-date patient information, so a solid BCDR plan is imperative in these organizations. Conversational Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for Health Care provides best practices and key considerations for creating a solid BCDR plan in a Health Care institution including: Regulatory requirements for patient information, SLAs for each level of applications and documenting your BCDR plan.



Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for Higher Education

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for Higher EducationIn Higher Education nearly any loss of service will have a major impact on a school’s ability to function: Registration, on-premises learning management systems and the usual suspects like directory services, email, print services, etc. Should one of the elements fail, it can cause a chain reaction that could seriously affect many users. From the Conversational Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for Higher Education e-book you can get practical tips for a trustful BCDR plan from defining the tiers of apps and services, to testing your plan.

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for Financial Services

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for Financial ServicesFinancial Services companies require 24.7.365 Availability and increased attention to security and integrity. IT admins in banks, insurance companies, credit unions etc. are working under the pressure of providing non-stop continuity and defending their data against cyber criminals, while meeting heavy data regulations. Not an easy job, is it? Conversational Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery for Finance e-book provides practical BCDR guidelines for IT professionals working in financial services, including the use of the 3-2-1 backup golden rule and a mix of virtual environment, modern backup & recovery solutions for a powerful IT strategy.




To sum up, I believe this series shows that BCDR planning doesn’t have to be a burden, if it’s done the right way. If you don’t find yourself working in one of the above verticals, don’t worry! The main principles of a rock solid BCDR plan work for organizations within any industry or vertical. So to build a business continuity and disaster recovery plan that you are confident in, make sure to respect the following steps: Evaluating the criticality of each application, identifying what technology is needed to achieve defined RTPOs, documenting and testing your plan.

See Also

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Conversational Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: FREE e-books

Why snapshots alone are not backups

Source: Veeam

Having a clear picture of what VM snapshots and backups can do for you is critical when your data is at stake. To dispel any doubts, snapshots are NOT backups. They are two different processes designed to address different needs. Today, I’m going to explain the discrepancy between VM snapshots and backups and provide you with a few scenarios where each of them best fits.

While it is true that many Veeam products will use a snapshot as part of a backup — a snapshot by itself is not a backup. This logic applies to VMware VM snapshots, Hyper-V checkpoints and storage snapshots as well.

How do snapshots work?

In a nutshell, a VM snapshot is the process of saving the data state of a VM with the possibility to revert to that point in time. The VM can be powered off, powered on or suspended when snapshots are taken. Multiple snapshots are organized in a parent-child hierarchy.

Usually, snapshots are used to test software updates or for unsafe operations on a VM, and then returned to the initial state if needed — think about it as a bookmark or an undo button. Snapshots are not a full copy of the base disk, therefore, they are not sufficient to restore a VM in case of storage failure.

VMware snapshots

In VMware VMs, the virtual disk is a .vmdk file residing on a data store (LUN). When a snapshot is created in Snapshot Manager, the original disk becomes read-only, and all the new data changes are written into a temporary .vmdk delta disk, pointing to the original one. The delta disk is the difference between the state at the moment when the snapshot was taken and the current state of the virtual disk. The process of taking a VMware snapshot also involves the creation of two additional files: snapshots and metadata information (.vmsd) and the running state information (.vmsn). After a snapshot is deleted (committed), all the changes are merged to the original .vmdk file, and it returns to read-write mode.

Why snapshots alone are not backups

Figure 1. Snapshots in VMware vSphere client

To ensure a healthy use of snapshots in vSphere virtualized environments, VMware provides several best practices:

  • Use a maximum of 32 snapshots in a chain, but for better performance, use only two to three snapshots
  • Don’t leave a snapshot running for more than 24 – 72 hours. It will increase in size, and your storage can run out of space
  • Do not use snapshots as backups. If the original virtual disk is deleted, you cannot restore a VM from snapshots

Hyper-V checkpoints

Things are slightly different with Hyper-V snapshots (renamed Hyper-V checkpoints starting with Windows Server 2012 R2). When a Hyper-V checkpoint is created in Hyper-V Manager, the running VM is paused and an .avhd(x) differencing disk is created in the same folder as the parent virtual disk (.vhd /.vhdx) to stock the changes, along with an .xml configuration file copy. The original virtual disk is set as read-only and, if the VM is running, there will be two more associated files — the VM saved state (.bin) and memory information (.vsv), then the VM is resumed.

Why snapshots alone are not backups

Figure 2. Checkpoints in Hyper-V Manager

Microsoft recommendations for Hyper-V checkpoints include:

  • Don’t use snapshots on VMs that host time-sensitive services, such as Microsoft Exchange Server or Active Directory Domain Services
  • Don’t expand existing virtual storage of a VM when there are snapshots on it, as they will get compromised
  • Use Hyper-V Manager to delete .avhd(x) files from the snapshots tree, instead of deleting them manually

What about storage snapshots?

Storage snapshots are a great framework to leverage as part of a backup job. Veeam Backup & Replication supports many storage arrays for both Backup from Storage Snapshots and Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots. There are a few points to cover here as well:

  • Even with a support array to leverage Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots, you still need to take a backup to go to different storage. Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots is a recovery-only technique from the source array that took the snapshot.
  • Backup from Storage Snapshots is a great way to take a backup using the power of the storage array and move the data to different storage.

One of Veeam’s evangelists, Rick Vanover, likes to say that: “We have nothing but evidence in the form of customer success stories that good arrays do indeed fail — so please take your backups onto different storage and follow the 3-2-1 Rule.”

When should I use snapshots?

Snapshots are a short-term solution to be used mostly in testing and development environments for patching, updates, or to test things quickly and rollback in case of failure. They are less recommended in production. However, there are certain scenarios where snapshots really come in handy for the production environment. For example, if you take risky actions, such as an OS update or configuration changes that could harm your system, then snapshots are a good idea.

Why aren’t snapshots recommended for production environments? Mainly for data integrity reasons. With snapshots, you’re not making a copy of the virtual hard disk. There is the VM virtual disk and the delta disk, which means that if the VM disk volume gets damaged, then your snapshots are gone as well because they can’t be merged on the base disk. Snapshots don’t protect you against disk breakdowns, and you’ll still have a single point of failure.

Another reason is performance-based. Snapshots can impact the performance of VMs. This does not happen very often – this occurs only in some particular situations, but it can happen. For example, running highly loaded VMs on aged (and thus increased in size) snapshots would definitely worsen the performance of those VMs, especially if they use dynamic disks. It is a common mistake to keep a VM running on a snapshot for a long time — the snapshot will increase in size because it will absorb all the changes, instead of the source disk. Consequently, committing will take much longer and it could even stun the VM during the merge process.

Wait, doesn’t Veeam use snapshots?

Good observation! Veeam Backup & Replication does indeed use snapshots as part of a backup job. It can use a VMware VM snapshot, a Hyper-V checkpoint or a storage snapshot. It is important to note that the snapshot by itself is not a backup – but it can be used as a critical part of the backup process. This is because the snapshot is used as part of the data movement process to a backup file or a replicated VM. The snapshot is removed when the backup job is complete.

How are backups different than snapshots?

A backup is a consistent VM copy that gives you the possibility to restore it in case the original files are compromised by a disaster or a human mistake. Unlike snapshots, backups are independent of the VM, and they can easily be exported and stored off premises (in the cloud, on tape or other remote storage). Read about the golden 3-2-1 Rule.

Veeam Backup & Replication leverages VSS technology (Volume Shadow Copy Service) and application-aware image processing to create image-level VM backups. Image-level VM backups allow you to protect an entire workload — virtual disk, operating system, software applications and system configuration files. All of those are stored in a single image-level VM backup file, which provides multiple restore options for your business-critical applications — from full VM recovery to granular, application-item recovery.

Furthermore, Veeam Backup & Replication is designed with numerous technologies for optimized backup traffic and backup file size reduction, such as deduplication, compression or WAN acceleration, and it gives you the ability to test your backup recoverability with SureBackup. Also, Veeam provides you with an alternative way to quickly test and troubleshoot your VM, the Virtual Lab. Here you can create an isolated virtual environment that doesn’t impact your production and perform different operations, like testing software updates or running trainings.

What if my environment cannot tolerate snapshots of any type?

This is a real possibility today. One way to go about the backup process is to use Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows or Veeam Agent for Linux. These new Veeam backup products don’t use any infrastructure snapshots at all below the operating system. For Windows, the VSS framework is used to make an image-based backup, and for Linux, the veeamsnap is used to have an image of the file system.

Additionally, coming in Veeam Backup & Replication v10, the Veeam CDP capability will provide a replication engine for VMware virtual machines that doesn’t use VMware snapshots. This is leveraging the vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering or VAIO that work in the storage path of the VM.


VM snapshots alone cannot be used as a reliable way to protect your data and restore it in case of a failure, but they’re very handy for quick testing and troubleshooting. Additionally, a VM snapshot can be used if it is part of a comprehensive sequence of events to do a backup or a replication job. Remember, however, to keep an eye on snapshot amounts and properly manage them in order to avoid any storage and performance issues. On the other hand, image-level VM backups provide a high level of applications and data protection, allow for low RPO and support virtually any recovery scenario — from a full-VM to application-item restore.

Useful resources

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Why snapshots alone are not backups