Free VMTurbo & Veeam Visio Stencils

Quick post, a couple of vendors have Visio Stencils that can be used for VMware designs.

  • VMTurbo have released both Microsoft Visio and OmniGraffle versions, which can be found over here.
  • Veeam have theirs, which are available for VMware and Hyper V, URL to the link is here

Free stuff is always good, thanks to both vendors for taking the time out to create them.

Book Review – Veeam Backup & Replication for VMware vSphere

Veeam Backup & Replication for VMware vSphereThe book author Christian Mohn @h0bbel is a four year VMware vExpert veteran who is active member in the VMware Community  presenting the vSoup Podcast.

Christian tweeted if anyone would be interested in reviewing a copy of his first book ‘Learning Veeam Backup & Replication for VMware vSphere‘, I accepted as I’m a firm believer in helping out colleagues who put time and effort into the vCommunity.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of the Learning Veeam Backup & Replication for VMware vSphere’ for review.  The opinions in this post are mine and the information contained are unbiased

Target Audience

The target audience for the book is for vSphere administrators looking for an introduction to Veeam Backup & Replication v7.  It’s not intended to be a technical deep dive.

Book Flow

When reading a technical book the logical flow from chapter to chapter is one of the key areas that I look for.

The author starts with an introduction to Veeam including the architecture and components that make up the backup application.  This leads onto configuring backups,  restoring data, replicating virtual machines and finally other features.

This logical flow makes the book enjoyable to read, and includes a couple of puns which placed a smile on my face!

Common Sense Advice

Throughout the book, the author gives common sense advice to his target audience, which includes:

  • 3-2-1 backup rule
  • RPO/RTO definitions
  • Backup Repository placement
  • Considerations for installation/service accounts
  • When to use incremental or reversed incremental backup types
  • What happens when you restore a VM Guest file
  • Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager use cases

Final Thoughts

The author has done a great job of delivering what he set out to do, which is an introduction to Veeam.


Veeam On Tour Special Edition

Earlier on in the year Veeam had a UK Tour which I blogged about.  This time they have upped the anti and have created the ‘Veeam On Tour Special Edition‘.

They have three events planned:

The events are focused on peer feedback, which I prefer as you get to hear about both success and failure stories.

It’s a half day event with the following agenda:

Time Item
09:30am Registration
10:00am Welcome
10:15am Veeam: the perfect fit for the modern data centre
11:15am Coffee break
11:30am Speaking Session by HP
12:00pm Customer case study
12:30pm Q&A, Close and Lunch


Veeam: Storage Snapshots Is It Worth It?

Veeam introduced the ability to use Storage Snapshots in v6.5.  The first storage product to be supported was the HP StoreVirtual which was closely followed by HP 3PAR StoreServ.

So the question is, it it worthwhile spending the extra 60% per socket on Veeam Backup & Replication Enterprise Plus licensing to be able to use the Backup from Storage Snapshots feature?

Veeam Licensing Cost


During this test we need to make sure that everything is equal.  The lab has the following VM’s in place for the test:

1 x Domain Controller

1 x SQL Server

1 x vCenter

3 x Blank Windows 2008 R2 servers

All of these servers reside on a single HP StoreVirtual VSA volume provided by  two 7.2K 2.5″ HDD in RAID 1.

No workload will be placed on any VM’s between backups.

The target for the backups will be a 5,400 RPM consumer grade 2.5″ SATA HDD in RAID 0 (this is on a different physical host).

The Veeam Server is a Windows 2012 VM which has connectivity into the LAN and iSCSI network

Veeam Network Adapters

The Veeam Server connects directly to vCenter and is configured to run 4 x jobs in parallel.  From a resource perspective it has 4vCPU’s and 8GB RAM.

Veeam Hot Add

OK let’s crack on.  For this test I have disabled the iSCSI NIC on the Veeam Server to ensure that the ‘Automatic Proxy Setting’ is left at default for Hot Add.  I then  created a single backup job called ‘Veeam Hot Add’ which houses 6 x VM’s totaling 138.2 GB in size.

Veeam Hot Add

The backup proxy is set to automatic and I have deselected Storage Integration from the Advanced Settings tab.

Both ‘enable application-aware image processing’ and ‘enable guest file indexing’ are NOT selected.

All other settings are left at default.

Hot Add

Veeam Direct SAN Access

Before the test, I rebooted the Veeam Server to make sure all things are equal.

For this test, I created a new backup job called ‘Veeam Direct SAN Access’ and enabled the iSCSI NIC so that Veeam would use Direct SAN Access mode.

Storage Integration from the Advanced Settings tab continues to be deselected.

Direct SAN

Veeam Storage Snapshots

Again, before the test, I rebooted the Veeam Server to make sure all things are equal.

For this test I have created a new backup job called ‘Veeam Storage Snapshot’.  I have enabled the iSCSI NIC on the Veeam Server and also selected Storage Integration from the Advanced Settings tab.

Every other setting is exactly the same and no data has changed between backups to ensure a true comparison.

Storage Snapshots

Initial Results (Stagnant Data)

I think the results show that all three different methodologies produce fairly similar results in terms of backup performance.  With HotAdd being followed by Direct SAN and then Storage Snapshot. However this is with stagnant data e.g. no changes to deltas during backups which doesn’t really happen in most production environments.

Item Hot Add Direct SAN Access Storage Snapshot
VMF-DC01 0:26:58 0:28:25 0:27:39
VMF-FILE01 0:24:11 0:14:02 0:23:37
VMF-SQL01 0:29:27 0:26:36 0:23:01
VMF-VC01 0:38:24 0:35:46 0:36:25
VMF-VIEWC01 0:17:36 0:16:05 0:17:08
VMF-VIEWS01 0:15:33 0:14:09 0:16:23
Overall Processing Rate 52 MB/s 51 MB/s 47 MB/s
Overall Duration 0:40:26 0:40:19 0:46:29
Bottleneck Source Source Source

Initial Results (Changing Data)

Like me you are probably thinking, the above ‘Initial Test (Stagnant Data)’ wasn’t really a test as data changes.  So to try and simulate a production workload we are going to introduce IOMeter on VMF-FILE01 with the following criteria:

  • 8K Block Size
  • 100 Random
  • 65% Read
  • 35% Write

Veeam backup starts and then 1 minute later IOMeter starts for a duration of 5 minutes.

Veeam Hot Add


Veeam Direct SAN

Direct IOPS

Veeam Storage Snapshots


Initial Results (Changing Data)

Item Hot Add Direct SAN Access Storage Snapshot
Processing Rate 33 MB/s 29 MB/s 27 MB/s
Duration 0:18:36 0:18:29 0:10:54
Bottleneck Source Source Source

My Thoughts

In a production environment you are likely to have a mixture of virtual machines, some which are hardly touched and others which are accessed all the time during day and night.

Storage Snapshots are the least intrusive to your production environment and perform better with changing data reducing your backup window by up to 64%.  Whereas Hot Add performs best when data is stagnant.

For me, it makes sense to recommend using Veeam Backup & Replication Enterprise Plus for customers who have either a HP StoreVirtual or HP 3PAR StoreServ as they have the ability to choose how they want their backups to work.


Even though these tests are produced in the lab, I wouldn’t use the results for a business environment for production workloads.

I would recommend testing Veeam Backup & Replication using the 30 day free trial in your own environment and testing each backup mechanism to understand which one works best for your environment.

10 Virtualisation Mistakes That Can Put You At Risk

Good news Veeam have teamed up with Kaspersky and are hosting a webinar on the top security challenges facing IT today.

The webinar is hosted by James Smith Senior Systems Engineer UK&I at Veeam Software and Dave Messett European Product Marketing Manager at Kaspersky.

  • How virtualisation changes the security and protection requirements
  • About the current threat landscape and its impact on your business
  • Practical advice on what to avoid for data protection and security in virtual environments
  • How a modern approach will prevent real disasters in virtual environments

To get involved on 11th July at 10:00am click me