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Veeam: Users are crying out for cloud tiers

At least we hope so – 'cos here are some 'infinite' cloudy backup repositories

Veeam has added a Cloud element to its Availability Suite, tiering off old data to object storage in AWS and Azure or on-premises.

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4 will be revealed today at the firm's Velocity partner event in Orlando, Florida, along with its Availability for AWS and Availability Console v3 products.

The Cloud tier sucks off old data from expensive local on-premises storage into AWS S3 buckets or Azure Blob storage, both effectively infinite, according to Veeam, or to cheaper and S3-compatible on-premises object storage.

Veeam said this cloud tiering is not like traditional archiving in that it is, literally, tiering. When data is to be moved blocks are stripped out of the local extents, the VBK format files, and moved to the object storage.

A metadata reference, a pointer to these moved blocks, is kept in the local extent.

El Reg's storage desk has noted this is superficially similar to stubbing in file lifetime management, where a file is moved to cheaper storage with a "stub" left behind so that an access to that file is redirected to the new location.

Veeam's restore functionality can still be applied to the moved data set, because it is still a VBK file. An example of a 1TB VBK file on local storage being reduced to 22MB via such tiering is cited.

Data to be moved is identified by being older than a policy-set operational restore window. Data inside this window is restored locally at the fastest speed. Data outside it is a candidate for tiering.


Two caveats to bear in mind: one is that shifting data to the cloud tier involves a penalty in terms of recovery time. Object storage can be slower than other on-premises storage, and public cloud object storage is slower still, due to network transit time for example. Obviously restores from Amazon Glacier can be horrendous.

Secondly, if backup data is a candidate to be moved but it is part of a Veeam backup chain – a first full backup file, incremental backup files and backup metadata file – then it cannot be moved as the chain would be damaged. Only when all the chain components are tiering candidates can the chain in its entirety be moved.

A Veeam podcast discusses the new Cloud tier and other updates.

Veeam will also be talking about Veeam Availability for AWS and Veeam Availability Console v3 at the Velocity event. ®


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