V11: Complete the Backup Lifecycle with Veeam’s SOBR Archive Tier

The Scale-out Backup Repository is one of Veeam’s unique innovations that really brings a lot of capabilities to the backup storage lifecycle management, yet in a simple, flexible, policy-driven and reliable manner. Veeam expands customer choice by offering the option to archive to a lower cost tier of cloud storage.

Archive Tier is an additional tier of storage that can be attached to a Scale-out Backup Repository. Applicable data from the capacity tier of the Scale-out Backup Repository can be moved to the Archive Tier for archive purposes.

Why should you care about Archive Tier?

As you reduce costs for long-time archival by moving from tape to “cold” cloud storage, you are often faced with manual processes to move and secure your backup data, adding unnecessary risk and complexity to the life cycle. Archive-to-cloud in V11 reduces the cost of archival and retention by up to 20x or more, providing policy-based management with Veeam’s three intelligent storage tiers: Performance, Capacity and Archive.

Now, you can achieve secure, end-to-end life cycle management for your backup copies with immutability and automated data movement from hot to cold object storage tiers with new native support for Amazon S3 Glacier (including Glacier Deep Archive) and Azure Blob Archive Storage. This way your organization gets more resilient.

Storing archived data in Archive Tier is cheaper compared to Capacity Tier depending on retention times of course. However, restoring data from Archive Tier will take longer and is more expensive compared to Capacity Tier. Data must be prepared for restore from Archive Tier.

What is a Scale-out Backup Repository?

A Scale-out Backup Repository (SOBR) is a repository system with scale-out support for multi-tier storage of data. The Scale-out Backup Repository consists of one or more backup repositories called performance extents and can be expanded with an on-premises or cloud-based object repository called capacity extent.

In V11, we added the Archive Tier to the SOBR family to scale out even further. It brings automated data movement from hot to cold object storage tiers with new native support for Amazon S3 Glacier (including Glacier Deep Archive) and Azure Blob & Archive Tier Storage.

All the storage devices and systems inside the Scale-out Backup Repository are joined into a system, with their capacities summarized. This way all workloads backed up by Veeam can use a SOBR to use a policy-based backup lifecycle management approach with Veeam’s three intelligent storage tiers: Performance, Capacity and now also Archive. Note: The Archive Tier supports exported backup files, VeeamZIP backup files and backup files with GFS flags assigned to it.

We not only added Archive Tier to SOBR, but we also expanded your freedom of choice by adding Google Cloud Storage as an additional cloud storage target in the Capacity Tier.

How Archive Tier works

Applicable data from the capacity extent of the Scale-out Backup Repository can be moved to the Archive Tier for archiving. As Rick Vanover likes to call it: Write Once Read Never, but never say never! And I fully agree with him, it is a safeguard and can help your compliance needs and save costs and/or space on storing archived data. Use the intelligence of the move of backup data as a cloud economic intelligence model.

You can easily expand an existing SOBR with Archive Tier or enable it when creating a new SOBR. By editing the current Scale-out Backup Repository, you will see an extra step called Archive Tier after the Capacity Tier. But be aware that the Archive Tier consists of a single archive extent which can be Amazon S3 Glacier or Microsoft Azure Archive Blob Storage.

Amazon S3 Object Storage lines up with Amazon S3 Glacier Storage and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage lines up with Microsoft Azure Archive Blob Storage — you cannot mix those. It is AWS to AWS and Azure to Azure. A temporary proxy between the Capacity Tier and Archive Tier converts the objects to larger objects to reduce the API costs associated with placing objects. There will be one temporary proxy per backup chain and there can be up to 64 temporary proxies as the default. Backup files will always flow through Capacity Tier before they reach the Archive Tier.

Be aware that there is a minimum storage period requirement for the archive storage in Azure and AWS. In the advanced storage settings by default, we already check that the GFS backup retention is above the minimum required storage period. The used cloud storage will request a minimum storage period, which are:

  • Amazon Glacier – 90 days
  • Amazon Glacier Deep Archive – 180 days
  • Microsoft Azure Archive – 180 days

Note: You are able to store data for less days than the prescribed days or even delete it directly after placement but be aware that the cloud provider will charge you the minimum number of days required for it. For example, in Amazon Glacier that would be 90 days!

Another important choice to make is if you want to store independent full backups or deduplicated aka block cloned backups. To reduce storage costs, by default, we store each backup as a delta from the previous one.

Retrieval options of archived data is depending on the cloud it is stored in, how fast you need it and what you are willing to pay! The following options are at hand:

You will need to select the desired availability period of the retrieved backup files to the Capacity Tier. During that time window, you will be able to restore data from it. Or you can prolong that period when you need more time by extending the data availability.

Enhancing security with Archive Tier through immutability

Veeam Backup & Replication makes use of the object lock technology provided by Amazon and some S3-compatible providers to make the data immutable. The object lock forbids deletion, modification or encryption of data when set correctly.

You can enable the immutability feature when adding or editing an Amazon S3 Glacier object storage repository. The object level immutability feature is currently only available for Amazon S3 Glacier object storage repository.

Curious about what Veeam in the cloud can do for you? If so, we might have an interesting offer for you! The launch of V11 also includes Azure-native backup and recovery (AWS-native came in V10). If you’re a current Veeam Backup & Replication, Veeam Availability Suite or Veeam Backup Essentials customer, we’re giving you 25 VUL FREE to natively protect your AWS or Azure workloads. What’s more, we’re even throwing in $250 in cloud credit of your choice to sweeten the offer. Check out all the offer details here and register to start natively protecting AWS and Azure workloads FREE!

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