How Veeam eases VSAN & VVOL backup and restore

Have you had a chance to evaluate the new VMware storage technologies? VMware Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) and Virtual SAN (VSAN) are incredible innovations in vSphere 6.0 storage technologies. However, it is still a burden to back up the infrastructure and restore it if things do not go as planned. However, worry not—when it comes to Availability, Veeam has you covered! Let’s look at a few areas where VVOL and VSAN Availability can be easier than you think with Veeam.

Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM)

Central to VVOL and VSAN storage technologies is the Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM) framework that ensures the service levels of individual virtual machines (VMs) running in vSphere. SPBM provides the following benefits:

  • Leverages a common management framework across storage tiers
  • Provides the ability to execute storage operations with VM granularity
  • Automates the enforcement of storage policies
  • Captures and enforces storage service level agreement (SLA) requirements

SPBM applies policies to both the storage systems and the VMs running on them. Essentially, it aligns VMs to the policies you create. For example, you can place your most demanding VMs on faster storage to maintain high levels of service to create a new policy. With the VVOL and VSAN technologies anchored on the SPBM framework, you can be assured you’re getting the most from your investments in VVOL or VSAN.

Storage Policy-Based Management with vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM)

Storage Policy-Based Management with vSphere and vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM)

Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM) policy backup and restore

Storage policy associations are backed up automatically and restored for each virtual disk upon full VM restore. SPBM policies are important to restore because “out of policy” VMs can impact the Availability of the restored VM or other VMs that share the same storage.

So, what happens when you need to restore a VM assigned its own unique VVOL with Veeam Backup & Replication (included as part of Veeam Availability Suite)? When Veeam backs up a VM with an assigned VVOL, all information pertaining to the location is saved. This means a VM restored to its original location will know it belongs to a particular storage policy—saving you time during recovery and maintaining the associated storage policy even if the VM is restored to a completely different datastore on different storage.

Veeam Backup & Replication support for VMware VVOL


Veeam Backup & Replication support for VMware VVOL

Smart logic for processing VMware VSAN datastores

In addition to VVOLs support, Veeam provides unique backup and recovery options for VSAN. Veeam’s smart logic for processing VSAN datastores can leverage a virtual proxy residing on the same ESXi host where most virtual disk data resides. Veeam Backup & Replication obtains information from VMware vCenter about data distribution inside the VSAN datastore—minimizing traffic over the network inside the VSAN cluster by retrieving most of the VM data locally.

Veeam Backup & Replication support for VMware VSAN

 Veeam Backup & Replication support for VMware VSAN


Retaining storage policies is an important part of maintaining a solid disaster recovery plan, and leveraging VMware technologies such as SPBM, VVOLs and VSAN provides numerous benefits. Veeam Backup & Replication allows enterprises to keep these policies intact—helping you to sustain VVOL and VSAN implementations, preserve SLAs and improve your Availability strategy for VMware environments.

Helpful resources

Neal Condon
Neal Condon
Neal Condon (VMCE, MCSE) is a Solutions Architect for Veeam Software based in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. He has spent more than 28 years in the information technology field with 5 of those years at Veeam as an outside field engineer. Neal has been a featured presenter at numerous VMUGs/VTUGs/Partner events. Much of his career involved enterprise backup infrastructures at such institutions as: The Hartford Insurance, ESPN, and Compaq to name a few. Follow Neal on Twitter @NealCondon or @Veeam.
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