Lately I got some questions on how the new vSphere™ 5 pricing is going to work for Veeam Surebackup™.

As probably known by most people that have any interest in the VMware vSphere products, the license for the next generation vSphere has changed a little bit. The software is not only licensed by the processor, but it has also a maximum amount of vRAM per license type that you are allowed to have on your VMware Cluster.

VMware made an excellent white paper with all the details in it, and this (can be found here)…

The Veeam Surebackup™ feature available in Veeam Backup and Replication Enterprise is a very powerful way to automate the (full) testing of your backup (sometimes called TTO, Test Time Objective)

TTO, Test time objective measures how easily a disaster recovery plan can be tested. It is highly advised to test a backup recovery, so you have confidence your backups can be successfully restored in case this is needed.

Before explaining the question, lets quickly describe How does Veeam Surebackup™ works?:

(the numbers on the explanations are related to the numbers on this drawing below…)surebackup

For the Surebackup™ functionality the Veeam Backup and Replication server will create a NFS connection from your backup server (2) to your VMware environment (1).

This connection the backup server (2) will present the compressed and de-duplicated backup data through this NFS connection back to your VMware environment (1) as a “normal” datastore where the VM’s are stored. (For VMware this is native VMware data, not compressed or de-duplicated data) and VMware is able to “normally” start the VM’s from here(!)

The backup-ed VM’s are fully started this way (no real need for extra disk space to fit this VM’s on is needed, since the backup files are “started from this backup target (the NFS mounted backup server “datastore”)

And because this test is done on backup files, all changes during this Surebackup™ test process will be discarded like the VM is a read only VM.

The whole testing procedure is done in a “virtual lab” isolated sandbox (3) Where the VM’s are fully isolated from VMware, so VM’s will not be changed. and this Surebackup™ will test the restore ability like a real restore is done.


Now how does this work with the new licensing changes from VMware?

VMware will count the “high watermark” off ALL VM’s running on your system (with the vSphere license manager module) in any given moment during a 24 hours period. (So this will be the highest reached memory reservation of all the switched on VM’s on you cluster during this 24 hours timeframe)
the vRAM calculation is than done on a AVARAGE of one year of those 24 hours periods.

So if you (like normal) execute this Surebackup™ job for a short period of time (just enough to test the VM machines, and you are not running your VMware cluster close to your vRam limits, you should be able to run surebackup just fine).

Please leave a comment if you have another vision on this Winking smile