At AWS ReInvent this week Veeam announced and released the free version of the Veeam Backup for AWS. The free version is only the start and expect to see additional versions later on down the line, and in particular where the product integrates with Veeam Backup & Replication for those customers that have a hybrid cloud approach.

What is Veeam Backup for AWS

Veeam Backup for AWS Free Edition and subsequent versions are available within the AWS Marketplace.

The FREE edition allows you to protect 10 Amazon EC2 instances using native EBS snapshots and then tier those snapshots to an Amazon S3 repository.

Within the S3 Repository these snapshots are stored in the portable data format that Veeam has had for a while. This allows for the Veeam Backup & Replication External Repository feature to be leveraged and enable the ability to further additional data protection, or allow for other tasks such as migrations or on premises data recovery.

As you would expect the offering also allows you to recover those EC2 instances not only back where they initially resided but also across accounts and even across regions. As well as being able to provide file level recovery for a more granular option.

Another cool feature is the ability to see a level of cloud cost, when you create your policies through the wizard driven approach you have the ability to start seeing some cost forecasting so you can make better decisions about your cloud cost consumption.

Instances, Policies, Workers & Protected Data

Those familiar with Veeam will notice a different approach to some of the key functions and naming, and maybe you can liken these new terms with those found in Veeam Backup & Replication they have some differences.

Before we go through these functions in more detail, when you have deployed your Veeam Backup for AWS instance and you have authenticated in then you will see the following configuration walkthrough.

First of all to access your existing or future Amazon EC2 instances we need to add our AWS IAM Role and authenticate against that. Workers are next and we will cover them in more detail below and finally as I mentioned previously add a repository. This is the AWS S3 bucket where we can store our Veeam portable backup file format for long term retention but also for the ability to leverage with Veeam Backup & Replication.

Finally we can then create our Policy, again will cover this shortly.

Instances

The instances tab is where we can see all the associated Amazon EC2 instances that the added IAM account has visibility to. This screen gives you some good initial information about your instances, Disk Size, Instance Size, Region and when the last backup was performed. From here you can select your instances and create ad-hoc snapshots of your instances. There is also the ability to export this as a CSV or XML file, this can be found on most of the screens within the product.

Policies

Those familiar with Veeam Backup & Replication will recognise Policies as something more commonly known as Backup Jobs, however even within Veeam Backup & Replication world we are seeing policies now entering the fold with the CDP policy coming in later releases.

Policies give you the ability to define several requirements when it comes to your cloud data management. But again it’s that same very easy to use wizard driven approach that all Veeam customers will be familiar with. First we will give our policy a name and a description.

Next you will need to define your account (you can have several IAM accounts added to your Veeam Backup for AWS instance) we need to choose the one that has the appropriate access to the instances and storage you require to be looked after by this policy.

We then define the regions we wish to protect from, this will depend on your cloud architecture and also access and management.

Next we can choose to protect everything in those regions or we can be granular on what to protect. An awesome feature here is that you can select either by Instance or by AWS Tag. AWS Tags really lend well to the fast moving pace of Cloud Instances being spun up and spun down all the time. The ability to use tags means we can protect in a more dynamic fashion. The screen following the resources also enables you to exclude certain resources.

We then have the ability to define Snapshot Settings and Backup Settings, You may wish on some workloads to only provide Snapshots and some only backups, or both. Snapshot settings allows you to define when these will be taken and how many snapshots you intend to keep.

Backup Settings is where we can define that AWS S3 bucket in which we wish to store those backups to, this will also play the part of making that data visible if you wish to see that within Veeam Backup & Replication. You also have the same retention setting to define here.

A very unique feature that is built into the Veeam Backup for AWS free edition and will obviously included across other versions is the ability to estimate cost when it comes to backups and storing the retention you have defined. More information about that cost information can be found here in a Veeam KB article.

Finally the settings allow you to define number of retries and also notification settings.

The summary screen gives a nice breakdown of everything that you have configured through the policy wizard.

Workers

The workers are configured during the configuration stage and setup of the Veeam Backup for AWS. Those familiar with Veeam Backup & Replication could maybe liken these worker nodes to the Veeam Backup Proxy component within VBR.

The worker is a non-persistent Linux based instance that is dynamically deployed when data needs to be transferred, the worker is used for both backup and recovery. When the policy is complete then the workers are shut down and destroyed. The nature and size of these workers means they can be deployed extremely fast. The workers are deployed dynamically in the regions where they are required. Should the workload of backup require multiple workers multiple workers can and will be deployed in each region and then dynamically removed.

Protected Data

The final screen I wanted to share in this walkthrough is the protected data, we have been through we have created our policies and we have started protecting our Amazon EC2 instances, this view allows you to see the associated restore points along with some other information.

I think that at least covers the basics for now and expect to see a number of other posts over the week and coming months. I am super excited about this release as a v1 it really enables our customers to protect those workloads in AWS and when you look at how the Veeam Availability Platform is expanding and at a great speed. It is a super exciting place to be at the moment.

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