How frequently you back up determines how much data you’ll lose if something goes wrong – so any technology that allows more frequent backup without interrupting the flow of work is a good thing, says Warren Olivier, Regional Corporate Account Manager of Veeam Software. 
“A lot of organisations we deal with back up once a day, after production hours, which gives them a 24-hour recovery point objective (RPO),” says Olivier. “For critical systems, some of them have a 2-hour RPO. Now Veeam has introduced technology that will allow backups as often as every 30 minutes, without any impact on the production environment.”

Version 7 of the company’s flagship Veeam Backup & Replication software for virtual environments enables users to back up from storage snapshots. “Storage snapshots have zero impact on running systems, so in principle you can take a snapshot any time you want,” says Olivier.

All Veeam’s backups are already based on snapshots, explains Olivier, “but so far we’ve always taken software-based snapshots from within VMware. When you’re working with a highly transactional database or exchange server that can slow things down a bit – but taking snapshots at the storage level is much, much faster.”

“The idea is to take work away from VMware – by offloading components, moving the snapshot to the hardware, we ease the resource constraints and enable better performance. Our backups from storage snapshots are up to 20 times faster than anything else on the market.”

It’s already possible to recover directly from a storage snapshot, but Olivier says real backups are better: “You need copies on two different media – in other words, a snapshot stored in your production storage, or even copied to other storage, is not good enough to count as a secure backup.”

The new functionality is currently available for HP’s StoreVirtual VSA and Storeserv product lines, and support for other storage systems is in the pipeline, says Olivier.