Over the last 3 years, I had the opportunity to have a front row seat for two major releases of Veeam Availability Suite along with numerous updates. And with over 200+ new features / enhancements combined, one of my favourite innovations is the Veeam External Repository.
The first question you may be asking is… “What is an External Repository?”. Very simply, it is a READ-ONLY repository, managed through Veeam Backup and Replication, which allows you to access backups and data generated using Veeam Backup for AWS and / or Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure.
In the figure below, you can see that Veeam can create native snapshot(s) of your cloud instances along with sending a copy for backup purposes to lower cost object storage.
Once the backups are generated and placed in object storage, the External Repository will be able to leverage those backups for a variety of use cases (keep reading to find out!).
The process to configure a Veeam External Repository is as simple as creating a Backup or Scale-Out Backup Repository. First, initiate the configuration wizard and select the source (AWS or Azure):
Once the steps in the configuration wizard are complete, an “External Repository” option will be available under the “Backup” node in the Veeam Backup and Replication console once it is created.
When selecting the “External Repository”, it will enumerate the policies and backups configured in Veeam Backup for AWS and / or Veeam Backup for Azure. For example, below is a screenshot of policies defined in the Veeam Backup for AWS portal.
And what are the use cases for a Veeam External Repository? Let’s discuss!
Implement the 3-2-1 rule for your cloud based workloads
The External Repository can be used as a source for your backup copy jobs. This means that you have the capability to create additional copies of your cloud workloads and place them into a Backup or Scale-out Backup Repository:
Perform Instant VM Recovery of your cloud based workloads
The ability to instantly recover your on-premises workloads was a feature Veeam pioneered in 2010. Now with the External Repository, this capability has been extended to your cloud based workloads.
Not only will this ensure that your workloads are available to your end users and customers as quickly as possible, but this will also give you the greatest flexibility in workload mobility.
Restore your backups to the original cloud or an alternate cloud
Simply right click on the required workload and then select “Restore to…”
Easy access to restore guest OS files and folders
In addition to be able to restore an entire VM / workload, Veeam also provides the capability to easily access and restore guest files, folders, and volumes in the VM along with application items (SQL, Active Directory, Oracle, Exchange, SharePoint).
As a best practice, if you are sending your traffic across the public Internet and Direct Connect from Amazon or ExpressRoute from Microsoft are not being used, Veeam has a great FREE VPN solution called Veeam PN.
If you are currently or are planning to use Veeam Backup for AWS and / or Veeam Backup for Azure, the External Repository in the Veeam Availability Suite will provide simplicity to data protection and recovery ability along with cloud mobility.
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