I am excited to see that the latest version of Veeam Backup & Replication (v8) includes “Recovery Plans” and “Failover Plans”. I’m looking forward to getting this installed within my lab to see how it compares to VMware’s Site Recovery Manager (SRM), Zerto Virtual Replication and Unitrends ReliableDR (Note: Unitrends acquired phd Virtual in December 2013).
Over the years people have often asked me how Veeam Backup & Replication compares to VMware SRM, or how SRM replication works. My answer has always been that SRM does NOT do any replication and Veeam Backup & Replication and VMware SRM are two completely different products. Yes SRM did used to come bundled with VMware vSphere Replication, but it is a completely different product and is now part of the base ESXi hypervisor package. You do not need SRM to be able to use vSphere Replication to replicate VMs from one site to another. SRM is a failover/recovery automation tool, it does not do any replication itself but relies on other replication processes such as SAN based replication and/or vSphere Replication. Veeam Backup & Replication is a Backup tool and Replication tool for VMs and until v8 did not include the comprehensive recovery automation that SRM provides. I’m unsure how comprehensive the Veeam automation plans are at the moment as I haven’t had chance to look at them yet.
Both Zerto Replication and Unitrends ReliableDR are software technologies which replicate your VMs between sites and provide automation for the recovery at the replicated site. Zerto uses its own replication technology, whereas Unitrends will either use its own replication technology or can interface into SAN based replication as SRM does.
Veeam Backup & Replication v8 says that with the recovery plans you can “plan your entire failover in advance, and initiate it with a single click when needed. You can even do this from your iPad (using the web UI) while lying on a beach” and “Planned failover is now directly integrated into the product. This can be used to facilitate data centre migrations or to perform maintenance work on your production hosts or production site.” This all sounds great and I can’t wait to give it a try to see how it compares with the other solutions available.