I was able to play with the new Veeam Backup & Replication v10 feature CDP before we showed it to the public. I talked about it a lot with the product manager Vlad and it was very cool. I know it will help a lot of customers. I want to talk about it in this article to make sure people have it in context.
Important Note: this article is using screens from, and is about, pre-release code, however, I will keep it updated as the product and my knowledge and experience progresses.
What is it?
Veeam CDP is continuous data protection – most often talked about as CDP. You can learn more about it as a generic topic in this Wikipedia article. Basically, it means replication on a continuous schedule – such as at every 15 seconds.
This is compared to the 15 minute replication interval that Veeam currently has.
The current replication with Veeam uses VMware snapshots to do the replication but the new CDP with Veeam v10 CDP does not. So less impact on the VM and storage. It uses the new VMware vSphere API for I/O Filtering. You can learn more about VAIO in this article. The important thing to understand is that no snapshots are used by CDP and it is using a VMware API to capture writes so very little impact on VM, storage, or hosts.
What does it look like?
It is a policy and it looks just like a replication job. There is one UI difference only and that is the Schedule page.
You can see some interesting stuff on this page! For example, I love the defaults of a restore point taken every 15 seconds, and four hours of those restore points are kept. Then every 8 hours a restore point is taken and kept for 7 days. As you might expect you can tweak those values to fit your environment. The Schedule button seen above is to allow you to choose when you do application consistent restore points vs. crash consistent restore points. You can chose the time that is best to do application consistent restore points.
As well, when you restore, there is different screen.
The color denotes the possible restore points as well as if they are application or crash consistent. You can pick the latest restore point or pick your own!
What should I think about when using CDP?
There is a number of things to think about when you wish to use CDP. Here are some things to consider.
- You can still use the original Veeam replication.
- Templates and powered off virtual machines will not be able to be replicated by CDP at 1.0.
- You should not use CDP to replicate everything, but rather think about what applications require that functionality. So, applications that you cannot run your business without.
- If you can choose a bigger replication interval you should. If you pick 60 seconds or 5 minutes for example CDP has more time to organize the replication and can do things like deduplication as it does not have to work as hard to keep up. If you choose 5 seconds it will do not be able to organize the replication as much since it needs to work fast to maintain the RTO. This has an impact on your network requirements.
- You should pick what you think is reasonable and appropriate and monitor it and see how it works.
- Remember that applications that are very transnational oriented and have lots of changes will not handle the very lowest interval as well as an application that is not highly transnational so make sure you test to see what works best for you.
It is very exciting to me to have such an amazing feature in a product that is so easy to use and configure. In my experience CDP has never been easy to configure and use before so Veeam has absolutely elevated the game.
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