Veeam Backup & Replication 10
User Guide for VMware vSphere
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About Backup

Veeam Backup & Replication is built for virtual environments. It operates at the virtualization layer and uses an image-based approach for VM backup.

Veeam Backup & Replication does not install agent software inside the VM guest OS to retrieve VM data. To back up VMs, it leverages VMware vSphere snapshot capabilities. When you back up a VM, Veeam Backup & Replication requests VMware vSphere to create a VM snapshot. The VM snapshot can be thought of as a cohesive point-in-time copy of a VM including its configuration, OS, applications, associated data, system state and so on. Veeam Backup & Replication uses this point-in-time copy as a source of data for backup.

Veeam Backup & Replication copies VM data from the source datastore at a block level. It retrieves VM data, compresses and deduplicates it, and stores in backup files on the backup repository in Veeam’s proprietary format.

In Veeam Backup & Replication, backup is a job-driven process. To perform backup, you need to configure backup jobs. A backup job is a configuration unit of the backup activity. The backup job defines when, what, how and where to back up. One backup job can be used to process one or several VMs. You can instruct Veeam Backup & Replication to run jobs automatically by schedule or start them manually.

The first backup job session always produces a full backup of the VM image. Subsequent backup job sessions are incremental — Veeam Backup & Replication copies only those data blocks that have changed since the last backup job session. To keep track of changed data blocks, Veeam Backup & Replication uses different approaches. For more information, see Changed Block Tracking.

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