If you’re evaluating Veeam for the first time, congratulations. Veeam is awesome. However, Veeam has a ton of licensing levels and options, which can make it hard for you to make heads or tails of what it is you need to buy.
Typically, the first question we ask ourselves when choosing a client’s Veeam licensing is whether we should go with Veeam Backup Essentials or Veeam Backup & Replication. There are a few variables that come into play that will help us decide, so maybe they’ll help you, too.
Veeam Backup Essentials is a Small Business Solution
Veeam designed their Backup Essentials version for small business organizations and it comes with Veeam Availability Suite. Veeam’s rule of thumb is that this license pack is best for organizations of 250 employees or less, but there are also some technical limits to it, too. You can only backup up to six physical cores or 50 VMs.
Veeam Backup Essentials comes in three flavors: Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus. The feature differences here match that of Backup & Replication’s. Standard is obviously base level, but if you need more integration with applications like Exchange or SQL Explorers you’ll need at least Enterprise. Enterprise Plus includes WAN acceleration and storage vendor specific integrations.
What’s great about Veeam Backup Essentials is that it comes with the entire Availability Suite, which has Veeam ONE monitoring and alerting.
If at any time within the next three years you think you may exceed the limits, like going past six CPUs or 50 VMs, it might make sense to simply start out with Veeam Backup & Replication licensing instead.
Veeam Backup & Replication
If your environment exceeds or will exceed the limits of six CPUs or 50 VMs within a reasonably short time period, you aren’t eligible for Veeam Backup Essentials. Unfortunately, Veeam Backup & Replication comes with less out of the box because Veeam ONE is an add-on.
Just like Veeam Backup Essentials, it comes in three levels, so you’ll have to pick which you need based on your featureset needs. Talk to your Veeam provider (or ask us) in detail about these to make an educated decision. You don’t want to overpay or have to pay extra later for uplift licensing when you realize you need Veeam to do more.
Veeam ONE / Veeam Availability Suite
Veeam offers a monitoring and alerting tool, which is called Veeam ONE. Veeam ONE, along with Backup & Replication, makes the Veeam Availability Suite bundle. If you need a good monitoring solution with your virtual environment, this could be the wildcard factor that helps you decide between one or the other (if your environment size doesn’t already preclude you from Essentials, that is).
Veeam ONE is a great tool to help track thresh-holds on your virtualization infrastructure. It will help you plan any growth needs or head off any issues with snapshots. It also provides excellent reporting on your backup environment, what VMs are backing up, what’s failing, growth prediction, etc. However, if you have an alternate tool or methods for tracking these types of things and you don’t need the entire Availability Suite, opting for Backup & Replication on its own might be your best bet.
Backup & Replication Uplift
If you do find that after a few years enjoying Veeam Backup Essentials that you’re going to exceed the CPU or VM limit, you can purchase uplift licenses to Backup & Replication. However, we often use this as a Plan B.
Buying Veeam Backup Essentials and then uplifting to Backup & Replication will end up costing you more in the long run. Add together the Veeam Backup Essentials licensing you bought at the beginning to the uplift licenses you’ll need, plus any new licensing for added CPUs or VMs, plus potentially adding on Veeam ONE if you use it and you’ll blow out of the water what you would have originally paid for Veeam Availability Suite.
It’s important to note that we based this information off of Veeam’s perpetual licensing catalogue. Veeam also offers subscription and universal licensing, which might create some different decision points for you.