Veeam has been our go-to backup solution for virtual environments for about ten years. They constantly improve upon the product, making it that much easier to implement, backup and restore. However, many of our clients have smaller environments with just a few VMs or one host and the licensing for Veeam Backup & Replication was a significant cost, especially if they had multi-socket servers.
However, Veeam released yearly per-VM subscription licensing for their product suites (this is billed per year but the website breaks it down by monthly cost — just be aware), which offers much more flexibility for small environments. Veeam also offers perpetual licensing based on sockets, which has you license your entire server. This works fine for many organizations who have a large number of VMs.
One caveat for those who opt for the per-VM subscription with Veeam: you must be cognizant of this when creating new VMs. You’ll have to go to Veeam and increase your subscription count every time. Before, you didn’t have to consider this step if your server was licensed by Veeam.
How Do I Choose?
We did the math for you and the breakpoint is 15 VMs. If you have more than 15 VMs, it may make more sense to do the perpetual per-socket licensing instead. For example, for Standard for one year, it’s either $50 per VM or $750 per socket. So, you would have to consider how many VMs you have in relation to how many sockets are in your server. If you have a lot of sockets but not a lot of VMs, it’s best to go with the per-VM subscription. If you have lots of VMs or plan to grow that number quickly, the perpetual licensing may be your best financial bet.
Considering Support Costs
Your perpetual licenses for Veeam require an annual support fee as well. You can get a discount on the fee if you buy in multiple-year packages. The subscription per-VM licensing does not require support as it’s built in. Support fees aren’t an extraordinarily high cost, so it usually won’t skew the rule of thumb above, but it’s worth asking about when you’re considering your choices.