With the release of Veeam 9.5 Update 4, offloading data to a Cloud or Capacity Tier is finally possible. However, there has been some confusion in understanding exactly what this Cloud Tier structure is and what it is not. Let’s take a closer look at the Veeam Capacity Tier capabilities and use cases.
What is the Veeam Capacity Tier?
Introduced in Veeam 9.5 Update 4, the Capacity Tier is a new extent that can be added to a Scale-Out Backup Repository (SOBR). The underlying Capacity Tier storage is built on a cloud provider’s object storage and is significantly cheaper than typical production storage. Click here for more information on creating a Veeam backup repository on object storage.
Once configured, your SOBR will offload data from your on-site production storage to the cheaper Capacity Tier storage. This allows you to retain more restore points for your backup jobs, while reducing the amount of production storage used. In order to offload data, your backup files will need to meet age and activity requirements.
Currently, only your SOBR can offload data to the Capacity Tier. So, you must configure a Scale-Out Backup Repository in your Veeam backup infrastructure in order to offload data. For information on configuring a Scale-Out Backup Repository, please click here. Once a backup file is offloaded to the Capacity Tier, it remains on the local SOBR storage. However, the file size is drastically reduced. If the backup file is then deleted or is removed by a jobs retention policy, the offloaded data in the Capacity Tier is also removed.
Veeam’s Capacity Tier allows you to truly tier your storage infrastructure. You can keep your more recent backup data fully intact on your local SOBR storage or Performance Tier. This gives you quicker restore times if the need ever arises. However, you can offload older, less used data to the Capacity Tier on object storage. The Capacity Tier effectively frees up the space used by the old backup data but still gives you the option to restore it.
What the Veeam Capacity Tier is not
It is easy to assume that any data being offloaded to the Veeam Capacity Tier is archived forever on object storage until you delete it. This is, however, not the case and is a major misconception with the Capacity Tier’s purpose.
As previously mentioned, restore points that offload data to the Capacity Tier storage continue to exist in the backup chain. When that restore point is removed though, the respective data on the object storage is removed as well and is no longer able to be restored from.
For example, you create a backup job that is saving 28 days’ worth of restore points and you have configured your SOBR to offload backup data that is older than 14 days old. When the first backup you take becomes 15 days old, it can be offloaded to the Capacity Tier. The following backups can be updated as well, depending on your backup mode. At day 28, your 14 most recent restore points are completely located in your local Performance Tier storage while the older 14 restore points have been offloaded to the Capacity Tier.
On day 29, your backup job will remove the oldest restore point, the first restore point this job had created, per the backup retention policy. The data for the original backup on both the Performance and Capacity Tier are removed permanently and you are no longer able to restore data from the original backup.
If you are looking to use the cloud to achieve your 3-2-1 data protection or to archive data off-site, then you may have better luck using a backup copy job to iland using Veeam Cloud Connect. That will allow you to create and save weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly backups in the cloud and can configure the retention separately from your local backup job.