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Veeam or SEP sesam?

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Thirty months ago, this question was raised in this Veeam or SEP Sesam thread. Unfortunately, it didn't get much of a response. I'm interested in learning, from anyone who has worked with these products, about limitations and other things that the vendor's documentation does not mention. Of course, there will be trade-offs and the appropriate choice will depend upon the job at hand so here's some background.

This customer is a small business and would qualify for the vendor's small business offering. This is a VMware shop with two hosts running about twenty VMs including two NetWare VMs that will be retired shortly. I will be installing new hardware and upgrading to the latest versions of VMware vSphere, OES, GroupWise, and Secure Messaging Gateway. The customer has a Windows Server 2012 R2 which I hope can support current versions of Veeam should I go that route. The remaining VMs are OES and Linux, including various appliances. All servers are virtual. The current backup solution is VMware VDP. 😞

Any thoughts? @mrosen@mathiasbraun, others? 

_____
Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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If the company's jetplanes are completely paid Commvault would also join the game. If not (or they just own a few or smaller planes) i'd opt for Sesam if NetWare / OES are around. Both Veeam and Sesam are very good products which will both master this scenario (apart from NetWare, which would merely be a showstopper for Veeam). Veeam has its sweetspot in environments which consist of MS OS running MS Apps under VMWare and the so-called  "Hypervisor" which MS hands out. They could do great things about VMWare before VMWare itself even knew that it's possible. On the other hand, Sesam is much more flexible regarding hypervisors, OS and stuff such as databases. They have a hybrid approach which lets you handle metal and VM, a VM as VM or metal or a combination of all. This comes handy especially in an OES / GW environment. Personally, i'm no friend of running a backup SERVER on Windows, there are folks which join a backup server to a domain which is cool as a trojan could eventually encrypt both production AND backup data. Some sort of consistency, but maybe not the one you want. Anyway, in the end it depends on the environment, also on the hardware you can provide (e.g. disk storage, tape drives, libraries, dedup, primary storage) and strategy you plan. And on the VMware license you have, as this has heavy influence on which features you can leverage.

You might want to give both a try before actually purchasing one. If you have specific questions, you can always post here or send a PM.

 

 

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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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If the company's jetplanes are completely paid Commvault would also join the game. If not (or they just own a few or smaller planes) i'd opt for Sesam if NetWare / OES are around. Both Veeam and Sesam are very good products which will both master this scenario (apart from NetWare, which would merely be a showstopper for Veeam). Veeam has its sweetspot in environments which consist of MS OS running MS Apps under VMWare and the so-called  "Hypervisor" which MS hands out. They could do great things about VMWare before VMWare itself even knew that it's possible. On the other hand, Sesam is much more flexible regarding hypervisors, OS and stuff such as databases. They have a hybrid approach which lets you handle metal and VM, a VM as VM or metal or a combination of all. This comes handy especially in an OES / GW environment. Personally, i'm no friend of running a backup SERVER on Windows, there are folks which join a backup server to a domain which is cool as a trojan could eventually encrypt both production AND backup data. Some sort of consistency, but maybe not the one you want. Anyway, in the end it depends on the environment, also on the hardware you can provide (e.g. disk storage, tape drives, libraries, dedup, primary storage) and strategy you plan. And on the VMware license you have, as this has heavy influence on which features you can leverage.

You might want to give both a try before actually purchasing one. If you have specific questions, you can always post here or send a PM.

 

 

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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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One thing that the documentation does not say about sepsesam. In cases of a total meltdown of the backup enviroment, sepsesam needs to recreated exactly the same as before while veeam lets you just import the backup. SEPsesam started as an backup solution while veeam took of as a vmware backup solution and thus the basics are different.

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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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@mathiasbraun wrote:

You might want to give both a try before actually purchasing one. 


I suppose it does come down to that...

Thank you for your assessment. I appreciate it.

Much of what you say I had already gathered from the vendor's websites. Clearly, there are some situations where one product would be a much better fit. In other cases, as they say, the devil is in the details.

Customer is using vSphere Essentials Plus Kit with the VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection feature so most backup solutions should be easily accommodated.  

With respect to GroupWise, I imagine both Veeam and SEP sesam will have no problem backing up the VM but from what I have read only SEP sesam will provide decent backup and restore of GroupWise itself. Since there are no plans to introduce Retain into the picture, it would seem that SEP sesam has a clear advantage in this situation.

 

@twslex3 wrote:

One thing that the documentation does not say about sepsesam. In cases of a total meltdown of the backup enviroment, sepsesam needs to recreated exactly the same as before while veeam lets you just import the backup. SEPsesam started as an backup solution while veeam took of as a vmware backup solution and thus the basics are different.

Thank you. Those are exactly the kinds of things I'm looking for.

_____
Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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Regarding GroupWise, just thought I would mention that Retain is an archival system, while GW Disaster Recover (GWDR formerly known as Reload) is a backup and DR solution.

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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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We offer based on veeam DR recovery from our own data center, the wan accellerator is one hell of a powerfull option. In the case of a total meltdown we just pick up the DR machine and the customer is back into action (travel time is the only limit in this). 

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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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Kevin,

sorry, it took a while to calm down before commenting on this... let's say "sophisticated" phrase

---

One thing that the documentation does not say about sepsesam. In cases of a total meltdown of the backup enviroment, sepsesam needs to recreated exactly the same as before while veeam lets you just import the backup.

---

I first had to hack into the vendor's website to place this

https://wiki.sepsoftware.com/wiki/index.php/SEP_sesam_Server_Disaster_Recovery

piece of information, which "documentation does not say". "Exactly the same" means: same IP, same servername, same OS architecture (some Linux or some Windows). This applies to a DR scenario, you CAN (this will take some effort) change IP, name, from Windows to Linux (or vice versa) from a running system. But you could in DR switch from HW vendor "A" to vendor "B" and / or from e.g. RHEL 7 to SLES 15 or from Win-Something to Win-SomethingElse (as long as "Win-SomethingElse" is on the compatibility list).

If "total meltdown" means complete loss of ALL hardware (server, disk-storage, tapedrives, tape libraries, remote device servers along with remote devices and remote replication targets), then yes: you'll be in trouble.

 

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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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@mathiasbraun wrote:

If "total meltdown" means complete loss of ALL hardware (server, disk-storage, tapedrives, tape libraries, remote device servers along with remote devices and remote replication targets), then yes: you'll be in trouble.


Hi Mathias,

Yes, this is true of any backup solution...

I understand the message that @twslex3 was trying to convey.  I read the SEP sesam Server Disaster Recovery WiKi to which you referred and see what's involved. This is exactly the kind of thing one needs to know before making a decision. 

The Catch-22 is that once we get to know a product in detail we can make an intelligent assessment for the task at hand but that information, unfortunately, only is learned once we become familiar with it.

Conclusion: One must do his/her due diligence! 🙂

Thank you for your input.

_____
Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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One should always testdrive before making a decision in this area. Fortunately, this will be fairly easy and can be don't without significant impact on production as you won't need to install (and therefore later on clean up) stuff on the vCenter. From the client perspective you could even test in parallel.

 

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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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Hi  @mathiasbraun

One site was unluckly to loose everything apart from a copy of the nas content of the backup files.

It took SEPsupport and me about 48 hours before we were able to start any restore.

 

This in against a same issue with veeam, that took only one hour to rebuild and start restoring.

 

And yes, our documentation could have been better if one knew what we needed to known.

That was what i  was trying to state.

 

Alex

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Re: Veeam or SEP sesam?

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Then apparently they didn't do what the GUI asks you to do on its very first start and 'til the end of days unless you tell it to mute regarding this, which would require to not just click away the message, but rather explicitely turn it off. Other than that (.i.e. missing backup of the server's config and DB (remember that there are predefined jobs for this)) the only reason to need 48 hours to get back to business is to

- swim to China

- negotiate a day regarding a good price for replacement hardware

- swim back (on the back, of course, to keep the new hardware away from ocean's water) and once back and dry

- install the server OS from 8 inch floppies

If someone misses a bend with his car and crashes the car into a tree, he should (most of the time, exceptions can apply) blame neither the car nor the tree or the street.

 

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