Technical look at Veeam Backup for AWS

Recently Veeam announced Veeam Backup for AWS. This is a brand-new product bringing enterprise class backup protection to the AWS public cloud. I wrote an article on describing some of the details this product brings but wanted to dive in deeper through this blog.

Veeam Backup for AWS brings enterprise class capabilities to Amazon AWS EC2 to protect instance-based workloads. With Veeam Backup for AWS you can store your Amazon AWS EC2 backups in Amazon S3 object storage and restore to any Amazon AWS EC2 region.

Veeam Backup for AWS has several features and capabilities:

  • Native backup and restore for Amazon EC2 instances
  • In-place and Out-of-Place restores
  • Granular File Level Restore
  • Long term data retention with Amazon S3

Cloud Native Backup

  • Automates Amazon EBS snapshots for frequent backup and fast restores
  • Policy based protection
  • Deployed from Amazon Marketplace to provide simple web-based management UI

Cost Effective

  • Built in cost estimation delivers greater cost control
  • Flexible licensing choices include free, consumption-based or BYOL options


  • Support for IAM roles to provide isolated backups and cross region and cross account configuration
  • Multi factor Authentication

Let’s take a deeper look at Veeam Backup for AWS, and how it can be deployed.

Veeam Backup for AWS is deployed from the AWS marketplace into a specific EC2 region. It can be deployed in the same account that all the resources are running, or it can be deployed into a separate account to act as a security boundary for the data (which is a recommended best practice). Once its deployed and configured you are presented with a dashboard that shows what resources are being protected.

Policy Based Backup Protection

All the instances are protected through policies. This allows for greater control of the instances that are protected. For example, you could create gold, silver and bronze policies to protect different workloads.

Under the policy you have the options to set:

  • Account (IAM Roles)
  • Regions (Select Multiple regions to protect)
  • Protection all resources or select a subset of instances or tags
  • Exclude Resources
  • Snapshot Settings (whether to use snapshots and define retention period)
  • Backup Settings (repository locations, scheduling and retention periods)
  • Cost Estimation
  • Notification settings

Built into Veeam Backup for AWS is a cost estimator. This shows granular information on how much cost running the policy will incur, with an option to export to CSV or XML. Included in the cost estimation is the following information:

  • Backup Costs
  • Snapshot Costs
  • Traffic Costs
  • Transaction Costs
  • Total Costs

The cost estimator is an important feature, allowing consumers to understand the impacts of the backup policy. For example, the breakdown of Traffic Costs is important if a repository is configured outside of the region that the workloads are running. Amazon AWS charges for traffic outside of the region, but not for in-region traffic. We can see further details in the exported CSV file:

Worker Nodes

To help reduce the traffic costs within Amazon AWS, workerers are deployed in a region or availability zone where the workloads are located. Workers are deployed in a true dynamic manner in Amazon AWS; workers are only deployed when data needs to be transferred (backed up or recovered) or when either full or file level restores are being performed. Once the tasks are completed the workers are shut down and terminated. This helps reduce any costs associated with backup and restore transactions.

The workers are also responsible for offloading the backup data to Amazon S3. In the diagram below, you can see the workers are moving and copying the data from the Amazon EBS snapshots.

Restore Modes

Veeam Backup for AWS provides three capabilities when restoring workloads.

  1. Restore to the original location (overwrite the original instance)
  2. Restore to a new location (create a new instance)
  3. File Level Restores

Restore to the Original Location

This option replaces the original instance with the restored instance. This results in the overwriting of the existing instance and replacing it with a previous version. All the data existing in the instance will be replaced. This option keeps all the configuration of the instance and does not change any of the settings

Restore to a new location

When you select Restore to a new location, or with different settings several options are available to reconfigure the instance upon the completion of the restore.

  • Region
  • Encryption options
  • Instance Name
  • Instance Type
  • Network Settings
    • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
    • Subnet
    • Security Group

File Level Restore

With Veeam Backup for AWS, you can perform granular file level restores. This allows you to restore an individual file without having to restore the whole instance to a region, which results in saving time and costs on restores.

The diagram above shows how the file level restore is carried out.

The file level restore is presented through a web service. Through Veeam Backup for AWS, when requesting a file level recovery, you are given a unique URL. Simply navigate to the URL, which presented you with the guest OS structure. Find the data you want and recover it by either directly downloading to the local computer or restoring to the original instance.

Veeam Backup & Replication

For existing Veeam Backup & Replication customers, you also have the capability to restore your on-premises workloads to Amazon AWS EC2 through Direct Restore to AWS and enable protection with Veeam Backup for AWS. Veeam Backup & Replication integrates with Veeam Backup for AWS Amazon S3 repository to allow you to restore any backup of an Amazon AWS EC2 instance to an on-premises infrastructure, providing significant enhancements to your data management strategy.

Combining the power of Veeam Backup & Replication with Veeam Backup for AWS provides the granular data management controls needed in a multi-cloud world.


In Summary, the new release of Veeam Backup for AWS has great new capabilities that expand the use cases for customers looking for an enterprise class cloud data management solution. Veeam Backup for AS is simple to configure, reliable to use, and provides the flexibility to integrate with existing infrastructure, based on the Veeam products that our customers already use daily.

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