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Veeam does not directly support the IBM i system. I would assume the
people saying this are only seeing the IFS shares and not other aspects
(DB2 Databases, etc) of the IBM i system. Another common thing I read is
about DB2 snapshots, but most of those threads are related to the LUW or
AIX instance of DB2.

We use a traditional SAVLIB/SAV to LTO tape. Since we are not using BRMS
or another advanced backup solution, the traditional option does not
journal/catalog the backups; thus a full backup of the objects/files are
made every night. As the file systems grow, so do the backup times.

While we still use a traditional method, I have also used Veeam to backup
some of the NFS/CIFS/Samba shares on the IFS side, but that is it. Backups
and restores work very well in this instance; of course, your IBM i has to
be up and running as Veeam does not support bare-metal recovery on the IBM
i. We have a particular application that has a growing IFS folder. The
folder currently consumes 200GB of storage and I have seen up to 400-500MB
added in one day...other days, it's 0. Average nightly tape backup is
approx ~20-25 min (full) vs Veeam at <5 min (only adds/mods). For me,
Veeam is easier for a file level restore; than fetching/restoring from a
tape. However, if I need to restore the entire directory, it's
easier/quicker to do that via tape.

Here are a few things I like about Veeam with the IBM i/IFS (that we use):

- I like the backup validation and versioning vs our tape system.
- I like having automated retention policies. (i.e. I have a 2 year
retention on my files, so if they are deleted from the IFS, I can still
restore them up to a year. Our tapes are on a 2 week retention before the
tapes are recycled/overwritten.
- I can test/restore to an IBM i, Windows or Linux system; since it is
really just a NFS/CIFS/Samba share. This is great for non-application
driven files that I just need to access for file sharing.
- Veeam has built-in automated tools for Multiple Backup Copies to
different storage devices/data centers.
- Veeam's support for data/capacity tiering with "warm" and "cold"
storage.

Downfall is that this assumes your IBM i is running with enough
functionality to support restoration efforts; as it is not for bare-metal
recoveries. Also, Veeam will need additional VUL license(s) for the file
share backups which is based on storage size; plus your storage costs. The
other aspect you need to consider is your network impact/capacity between
your VBR server and IBM i. Most of the time, it's not an issue, but it
could be.

Just throwing this out there, but as another non-bare metal backup option,
I have used a Synology NAS with Active Backup. Active Backup comes free
with Synology and it has all the features above without the cost and
license fee. Granted, support is limited, but I've never had to reach out
to Synology, Veeam or IBM for IFS Backups. File Share backups are pretty
simple. Again, both Veeam and Synology were used in tandem with the tape
backup. Both worked well enough that I would be comfortable ditching the
IFS side of the tape; but only if I was exceeding my backup window; and not
as a bare-metal backup.

-JA-

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