"Backups" vs. "NAS Backups"

What is the difference between STRUCTURED data and UNSTRUCTURED data?

  • Structured Data are the blocks (the “zeros and the ones”) created by systems, etc… and used for applications, databases, log files, etc…

  • Unstructured Data are the files created by either people or by systems that does not fall within a certain arrangement.

What percentage of data is UNSTRUCTURED? 80 to 90 percent of data is unstructured. This percentage is rapidly increasing.

What does Veeam protect? Veeam can protect both traditional IMAGE based backups and FILE based backups. The biggest difference is the retention policy and recovery options.

  • Image based backups: Point-in-time recovery often for databases or applications where an administrator can restore or recover a set of data or a particular setting from a specific time in the past.

  • File based backups: File Level Restore (FLR) accesses individual files within a restore point or over multiple restore points.

Veeam Backups (Image based / Structured Data)

Veeam backups are based on retention points. Recovery is based on a specific point in time and can utilize GFS retention, if desired. Image level backups offer a more complete option for backing up your environment based on a point in time. Rather than copying individual files and folders, image level backup takes a snapshot of your entire operating system and all of the data associated with it.

Veeam backups are (most) intended for STRUCTURED DATA (although you CAN still perform FLR)...

  • Virtual platforms, such as VMware and Hyper-V guests (agentless backups).

  • Physical platforms, such as physical Windows and Linux servers (agent based backups).

For example, you can use Veeam Backups if you want to recover an application (server), a database (server), or a file (server), etc... to a specific point-in-time from either on-premise or off-site/secondary backup (or archives) storage using application consistency.

Veeam NAS Backups (File Based / Unstructured Data)

Veeam NAS Backups are based largely on file versioning (maintaining different versions of files over a period of time). Veeam NAS Backups support both short term and long term retention.

Veeam NAS Backups are for UNSTRUCTURED DATA...

  • SMB/NFS file share files and folders such as a NAS.

  • Files and folders of managed Microsoft Windows or Linux servers.

Veeam NAS Backup restore options...

File Share Data Recovery


  • The key differentiator is changed file tracking, which maintains the footprint of the source file share and is stored in something called a cache repository. This cache repository keeps track of all the objects that have changed between each backup, which results in ultra-fast backup processing.

For example, you can use Veeam NAS Backups to recover an entire file share or specific versions of individual files/folders from specific points-in-time from either on-premise or off-site/secondary backup storage (or archives).

Veeam NAS Backup and Recovery Hands-On

You can restore data previously backed up with file share backup jobs. You can restore the following data:

  • SMB file share files and folders

  • NFS file share files and folders

  • Files and folders of a managed Microsoft Windows server

  • Files and folders of a managed Linux server


Veeam Backup & Replication offers several recovery options for different recovery scenarios:

  • Instant file share recovery allows you to publish a point-in-time file share state as a read-only SMB file share to enable users to instantly access all protected files.

  • Restore of the entire file share allows you to recover all files and folders of the file share to one of the restore points.

  • Rollback to a point in time allows you to restore only changed files to one of the restore points.

  • Restore of files and folders allows you to select files and folders to restore to one of the restore points.


Available sources...

  • File Server - Adds a managed Windows or Linux server

  • NAS Folder - Adds and enterprise NAS system

  • NFS Share - Adds an NFS file share hosted on a NAS device

  • SMB Share - Adds an SMB (CIFS) file share hosted on a NAS device