Last week I had the pleasure of attending an update session by Veeam regarding the new release of Veeam Backup & Replication, version 8. I heard some interesting stuff coming along with the next release of this fine piece of software.
The GA (General Availability) status for v8 is still scheduled for Q3 2014. I can imagine Veeam is planning a release party at VMware’s VMworld which will be held 24-28 of August. The San Francisco version, that is. We’ll have to wait and see if that is going to happen. For now, the only way to check out new features is to test the pre-beta version.
Note that that Veeam Backup Management Suite is to be rebranded as Veeam Data Center Availability Suite in version 8.
New features that caught our attention are of course the NetApp snapshot support, EMC Data Domain Boost support, encryption, explorers for AD /MSSQL and tons of other enhancements. Let’s have a closer look to some of the new features…
Since we at Valid have a focus on (but not limited to) NetApp products and we’re using the Veeam solutions quite a bit, we were over the moon with the news that Veeam would support NetApp snapshots (Data ONTAP version 8.1 and later supported). Previous versions would only support HP storage solutions, such as the 3PAR StoreServe, StoreVirtual VSA and Lefthand series.
The cool thing about snapshot support is that Veeam will query vCenter to create a vSphere snapshot, after which a storage snapshot is created. The storage snapshot is then used for data retrieval and the vSphere snapshot is released and deleted. Needless to say that this is a much more efficient way to back up data. VMware CBT (Change Block Tracking) can still be used! Note that snapshot support is only necessary for the vSphere environments. Backup jobs on Microsoft Hyper-V leverages Windows VSS hardware providers to do practically the same.
A nice overview of the snapshot support process is shown in this Veeam diagram:
This diagrams shows a rather cool thing. The already created, application consistent, snapshot by Veeam can also be put to good use by NetApp. Meaning NetApp can use the exact same snapshot as source for SnapVault. Production impact while making snapshots is limited because the same snapshot is used! Note that using NetApp SnapVault requires additional licensing on your NetApp environment. Both traditional snapshots as well as Flexclone snapshots are supported. Please be aware that Flexclone is recommended, but needs yet another NetApp license.
Thinking of your virtual environment and all it’s virtual machines; That would create a lot of storage snapshots during the backup jobs. Even though this isn’t a problem on a NetApp, Veeam did a great job on providing the most efficient way to create storage snapshots. Veeam checks which VM’s reside on the same LUN/volume and tries to combine these VM backup processes. This could result in a single storage snapshot for multiple VM backups! Very nice.
Let us hope that more storage vendors will follow in future Veeam releases!!
New backup repository option
With the new release a new backup repository “Data Domain” option is available. It is now possible to directly utilize EMC’s Data Domain appliances!
Looking at the added EMC DataDomain support; The integrated DataDomain support leverages source side (Veeam) deduplication. Note that this requires DD Boost licensing by EMC. This meaning it avoids sending data from Veeam to DataDomain which already resides there. Meaning only pointers are moved from Veeam to the EMC DataDomain appliance.
Needless to say this will increase the backup performance a lot! But although backup performance is increased, restores from EMC DataDomain remain the same as before DataDomain support.
Other enhancements and features
The’re a lot of other enhancements made in the Veeam v8 release. Probably to much to write about. I will however point out a few:
- Veeam Explorer for Active Directory (AD)
- Veeam Explorer for MS SQL, supporting MS SQL 2005 and later.
- Veeam Explorer for Exchange
- End-to-End Encryption using AES 256bit.
- Replication enhancements
- WAN acceleration can now be used for replications
- Possibility to test replicas using fail-over plans. Sounds like SureBackup for replicas!
Talking to Veeam reveals that they are still working very hard to further develop their software. Hopefully a new features document will be released soon explaining all the new cool stuff!
Images and info are courtesy of Veeam. Thanks for the update session. We really look forward to work with the GA release!!