Welcome to the fourth edition of my Veeam Vault series and the first for 2017. It’s been a busy first month of 2017 with trips to Orlando where I attended my first Sales Kick Off where I also presented at our SE Training and then a trip to Russia to visit our R&D, Product and QA teams. Covering nearly 42,000KMs and going literally around the world, it was a long but worthwhile trip and has me extremely enthusiastic about the year ahead here at Veeam.
In this Veeam Vault I am going to talk about four new product builds that have been released since the last Veeam Vault and I’ll also talk a little about the Veeam Vanguard program…of which we announced the 2017 members overnight. As usual there will be the roundup of what the Veeam Vanguard’s have posted recently on their blogs but first i’ll talk about the new public BETA that we released on the 26th of January.
Veeam Agent for Windows BETA:
I’m very excited about this product…in fact I’m excited about all of our products that take advantage of Veeam Cloud Connect and VAW is no exception. With the ability to backup physical or virtual Windows endpoints to a Cloud Connect Backup repository the door opens up for a new stream of revenue for VCSPs and in combination with the yet to be released Veeam Availability Console offer a great solution for backing up previously untouchable workloads on physical servers as well as being able to do granular file level backups of any compatible Windows workstation and back them up locally, over a network share, over to a VBR repository or up to a Cloud Connect Repository.
The BETA is available via this registration page, so please download it and try it out and post any feedback in our forums.
Update 1 For VBR, One and Backup for Office 365:
A couple of weeks ago we released Update 1 for Backup & Replication, One and Backup for Office 365. As I wrote in this post focusing on how the latest release offers support for vSphere 6.5 it was more than just a standard update and offers over 300 enhancements and bug fixes that improve on the already strong reliability and scalability of the product. Veeam One also got a significant update and added support for vSphere 6.5 and also including new Hyper-V and reporting enhancements on top of a number of resolved issues. Backup for Office 365 gets a number of enhancements and bug fixes as well and, as with all the Update 1 releases are essential downloads to continue to improve on the already strong product sets.
Veeam Vanguards 2017:
As mentioned in the intro, Rick Vanover sent out new and renewed Vanguard’s their welcome emails overnight and this year we have 62 members at last count and as a former member of the Vanguard’s I can tell you that we, in the Technical Product Marketing team are looking forward to helping the 2017 crop get the most out of the program. I’ve blogged previously about the Vanguard program and now, with it entering it’s third year of operation I can truly say that it’s one of…if not the best vendor advocacy programs in our industry. The people involved on both sides are truly passionate about Veeam and the sense of community is something that I haven’t experienced in any other program. So well done to the 2017 class and hope to catchup with you all throughout the year are VeeamOn and any other event where we may cross paths.
Veeam Vanguard Blog Post Roundup:
Lastly a final reminder that the Call for Presentations is still open to those looking to submit a session at the event. This is a great opportunity to share you insights and experiences that you have gained in and around Veeam software solutions and don’t forget that if selected, presenters will receive a complimentary VeeamOn registration pass along with travel and hotel accommodations. Head to the site below to submit an abstract before February 7, 2017.
Last Friday, we at Veeam made available for download Update 1 for Backup & Replication (Build 184.108.40.2063
), Veeam One (Build 220.127.116.1154
) as well as for Backup for Microsoft Office 365 (Build 18.104.22.1682
). What was slightly unusual about this release for our VCSP partners is that there was no RTM build before GA…this is because Update 1 for Backup & Replication is what we term a non breaking update, meaning that if a Cloud Connect client upgrades from the 9.5 GA (22.214.171.1241) to Update 1 (126.96.36.1993) this would not
break any backup or replication functionality.
Update 1 is a fairly significant update and contains over 300 enhancements and bug fixes with a lot of those enhancements aimed at improving the scalability of the Backup & Replication platform that VCSPs can take advantage of. The biggest and most anticipated (and by far requested) update is for the support of vSphere 6.5…as you can see below there are a number of specific enhancements in this build aimed at 6.5 features:
- Encrypted VMs Support
- VMFS6 Support
- Virtual Hardware Version 13 support
- NBD Compression
- New Guest Interaction API Support
- New VM Tag API Support
Of most importance to me is to point out the fact the clients can now replicate in Virtual Machines with VM Hardware Version 13 meaning that you should get your production replication clusters up to ESXi 6.5 as soon as possible to avoid clients getting errors such as the one below:
This does pose an interesting problem for VCSPs offering Cloud Connect Replication as it represents a situation whereby holding back on vSphere upgrades could mean that clients (who are more likely to have less roadblocks to upgrade) can’t replicate newer VMs created on 6.5 into the VCSPs Replication Cluster. The workaround is to make clients aware that only specific Hardware Versions are supported for replication however it might be expected that providers offering these services are not bound by these limitations. This becomes an architectural/business discussion around separating IaaS vCenter’s from Replication vCenter’s …but that is a topic for another day.
For the moment, regardless of your underlying vSphere versions it’s worth planning the upgrade to Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 1 as soon as possible as it contains a number of enhancements beyond the ones listed above and some minor fixes for Cloud Connect.
For a full list check out the release notes below and download the update here.
Since Backup and Replication 7 Veeam have continued to develop new features in enhancements to support their Cloud and Service Provider community. This started with vCloud Director support…continued with Cloud Connect Backup in v8 and more recently with Cloud Connect Replication in the v9 release. Veeam Backup and Replication 9.5 was released a couple of weeks ago
and with it came a bunch of new features and enhancements that VCSPs can take advantage of.
In my initial v9.5 What’s New post I covered off core features and enhancements and without question some of those I talked about will help VCSPs gain enhanced scalability and efficiency in their current availability offerings based on Veeam, weather that be general IaaS and VM backups or if they are offering Cloud Connect Backup and/or Replication. From that first post, I have listed in short some of those features and enhancements that VCSPs will benefit from:
- Advanced Data Fetcher and Infrastructure Cache
- Database Optimizations
- Improved Instance VM recovery
- Parallel Processing of Full VM Restores
- Advanced ReFS Support
- Parallel Processing of Per VM Backups
- Proxy Affinity
- Scale Out Repository Temporary Expansion
- PowerShell and RESTful API Enhancements
Moving on from the core enhancements, without question my favourite new Cloud and Service Provider feature in 9.5 is the introductions of the vCloud Director Self Service Tenant Portal. I’ve blogged about that in preview here, and without going into too much detail in this post, Veeam saw the need to increase efficiency for VCSPs by empowering their vCloud Director tenants with a self service backup and restore portal based on Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager.
vCloud Director Self Service Tenant Portal:
- Native vCloud Authentication and Integrated Access: Allows tenants to continue to use their existing vCloud Director credentials for the self service portal and restricts them from being able to backup and restore only the VMs belonging to their respective organizations.
- Enhanced Backup Control: Self service backup allows tenants to maintain better control over their backups by controlling existing jobs and creating new ones. Job setup is simplified so tenants only need to select VMs to perform backups of, as well as select essential parameters such as guest credentials, retention and notifications. Tenants are blocked from accessing advanced settings, such as repository or backup mode selection, which are managed by service providers through job templates
- Enhanced Restore: Self service restore allows tenants to perform a wide variety of restore options for VMs that Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager currently provides including application items, guest files, full VM and full vApp restores. These restores can now be easily performed in just a few clicks by tenants themselves, improving RTOs and reducing costs for service providers
Just as a reminder this feature required Enterprise Plus to access the vCloud Director self service portal and I will be writing a more in depth blog post on this over the next few weeks. With regards to Cloud Connect, 9.5 has added improvements for both the Cloud Service Providers and their tenants with the biggest enhancement again adding to the scalability of the service by adding parallel processing for both Backup and Replication jobs. We have also extended support for key v9 features such as Per-VM backup chains, Scale Out Backup Repositories and ReFS.
Cloud Connect – Service Provider:
- Per-VM backup file chains: Cloud repositories can now be backed by backup repositories with the per-VM backup file chains setting enabled to improve scalability and better support for deduplicating storage appliances.
- Scale-out Backup Repository: Cloud repositories can now be backed by scale-out backup repositories to simplify backup storage management and save costs for service providers.
- Advanced ReFS Integration: Cloud repositories backed by backup repositories meeting the requirements for Advanced ReFS Integration fully support the corresponding functionality.
- Improved Diagnostic Logging: Multiple improvements were made to specific areas of tenant job logging where it was possible to do so without exposing a tenant’s confidential information
Cloud Connect – Tenant:
- Parallel Processing: Tenants can now backup or replicate multiple VMs and disks in parallel, based on the concurrent task limit set by the service provider, thus improving job performance on fast links. Please note that parallel processing applies to direct transport mode only meaning that WAN accelerators are not supported.
- Replication From Backup In A Cloud Repository. Tenants can now perform replication from a backup residing in a cloud repository, enabling a new DR option without generating additional network traffic or impacting production VMs.
- Security enhancements: Veeam Cloud Connect service will now attempt to use more secure TLS 1.2 and TLS 1.1 authentication algorithms when establishing a connection to the service provider. Failover to SSL 3.0 has been disabled for all Veeam Cloud Connect components.
- Configuration Backup To Cloud Repository: Added support for performing configuration backups to a cloud repository, except for those backed by a scale out repository.
Overall another great update for the VCSPs and their tenants alike and again, if you have Veeam 9 running do yourself a favour and go through the required change controls to upgrade to v9.5…your backups will thank you! 🙂