Tag Archives: Cloud Connect

Veeam 9.5 – RTM Build Available for VCSPs

Last week (we at) Veeam dropped the RTM build of Veeam 9.5 to it’s Cloud Service Provider partners. As a VCSP partner you need to be ready for the v9.5 GA date (at this stage set for mid November) to ensure that any keen early adopters who have Cloud Connect services with providers are able to backup and replicate without issue. VSCPs should upgrade their Veeam B&R 9 platforms to v9.5 as soon as possible.

To start with it’s best to have Veeam B&R updated to the latest patch release which is Update 2 Build 1715 and before upgrading to v9.5 it’s best to restart all Veeam services or better yet reboot the Veeam Management Servers…as an extra measure before beginning the upgrade you should disable all jobs and call an outage window so that your customers can pause their jobs.

If you have Enterprise Manager installed you will need to upgrade that first…notice below that the only available option is to upgrade Enterprise Manager.

This is a very easy upgrade and there isn’t really any gotchyas to get from v9 to v9.5 and the following components will be upgraded.

As this is a point release you will not be asked for a new license and the installer will detect the current license as shown below.

Next, dependancies will be checked and you will be able to install any that are missing.

Once Completed you now have the option to upgrade Backup & Replication. Running through the next next install you get prompted again for the license and the service account password and get warned that the database will be updated.

Once done you are set to update the Cloud Connect components via the updated console interface. On first login it will prompt you to upgrade all components to the their respective 9.5 versions. Any Cloud Gateways, Veeam Proxies, Repository Servers and Network Extension Appliances will be upgraded.

To validate the install and make sure everything is working as expected when its comes to Cloud Connect you should run a test job and make sure it goes through without issue. With full v9 backward compatibility Cloud Connect is ready for the GA release. Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks as I run through the best new features of Veeam 9.5 for VCSPs…there are significant new features and enhancements that extend the platform for VCSPs to take advantage of and offer more services to customers.

Veeam Forums:

I would encourage all VCSPs to keep track of what’s happening in the Veeam Cloud & Service Provider forums as there are already a number of useful posts in there related to the RTM.

https://forums.veeam.com/veeam-cloud-service-providers-forum-f34/

IMPORTANT NOTE:

The product team have built in an important warning that VCSP customers will see if their Service Provider endpoints are not version 9.5. It will show the warning below that the Cloud Connect platform version is not up to date and that performing the update will backup and replication jobs will stop working. Again, this is why it’s critical that all VCSPs upgrade ASAP.

Veeam One: Free Edition Powerful And Worth A Look!

Veeam don’t just do awesome Backup & Replication software…they also have, what I think is a highly underrated operations and management and capacity planning platform called VeeamOne. VeeamOne isn’t a new product and in fact it’s been around for a number of years and Veeam pitch the platform against competing products like VMware’s vROPs and other analytics platforms currently on the market.

Veeam® ONE™ is a powerful monitoring, reporting and capacity planning tool for the Veeam backup infrastructure and VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments. It helps enable Availability for the Always-On Enterprise™ by providing complete visibility of the IT environment to detect issues before they have operational impact.

Awesome for VCSPs:

I had previously installed v7 and v8 of it in trial form for lab production testing using the 30 day full version trial key but hadn’t installed v9 until last week. What tweaked my interest this time around was the fact that the Free Edition (see below for feature comparison) has full unrestricted support for Veeam Cloud Connect monitoring and reporting. By way of a bonus it also has excellent reporting into vCloud Director instances and in my opinion is a great tool for any Veeam or VMware Service Provider offering Cloud Connect and/or vCloud Director.

For Cloud Connect it gives you a complete overview on what’s happening with all Tenant Jobs and resources and provides excellent detail on the state of all Cloud Connect resources. It also shows you current and historical Cloud Connect Gateway statistics on connections and throughput.

For vCloud Director the Dashboards drill down all the way from Provider to Organisation to vDC to vAPP and to VM level and provides an interesting and useful operational insight into the health and state of vCD resources and objects.

Veeam One Features Comparison:

As mentioned above Veeam have the totally free edition of Veeam One which as seen above is feature rich for VCSPs. But one other thing to consider is that you could deploy the 30 day trial to perform onsite analysis of customers environment as a consulting play or as a way to gather information before moving workloads into IaaS providers.

Head to the link below to download either the Free Trial or Veeam One Free Edition.

https://www.veeam.com/virtualization-management-one-solution-download.html

References:

https://www.veeam.com/virtualization-management-one-solution.html 

 

Veeam 9 – Important Cloud Connect Hotfix for VCSPs

Overnight Veeam released Hotfix Rollup 1 for Veeam Backup & Replication v9 targeting Veeam Cloud Connect VCSP partners. This is to fix a couple of small performance issues in large Veeam Cloud Connect deployments and a couple of other issue that have been discovered since the release of Update 1.

If you are a VCSP and running Veeam Backup & Replication v9 Builds 9.0.0.902 or 9.0.0.1491 then check your emails for the Hotfix link or contact Veeam Partner Support to grab a copy of the patch. Note that you need to be on 9.0.0.1491 before applying the Hotfix. Once installed you will not see a change of build number or be required to update Veeam Cloud Connect components.

As it mentions on the Veeam communication if you want to keep up to date with all VCSP technical advisories make sure you join this forum…for which you must be registered.

Veeam Cloud Connect on World Availability Day

Today (30th of March) is Veeam’s World Availability Day. This is a new day that Veeam has declared to make people aware about how availability plays a part in all organizations as an extension of Backup and Recovery. In it’s self…WAD is a marketing initiative from Veeam that backs onto World Backup Day…which is happening tomorrow (31st of March).

Availability plays a significant role for all organizations, regardless of industry or size. Enterprise organizations now rely on 24/7/365, and Availability is officially a necessary survival tool. Modern users today expect unfettered access to ALL applications and data, from streaming media, to CRM tools, and much more. When user expectations are not met, the ramifications are often costly and time-consuming, and they are likely to keep everyone, from the IT pro to the CEO, up all night.

Having worked in the Hosting and Cloud industry all my career I have had to deal with backup and recovery throughout that time…and for the most it’s been a royal PITA! You only have to look back at the early days of this blog to see how frustrating and unreliable my experiences with backups have been. Of recent times though the backup industry has improved and with Veeam leading the way in the virutalisation space it’s become less a pain and more about how to take the next step to achieve availability as Veeam talks about in its marketing messages.

Veeam Cloud Connect and Cloud Connect Replication play a big part in extending Veeam B&R platform into an availability suite and allows for the wrapping of DRaaS around these service provider offerings. In February I took part in a joint Zettagrid/Veeam Webinar where myself and Nelson Simao went through Cloud Connect and how it benefits SPs and Veeam customers in getting key data offsite in the form of VM Backups and Replicas.

In the presentation I go through the Cloud Connect offerings and compare the differences between backup and replication as it pertains to availability and the industry terms that sometimes get confused or misused when talking about it.

I’ve posted the video below and the slidedeck can be downloaded via the link below.

https://www.veeam.com/videos/anz-using-cloud-connect-in-three-unexpected-ways-7564.html

So before World Backup Day tomorrow…have a happy World Availability Day today

 

Veeam 9 Update 1 Released – Cloud Connect Enhancements

Last Friday the Veeam Cloud Service Provider members would have received an email informing them that Update 1 for Veeam 9 Backup & Replication had been RTM’ed and was available to download for Cloud Connect partners and selected Veeam customers with outstanding support cases. The update introduces a couple of significant feature enhancement for Cloud Connect Replication and a few outstanding bug fixes.

Unlike previous patch releases services providers don’t have to upgrade right away as no matter what…versions of V9 Build 9.0.0.902 are compatible with server or client versions of Build 9.0.0.1491 and vice versa. I’d still recommended that VCSPs upgrade as soon as their change processes allows to gain the extra functionality.

General Cloud Connect enhancements include enhanced logic of handling cloud gateway unavailability to prevent jobs from hanging for extended time, improved job performance and reduced configuration database load by optimizing realtime job statistics queries and the added ability to control Cloud Connect connections timeout.

Cloud Connect Replication has had some features added…the biggest being support for replica seeding, support for replication from backup (except from backup files stored in cloud repositories), fully automated upgrade of network extensions appliances with product updates installation and improved failover issues reporting to tenants.

So still we wait for the ability to use Scale Out Repositories and Single File VM Backup chains…but hopefully that is next on the cards for the product teams.

Once the release is GA’ed in a week or so I’ll look to link to the VeeamKB for a detailed look at the fixes but for the moment, if you have the ability to download the update do so and have it applied to your instances.

Veeam 9 Released – What’s in it for Service Providers…and their Customers

Last week Veeam released v9 of their Backup & Replication platform and I went through an listed out the top new general features of the v9 release. In that post I purposely left the features that relate to Veeam Cloud Service Providers as a dedicated post is fitting for the improvements and enhancements added around Cloud Connect and with the addition of Cloud Connect Replication.

At the moment there upwards of 7000 VCSPs around the world and much like the VMware vCloud Air Network these partners represent a ready made network of like for like platform targets for which customers can extend their onsite Veeam solutions to a VCSP of their choice. (Zettagrid is on of those providers and is Cloud Provider of the Year for the ANZ region) With Veeam 8, Cloud Connect was announced and released and has proven to be a popular service which started picking up significantly in the last half of 2015. With the success of Cloud Connect, which provided a great offsite repository location for clients it was no surprise that Veeam extended this functionality in v9 with Cloud Connect Replication.

Veeam Cloud Connect Replication:

The extended functionality will give service providers the ability to provide clients with RaaS (recovery-as-a-service) in the form of Veeam Cloud Connect Replication for Service Providers. This builds on Cloud Connect which made it easy for existing and new Veeam customers to extend their backup infrastructure to cloud based repositories for offsite backups. Cloud Connect Replication features includes:

  • A reserved set of compute and storage for DR with networking resource allocation from a service provider to dramatically simplify setting up replication jobs to the cloud
  • Full site failover to a remote DR site from anywhere with just a few clicks through the secure web portal (see pic below), and partial site failover to instantly switch over to selected VM replicas only
  • Built-in network extension appliances to simplify networking complexity and preserve communication with, and between, running VMs regardless of physical location
  • Failback to an existing or new infrastructure to restore normal business operations
  • 1-click failover orchestration for quick failover execution, and site failover testing for failover simulation without disrupting production workloads
  • Support for file level recovery from cloud replicas in case there are issues with local backups
  • Multiple traffic reduction technologies including built-in WAN acceleration, BitLooker
  • Single port connectivity via a secure SSL/TLS connection to a service provider with traffic encryption

Cloud Connect Improvements:

  • In addition to being included in the Enterprise Plus edition, this feature is now also included in the Enterprise edition for backup copy and replication jobs to Veeam Cloud Connect service providers
  • The ability for users to limit the maximum bandwidth consumption by each tenant on the service provider site to help protect all tenants using the same Cloud Gateway from a “noisy neighbor” problem has been added.
  • Switching the logging level for cloud service no longer requires the service to be restarted.

In addition to that Veeam have introduced full support for vCloud Director 8.0 and also have committed to future long term support of vCloud Director in light of the recent VMware announcements. There is a new Per VM Licensing Model to support VCSPs reporting structures and make things easier for reporting and billing of licensing and there is now full support for RESTful API for Service Providers in all product editions with that Per VM license.

While it’s easy to see how awesome Cloud Connect Replication will be for VCSPs to productize and offer true replication based RaaS there are some features that are available in the general v9 Backup & Replication engine that are not available for Cloud Connect just yet:

  • Scale Out Repositories
  • Per VM Backup File Chain Feature
  • vCloud Director Support

Those additional features are on the horizon and in my opinion can’t come soon enough…it will elevate Cloud Connect Replication even further. But overall another great update for the VCSP and I look forward to developing an offering around Cloud Connect Replication as soon as possible to go along with the existing Cloud Connect for Veeam.

References:

http://veeampdf.s3.amazonaws.com/new/veeam_backup_9_0_whats_new_en.pdf

https://www.veeam.com/blog/veeam-availability-suite-v9-is-here.html

Veeam 9 – Important Cloud Connect Upgrade for VCSPs

[Update] There is a patch upgrade for v9 (build 9.0.0.773) that needs to be applied before GA which will take the build to build 9.0.0.902.

Late last week Veeam dropped the RTM build of Veeam 9 to it’s Cloud Service Provider partners. As a VCSP partner you need to be ready for the v9 GA date (at this stage set for early January) to ensure that any keen early adopters who have Cloud Connect services with providers are able to backup without issue VSCPs should upgrade their Veeam B&R 8 platforms to v9 as soon as possible.

To start with it’s best to have Veeam B&R updated to the latest patch release which is Update 3 Build 2084 and before upgrading to v9 it’s best to restart all Veeam services or better yet reboot the Veeam Management Servers…as an extra measure before beginning the upgrade you should disable all jobs.

If you have Enterprise Manager installed you will need to upgrade that first…notice below that the only available option is to upgrade Enterprise Manager.

This is a very easy upgrade and there isn’t really any gotchyas to get from v8 to v9 however you will be asked to install .NET Framework 4.5.2 before the actual upgrade process kicks off as shown below…this is in fact the longest part of the upgrade and I would recommend installing it separate before starting the Veeam upgrade. You can find the installable on the install media (ISO:\Redistr\NDP452-KB2901907-x86-x64-AllOS-ENU.exe) You will need to reboot once Enterprise Manager is installed.

You now have the option to upgrade Backup & Replication. Running through the next next install you get prompted for the license and the service account password. Once done you are set to update the Cloud Connect components via the updated console interface.

Once the Cloud Gateways, Tansports and Repositories have been upgraded you have access to the Cloud Connect Tab which now adds the Cloud Connect Replication components.

To validate the install and make sure everything is working as expected when its comes to Cloud Connect you should run a test job and make sure it goes through without issue. With full v8 backward compatibility Cloud Connect is ready for the GA release.

Released: Veeam Backup and Replication 8 Updated 3 – Cloud Connect Updates

Last week Veeam released Update 3 for Backup & Replication 8 taking the build number to 8.0.0.2084 and with the update, Veeam have released a couple new features and enhancements including:

  • Support for Windows 10 as guest virtual machines (VMs), including application-aware processing.
  • Support for vSphere 6.0 Update 1
  • Improved performance of certain user interface operations, such as opening Backups node in large environments.
  • Reduced load on SQL Server hosting product configuration database, while improving SQL interaction reliability in large environments. Improved performance of configuration backup in large environments.

For Service Providers running a Veeam Cloud Connect Service there were a few additional enhancements that are not listed in the KB. So some decent improvements in the way that the Cloud Connect Gateways handle load and there has also been some work done on the way he Cloud Gateways handle failover due to load or otherwise. In terms of the other fixes I’ve had a few certificate related issues come up since we launched the service and some of our clients have run into the Backup Copy Job error specified above…so an important update to apply.

Regardless of the features and enhancements if you are running Cloud Connect Service you will need to be looking at upgrading as soon as possible as issues will arise if customers are running client versions ahead of the service provider server build.

http://www.veeam.com/kb2068

Announced: Veeam 9 Cloud Connect Replication For Service Providers

Last week Veeam announced that version 9 of Backup & Replication will feature a new addition to it’s Cloud Connect product…Replication for Service Providers. The version 8 functionality will be extended to include advanced image-based VM replication.

The extended functionality will give service providers the ability to provide clients with RaaS (recovery-as-a-service) in the form of Veeam Cloud Connect Replication for Service Providers. This builds on Veeam Cloud Connect which made it easy for existing and new Veeam customers to extend their backup infrastructure to cloud based repositories for offsite backups. I worked closely with Veeam last year in productizing Cloud Connect for Veeam and adding it to the Zettagrid Product Catalog and will be looking forward to seeing how the replication feature will add to the service offering.

Included with Veeam 9, clients will get a fully integrated, secure and efficient way to send VM replicas to Cloud based repositories which will enable the protection of applications and services with dramatically improved recovery time objectives.

Cutting through the marketing of the press release the key features are listed below:

  • Built-in multi-tenant support to securely share host or cluster CPU, RAM, storage and networking resource allocation between different tenants;
  • Full site failover to a service provider site with just a few clicks on a secure web portal, including failover orchestration with failover plans, and partial failover to instantly switch over selected VMs only;
  • Built-in network extension appliances to preserve communication with and between production VMs regardless of their location;
  • Failback to the existing or new infrastructure to restore normal business operations;
  • Failover testing for seamless failover simulation without disrupting production workloads;
  • Single port connectivity via a secure, reliable SSL connection to a service provider; and
  • Multiple traffic reduction technologies including built-in WAN acceleration, replica seeding, and replication from a backup.

“Veeam Cloud Connect not only enables our users to fulfill the offsite requirement without having to invest in offsite infrastructure or management, but also presents new opportunities for service providers to build recurring revenue from their existing customer base, expand their presence in the DRaaS market, and establish relationships with new customers” – Ratmir Timashev, CEO of Veeam

This is an interesting (but expected) move by Veeam who are competing with the likes of VMware vCenter Replication and DRaaS leaders Zerto…who have a strong offering based on vCloud Director that also can be used by Hyper-V houses to replicate (hypervisor agnostic) in almost real time from on-premises to a Service Provider Cloud. There has been a lot of debate on inline replication vs snapshot based replication solutions and this move is sure to fuel that debate even more.

Hopefully I can get my hands on the beta shortly and start to pull apart the replication mechanisms. Upon first glance there doesn’t seem to be any vCloud Director integration which be somewhat surprising given the Service Providers out there who are strong vCD + Veeam partners. Would be a shame to not carry forward Veeam’s history of vCloud Director integration.

Looking forward to seeing what Veeam have brought to the table with V9!

Further Reading:

http://www.veeam.com/blog/the-new-veeam-cloud-connect-now-with-replication-services.html

Updated Feature Review: Veeam 8 – Update 2

When Veeam 8 went GA in November of last year I put together a post where I reviewed the best New Features of the v8 release. Last week Veeam released Patch 2 for version 8 and in going through the release notes it’s much more than a patch and in truth, probably could have been a point release.

Once again Cloud Connect has been improved with Multiple subscription support which adds the ability to add the same service provider multiple times using different credentials…which was a pretty annoying limitation of the initial release. This allows multiple Cloud Repository accounts to be mapped to a single Cloud Connect endpoint…handy for providers like ZettaGrid with three Zones from which to choose Cloud Connect from.

There has also been Reconnect performance improvements where reconnecting to a service provider now occurs faster when a cloud provider has multiple Cloud Gateways deployed…which should be best practice for availability and performance…there are also Enhancements for service providers such as when deleting a tenant, the global cache belonging to the tenant is deleted automatically…Adding the ability to query the amount of protected VMs for the given tenant through the vmCount API property. and Enhanced debug logging that includes initiator information for when the connection is terminated.

Apart from Cloud Connect, below are the rest of my standout features and updates of Patch 2.

  • vSphere 6 support. Added support for ESXi 6.0 and vCenter Server 6.0
  • vCloud Director 5.6 support. Added support for backup and restore of vCloud Director 5.6 virtual machines (VMs) and vApps.
  • VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) 2.0 support. VMs residing on VSAN can be backed up in Virtual Appliance (Hot Add) and Network (NBD) processing modes. For VMs with existing snapshots, hot add processing requires that all proxy VM disks are located on the same VSAN datastore.
  • Hot-Add transport mode of SATA virtual disks. On ESXi 6.0, SATA virtual disks can now be processed in Virtual Appliance (Hot Add) processing mode, which was previously limited to SCSI virtual disks only.
  • Disable CBT reset. The workaround for VMware Changed Block Tracking (CBT) corruption issue at 128GB boundaries (VMware KB2090639) can now be disabled by customers with ESXi hosts patched against this issue. To disable automatic CBT reset upon virtual disk size change, create theResetCBTOnDiskResize (DWORD) registry value under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Backup and Replication, and set it to 0.

The above list is taken from the release notes and for me represent the most value in my day to day and future day to day role. Obviously vSphere 6 support is huge, but also kudos to the Veeam team for continuing to Support the SP versions of vCloud Director. I also think the SATA Hot-Add is significant for those VMs that have been migrated from non-VMware platforms. Lastly the CBT Bug that was present last year and that was worked around by Veeam now has an on/off flag for patched hosts.

One disappointment for me if the lack of direct Cloud Connect Support for Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE …I thought this would be a logical choice for Veeam to release the ability to backup to Cloud Connect Repositories from the start…but the best we get is listed under Offsite protection where you can get your endpoint backups off site to disk-based storage, tape or your Veeam Cloud Connect service provider with Backup Copy Jobs..Hopefully there is a future product update that allows this.

That said, another great release by Veeam and the already #1 Backup Solution for VMs has gotten even better!

http://www.veeam.com/download_add_packs/vmware-esx-backup/kb2024/

http://www.veeam.com/kb2024