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VMworld 2019 Veeam Wrap Up – Supportability Announcements and Session Recaps

VMworld 2019 is almost a distant memory, and with the focus now shifting to VMworld Europe happening later in the year I wanted to round out the US event with a wrap up of Veeam happenings at the event. It was a busy week for myself at the event which is representative of how much Veeam invests into the event to retain mindshare and also to support the community. I was able to attend a number of community events in between daily recap videos, partner meetings and official Veeam gatherings. The week as usual, was extremely rewarding.

My earlier post on Project Pacific has been well read this week, showing me that VMware’s move to integrate Kubernetes into vSphere has resonated with IT Pros. While from a Veeam product point of view we were able to publicly demo for the first time our long awaited CDP feature in the session I gave with Danny Allan along with a couple new features coming in v10, while Michael Cade and David Hill took people through Veeam’s portable data format which gives us simplicity, reliability and flexibility

Announcements:

Veeam announced some important supportability milestones around the event:

  • vCloud Director 9.7 support and validation – With Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4b we retain existing support for vCloud Director 9.7. Visit the Veeam KB article to learn more about this and other topics.
  • vSAN 6.7 Update 2 certification – Veeam has successfully passed the vSAN 6.7 Update 2 certification. See the VMware Compatibility Guide for details.
  • vSphere 6.5 Update 3 now supported – Veeam officially supports this release. All documentation and release notes have been updated to reflect this.
  • Veeam continues to support VMware Cloud on AWS – SDDC 1.8 is supported and Veeam is officially certified. See the Veeam KB for more info.
  • NSX‑T Support – Customers can now receive a patch from support to make Veeam Backup & Replication v9.5 Update 4b compatible. This will be integrated into the upcoming v10. See the Veeam KB for more info.
Breakout Sessions and Techtalks:

Beyond the supportability, there where a number of Veeam related sessions at the event including two breakouts and a number of vBrownBag Tech Talks. The breakouts are gated this year, but all you need to do to view the sessions online is register for a VMworld account

Backups are just the start! Enhanced Data Mobility with Veeam (HBI3535BUS)

Enhancing Data Protection for vSphere with What’s Coming from Veeam (HBI3532BUS)

We also had a number of Veeam flavoured vBrownBag TechTalks… they have been embedded below.

Veeam @VMworld 2019 Edition…

VMworld 2019 is now only a couple of days away, and I can’t wait to return to San Francisco for what will be my seventh VMworld and third one with Veeam. It has again been an interesting year since the last VMworld and the industry has shifted a little when it comes to the backup and recovery market. Data management and data analytics have become the new hot topic item and lots of vendors have jumped onto the messaging of data growth at more than exponential rates.

VMware still have a lot to say about where and how that data is processed and stored!

VMworld is still a destination event and Veeam recognises VMware’s continued influence in the IT industry by continuing to support VMworld. The ecosystem that VMware has built over the past ten to fifteen years is significant and has only been strengthened by the extension of their technologies to the public cloud.

Veeam continues to build out own own strong ecosystem backed by a software first, hardware agnostic platform which results in the greatest flexibility in the backup and recovery market. We continue to support VMware as our number 1 technology partner and this year we look to build on that with support for VMware Cloud on AWS and enhanced VMware features sets built into our core Backup & Replication product as we look to release v10 later in the year.

Veeam Sessions @VMworld:

Officially we have two breakout sessions this year, with Danny Allan and myself presenting a What’s Coming from Veeam featuring our long awaited CDP feature (#HBI3532BUS), and Michael Cade and David Hill presenting a around how Backups are just the start… with a look at how we offer Simplicity, Reliability and Portability as core differentiators (#HBI3535BUS).

There are also four vBrownBag Tech Talks where Veeam features including talks from Michael Cade, Tim Smith, Joe Hughes and myself. While we are also doing a couple of partner lunch events focused on Cloud and Datacenter Transformation.

https://my.vmworld.com/widget/vmware/vmworld19us/us19catalog?search=Veeam

Veeam @VMworld Solutions Exchange:

This year, as per usual we will have significant presence on the floor as main sponsor of the Welcome Reception, with our Booth (#627) Area featuring demo’s prize, giveaways, as well as having an Experts Bar. There will be a number of Booth presentations throughout the event.

Veeam Community Support @VMworld:

Veeam still gets the community and has been a strong supporter historically of VMworld community based events. This year again, we have come to the party are have gone all-in in terms of being front and center in supporting community events. Special mention goes to Rick Vanover who leads the charge in making sure Veeam is doing what it can to help make these events possible:

  • Opening Acts
  • VMunderground
  • vBrownBag
  • Spousetivities
  • vRockstar Party
  • LevelUp Career Cafe

Party with Veeam @VMworld:

Finally, it wouldn’t be VMworld without attending Veeam’s legendary party. While we are not in Vegas this year and can’t hold it at a super club, we have managed to book one of the best places in San Francisco… The Masonic. We have Andy Grammer performing and while it won’t be a Vegas style Veeam event… it is already sold out maxed at 2000 people so we know it’s going to be a success and will be one of the best parties of 2019!

While it’s officially sold out ticket wise, if people do want to attend we are suggesting they come to the venue in any case as there are sure to be no shows.

Final Word:

Again, this year’s VMworld is going to be huge and Veeam will be right there front and center of the awesomeness. Please stop by our sessions, visit our stand and attend our community sponsored events and feel free to chase me down for a chat…I’m always keen to meet other members of this great community. Oh, and don’t forget to get to the party!

Veeam Availability Console v3 Important Patch Release

Today, a new patch was released for Veeam Availability Console v3 which brings the build to 3.0.0.2725. Contained in this patch is a number of fixes that covers reporting and licensing, server fixes, agent fixes and there are also a number of other resolved issues including some RESTful API fixes as well as for those using the ConnectWise Plugin. The patch is advised to be deployed to all VCSPs running Veeam Availability Console v3 in production.

To apply the patch, head to the VeeamKB here and follow the instructions. You need to have at least VAC v3 Build 3.0.0.2647 prior to installing as shown below.

From there, make sure you have a backup of the database, close down the Web UI and execute both MSI packages as administrator on the server.

The first one updates the VAC server. The second one updates the WebUI. Once completed the patches are applied and VAC v3 is up to date running on version number Server Version 3.0.0.2725.

References:

https://www.veeam.com/kb2960

Veeam Powered Network v2 Azure Marketplace Deployment

Last month Veeam PN v2 went GA and was available for download and install from the veeam.com download page. As an update to that, we published v2 to the Azure Marketplace which is now available for deployment. As a quick refresher, Veeam PN was initially released as part of Direct Recovery to Azure and was marketed through the Azure Marketplace. In addition to that, for the initial release I went through a number of use cases for Veeam PN which are all still relevant with the release of v2:

With the addition of WireGuard replacing OpenVPN for site-to-site connectivity the list of use cases will be expanded and the use cased above enhanced. For most of my own use of Veeam PN, I have the Hub living in an Azure Region which I connect up into where ever I am around the world.

Now that the Veeam PN v2 is available from the Azure Marketplace I have created a quick deployment video that can be viewed below. For those that want a more step by step guide as a working example, you can reference this post from v1… essentially the process is the same.

  • Deploy Veeam PN Appliance from Azure Marketplace
  • Perform Initial Veeam PN Configuration to connect Azure
  • Configure SiteGateway and Clients

NOTE: One of the challenges that we introduced by shifting over to WireGuard is that there is no direct upgrade path from v1 to v2. With that, there needs to be a side by side stand up of v2 and v1 to enable a configuration migration… which at the moment if a manual process.

References:

https://anthonyspiteri.net/veeam-powered-network-azure-and-remote-site-configuration/

VeeamON 2019 – Highlighting theCUBE Show Wrap

Hard to believe that another VeeamON has come and gone… for us in the Product Strategy Team the lead up and the week is immensely busy… but this is what we live and breath for! Everyone came away from the conference extremely pleased with how it panned out and we believe it also was a success based on what we heard coming out of media, analysts and the general IT community through social media.

In this post, I want to comment on a great Show Wrap from theCUBE hosted by Dave Vallante and Peter Burris which I think highlights exactly where Veeam is currently placed (Act I)… and where we are going in the industry (Act II).

Veeam is not about bragging rights and lots of flashy announcements…

This is a great quote from theCUBE Show Wrap (video embedded below) which speaks to what we at Veeam are trying to achieve. We are not restrained by the pressures of potential IPOs and we are confident enough to continue to be aggressive in the market while delivering on our core values of Simplicity, Reliability and Flexibility.

To comment a little more around what was talked about in theCUBE show wrap; It was interesting to hear perspective from the hallways about how people where talking about solving problems… Veeam is creating opportunities to solve problems with the focus on the customer. That is what successful companies focus on!

The messaging that theCUBE talked about from what they saw at the event was that Veeam is all about Data Protection across wherever your data lives… Backup is where is starts! Veeam still believes this and is focused…while not over rotating on the larger vision. Lots of their competitors are going hard after data management… modern architecture… Veeam is not legacy, but growing… if not flourishing due to the focus it has.

It’s a big, complex market and everyone is going to fight hard for it. Focused R&D is a very important concept to focus on… Veeam isn’t looking to be everything to everyone which can result in a wide but potentially shallow feature set. We see this with our newer competition… the concept of fast iterative development can have its flaws and though at times we don’t release as often as others in the market, when we do release new features and enhancements they are focused and reliable… you only need to look at the Cloud Tier that came as part of Update 4 for Backup & Replication 9.5.

Veeam has done a great job of keeping their finger on the Pulse… Veeam has done a good job of navigating what can customers really do (around data protection) and not getting too far ahead.

It’s all about our ecosystem and who we partner with… giving our customers the freedom of choice through our agnosticity. If we can nail the ecosystem partnership and make it seamless then Dave Vallante believe that Veeam has the advantage moving forward. This is where our Veeam Cloud Data Protection Platform centred around Backup & Replication and our Storage APIs will come into play.

Veeam is taking an almost Apple like approach…give customer what they can handle… then give them a little bit more.

Some really interesting thoughts in the Show Wrap from beginning to end… it’s worth a watch and I believe backs up the general feeling of a VeeamON show well executed which backs our shift into Act II.

This tweet sums it up well:

The whole stream of what was recorded at VeeamON 2019 by theCube can be found here:

VeeamON 2019 – Mainstage Technical Session Recap and Video

Hard to believe that another VeeamON has come and gone… for us in the Product Strategy Team the lead up and the event itself is immensely busy, but this is what we live and breath for! Everyone came away from the conference extremely pleased with how it panned out and we believe it also was a success based on what we heard coming out of media, analysts and the general IT community through social media.

We did something a little different this year at VeeamON. Instead of having one long General Session Keynote, we split the general sessions into two parts… one being a Veeam Vision keynote delivered by Ratmir in the morning, and the second being a Technology General Session held later in the day.

The idea was to dedicate ninety minutes to showcase what we had released already in 2019 and then, take an advanced look at what was to come later in the year. The other thing that we wanted to achieve was bring back to the live demos to the VeeamON mainstage as we saw in 2015 and in 2017.

Session Breakdown:

It’s pretty rare in our industry for companies to attempt live demos during keynote presentations… the ghosts of Microsoft BSODs past seem to hinder the use of live demos these days, but that is not how Veeam and the Veeam Product Strategy Team rolls. To pull off 8 live demos without a glitch (4 of which running on Tech Preview code) is a testament to the confidence we have in ourselves and in the technology… it’s also a huge rush when everything comes off as expected.

That said, the Technology General Session is worth watching for those interested in what Veeam has delivered so far this year… and what is to come!

Released : Veeam PN v2…Making VPNs Simple, Reliable and Scalable

When it comes to connecting remote sites, branch offices or extending on-premises networks to the cloud that level of complexity has traditionally always been high. Networking has always been the most complex part of any IT platform. There has also always been a high level of cost associated with connecting sites…both from a hardware or a software point of view. There are also the man hours to ensure things are setup correctly and will continue to work. As well and that, security and performance are also important factors in any networking solution..

Simplifying Networking with Veeam

At VeeamOn in 2017, we announced the release candidate for Veeam Powered Network (Veeam PN) which in combination with our Restore to Azure functionality created a new solution to ease the complexities around extending an on-premises network to an Azure network to ensure connectivity during restoration scenarios. In December of that year, Veeam PN went generally available as a FREE solution.

What Veeam PN does well is present a simple and intuitive Web Based User Interface for the setup and configuration of site-to-site and point-to-site VPNs. Moving away from the intended use case, Veeam PN became popular in the IT enthusiast and home lab worlds as a simple and reliable way to remain connected while on the road, or to mesh together with ease networks that where spread across disparate platforms.

By utilizing OpenVPN under the surface and automating and orchestrating the setup of site-to-site and point-to-site networks, we leveraged a mature Open Source tool that offered a level of reliability and performance that suited most use cases. However, we didn’t want to stop there and looked at ways in which we could continue to enhance Veeam PN to make it more useful for IT organizations and start to look to increase underlying performance to maximize potential use cases.

Introducing Veeam Powered Network v2 featuring WireGuard®

With the release of Veeam PN v2, we have enhanced what is possible for site-to-site connectivity by incorporating WireGuard into the solution (replacing OpenVPN for site-to-site) as well as enhancing usability. We also added the ability to better connect to remote devices with the support of DNS for site-to-site connectivity.

WireGuard has replaced OpenVPN for site-to-site connectivity in Veeam PN v2 due to the rise of it in the Open Source world as a new standard in VPN technologies that offers a higher degree of security through enhanced cryptography and operates more efficiently, leading to increased performance and security. It achieves this by working in kernel and by using fewer lines of code (4000 compared to 600,000 in OpenVPN) and offers greater reliability when thinking about connecting hundreds of sites…therefore increasing scalability.

For a deeper look at why we chose WireGuard… have a read of my offical veeam.com blog. The story is very compelling!

Increased Security and Performance

By incorporating WireGuard into Veeam PN we have further simplified the already simple WireGuard setup and allow users of Veeam PN to consume it for site-to-site connectivity even faster via the Veeam PN Web Console. Security is always a concern with any VPN and WireGuard again takes a more simplistic approach to security by relying on crypto versioning to deal with cryptographic attacks… in a nutshell it is easier to move through versions of primitives to authenticate rather than client server negotiation of cipher type and key lengths.

Because of this streamlined approach to encryption in addition to the efficiency of the code WireGaurd can out perform OpenVPN, meaning that Veeam PN can sustain significantly higher throughputs (testing has shown performance increases of 5x to 20x depending on CPU configuration) which opens up the use cases to be for more than just basic remote office or homelab use. Veeam PN can now be considered as a way to connect multiple sites together and have the ability to transfer and sustain hundreds of Mb/s which is perfect for data protection and disaster recovery scenarios.

Other Enhancements

The addition of WireGuard is easily the biggest enhancement from Veeam PN v1, however there are a number of other enhancements listed below

  • DNS forwarding and configuring to resolve FQDNs in connected sites.
  • New deployment process report.
  • Microsoft Azure integration enhancements.
  • Easy manual product deployment.
Conclusion

Once again, the premise of Veeam PN is to offer Veeam customers a free tool that simplifies the traditionally complex process around the configuration, creation and management of site-to-site and point-to-site VPN networks. The addition of WireGuard as the site-to-site VPN platform will allow Veeam PN to go beyond the initial basic use cases and become an option for more business-critical applications due to the enhancements that WireGuard offers.

#VeeamON 2019 – Top Session Picks, Live Tech Demos and VeeamOn Party

VeeamON is happening next week and the final push towards the event is in full swing. I can tell you that that this years event is going to be slightly different for those that have attended VeeamONs in the past…however that is a good thing! This is going to be my fourth VeeamOn, and my third being involved with the preparation of elements of the event. Having been behind the scenes, and knowing what our customers and partners are in for in terms of content and event activities…I can’t wait for things to kick off in Miami.

This year we have 60+ breakout sessions with a number of high profile speakers coming over to help delver those sessions. We also have significant keynote speakers for the main stage sessions on each of the event days. One of the biggest differences this year is that we will have a dedicated Technical Mainstage Keynote happening on Tuesday afternoon which will feature myself and other members of the Veeam Product Strategy and Product Management teams showing live demos of the latest Veeam technology and a look at what’s coming in our next major release.

Top Session Pick:

I’ve gone through all the breakouts and picked out my top sessions that you should consider attending…as usual there is a cloud slant to most of them, but there are also some core technology sessions that are not to be missed. The Veeam Product Strategy team are well represented in the session list so it’s also worth looking to attend talks from Rick Vanover, Michael Cade, Niels Engelen, David Hill, Kirsten Stoner, Dave Russell, Jason Buffington, Jeff Reichard and Danny Allan.

Secrets to Design an Availability Infrastructure for 25.000 VMs
Edwin Weijdema

Architecture, Installation and Design for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
Timothy Dewin and Niels Engele

TOP SECRET: Session related to announcement
Mike Resseler and Kostya Yasyuk

The State of the Backup Market & Veeam 2019 Predictions
Dave Russell

Cumulonimbus – Cloud Tier Deep Dive & Best Practices *
Anthony Spiteri and Dustin Albertson

Veeam Availability Console Deployment Best Practices
Luca Dell’Oca and Vitaliy Safarov

Activate Your Data with Veeam DataLabs
Michael Cade

Technology General Session
Veeam Product Management and Strategy Teams

VeeamON Party
Florider

You can download the VeeamON Mobile Application to register for sessions, organise and keep tabs on other parts of the event. Again, looking forward to seeing you all next week in Miami!

CrowdCompass Speaker Link

Disaster Recovery and Resiliency with Veeam Cloud Tier

Yesterday at Cloud Field Day 5, I presented a deep dive on our Cloud Tier feature that was released as a feature for Scale Out Backup Repository (SOBR) in Veeam Backup & Replication Update 4. The section went through an overview of its value proposition as well as deep dive into how we are tiering the backup data into Object Storage repositories via the Capacity Tier Extend of a SOBR. I also covered the space saving and cost saving efficiencies we have built into the feature as well as looking at the full suite of recoverability options still available with data sitting in an Object Storage Repository.

This included a live demo of a situation where a local Backup infrastructure had been lost and what the steps would be to leverage the Cloud Tier to bring that data back at a recovery site.

Quick Overview of Offload Job and VBK Dehydration:

Once a Capacity Tier Extent has been configured, the SOBR Offload Job is enabled. This job is responsible for validating what data is marked to move from the Performance Tier to the Capacity Tier based on two conditions.

  1. The Policy defining the Operational Restore Window
  2. If the backup data is part os a sealed backup chain

The first condition is all about setting a policy on how many days you want to keep data locally on the SOBR Performance Tiers which effectively become your landing zone. This is often dictated by customer requirements and now can be used to better design a more efficient approach to local storage with the understanding that the majority of older data will be tiered to Object storage.

The second is around the sealing of backup chains which means they are no longer under transformation. This is explained in this Veeam Help Document and I also go through it in the CFD#5 session video here.

Once those conditions are met, the job starts to dehydrate the local backup files and offload the data into Object Storage leaving a dehydrated shell with only the metadata.

The importance of this process is that because we leave the shell locally with all the metadata contained, we are able to still perform every Veeam Recovery option including Instant VM Recovery and Restore to Azure or AWS.

Resiliency and Disaster Recovery with Cloud Tier:

Looking at the above image of the offload process you can see that the metadata is replicated to the Object Storage as well as the Archive Index which keeps track of which blocks are mapped to what backup file. In fact for every extent we keep a resilient copy of the archive index meaning that if an extent is lost, there is still a reference.

Why this is relevant is because it gives us disaster recovery options in the case of a loss of whole a whole backup site or the loss of an extent. During the synchronization, we download the backup files with metadata located in the object storage repository to the extents and rebuild the data locally before making it available in the backup console.

After the synchronization is complete, all the backups located in object storage will become available as imported  jobs and will be displayed under the Backups and Imported in the inventory pane. But what better way to see this in action than a live demo…Below, I have pasted in the Cloud Field Day video that will start at the point that I show the demo. If the auto-start doesn’t kick in correctly the demo starts at the 31:30 minute mark.

References:

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/vsphere/capacity_tier_offload_job.html?ver=95u4

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