Category Archives: Veeam

#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

Cloud Tier Data Migration between AWS and Azure… or anywhere in between!

At the recent Cloud Field Day 5 (CFD#5) I presented a deep dive on the Veeam Cloud Tier which was released as a feature extension of our Scale Out Backup Repository (SOBR) in Update 4 of Veeam Backup & Replication. Since we went GA we have been able to track the success of this feature by looking at Public Cloud Object Storage consumption by Veeam customers using the feature. As of last week Veeam customers have been offloading petabytes of backup data into Azure Blob and Amazon S3…not counting the data being offloaded to other Object Storage repositories.

During the Cloud Field Day 5 presentation, Michael Cade talked about the Portability of Veeam’s data format, around how we do not lock our customers into any specific hardware or format that requires a specific underlying File System. We offer complete Flexibility and Agnosticity where your data is stored and the same is true when talking about what Object Storage platform to choose for the offloading of data with the Cloud Tier.

I had a need recently to setup a Capacity Tier extent that was backed by an Object Storage Repository on Azure Blob. I wanted to use the same backup data that I had in an existing Amazon S3 backed Capacity Tier while still keeping things clean in my Backup & Replication console…luckily we have built in a way to migrate to a new Object Storage Repository, taking advantage of the innovative tech we have built into the Cloud Tier.

Cloud Tier Data Migration:

During the offload process data is tiered from the Performance Tier to the Capacity Tier effectively Dehydrating the VBK files of all backup data only leaving the metadata with an Index that points to where the data blocks have been offloaded into the Object Storage.

This process can also be reversed and the VBK file can be rehydrated. The ability to bring the data back from Capacity Tier to the Performance Tier means that if there was ever a requirement to evacuate or migrate away from a particular Object Storage Provider, the ability to do so is built into Backup & Replication.

In this small example, as you can see below, the SOBR was configured with a Capacity Tier backed by Amazon S3 and using about 15GB of Object Storage.

The first step is to download the data back from the Object Storage and rehydrate the VBK files on the Performance Tier extents.

There are two ways to achieve the rehydration or download operation.

  1. Via the Backup & Replication Console
  2. Via a PowerShell Cmdlet
Rehydration via the Console:

From the Home Menu under Backups right click on the Job Name and select Backup Properties. From here there is a list of the Files contained within the job and also the objects that they contain. Depending on where the data is stored (remembering that the data blocks are only even in one location… the Performance Tier or the Capacity Tier) the icon against the File name will be slightly different with files offloaded represented with a Cloud.

Right Clicking on any of these files will give you the option to Copy the data back to the Performance Tier. You have the choice to copy back the backup file or the backup files and all its dependancies.

Once this is selected, a SOBR Download job is kicked off and the data is moved back to the Performance Tier. It’s important to note that our Intelligent Block Recovery will come into play here and look at the local data blocks to see if any match what is trying to be downloaded from the Object Storage… if so it will copy them from the Performance Tier, saving on egress charges and also speeding up the process.

In the image above you can see the Download Job working and only downloaded 95.5MB from Object Storage with 15.1GB copied from the Performance Tier… meaning the data blocks for the most that are local are able to be used for the rehydration.

The one caveat to this method is that you can’t select bulk files or multiple backup jobs so the process to rehydrate everything from the Capacity Tier can be tedious.

Rehydration via PowerShell:

To solve that problem we can use PowerShell to call the Start-VBRDownloadBackupFile cmdlet to do the bulk of the work for us. Below are the steps I used to get the backup job details, feed that through to variable that contains all the file names, and then kick off the Download Job.

The PowerShell window will then show the Download Job running

Completing the Migration:

No matter which way the Download job is initiated, we can see the progress form the Backup & Replication Console under the Jobs section.

And looking at the Disk and Network sections of Windows Resource Monitor we can see connections to Amazon S3 pulling the required blocks of data down.

Once the Download job has been completed and all VBKs have been rehydrated, the next step is to change the configuration of the SOBR Capacity Tier to point at the Object Storage Repository backed by Azure Blob.

The final step is to initiate an offload to the new Capacity Tier via an Offload Job…this can be triggered via the console or via Powershell (as shown in the last command of the PowerShell code above) and because we have already a set of data that satisfies the conditions for offload (sealed chains and backups outside the operational restore window) data will be dehydrated once again…but this time up to Azure Blob.

The used space shown below in the Azure Blob Object Storage matches the used space initially in Amazon S3 All recovery operations show Restore Points on the Performance Tier and on the Capacity Tier as dictated by the operational restore window policy.
Conclusion:

As mentioned in the intro, the ability for Veeam customers to have control of their data is an important principal revolving around data portability. With the Cloud Tier we have extended that by allowing you to choose the Object Storage Repository of your choice for cloud based storage or Veeam backup data…but also given you the option to pull that data out and shift when and where desired. Migrating data between AWS, Azure or any platform is easily achieved and can be done without too much hassle.

References:

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/powershell/object_storage_data_transfer.html?ver=95u4

Released: Backup for Office 365 3.0 …Yes! You Still Need to Backup your SaaS

A couple of weeks ago of Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 3.0 (build 3.0.0.422) went GA. This new version builds on the 2.0 release that offered support for SharePoint and OneDrive as well as enhanced self service capabilities for Service Providers. Version 3.0 is more about performance and scalability as well as adding some highly requested features from our customers and partners.

Version 2.0 was released last July and was focused on expansed the feature set to include OneDrive and SharePoint. We also continued to enhanced the automation capability of the platform through a RESTful API service allowing our Cloud & Service Providers to tap into the APIs to create scaleable and efficient service offerings. In version 3.0, there is also an extended set of PowerShell commandlets that have been enhanced from version 2.0.

What’s New in 3.0:

Understanding how best to deal with backing up SaaS based services where a lot of what happens is outside of the control of the backup vendor, there where some challenges around performance with the backing up and restoring of SharePoint and OneDrive in version 2.0. With the release of version 3.0 we have managed to increase the performance of SharePoint and OneDrive incremental backups up to 30 times what was previously seen in 2.0. We have also added support for multi-factor authentication which was a big ask from our customers and partners.

Other key enhancements for me was some optimisations around the repository databases that improves space efficiencies, auto-scaling of repository databases that enable easier storage management for larger environments by overcoming the ESE file size limit of 64 TB. When the limit is reached, a new database will be created automatically in the repository which stops manual intervention.

Apart from the headline new features and enhancements there are also a number of additional ones that have been implemented into Backup for Microsoft Office 365 3.0.

  • Backup flexibility for SharePoint Online. Personal sites within organisations can now be excluded or included from/to a backup in a bulk.
  • Flexible protection of services within your Office 365 organization, including exclusive service accounts for Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.
  • Built-in Office 365 storage and licensing reports.
  • Snapshot-based retention  which extends the available retention types.
  • Extended search options in the backup job wizard that make it is possible to search for objects by name, email alias and office location.
  • On-demand backup jobs to create backup jobs without a schedule and run them upon request.
  • The ability to rename existing organizations to keep a cleaner view on multiple tenant organizations presented in the console

For another look at what’s new, Niels Engelen goes through his top new features in detail here and for service providers out there, it’s worth looking at his Self Service Portal which has also been updated to support 3.0.

Architecture and Components:

 

There hasn’t been much of a change to the overall architecture of VBO and like all things Veeam, you have the ability to go down an all in one design, or scale out depending on sizing requirements. Everything is handled from the main VBO server and the components are configured/provisioned from here.

Proxies are the work horses of VBO and can be scaled out again depending on the size of the environment being backed up. Again, this could be Office 365 or on-premises Exchange or SharePoint instances.

Repositories must be configured on Windows formatted volumes as we use the JetDB database format to store the data. The repositories can be mapped one to one to tenants, or have a many to one relationship.

Installation Notes:

You can download the the latest version of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 from this location. The download contains three installers that covers the VBO platform and two new versions of the Explorers. Explorer for Microsoft OneDrive for Business is contained within the Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint package and installed automatically.

  • 3.0.0.422.msi for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
  • 9.6.5.422.msi for Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange
  • 9.6.5.422.msi for Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint

To finish off…It’s important to read the release notes here as there are a number of known issues relating to specific situations and configurations.

Backup for Office 365 has been a huge success for Veeam with a growing realisation that SaaS based services require an availability strategy. The continuity of data on SaaS platforms like Office 365 is not guaranteed and it’s critical that a backup strategy is put into place.

Links and Downloads:

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

Released: Veeam Availability Console v3.0 – Reseller, Licensing and Scalability Enhancements!

A couple of weeks ago, Veeam Availability Console v3.0 (3.0.0.2647) was released. With this major update, VAC is now the central Console providing management and monitoring of Veeam Cloud and Service Provider partner offerings. Not only does it build on the previous releases, but also looks to place VAC as a critical component of any Veeam powered service provider offering. In addition to the existing features the enhancements are a direct response to product feedback and also reduces a lot of the pain points that VCSPs have in managing and monitoring their own partners and customers.

What’s new in v3.0:

If you want to get the complete low down on what’s included in this release, the What’s new document can be accessed here. I’ve listed the key new features and enhancements below and expanded on them in the main body of the post.

  • Reseller Role for more granular access and control
  • Multiple Cloud Connect server support
  • Enhanced licensing management and rental usage reporting
  • Enhanced RESTful APIs
Reseller Role:

Since the introduction of Veeam’s Backup & Management Portal back in 2016 the desire for a reseller tier was top of list for our VCSPs and while it’s taken a few more iterations of the product for it to appear as a feature the addition of the Reseller Role in VAC v3 is significant. This allows the top level VCSP to carve out reseller accounts which allows their reseller partners to manage, monitor and control their own customers.

We also have the ability now to allocate Resellers Site Scopes. Site Scopes are based on Cloud Connect Service instances of which now in v3 we can add multiples (see below).

Resellers have control over their customers and can sub allocate backup resources that have been allocated to them from the VCSP. They also have the power to remotely manage on-premises Backup & Replication servers including the ability to install licenses (see below) which is a huge addition to VACs feature capability. This alone is worth the price of admission!

The Reseller Console contains almost all administrative functions including the ability to brand the portal but obviously does not have access to core Cloud Connect infrastructure or the ability to manage other important VCSP configuration items.

Multiple Cloud Connect Servers and Increased Scalability:

Again, one of the biggest pieces of feedback we received from VCSPs was for a single VAC instance to be able to be connected to multiple Cloud Connect servers. This effectively removes the one to one relationship and have a one to many feature that truely allows VAC to be a central point of management.

Connected Cloud Connect Servers become named Site Scopes which can then be used for Reseller management at a more granular level. In adding the ability to connect to multiple Cloud Connect Servers the scalability of a single VAC instance has been increased to connect to more remote Backup & Replication servers (up to 1000) and manage more Veeam agents (up to 15,000). At the moment VCSPs can add up to 50 Cloud Connect instances which should be more than enough to cover the majority of installs• 50 Veeam Cloud Connect servers

A single VAC instance can also support 500 resellers and up to 1000 active portal users. In line with this there is also a new User Role that allows more granular access to specific Cloud Connect Servers that can be managed by VCSP technical staff.

Enhanced Licensing Management and Reporting:

No one has ever said that managing licenses is fun! It’s a necessary evil in the software world and can always be frustrating. When looking at managing customer licenses for on-premises installs under management that frustration can be multiplied almost exponentially. I would be selling the new licensing features in VAC v3 short if I didn’t say that it was my favourite feature enhancement and almost the single reason why VAC should be installed by all VCSPs.

From the Configuration menu under Licensing there is now the ability to view Cloud Connect and all Backup Servers under management. The view above is the top level VCSP view… a Reseller will see only Backup Servers under their own management, though the functionality is the same.

The Install action can be used to remotely deploy and install a Veeam License either directly to the connected Cloud Connect Servers, or remotely via the Cloud Connect Gateway tunnels to on-premises Backup servers. There is also reporting on the current status of the existing licence and alerts can be configured  to notify VCSPs, Resellers or Customers about an impending license expiration. All this can also be done via new API calls.

In addition to the management of the licenses the reporting has been enhanced to the point where VAC will become the source of truth for all license reporting. The Monthly Usage Report are generated from all connected Backup and Cloud Connect Servers and will produce reports that are downloadable for the VCSP or Reseller while also being available via the API.

Enhanced RESTful APIs:

The RESTful APIs in VAC v3 have been enhanced to include actions to configure and manage areas of the VAC install. Previously the API was used for pulling data and reading configuration items, however there has been a number of actionable items added in this release. Importantly these new POST, PUT and PATCH requests marry up with most of the new features listed above.

Again, the ability to deploy and install license to remote Backup Servers via Cloud Connect from an API is important and I know this will be hugely popular with our VCSPs who have automation capabilities.

Platform Supportability:

This release also delivers full support for all recently shipping Veeam products including Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4 (Including Cloud Connect enhancements and vCloud Director support and integration) as well as Veeam Agent forMicrosoft Windows 3.0 and the new ability to create multiple jobs. There are also enhancements to support, Windows Event Logging and notifications while also increasing security.

References and Product Guides:

https://www.veeam.com/vac_3_0_release_notes_rn.pdf

https://www.veeam.com/availability-console-service-providers-faq.html

https://www.veeam.com/veeam_vac_3_0_whats_new_wn.pdf

https://www.veeam.com/blog/managed-backup-service-enhancement.html

Update 4 for Service Providers – Targeting vCloud Director with Cloud Connect Replication

When Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4 went Generally Available in late January I posted a What’s in it for Service Providers blog. In that post I briefly outlined all the new features and enhancements in Update 4 as it related to our Veeam Cloud and Service Providers. As mentioned each new major feature deserves it’s own seperate post. I’ve covered off the majority of the new feature so far, and for the final post in the series I am looking at something that is close to my heart…vCloud Director Support for Veeam Cloud Connect Replication.

As a reminder here are the top new features and enhancements in Update 4 for VCSPs.

Leveraging the Best of vCloud Director for Stronger DRaaS:

VMware vCloud Director is the de facto standard for service providers who offer Infrastructure as a Service based on VMware and Veeam has had a long history supporting vCloud Director, with the industry’s first support for vCloud Director aware backups released in Veeam Backup & Replication v7 following on with the first stand alone Self Service Backup Portal in v9.5.

With the release of Update 4, we have added support for Veeam Cloud Connect to replicate directly into vCloud Director virtual datacenters, allowing both our Cloud and Service Provider Partners (VCSP) and customers to take advantage of the enhancements VMware has built into the platform. While this has been a long time coming, this support represents a significant enhancement to the way in which our VCSPs offer DRaaS.

With tenants consuming vCloud Director resources, it allows them to take advantage of more powerful features when dealing with full disaster, or the failure of individual workloads. Full and partial failovers will be more transparent with the use of the vCloud Director HTML5 Tenant UI and the vCloud Director HTML5 UI will also allow tenants to see what is happening to workloads as they boot and interact with the guest OS directly. This takes the pressure of the VCSPs helpdesk and gives tenants more control of their replicas once failed over.

Enhanced Edge Networking with NSX:

From a networking point of view, being able to access the NSX Edge Gateway for replicated workloads means that tenants can leverage the advanced networking features available on the NSX Edge Gateway. The Network Extension Appliance did a great job in offering basic network functionality however the NSX Edge offers:

  • Advanced Firewalling and NAT
  • Advanced Dynamic Routing (BGP, OSPF and more)
  • Advanced Load Balancing
  • IPsec and L2VPN
  • SSL VPN
  • SSL Certificate Services

Once a failover has been triggered from the Veeam Backup & Replication Console or via the VCSPs own Portals, the ability to manage and configure everything through the vCloud Director HTML5 UI utilizing NSX via vCloud Director enhances Cloud Connect Replication for both service providers and tenants.

Network Automation During Partial Failovers with the NEA:

There are a number of options that can be used to extend the tenant network to the service provider cloud network when actioning a partial failover. Tenants and service providers can configure:

  • Custom IPsec VPN
  • IPsec or L2VPN via the NSX Edge Gateway
  • NEA to NEA L2 VPN

The Network Extension Appliance is still available for deployment in the same way as before Update 4 and can be used directly from within a vCloud Director virtual datacenter. The NEA’s automate the extension of a tenant network so that the failed over workload can be accessible from the tenant network, even though it resides in the service provider’s environment. The NEA to NEA option is the simplest and most effective way to extend the tenants network to the cloud network.

NOTE: I will be dedicating a seperate blog post to this feature as I believe this is one of the leading innovative features we have as part of Cloud Connect Replication.

vCloud Director 9.7 Compatibility:

Just a quick note to finish that at the time of writing this post, Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update4a does not officially support vCloud Director 9.7. We currently support up to vCloud Director 9.5 but will be looking to add supportability for 9.7 within the next 90 days.

Wrap Up:

DRaaS is something that is only just becoming recognized as something that organizations require as part of their overall data protection strategy. Veeam has had a strong offering delivered through our VCSPs for a while now, with a strong focus on network automation which is typically the hardest part of any DRaaS offering. With Cloud Connect Replication now targeting vCloud Director we now have a very compelling DRaaS product that is simple, flexible and reliable…yet still delivers enterprise grade functionality.

Quick Fix – Incompatible Veeam Backup for Office 365 Server Version

This week Veeam dropped version 3.0 of Backup for Microsoft Office 365, which represents another significant update to the SaaS backup platform and builds on the previous 2.0 and 1.5 releases. For a quick look at some of the highlights, head to my fellow Technologist, Niels Engelen blog post for an overview. Like many out there i’ve been waiting patiently to install the GA and got things updated without any issues…however when looking to browse existing backup points for my Office 365 mailboxes I came across this error.

Incompatible Veeam Backup for Office 365 Server Version (received: 9.6.5.422, expected: 9.6.4.1078).

This is after the Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange has been loaded and it tried to connect to the VBO server. The error is a little misleading in that it’s actually talking about the version of the Explorer rather than the VBO server its self.

If you look inside the VBO v3 downloaded zip file that you will see three installers.

The simple fix is to install the new version of the explorers. The dead giveaway is the new splash screen as seen below.

Once done, relaunching the Explorer session will success and you will be able to see the backed up mailboxes listed.

So there you go… a really simple fix to an error that might stump a few people at first!

VCSP Important Notice: 9.5 Update 4a Is Out with Fixes and Platform Supportability

Yesterday Update 4a for Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 (Build 9.5.4.2753) was made available for download to all Veeam customers and partners. This build updates the GA code and is a cumulative hotfixes rollup that resolves a number of issues from the initial release. There is also enhanced platform support, most significantly initial readiness for VMware vSphere 6.7 Update 2 and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2019 support.

For Veeam Cloud and Service Provider Partners, Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4a includes specific bug fixes. These fixes help those who offer Veeam Cloud Connect services, and also those that offer managed backup services with Veeam Availability Console. There is a Veeam Forum thread that has been updated with all the specific fixes. For the full change log, head to this thread on the Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) forum.

It’s important to note for VCSPs that this is not a breaking update, meaning your tenants will not have any issues performing Cloud Connect Backup or Replication jobs if they are on Update4a before you. It’s still recommended that you look to upgrade as soon as possible as change windows would permit.

Update Notes:

If you are upgrading directly to from 9.0 or earlier you need to source the full ISO image from the download section.

References:

https://www.veeam.com/kb2926

Update 4 for Service Providers – Extending Backup Repositories to Object Storage with Cloud Tier

When Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4 went Generally Available in late January I posted a What’s in it for Service Providers blog. In that post I briefly outlined all the new features and enhancements in Update 4 as it related to our Veeam Cloud and Service Providers. As mentioned each new major feature deserves it’s own seperate post. I’ve covered off the majority of the new feature so far, and today i’m covering what I believe is Veeam’s most innovative feature that has been released of late… The Cloud Tier.

As a reminder here are the top new features and enhancements in Update 4 for VCSPs.

Cloud Tier:

When I was in charge of the architecture and design of Service Provider backup platforms, without question the hardest and most challenging aspect of designing the backend storage was how to facilitate storage consumption and growth. The thirst to backup workloads into the cloud continues to grow and with it comes the growth of that data and the desire to store it for longer. Even yesterday I was talking to a large Veeam Cloud & Service Provider who was experiencing similar challenges with managing their Cloud Connect and IaaS backup repositories.

Cloud Tier in Update 4 fundamentally changes the way in which the initial landing zone for backups is designed. With the ability to offload backup data to cheaper storage the Cloud Tier, which is part of the Scale-Out Backup Repository allows for a more streamlined and efficient Performance Tier of backup repository while leveraging scalable Object Storage for the Capacity Tier.

How it Works:

The innovative technology we have built into this feature allows for data to be stripped out of Veeam backup files (which are part of a sealed chain) and offloaded as blocks of data to Object Storage leaving a dehydrated Veeam backup file on the local extents with just the metadata remaining in place. This is done based on a policy that is set against the Scale-out Backup Repository that dictates the operational restore window of which local storage is used as the primary landing zone for backup data and processed as a Tiering Job every four hours. The result is a space saving, smaller footprint on the local storage without sacrificing any of Veeam’s industry-leading recovery operations. This is what truly sets this feature apart and means that even with data residing in the Capacity Tier, you can still perform:

  • Instant VM Recoveries
  • Entire computer and disk-level restores
  • File-level and item-level restores
  • Direct Restore to Amazon EC2, Azure and Azure Stack
What this Means for VCSPs:

Put simply it means that for providers who want to offload backup data to cheaper storage while maintaining a high performance landing zone for more recent backup data to live  the Cloud Tier is highly recommended. If there are existing space issues on the local SOBR repositories, implementing Cloud Tier will relieve pressure and in reality allow VCSPs to not have to seek further hardware purchase to expand the storage platforms backing those repositories.

When it comes to Cloud Connect Backup, the fact that Backup Copy Jobs are statistically the most used form of offsite backup sent to VCSPs the potential for savings is significant. Self contained GFS backup files are prime candidates for the Cloud Tier offload and given that they are generally kept for extended periods of time, means that it also represents a large percentage of data stored on repositories.

Having a look below you can see an example of a Cloud Connect Backup Copy job from the VCSP side when browsing from Explorer.

You can see the GFS files are all about 22MB in size. This is because they are dehydrated VBKs with only metatdata remaining locally. Those files where originally about 10GB before the offload job was run against them.

Wrap Up:

With the small example shown above, VCSPs should be starting to understand the potential impact Cloud Tier can have on the way they design and manage their backup repositories. The the ability to leverage Amazon S3, Azure Blog and any S3 Compatible Object Storage Platform means that VCSPs have the choice in regards to what storage they use for the Capacity Tier. If you are a VCSP and haven’t looked at how Cloud Tier can work for your service offering…what are you waiting for?

Glossary:

Object Storage Repository -> Name given to repository that is backed by Amazon S3, S3, Azure Blob or IBM Cloud

Capacity Tier -> Name given to extent on a SOBR using an Object Storage Repository

Cloud Tier -> Marketing name given to feature in Update 4

Resources:

Harness the power of cloud storage for long-term retention with Veeam Cloud Tier

VMUG UserCon – Sydney and Melbourne Events!

A few years ago I claimed that the Melbourne VMUG Usercon was the “Best Virtualisation Event Outside of VMworld!” …that was a big statement if ever there was one however, over the past couple of years I still feel like that statement holds court even though there are much bigger UserCons around the world. In fairness, both Sydney and Melbourne UserCons are solid events and even with VMUG numbers generally struggling world wide, the events are still well attended and a must for anyone working around the VMware ecosystem.

Both events happen a couple of days apart from each other on the 19th and 21st of March and both are filled with quality content, quality presenters and a great community feel.

This will be my sixth straight Melbourne UserCon and my fourth Sydney UserCon…The last couple of years I have attended with Veeam and presented a couple of times. This year Veeam has UserCon Global Sponsorship which is exciting as the Global Product Strategy team will be presenting a lot of the UserCons around the world. Both the Sydney and Melbourne Agenda’s are jam packed with virtualisation and automation goodness and it’s actually hard to attend everything of interest with schedule conflicts happening throughout the day.

…the agenda’s are listed on the sites.

As mentioned, Veeam is sponsoring both events a the Global Elite level and I’ll be presenting a session on Automation and Orchestration of Veeam and VMware featuring VMware Cloud on AWS which is an updated followup to the VMworld Session I presented last year. The Veeam SDDC Deployment Toolkit has been evolving since then and i’ll talk about what it means to leverage APIs and PowerShell to achieve automation goodness with a live demo!

Other notable sessions include:

If you are in Sydney or Melbourne next week try and get down to Sydney ICC and The Crown Casino respectively to participate, learn and contribute and hopefully we can catch up for a drink.

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