This week Veeam released to GA version 9 of their Backup & Recovery product. It’s a significant release for Veeam for a number of reasons and after having attended their VeeamOn event Las Vegas late last year I believe this v9 release is their best to date and is representative of a company that’s listened to the specific pain points of their customers, looking to address the challenges of modern Virtual Machine backups and looked to sure themselves up against existing and up and coming challengers in their market space.

During VeeamOn (and throughout the 2015) Veeam announced the four or five key new killer features of v9. For a look back at what was talked about during last year have a look at my previous posts here. Below I’ve listed my top new features for the whole product set that I think should make existing Veeam customers upgrade at their first opportunity.

Standalone console The standalone console provides every user convenience, flexibility and ease of use by separating the Veeam B&R console from the backup server for installation on laptops and desktops, eliminating RDP sessions to a backup server. you can run multiple consoles at once on the same system.

Veeam Cloud Connect Replication Ensure Availability of your mission-critical applications without the cost and complexity of building and maintaining a disaster recovery site. Cloud Connect Replication provides fully integrated, fast and secure cloud based DR through a service provider

Per VM backup file chains. The Per-VM backup file chains provide a new backup repository
option that makes any backup job, that is writing to a repository, store each VM’s restore point in a dedicated backup file. This results in delivering up to 10x faster backup performance with multiple write streams by leveraging parallel VM processing for backup storage with limited ingest rate per stream — as is the case with most deduplicating storage appliances.

Increased job concurrency. v9 provides improved backup server stability when running over 100 jobs concurrently. It’s important to keep pe job memory requirements in mind when opting to start this many multiple jobs at once

vPower cache. vPower will now cache recently accessed backup file blocks in RAM, which will help speed up all functionality that relies on Instant VM Recovery

Full backup file defragmentation and compaction. Decrease the size and fragmentation of full backup files produced by forever incremental primary backup jobs by recreating backup files periodically based on the actual data, while moving obsolete data into the dedicated files which can be manually deleted or archived as necessary. This functionality lets you remove the data associated with deleted VMs, virtual disks or applications from full backup file without having to perform an active full backup

Backup copy parallel processing. Backup copy jobs will now process multiple VMs in parallel, just like primary backup jobs. This improves the backup copy and retention processing performance due to removing “dead time” between each VM

VM tags backup and restore. VM tags are now backed up along with all of the other VM properties, and the full VM restore wizard provides a new option to restore them

Improved Direct SAN restore performance. Direct SAN restore process will now create eager zeroed disks (as opposed to lazy zeroed), this was found to improve full VM restore performance in most cases.

Multi-user support. Backup administrators will now be warned of conflicting edits when attempting to save changes after editing the same job concurrently

Missing backup files pruning. The backup properties dialog now shows missing backup files and with only a few clicks allows users to easily remove these files, as well as backup files that are dependent on missing files

Infrastructure cache. To remove the wait time for virtual infrastructure objects to be loaded, the user interface now uses an infrastructure cache in certain places, such as in the Backup Job wizards and in the Virtual Machines tab. The default cache expiration time of 15 minutes can be changed by creating the InfrastructureCacheExpirationSec (DWORD) registry value under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Backup and Replication key

That’s a pretty significant list of the enhancements as I see it. Those above are in addition to the Scale Out Backup Repository, BitLooker, EMC San Support and other major improvements announced over the past few months. I haven’t gone into detail around the enhancements for Veeam Cloud Service Providers in this post but I will be doing a separate post over the next few days going over the key enhancements for VCSPs.

If you have Veeam 8 running so yourself a favor and go through the required change controls to upgrade to v9…your backups will thank you 🙂