Feature overview of Veeam Backup & Replication v6

<update>November 28: Veeam Backup & Replication will be released this week (November 28-December 2). Read more here.

<update >November 21: Veeam published a 7 pages PDF document describing all the new features of Veeam Backup & Replication v6. More info here.

In Q4 of 2011 Veeam Software will release it’s latest version of Backup & Replication, version 6.

As announced earlier by Veeam Software version 6 will have Hyper-V support besides the VMware vSphere support. From a single console backups and restores of both VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V hosts can be managed. In the 6.0 release the ability to automatically validate the backup (SureBackup) and ability to run a VM from the backup storage (Instant VM recovery) will not yet be available for VM’s running on Hyper-V. However this feature will likely be added  as VMs running on Windows Server 8 with Hyper-V 3 can be stored on NFS and SMB shares besides the current CSV volumes.
All other new features will be available for Hyper-V and vSphere. Version 6 will deliver replication, failover and failback for Hyper-V virtual machines running on Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008.  

This posting will reveal the most interesting new features of version 6. Most of the information in this posting is obtained from the breakout session given by Veeam at VMworld USA and by a demo given at the booth.
The recorded session is available for attendees of VMworld at vmworld.com. It is titled Veeam Backup & Replication: A Look Under the Hood and the session number is SPO3981. The slidedeck is available here. Mind around the last ten minutes of the session are on the v6 features.
The session will also be given at VMworld Copenhagen in  October.

Veeam will release a ‘Whats New’ document listing all the features sometime near the releasedate.

Below information posted at November 13 by Anton Gostev , Director, Product Management at Veeam Software

Some facts on Veeam Backup & Replication 6.0, which is still on track for delivery later this quarter. We have been running the beta code in our production environment for the past 10 days or so, and I must say v6 excites our IT team like no other version has done before. Particularly, we have been focused on testing offsite backups of our most critical servers. The backup is being performed over Atlantic between our EMEA and US sites. We have 10Mbps connection from which the jobs are only using 6Mbps, thanks to the new built-in network throttling feature of v6. Latency-wize, we are talking 150ms or so.I am subscribed to the job notifications (also much improved – thanks to your feedback), and they do make me excited every night. I will just let you read some quotes from our backup administrator:

We simply could not replicate our TFS server before. Due to its nature, it generates too many changed blocks daily. Incremental runs were taking 6-8 hours, and were interfering with our regular on-site backups. Now, incremental backup of this server takes just a little over 1 hour.
The initial replication of this server with v5 took 19 hours. The full backup with v6 took just 4 hours. Besides, v6 is currently set to limit bandwidth utilization to 6Mbit/s. v5 had no throttling, so it was free to eat up to 10Mbit/s.I would say v6 is from 4 to 7 times faster than v5.So, if you are doing offsite backup and replication with Veeam today, expect big improvements in v6 – you should be able to protect many more VMs with your existing bandwidth. And if you are not doing offsite backups today… well, you really should consider starting – at least for your most important servers. Remember, your backup is not a backup until you have 3 copies of it!

Some of the most appealing new features of version 6 are:

A new architecture
-Much improved replication
-Quick Migration

-A new architecture
. The new architecture of Veeam allows for a better scale out. Previously to scale more Veeam Backup servers had to be installed. To manage those Enterprise Manager is  needed.  Version 6 will have two additional roles besides the backup server:
-proxy server
 repository server.
This architecture allows to use a centralized backup server while proxy servers are deployed at remote locations.

The proxy server main purpose is to offload the backup server. It could be seen as a data mover. While the backup server is used for management of backup jobs, the proxy server does the actual processing of backup and restores (data handling). An intelligent load balancing is used for selecting the most appropiate proxy server. Basically backup intelligence is moved closer to the source (where the date resides)

The proxy server is typically placed close to VMs that need to be backed up, for example in a remote office having local data but without a backup storage. The proxy server will compress and deduplicate the data before sending it over the WAN to the backup storage. This is much more efficiently than done in previous versions of Veeam B&R.

In version 6 you will have preferably one backup server with multiple proxy servers. When you have multiple backup proxy servers, v6 will automatically and intelligently load-balance backup tasks between them. Instead of simple round robin, when load balancing tasks factors such as current proxy load and storage connectivity are taken into account. This also means that if some proxies are down, the backup will still happen, as the backup jobs are no longer tied up to specific servers.

The repository server is responsible for storing the backup data on a target. It can handle multiple sorts of backup targets (file share, removeable storage, DAS etc). Each repository in v6, whether it is Windows or Linux based, features storage agent that enabled for efficient forever incremental backup over WAN, whereas all full backup processing is done locally by the agent using the incremental data.

 The use of multiple backup servers is still supported. A backup server is now a domain of control. Some organizations want to delegate certain rights to certain groups of employees. Multiple backup servers can for example deployed in multi-tenant environments.

Proxy and repository servers have automated deployment and maintenance. Updates to the software are performed automatically from the backup server.

Replication
Significant improvements in replication of ESXi. Replication is much more efficient.

Lots of new features and enhancements:

  • Re-IP on failover. This is a very usefull feature when the networking in the DR site is different from the protected site. No need to manually reconfigure the IP-configuration of the virtual machine after starting the VMs in the DR site. Veeam B&R v6 will do that for you automatically with one click! Veeam B&R will edit the VMDK file to adjust IP-configuration.
  • Real failback. If you need to failover to the DR site the VMs are running production and thus data will be added to the virtual disks of VM’s in the DR site. When you failback to the protected production site, Veeam B&R will sync the changed data (delta) back to the VMs running in the production site.
  • Seed from backup. When VMs are replicated for the first time, lots of GB’s of data needs to be transfered over the WAN. This takes lots of time and consumes bandwidth which is probably needed for other purposes. In version 6 the data can be brought in from a Veeam backup file (VBK) stored on removeable media which is trucked to the DR site. In previous versions transfering a VMDK had issues in ESX.
  • replica mapping
  • preserve thin disks when seeding
  • replicate to cluster
  • traffic throttling. The amount of network bandwidth used by Veeam backup or replication network traffic going from one network to another can be controlled. This is one of the functions of the new Proxy server, however throttling rules are enforced globally across your whole backup infrastructure.

A blogposting on how to setup replication can  be found on the site of Justin Paul

 Quick Migration
Instant VM recovery allows a VM to run from the Veeam NFS backup storage. It is a great way to quickly recover from a lost VM or corrupted datastore. At some time the VM will be moved to a production datastore. This can be done using the Storage VMotion feature of vSphere. However not all Veeam customers are using the Enterprise or Enterprise Plus edition of vSphere which offers Storage VMotion feature. Also to perform a Storage VMotion the vSphere client needs to be used. Veeam B^&R v6 allows to initiate a storage VMotion from the B&R console.
When storage VMotion is not available a new feature called Veeam SmartSwitch is available which allows customers to move the recovery VM from the NFS datastore to another datastore . It will have some downtime but eliminates downtime involved in shutdown and boot of a VM.
The technologie makes a snapshot of the VM, copies the bulk of the data to the destination datastore. Then pauzes the VM, copies the remaining delta data and the memory state and resumes the VM on a new datastore. Important to note is that the copy proces of SmartSwitch will not have a negative impact on the performance of the VM running on the NFS datastore, because unchanged data is obtained directly from backup file and not through vPower NFS

Few other new features:

  • Enterprise Manager will have the ability to clone and edit backup and replication jobs.
  • 1 Click file restore. Restore of a single file is as simple as a single click. This will place the file inside the guest operating system of the VM. In previous versions a file restore needed some additional steps. There is also the ability to automatically rename the current file before restoring an older version of the same file, and delegate file restore. For example just the ability to restore files for helpdesk staff.
  • VM order. The sequence in which VMs are backuped can now be controlled in the job settings.
  • Terminate job when running out of backup window. This is a usefull feature. Because of the use of snapshots running backups outside the backup window can have an effect on the performance of the virtual machine. This feature will prevent this issue

A 3:40 minutes video created by Veeam Software shows the features of version 6.

Fout different webinars on the most important features are available at Veeam.com. Registration here.

More information on Veeam B&R v6 in this article  titled Veeam scales out with Backup and Replication 6 on techtarget.com

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

One Response to Feature overview of Veeam Backup & Replication v6

  1. Marcel,

    Thanks for the post! We’ll be repeating the session at VMworld Europe for everyone who wants to see us “Live” 😉

    -doug

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