A slew of announcements came out yesterday via partner day, and if you were following along on Twitter, you hopefully caught some of them. Today though, with the general session, we dove into those a bit more. I’ll recap those announcements in this post, with a bit of a high-level overview. Expect to see some more in-depth posts on some of these features in the near future.
Before we jump into the announcement, I wanted to focus on Veeam’s messaging. Over the past little while, there has been a definite shift in the messaging: what was once Backup & Recovery, is now all about Availability. Availability means that’s organizations will keep running, regardless of disaster. As Peter McKay put it “Poor experience is just as bad as no experience”. Veeam is focusing on keeping business running, no longer are we in a position where companies want to react to disasters, rather business now needs to make disasters non-disruptive through proactive planning.
So, let’s get to the announcements:
Veeam Agent for Windows
What started off as Veeam Endpoint, and quickly exploded into a million+ downloads, is now maturing again. We first received a glimpse of the upcoming feature set changes at Veeam’s “Next Big Thing” announcement last August. Now we are seeing the General Availability release of Veeam Agent For Windows. This release has match tighter integrations into the Veeam Backup & Recovery console. One real nice integration that I like is being able to point to an Active Directory OU and push the installer out to computers inside of it. Another nice nugget that was dropped was full support for backing up Windows Failover Clusters – that could get interesting.
Although this product was initially pitched for protecting physical workloads, use-cases quickly started popping to protect virtual workloads. Maybe you have a VM running on a ESXi free server, or more likely, you have VMs running in the cloud. Well with Veeam Agent for Windows, you can now backup those workloads.
Veeam Availability Suite 10
It’s no surprise that VBR v10 was announced as a tech preview – we knew that from their event last August. What is noteworthy though is some of the features that will be introduced. First up is the ability to backup NAS file shares. One question that I have had come up many times at my Veeam user group was whether or not Veeam could back up file shares. NAS appliances aren’t uncommon in most organizations, especially for SMBs or remote offices. Plain and simple, they are a cheap alternative to file servers. Although Veeam could perform file backups previously, they were essentially basic and ‘dumb’ as it was just a file copy. What is also pretty cool is Veeam is focusing on file versioning, versus just a backup. Restores will let you perform individual files, rollbacks to a point in time, or a complete share. As part of the restore, you can also restore to a new location – this might make file server migrations easier.
We’ve definitely been seeing a shift to leveraging cloud as a backup target, and V10 will continue that trend by adding broad support for object storage. Object storage is gaining popularity for many reasons, some of which include the scalability, cost, and just general availability. One of the cool features I saw here was being able to add object storage to a Scale-out Backup Repository, and use it as an archive tier. Currently there will be support for Swift, AWS S3, AWS Glacier, and Azure Blob storage.
Lastly, what is in my opinion one the biggest announcements, is the introduction of Continuous Data Protection. When VMware introduced vSphere APIs for IO Filtering back in 2015, I took note of it. It seemed like a fantastic way to do IO intensive tasks (e.g. reads) without taxing the system too much. Veeam is using this tech to now offer Continuous Data Protection. This will be huge from the replication standpoint as they’ll be able to leverage intervals as low as 15 seconds, all without using snapshots! Say goodbye to stun times. I can’t wait to try this out.
Two big announcements stood out to me here. First up is the storage API. Veeam has become known for its hardware integration with SAN providers such as HPE, NetApp, and most recently Nimble. I know many storage companies have been trying to get on that list, but Veeam has had a tendency to introduce one new provider per release. With a sharp turn of events, Veeam now has an API that partners can use in order to create their own integration. This will really open the door to new storage integrations, and the onus will be on the providers. My only concern will be how it fits into the support model …. This might lead to some finger pointing.
The second integration that I saw that stood out to me was 3rd party vendor integration. We received a only a quick mention of the DataGravity integration, which I won’t go into too much detail here. I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with that beta (all under NDA), so expect to see a post on that.
Veeam Availability for AWS
Veeam has partnered with N2W software and allows you to hook into your AWS instances and backup those workloads in an agent-less fashion. There will be a breakout session with more information, but it is great to support for cloud environments.
Moving to the cloud is something that we are seeing more and more of. However, in a lot of situations, this is an initiative pushed down from the top. Corporations have this vision of saving gobs of money and tell IT they need to do this. Unfortunately backup and availability is rarely part of that initial talk. Hopefully, this AWS support will make that a non-issue for anyone using the service.
Veeam Availability Orchestrator
I did a post on Veeam Availability Orchestrator yesterday, so I highly recommend checking that out. It was announced that a new beta will be available
All in all, there were quite a few announcements during the first general session. I’ll likely dig into some of these a bit deeper after I’ve had some time to digest the information. Good stuff for today though.