Veeam User Group Q3 2017 Recap

A big thank you to the 50+ attendees who made it out to the Q3 SouthWest Ontario Veeam User Group (SWOVUG) yesterday. As always, it is great to see returning faces, as well as new folks. The one downside I find personally as the group grows is it is hard to chat with everyone. Not a bad problem to have though!

We were also fortunate enough to have Paula Melvin from Veeam’s Ohio office come up for the event. In addition to that, the Guest of Honour was Vanny Vanguard – the “unofficial, official mascot of the Veeam Vanguard” (pictured above).

THANK YOU EXAGRID

I’d like to thank Marc Crespi from ExaGrid again for giving a great technical presentation. Based on some quick polling, most folks weren’t familiar with ExaGrid, but I think the vision of their product quickly came through. We had lots of great discussion around what their solution does, how it does it, and how it can be used. Veeam and ExaGrid have been long-time partners, and you can find some more information about their product here: http://www.exagrid.com/exagrid-products/supported-data-backup-applications/veeam-backup/

WHAT’S COMING IN V10

The bulk of the remaining time was spent on reviewing upcoming features in Veeam Backup & Replication V10. Chris McDonald¬†and Mario Marquez from Veeam did a bang-up job of walking us through some of the announced features. There were definitely plenty of questions and comments along with way, which is great. I’m always a big believer in that if we can turn these events into conversations, then we’ll all gain more value from them.

VEEAM CDP

Continuous Data Protection (CDP) was a popular topic, and personally, it is one that I am really looking forward to. The basics of it are that Veeam Backup & Recovery will leverage an existing (and fully supported) VMware API called vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering (VAIO). This allows for RPOs down to 15 seconds (yes, seconds) via the replication engine. Currently, replication requires a snapshot. This causes performance issues ranging from I/O issues on your storage to making the VM unavailable due to VM stun. VAIO, on the other hand, will not use snapshots, and thus will have minimal impact on your infrastructure. Given that it is a VMware API, this will only be available in vSphere.

VEEAM NAS SUPPORT

NAS support was another feature that seemed to have a lot of discussion around it. This one surprised me a bit as I didn’t think we would see much interest, but I was wrong on that. In a nutshell, Veeam Backup & Replication will be able to backup NFS of SMB (although it will probably end up being labeled CIFS, which is incorrect) file shares. One key thing to understand is that there are no agents to install on the NAS to accomplish this. We touched on the versioning feature that will be available, as well as rollbacks. The idea behind a rollback is that it only restores what changes. This is in contrast to a restore, which would restore all data, regardless of a change or not. Where this might be a big helper is in the case of recovering from a ransomware attack.

SIDE CONVERSATIONS

One of the things I enjoy most is the conversations I get to have with attendees. I truly wish I had time to talk with everyone, but it is amazing how time flies. A few of the highlights were conversations around replacing USB storage, leveraging Veeam Agents (even though the workloads are virtual), as well as seeding Agent backup jobs. I won’t go into much detail around those, but I wanted to mention them to highlight a point. Part of the reason why I organize these user groups is to get a group of IT professionals together in one spot. We are all peers, and there is a brain power in the room. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to chat with others. Whether they are old acquaintances or someone new, chances are you can have a great conversation with them.

Along those same lines, if you have an interest in presenting at an upcoming meeting, by all means, feel free to reach out. I like to stress that as far as user presentations go, we don’t really have a heck of a lot in the way of “rules”. What I mean by that is it could be 10 minutes, or it could be 30 minutes. Maybe you have a problem that you just solved that you can share; chances are others may experience that issue. On the flip side, maybe you have a problem that you are looking to share – why not use a room full of smart folks to try and solve that problem?

As always, you are more than welcome to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns about the SouthWest Ontario Veeam User Group.

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