At Veeam’s annual conference, VeeamON, Veeam revealed what the roadmap was for new features in Backup & Replication. You may notice we didn’t title this “Veeam Backup & Replication v10”. This is covering what’s coming with update 4 to the current 9.5. Veeam has been shying away from a major update to 10 and are announcing features as they’re ready. These features should go GA before the end of the year.
Archive Tier 2.0
Funnily enough, there was never an Archive Tier 1.0 that got released. They previewed this at VeeamON in 2017 that was hinted at being in version 10, but it’ll come out in v9.5 update 4. According to Veeam, they rewrote the feature from the ground up, hence its 2.0 suffix.
The main thing with Archive Tier is that it allows you to build archives into your primary backup jobs. The archive tier can be on a slower piece of storage, a dedup appliance or even cloud storage. The possibilities are endless. For example, you could have your local backup jobs continue to do daily restore points of 7-10 days on fast, local storage while also storing it in your archive tier in the same backup job. Before, you had to set up a copy job to go along with the backup. Now, it’s done in one step.
This doesn’t replace copy jobs, but it does allow your backup jobs to have more of a traditional structure in keeping long-term restore points.
The most exciting part of this feature is the AWS/Azure integration, which allows a more simplistic way of using cloud storage for archive purposes. With any kind of cloud buildout, you first must understand your connectivity and how you interact with that cloud service.
Veeam is utilizing metadata caching to improve the speed of how this feature interacts with the cloud in hopes to minimize how often it has to connect to the cloud. There will be more details about this when the features go GA.
Above is an example of a typical archive tier being included in a backup job.
Updates to Scale-Out Backup Repository
In order for the above to function efficiently, Veeam made updates to how the scale-out backup repository works.
The way the archive tier works seamlessly is through Veeam’s re-engineered scale-out backup repositories. The Veeam data movers can now read the backup file transparently and Veeams keeps a metadata cache to track where files are without having to read or rehydrate the data. This conserves space locally but moreover, it cuts down on the bandwidth and subsequently latency by limiting the amount of requests the data movers make to read the data (whether it be in the cloud or at a remote site).
Integration with Oracle Enterprise Manager
Until now, Veeam’s functionality with Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) didn’t include much with Enterprise Manager, so it didn’t support native backup schemes. There is now a more direct integration with a plugin to Oracle Enterprise Manager, which allows you to back up RMAN clusters effectively. This is exciting news for Oracle shops.
This feature has been requested a lot by enterprises who want to prep restores before they go live. Essentially, with Staged Restore, you can take a point in time of your choosing and alter it before you restore it to production. For example, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) require the ability to remove user data when requested, so having the ability to modify your backup and then restore it makes this much simpler.
With Staged Restore, you can stage a backup to be restored in a virtual lab and quarantine it to allow your antivirus to scan it before you push it to production. This removes a lot of the guesswork of restoring from a ransomware attack if you don’t know the exact point in time you were infected. With this tool you can doublecheck and make sure it’s not there before you go live.
This also allows for you to test or even have multiple antivirus tools. Say you have a few higher-end enterprise antivirus programs you want to use to just to handle these mission-critical remedial instances. This way you can buy a couple of licenses of the robust versions, and cross-check it with other programs. This is also a great way to execute a POC of antivirus products.
Veeam Continuous Data Protection and SMB Backup Still MIA
There are two big features that were demoed and discussed a lot at VeeamON that are missing in action, the instant replication technology, Veeam Continuous Data Protection, and SMB backup for NASes. The latest news from Veeam is that these features are still in progress and should be available in beta closer to the end of the year.
If you’re wondering why these features are delayed, it’s because Veeam is very meticulous on quality control. If a feature is not where Veeam wants it to be and works in all scenarios, they will not release it. For example, if you keep up with Veeam’s blogs, you’ll notice that there are a lot of ongoing VMware changes which are hampering the release of these features because it’s become a bit of a moving target.