Veeam Backup & Replication v8Veeam’s latest version of its backup and replication software, v8, is expected to come out this quarter. Two weeks ago I attended Veeam’s first ever conference, VeeamON, and got a hands-on experience with what’s to come. I have the beta of Veeam Backup & Replication v8 set up in a test environment and these are what I found to be its top six features:

Veeam Cloud Connect

Veeam’s rule is 3-2-1: three copies of your data, stored on two different media, with one being offsite.

Backing up to a cloud provider is now a full feature within backup and replication, no longer a standalone product, which makes it that much easier to achieve getting your backups offsite. With Veeam Cloud Connect, there is no need to own your second site; the same solution can be offered by a service provider, so you won’t have capital expenses to build and maintain an additional infrastructure. This way you can quickly and easily consume a service with a “pay as you go” model.

In fact, you can get your backups offsite to a hosted cloud repository through an SSL connection and cloud gateway, when before a VPN connection was required. And now the backup console is agnostic, meaning you see the repository the same as you would your local repositories.

Currently, Veeam is reporting they can back up to these cloud providers.

With that being said, it’s important to note that Veeam will no longer sell Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition as a standalone product. If you are using this product and are on a maintenance program it will still be supported. However, it won’t be eligible for upgrade to v8.

Active Directory Explorer

This feature allows users item-level Active Directory restores, including the ability to restore passwords. In my opinion, there’s never before been a product that allowed easy restores from Active Directory, which can come in handy for organizations with a large amount of users in Active Directory.

SQL Explorer and SQL Transaction Logs

The SQL Explorer gives the ability to restore SQL transactions. This fast transaction-level recovery of SQL databases could replace the more cumbersome traditional SQL backups. With agentless transaction log backup and replay, you can restore your SQL databases to the precise desired point in time achieving low RTPOs without the substantial cost.

You can now back up transaction logs from your SQL server down to every 15 minutes, which gives you true transaction recovery with a very low recovery point objective (RPO).

New Replication Features

With v8 you can choose from where the replication jobs obtain VM data. In addition to production storage, you can now replicate from your backup files, meaning you don’t have to touch your production environment twice ―thus reducing the impact of data protection activities on your production storage in half.

There is also a robust WAN accelerator that saves on bandwidth and lessens transmission time. Veeam reports up to 50x faster replication, and up to 20x reduction in bandwidth consumption.

End-to-End Encryption

Secure your backups with end-to-end AES 256 encryption. You can encrypt at the source (during backup), in-flight and at rest—all without any negative impact on built-in compression, deduplication and WAN Acceleration. Even if the password is lost, you can still recover data from encrypted backup files without compromising security.

You also have flexibility over when and where you choose to use encryption. For example, you can leave local backups unencrypted for a faster backup and restore performance, but then encrypt your backups that are copied to an offsite target or tape.

You can also protect different backups with different passwords, while actual encryption keys are generated randomly within each session for added security.

Failover Plans

The most exciting new feature of v8 is probably the added functionality for creating failover plans. You can now plan your entire failover in advance, and initiate it with a single click when needed. You can even do this from your iPad (using Veeam’s web UI). Veeam says you can even do it “while lying on a beach, even though we hope you will never have to do anything like that during your vacation.”

In your failover plan, you can add VMs from your replicas and with an easy dialog you can move them up or down to set the boot order. You can also set a delay for each so that they don’t start before a previous one has been booted and its services are running.

You can also create multiple failover plans. For example, you only initiate the next failover plan when you know the previous ones have completed successfully and your DR site still has enough resources to maintain less important VMs. (e.g. “Core Infrastructure VMs,” “Business App VMs” and “Dev/Test VMs”)

Testing the failover plan or plans is now based on the SureReplica technology, which ensures your replicas work when you need them. With SureReplica, you can fully test the recoverability of your replica VMs on a regular basis without impacting the production environment. This is thanks to the Virtual Labs.

Planned failover is now directly integrated into v8, which is great for facilitating data center migrations or performing maintenance work on your production hosts or production site. This is done without any data loss, does require a small amount of downtime. When performing a planned failover, the source VM is shut down, the last changes are replicated to the target VM, and the target VM is started.

Honorable mention: Veeam Endpoint Backup

Along with the release of v8, Veeam also created a free endpoint backup service. This is Veeam’s first foray into physical backups. The product is identified for desktops and laptops only, but you can try it on the occasional server here and there. This is only a free product so far and I wouldn’t let your backups live or die by it.

Have questions about Veeam Backup & Replication or what it takes to upgrade to v8? Give us a call at 502-240-0404 or email us!