As the name suggests Veeam Backup & Replication enables you to backup and replicate your ESX or ESXi based VMs. Those of you that aren’t familiar with the product may have used their free copy utility, FastSCP, on which Veeam Backup & Replication is an extension of. If you haven’t tried FastSCP for copying your files to/from and within your ESX/ESXi environment I recommend you download it and give it a try – I think you’ll be impressed with the copy speeds you can get from it.
Features and Improvements:
For me the following are the most exciting features and improvements in this new version of Veeam Backup & Replication (v4.0):
vStorage Support: This release of the Backup & Replication software has a number of nice new features but for me the most significant is the native vSphere and vStorage compatibility. This means that you will no longer need to use a VCB proxy server to achieve fast backup speeds of your VMs located on shared storage. Veeam are quoting an up to 10x improvement in backup speeds.
Thin Provisioned Disk Support & Block Level Change Tracking: Support for vSphere thin provisioned disks is also significant as this will greatly assist in reducing backup windows and the amount of space a VM backup requires, which when combined with the in-built reduplication function means that your backups are taking up less space than ever. Another area of support is for vSphere’s new block level change tracking which will also add to the overall efficiency and reduced backup times.
Centralised Management: There is now a centralised management interface for your Backup & Replication instances. I found this new web based interface to be quick, intuitive and clearly laid out. Security can be applied to individuals or groups which in turn determines who can backup/restore particular servers or server types – useful stuff for those of you in larger IT teams. This whole centralised backup management model is also useful for producing reports on the backup or restore jobs in your environment.
Improved Replication Functionality: The replication portion of Veeam Backup & Replication now provides the ability to schedule more frequent (ie: 5 minutes) replication of VMs between locations (eg: production to DR site) without the need for creating open snapshot which are no good if you are running DRS or are wanting to vMotion a VM. This is also achieved by new vStorage API functionality provided in vSphere.
Other Items Worth a Mention:
– Veeam Backup & Replicaton v4,0 supports both Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Windows 7 as Veeam Backup server, Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager server, and as guest OS for Veeam VSS integration.
– If using the Backup Enterprise Manager portion of the product you can using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 as the backend database.
This video by Veeam’s Doug Hazelman (Twitter: @vmdoug) also gives a good overview of the features Backup & Replication offers:
A free trial of the product can be downloaded from here – check it out and let me know what you think of it and maybe what you currently use to backup your VMs. I’m always interested to know what others use and do.