Veeam’s Next Big Thing

Veeam held their ‘Next Big Thing’ event on the 23rd August and it was filled with information. There was a lot of business and background information to start everything off to eventually start the product announcements.

So what was it that they announced?

Veeam Availability platform for the Hybrid Cloud

One of the big points which was covered appeared to be more of a road map as to where Veeam is going. Veeam has big plans that span across both on and off premises.

The goal is to make sure that your data is available, no matter where it is (local, remote, cloud, etc.)

veeam Availability platform for the Hybrid Cloud

Upcoming V 9.5 Features

There will be a few changes that are going on under the hood with this release, there will be some which users may never see directly. In the typical Veeam tradition, they have gone ahead and made the improvements to how the underlying engine works. Although you might notice some of the tweaks in things like the amount of time it will take to do a full restore for example.

The bigger news that had come was to do with Microsoft’s ReFS (Resilient File System). Version 3.0 of the ReFS is due to be released with Windows 2016 (which is expected later this year). What will be so unique about ReFS (vs NTFS) is that you will be allowed to build-out files using storage pointers. So how will this affect Veeam?

This will mean in a lot of cases the new data doesn’t need to be written, which will dramatically shrink the back-up windows.

Although, deduplication is not currently available under ReFS. You should still be able to see space savings as not as much data needs to be written now. Active full will not have much of a performance change as this method will require each block to be read from the production and not the back-up repository.

They have stated the estimated target for V 9.5 is October 2016.

Veeam Agents (Endpoint Backup)

Veeam Agents (Endpoint Backup)

Veeam currently provides backup for physical machines via the Veeam Endpoint backup for their Windows users and the Veeam agent for Linux users. The Endpoint name is going to be changed to Veeam Agent for Windows, which will align the two solutions under the same product family.

The Linux Agent is due to be go live in November 2016, whereas the Windows Agent is slated for December 2016. Veeam will be taking these products a step further now and will be introducing three new versions of Agents: Free, Workstation and Server.

There are a few big things that standout here which are:

  • Cloud Connect – Veeam had introduced Cloud Connect in version 8, although this was only for you VMs. With this upcoming release, you will be able to back-up the Agents to the Cloud Connect repositories as well.
  • Local Cache – If you have one of those instances where you cannot back-up to your repository, the Agent will now write to a local cache which will then be synced to the repository when it is possible. This may sound small, but the implications before were huge. Original a job may fail due to being offline which now it should succeed.
  • Veeam Agent for Linux – The integration with Veeam Repositories is coming. This was one feature that has been noticeable missed in the beta.
  • Direct restore to Azure – With this, you could take the physical server that was being backed up and in the event of a failure you will be able to restore it directly to Azure. This might also be useful for situations when an employee’s laptop dies while they are on the road visiting important clients. They may be able to purchase/borrow a device while their back-up is restored to Azure, where they can RDP into the restored machine.

Veeam Availability Orchestrator

This is one component that we are looking forward to. What will this component do? The component will provide Orchestration, Testing and Documentation.

  • Orchestration – This will begin in the form of creating defined plans for the back-ups and replications, such as when to fail-over and fail-back.
  • Testing – This will take the plans and verify that they will pass. You will be able to take the data (backups or replicas) and perform tests with the data to make sure it works when you need it. This will be different than taking a snapshot of your environment and testing it once every six months. The difference is that you would be working with up to date data every time.
  • Documentation – The intent here is that Veeam will take your defined plans (and possibly test results), to then create your documentation for you. It may sound similar to a Gitbook in which that updates can be made frequently, and at any point you can generate the more up to date documentation. If you are dealing with compliance issues, this will help you.

The Veeam Availability Orchestrator is subjected for Q1 2017 release, along with Beta in September 2016.

Veeam Availability Orchestrator
Veeam Availability Console

Veeam Availability Console

How is Veeam planning on letting administrators handle the new Endpoints? Through the Availability Console.

The Console is aimed at both Service Providers and Enterprises a like. The goal is to provide a ‘single pane of glass’ for all the things Veeam related:

  • Back-up and replication management
  • Monitoring
  • Billing
  • Agent Management

Through the agent front you will be able to deploy the software by using one of the three methods:

  • IP Range Scan
  • CSV File
  • Active Directory / GPO

The configuration involves taking an XML file and getting it down to the agent. This could be big in larger companies, the idea of being able to have a copy of the agent installed and configured on all laptops in a specific department is engaging.

With this bundle you will be able to in fact choose which repository you want to use as well as being able to do things like making sure departments are backing up their own equipment’s.

Office 365

This appeared to be the biggest news that was announced at the ‘Next Big Thing’ event. Veeam are going to be adding back-up capabilities for the hosted exchange in the Office 365 environments. There is a lot of potential for this.

Many companies already have a type of email archiving system in place, although this is good but is not really considered as a back-up. As you cannot really for example restore someone’s contacts or calendars.

You will be able to set retention limits as well as scheduling when the back-ups will run. The target release date is Q4 2016.

microsoft office 365 logo

Looking at V10

Although considering, that the rather big 9.5 patch hasn’t dropped yet, talking about version ten almost seems rather crazy.

With this being said, Veeam has announced that the next line of storage to be integrated into Veeam will be IBM (which is the SAN Volume Controller and Storwize lines). The tech preview of version ten is subjected to be ready for VeeamOn 2017, which is said to be in May.

To conclude, Veeam have been steadily integrating the new storage systems for a while now. Although one of the most common questions around has been “How can I suggest a Vendor?” The answer would be take a look at Veeam forums and add your voice to the on-going thread. A member of the Veeam team really does watch the forum and your voice will be counted.