Veeam's Next Big Thing

Tuesday 23rd August 2016 saw Veeam announce several new products alongside updates and enhancements to their current product suite including Veeam Backup & Replication, Veeam ONE and Veeam Cloud Connect.  

Veeam Availability Platform for the Hybrid Cloud

This was the first major announcement and shows Veeam is now targeting workloads provided by either public or private cloud environments. The current architecture of Veeam relies on full integration with the hypervisor and with on premises virtualised datacentres this works seamlessly. Now we are in the era of software-defined datacentres and hybrid cloud for our environments how do we continue to provide availability to our workloads regardless of their location.  To achieve this Veeam have announced several new products which I’ll take a brief look at below.

Veeam Agent for Windows & Linux

We’ve had Veeam Endpoint available to us for a while now allowing us to protect physical endpoints and this product has now been repackaged and called Veeam Agent for Windows. There will be three versions of the product each with different functionality to suit the requirement. 

  •  Free
  • Workstation
  • Server

It’s really good to see Veeam maintaining the free version of this product, this has been a common theme with other products such as the Veeam Explorers. The workstation and server versions will offer Enterprise Technical Support with the server version offering full application aware processing including transaction log processing - handy for those physical SQL instances still out there. As you would expect there will be a licensing requirement for workstation and server products and this will be charged on a per agent basis under an annual subscription.

Veeam Agent for Linux allows the backup of Linux instances running in the cloud or on premises. It supports both volume level and file level backups and will integrate with Veeam Backup & Replication repositories allowing granular recovery and more.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Yep another big one! Here at Computerworld we’ve seen a massive uptake across all sectors for Office 365 over the last couple of years. One of the biggest considerations is how your data is protected once it’s on the Office 365 platform. A big misconception is “now I’ve moved my data to the cloud it’s no longer my responsibility”, which isn’t true. Whilst Microsoft has a very resilient platform, hosting Office 365 it’s still your data to protect. If the MD deletes an important email whose phone will ring? 

Veeam Backup for Office 365 connects securely to the tenant using Exchange Web Services (EWS) API. Archive jobs can be created on a per mailbox basis with job scheduling available. The archives are stored in the native Exchange jet blue database format allowing for granular recovery options using the Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange. In the days before Office 365 Veeam offered fantastic integration into Exchange such as single item restores directly to a user mailbox using the Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange. From an administrator's perspective it was great, a couple of clicks, job done. With the integration into Office 365 it’s good to see this functionality return.

As I understand it Veeam will only protect email data with this release and other products such as SharePoint online or OneDrive won’t be protected – maybe something for the future. Veeam are offering a FREE 3 year subscription to Veeam Availability Suite or Veeam Backup & Replication Enterprise Plus customers. If you have Enterprise or Standard licensing then it’s a FREE 1 year subscription.

Veeam Availability Orchestrator

Currently we have tools in Backup & Replication such as SureBackup and SureReplica to help us test the integrity of backup and replica data. This product enhances DR further by providing automation and documentation to the process helping to eliminate some of the errors that can creep into manual methods. Each time a new business application is added to your environment you can configure rules and processes to automatically update your DR plan to include it. Not only that it can also provide you with the latest up to date DR documentation which is great for compliance. As with other products, this will be licensed on a per-VM basis under an annual subscription. One other thing to note is Veeam Availability Suite will be required to use this product. 

Veeam Availability Console

With all these new products and services you may be wondering how many consoles will I need to manage it all? Well Veeam have announced their new Availability Console. This is a cloud-enabled platform enabling enterprises to easily manage remote office and distributed locations. It will also help service providers streamline delivery of backup and replication services. Regardless of where the workload sits, if it’s agent based or virtual you’ll be able to manage it all using this single application.

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5

Not forgetting the core product itself Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 has several new features and enhancements. I’ve already covered the integration with Nimble Storage in another post but other key updates include:

  • Enterprise Scalability Enhancements
  • Direct restore to Microsoft Azure
  • Enhanced vCloud Director support
  • Advanced ReFS Integration
  • Veeam ONE chargeback
  • Full integration with Microsoft 2016 technologies

In addition to the features above Veeam have also announced their plans for storage integration with IBM, but you’ll need to wait a little while as this coming with version 10.

Target Release Dates

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 – October 2016

Veeam Agent for Windows – December 2016

Veeam Agent for Linux – November 2016

Veeam Availability Console – Q1 2017

Veeam Availability Orchestrator – Q1 2017

Further Reading

Veeam Agents

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5

Veeam Availability Console

Veeam Availability Orchestrator