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Veeam upgrades virtual server backup software, adds Hyper-V support

Veeam provides details of Backup & Replication 6 virtual server backup software, including one-click failback and file restores

Veeam Software is preparing to enhance its virtual server backup software with increased scalability for enterprise use, support for Microsoft Hyper-V, one-click failover and file restores. Although Veeam Backup & Replication 6 won’t ship until later this year, the vendor today disclosed details of the product.

Backup & Replication 6 will be the first version that goes beyond VMware hypervisor support. Veeam vice president of product strategy Doug Hazelman said he anticipates a lot more customers will be using Hyper-V either as their sole hypervisor or in a mixed environment with VMware. Veeam first announced it would support Hyper-V in May.

Veeam is also moving to a distributed architecture, offloading part of the backup and replication load with proxy servers instead of only using backup servers. Veeam claims that the new architecture will speed performance and enable the product to scale sufficiently for larger organizations.

“Before all the data had to flow through one server, and that server had to do reads and writes,” Hazelman said. “Now when a backup job starts, the source and target talk directly to each other. The proxy will initiate the backup, grab incremental data, do the deduplication and compression and send one file over to the repository. The repository will put it into the incremental backup chain, and add or update a replica copy on the target host.”

Veeam will also add what it calls “real failback,” which lets customers fail back with one click. “It was always easy to failover, but not so easy to failback,” Hazelman said. “Before, customers had to set up a replication job to replicate the other way. It was a manual process.”

Hazelman said restoring a single file from search previously required 10 steps. Now it can be done in one. Users can be given one-click restore permission based on specific file types.

Virtual server backup software no longer 'niche'

Veeam’s improvements come as the traditional backup vendors move to beef up their virtual machine capabilities so their customers no longer have to use separate backup software for physical and virtual machines. Because the larger backup vendors did not sufficiently address virtual machines early on, customers turned to VM-backup software from vendors such as PHD Virtual, Quest Software and Veeam.

“Veeam is really riding that wave of increased virtualization,” IDC analyst Robert Amatruda said. “In the data protection market, they’re going up against some well-capitalized, well-entrenched, installed products out there. But the virtual backup guys are growing rapidly, certainly better than the overall market.

“The traditional software vendors are all looking at virtual protection applications or appliances. They have to.”

Hazelman said Veeam can ride the virtualization wave into becoming the only backup tool a customer needs.

“They [traditional backup vendors] are beefing up their virtualization capabilities, but we have quite a lead from a technical standpoint because we’ve been virtualization-first from the beginning,” he said.

“Customers have asked us to support physical servers. I’m not saying we’ll never support physical servers, but we’re in a position to take advantage of our leadership of virtualization. We can help drive the move off physical servers, so vendors who support the physical side will be niche, and vendors like Veeam will be mainstream.”

Hazelman said Veeam has more than 25,000 customers protecting more than 1.8 million virtual machines. (Quest claims 38,000 vRanger customers). He claims Veeam is adding nearly 1,500 new customers a month. Veeam is also being used more in larger organizations. Hazelman said Veeam has 4,000 customers who are protecting at least 100 VMs.

Mazda NA picks Veeam for virtualization project

Mazda NA infrastructure architect Barry Blakely said his organization added Veeam Backup & Replication virtual server backup software last year when it decided to begin virtualizing all of its servers. He said about 80% of its servers are now virtualized, and he hopes to be completely virtualized within a year.

Having multiple backup applications is obviously an administrative headache we would like to avoid.

Barry Blakely, Mazda NA infrastructure architect 

“Moving forward, as we virtualize everything that we can, Veeam is our chosen backup solution,” Blakely said. “Our ultimate goal is to have one backup application, if it can be done. Having multiple backup applications is obviously an administrative headache we would like to avoid.”

As for the new version, Blakely said he’s happy about Veeam’s one-click capabilities.

“We would like [to be] as much push-button as possible,” Blakely said. “We wouldn’t use automatic failover and failback because we wouldn’t want a transient outage to cause a failover to occur, but we like a push-button failover and failback.”

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