Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0: What’s New?

Source: Veeam

This is the beginning of a series of blogs that will give you an in-depth how-to of the many new capabilities that are available in Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0.

If this is the first time you are hearing about our new product, I recommend you first review the following announcement blog post where I have previously provided an overview of the three editions of Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows and some of the new functionalities. In this blog post, we will take a deeper look at some of the top features this release brings.

Direct backup to Veeam Cloud Connect

With the release of Veeam Backup & Replication v8 in 2014, Veeam introduced a new way in which businesses could extend their data protection strategy to include a cloud repository hosted by a trusted service provider. This technology is called Veeam Cloud Connect and it allows businesses to easily set up offsite backups and replication to a Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) with just a few clicks, directly in their Backup & Replication console.

This functionality had an incredible success within our customer base and we received many requests to enable the same functionality from Veeam Endpoint Backup users. So, we did. Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0 now supports direct backup to Veeam Cloud Connect repositories. This allows our users to easily make secure offsite backups of servers and workstations located outside of the network perimeter (for example, a server in the remote office, or a laptop of a mobile user).

Plus, our VCSPs can now further enhance their backup as a service (BaaS) offering as in addition to VMs, they are now able to protect their customers’ virtual, physical and cloud-based Windows instances.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0: What’s New

Backup to a cloud repository

Encryption with password loss protection

Security is extremely important, especially when we’re talking about cloud backups. But, maintaining the integrity of your data within today’s modern world is paramount. Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows provides the option to encrypt backup files at the source — before the data leaves the protected computer, allowing users to protect their sensitive information from unauthorized access and also prevent unwanted manipulations of the backup files. Because this functionality is so important, we have made it available in ALL editions, including FREE!

More importantly, because all Veeam technologies are tightly integrated, backup encryption does not impact the data reduction ratios of built-in compression and WAN Acceleration, as is the case when using third-party bandwidth reduction solutions.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0: What’s New

Source-side encryption settings

Additionally, Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0 can optionally include the decryption key in your custom recovery media to ensure seamless bare metal recovery from an encrypted backup. This enables IT managers to maintain the ability to restore a backup even if the password set by the user is lost or unknown. Of course, if you chose this option, you should keep your recovery disk in a secure location!

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0: What’s New

Option to include the decryption key within the recovery media

Direct backup to ReFS v3.1 repository

There’s no doubt that our advanced ReFS integration was the biggest innovation of our latest Veeam Backup & Replication release, version 9.5. We’re consistently hearing our customers saying the same thing — please add more game changing functionality like this! So, of course we had no choice but to add the same ReFS integration to Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0 as well, for it to benefit from all the coolness this integration provides when using our agent to perform local backups on Windows Server 2016 or Windows 10 Creators Update.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0: What’s New

Scheduling synthetic full backups in the Advanced Settings of the Configure Backup wizard.

With this integration, the agent will use fast cloning of the block in the existing backup files to make the synthetic backup creation much faster while consuming no additional space — which is why we’re calling such backups “spaceless.” By the way, we’re often asked how to make sure of that fast cloning — you should look for a [fast clone] tag in the synthetic full backup action log line.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0: What’s New

Synthetic backup utilizing Block Clone API

Please note that synthetic full backups are available in paid editions only — however, we still recommend using ReFS even in FREE edition for improved reliability, thanks to built-in data integrity streams.

Summary

This is just the beginning, so do keep your eye out for the rest of the Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0 how-to series. Meanwhile, head over to our website and download your copy of our product to begin ensuring Availability of all your physical and cloud instances! To familiarize yourself with our product, you can either use a free edition or get a FREE six-month subscription for unlimited workstations and servers!

For a complete run-down of everything that’s new in Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0, check out the official What’s New document.

Share your comments below and tell us how you’re planning to use the brand new Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows!

The post Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0: What’s New? appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0: What’s New?

Microsoft Operations Management Suite integration with Veeam Management Pack v8 Update 4

Source: Veeam

What a great week so far it has been at VeeamON 2017 in New Orleans! Holding true on one of our core values — Veeam Speed — I am very excited to share with you another VeeamON 2017 product announcement.

Veeam Management Pack (MP) for System Center v8 Update 4 is NOW generally available (GA)!

This news really excites me, as many of you know just a few short years ago I was an IT pro digging the same trench you’re working on digging now. So, Veeam MP will always hold an extremely special place in my heart as I was a customer of Veeam MP where I had great success with the product!

What’s NEW in Update 4?

Veeam MP for System Center provides integration, monitoring, advanced reporting and detailed topology features for virtualized environments, including the virtual machines, the physical hosts and the associated network and storage fabric. Veeam MP allows these advanced features to be leveraged across multiple System Center components, including: System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), Orchestrator (SCORCH), Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and Service Manager (SCSM).

Veeam MP Update 4 extends your traditional on-premises System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) monitoring of VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V and Veeam Backup & Replication environments out to Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) to allow the management and monitoring anywhere, anytime.

The premise of Availability — anywhere and at any time — is exactly what Veeam is built upon. One of the most requested feature adds of the Veeam MP was direct integration with Microsoft OMS.

Let’s take a deeper look in to the Veeam MP integration with OMS Update 4!

Veeam MP integration with Operations Management Suite

Many organizations are adopting public cloud services for specific applications they no longer desire to manage on premises, resulting in a hybrid cloud deployment. OMS is a Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud based management tool that permits a connection to an on-premises SCOM environment. The data Veeam MP collects from your VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Veeam Backup & Replication environments is treated just like any other SCOM object. When SCOM is connected to an existing OMS workspace, the data collected is transferred in 15 minute intervals to your existing Microsoft OMS workspace.

Veeam MP integration with OMS includes four default views, which you import into OMS to track the health and state of monitored objects, estimate the overall resource utilization and provide at-a-glance overviews of the collected Veeam MP data. Once you have SCOM, Veeam MP and an active Azure OMS subscription, the process is divided into two steps:

  1. Import MBP files from the Veeam MP Resource Kit into SCOM
  2. Add OMS view(s) from the Veeam MP Resource Kit into OMS

One of my personal favorite features of Veeam MP is the Veeam Morning Coffee Dashboard!  These real-time, at-a-glance SCOM dashboards allow administrators fast insights of their VMware and/or Hyper-V infrastructures. These same Veeam Morning Coffee Dashboards are being extended to OMS and can be consumed via the OMS application or from anywhere there’s an internet browser to provide useful information about the infrastructure. The default views provided can be rearranged and edited on a user by user basis so their view is customized.

Veeam Management Pack v8 Update 4

Veeam Morning Coffee Dashboard views are NOW available within OMS!

The four default OMS views include:

  • Veeam Morning Coffee Dashboard for VMware vSphere
  • Veeam Morning Coffee Dashboard for Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Veeam Morning Coffee Dashboard for Backup
  • Veeam Management Pack health dashboard

Veeam Management Pack v8 Update 4

vSphere data collected in OMS is searchable based on native OMS queries

The illustration above shows several objects that are in a healthy, warning or error state. As you drill into the problems, you will be redirected to the OMS Log Search tool that is native to OMS. The queries utilized are customized to pull the necessary Veeam MP data from the OMS solution that are focused on the object of concern. The example below provides detail on an individual vSphere ESXi host that was in an error state. By default, the monitoring period is the last six hours. If needed, you can expand the time frame to get ALL of the alerts for that object over the given period. This specific host has had errors with host memory usage as well as host memory over commitment which can be exported out to a .XLS document for further analysis.

Example OMS query:

Type=Perf CounterName=”cpuUsedPct” ObjectName=”VMware vSphere Host” InstanceName=”esx-main5.XYZ.domain.com” | measure avg(CounterValue) interval 1hour

The CPU and memory resource usage views are very useful, too. They should be leveraged when troubleshooting issues that are currently being experienced in the environment or when trending data over a larger period of time to conduct capacity planning exercise. I personally consider it to be a best practice that all IT shops should review their CPU, memory and storage (capacity and performance) trends monthly, at the very least, to ensure proper capacity planning.

Veeam Management Pack v8 Update 4

Detailed CPU and memory usage within OMS

Regardless of whether you’re looking to troubleshoot the state of an individual object like a VM, host or even Veeam Backup & Replication repository for instance, the drill-down capability allows you to review large amounts of data quickly and troubleshoot issues within your VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V or Veeam Backup & Replication environments.

Power BI preview

By using the Preview OMS to Power BI connector, you can push Veeam MP data into the Power BI for further analysis and visualization.

You first need to enable the Power BI export within your workspace and connect to your Power BI account. Next, select any data provided with Veeam MP integration with OMS, like vSphere hosts CPU usage and then configure a dataset push to Power BI.

Example OMS query:

“Type=Perf CounterName=”cpuUsedPct” ObjectName=”VMware vSphere Host” InstanceName<>_Total”

Veeam Management Pack v8 Update 4

Using the Preview OMS to Power BI connector

Within Power BI, you will see this dataset as a data source available for further analysis. Just add some charts and then visualize your data center health and performance the way you like!

Veeam Management Pack v8 Update 4

Example Power BI data from Veeam MP integration with OMS

Wrap up

Veeam MP for System Center Update 4 continues to provide the tools you need to ensure your environment is available. Full support for both Windows Server and System Center Operations Manager 2016 — including Hyper-V 2016 as well as vSphere 6.5 and NOW OMS— gives you, as an administrator, the full app-to-metal visibility that your business demands.

If you’re using Operations Manager on premises, grab your 50 FREE sockets of the Veeam Management Pack for System Center Enterprise edition within the Partner Solutions Tab inside the SCOM Administration pane! Alternatively, head over to Veeam.com to register for your 50 FREE sockets of Veeam MP for System Center today!

The post Microsoft Operations Management Suite integration with Veeam Management Pack v8 Update 4 appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Microsoft Operations Management Suite integration with Veeam Management Pack v8 Update 4

VeeamON 2017: Learn, connect and interact

Source: Veeam

VeeamON 2017 is right around the corner, 8 days to be exact. The event begins on May 16 in New Orleans, LA! Personally, I have been very busy preparing my three breakout sessions and all of the demos, as well as all of the social media activities I’m involved in. If you’re a returning VeeamON veteran, welcome back, but if you’re a newbie to VeeamON, don’t be shy – my ask of you is quite simple — come prepared to achieve three key tasks:

  1. Learn
  2. Connect
  3. Interact

Let’s touch on how these tasks can be achieved in a fun way!

VeeamON 2017

Learn

The must-attend VeeamON 2017 keynote session will highlight what to expect from the NEW Veeam Availability Suite v10, and how it will dramatically expand the protected data footprint, enabling you to protect all of your enterprise workloads with a single product!

VeeamON 2017 features over 85 individual breakout sessions across five different learning tracks over the course of the three-day conference. My colleague Michael Cade (@MichaelCade1) wrote a previous blog post that highlighted a few of the sessions that caught his eye – so be sure to check this out!

LabWarz

LabWarz gives attendees the opportunity to complete scenario-based challenges as they race against the clock. It’s simple: Solve the Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 scenario with the best time, and you’ll be crowned the VeeamON 2017 LabWarz Champion.

If you like to compete and you think you’ve got some extreme Veeam know-how, LabWarz is for you. Not to mention, the winner will be awarded the $10,000 grand prize. Just be warned: The reigning two-time LabWarz Champion, Ideen Jahanshahi (@Ideenj), is no slouch either – the competition will be intense for sure!

The Hands-On Lab allows attendees the chance to interactively engage with Veeam systems engineers. You’ll get unrestricted access to personally learn the ins and outs of Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 in a lab environment. You’ve likely taken hands-on-labs at VMworld or Ignite / TechEd in the past – the premise here is exactly the same.

No need to worry about your schedule either – LabWarz and the Hands-On Lab are available throughout the entire conference. Feel free to drop by when your schedule permits.

Lastly, Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE) training will be conducted at VeeamON 2017 as well. If you’re already an existing VMCE, you’ll be able to attend the brand new VMCE-Advanced: Design & Optimization v1 course.

New for VeeamON 2017 is the addition of a Pearson VUE Test Center on site, giving you the ability to take the certification test immediately following the training class.

Connect

Connect with industry experts. This statement sounds very simple, but in fact can be quite a daunting challenge. I’ll openly admit, when I attended my first VMworld years ago, I was completely in awe at the amount of big names that I found readily available just walking the expo floor. VeeamON 2017 is no different: Mark Russinovich, Sanjay Poonen, Ben Armstrong, Jeff Woolsey, Anton Gostev, Veeam Vanguards, Cisco Champions, Microsoft MVP’s and VMware vExperts. A unique attraction for Veeam is the fact that we interact and work with many different areas of technology, allowing for all of these experts from across the technology spectrum to find common synergies through Veeam. When you see someone you recognize, know or perhaps have just maybe heard of, those are connection possibilities at VeeamON 2017.

Interact

My absolute favorite part of attending conferences is the networking – no not Layer 2 or Layer 3 networking (geek joke) – I’m talking face-to-face conversations with friends, colleagues or experts that you rarely get to see. The unique part of the industry we’re in is we all have battle wounds, scars – stories to share. Conferences, meetups or user groups are the best place to share a high-five, a story and a beer. VeeamON 2017 will be no different. Community is a large part of what my team – the Veeam Technical Evangelists – is all about. Michael Cade and I will be hosting interviews on the expo floor, live streaming daily from VeeamON Studio B, as well as recording podcasts throughout the entire event. So, if you see Michael and me – be sure to say hello!

Each evening there are special activities – aka parties – giving attendees the chance to mingle and to enjoy some good food, drinks and friends:

  • Tuesday – Expo Welcome Reception
  • Wednesday – Premier Party Zone – collect all four sets of beads!
  • Thursday – legendary VeeamON party

Lastly, a great way to interact with the community is through a well-known community event, vBeers – their tagline is “Where vGeeks Come to Meet.” Sounds like a winner to me! Jase McCarty (@jasemccarty) has organized a pre-VeeamON 2017 vBeers event on May 15 at World of Beer – Warehouse District.

Visit www.vbeers.org for more information!

vBeers

Wrap up

Learn. Connect. Interact. That’s YOUR job. If you’re attending VeeamON 2017, make it happen – if not, be on the social media lookout for the live sessions that Michael Cade and I will be hosting. I hope to see you at VeeamON 2017 in New Orleans.

Share your comments with the community and let us know what you’re most looking forward to!

The post VeeamON 2017: Learn, connect and interact appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

VeeamON 2017: Learn, connect and interact

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0 Public Beta is NOW Available!

Source: Veeam

During our announcement on Aug. 23, one of the items we talked about was a new version of Veeam Endpoint Backup which will be renamed Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows and today I am happy to announce that the public beta is now available!

You may wonder, why rename the most successful free Veeam product ever – the product that has been downloaded over 1 million times since its release less than two years ago, the de-facto standard and universally recommended solution in all major technical communities? Indeed, it was a tough decision. As the original product name implies, our initial focus with this solution has been mainly on endpoints. This is no longer the case now that we’re expanding to providing full support of physical and cloud instances running server workloads, so we needed the new universal name that would cover both Windows-based workstations AND servers!

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0

This next version of Veeam Endpoint Backup will expand on the current free offering by providing a more robust and enhanced business feature set by adding two new paid editions. However, not to worry, we’re still maintaining and even expanding the functionality of our FREE offering as well to address your most common feedback.

For example, new functionality of the free edition includes Windows Server 2016 support, source-side encryption and the ability to schedule periodic active full backups for better reliability of backups to consumer-grade storage. All of these features were very frequently requested in our forums.

Additionally, on the recovery side, via the integration with Veeam Backup Free Edition 9.5, you receive new abilities to perform instant recovery of free agent backups to a Microsoft Hyper-V VM (including free Hyper-V) – or even directly to Microsoft Azure! This gives you additional restore options and opens a lot of interesting usage scenarios. For example, I know I will be restoring my older endpoint backups to a Microsoft Azure VM so I can boot them there whenever I need something.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Restore options available from within Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5

Introducing two new paid editions!

One of the biggest requests for our free offering has been technical support! This non-technical feature will be available for both of the new, paid editions; Workstation and Server – enabling users to enjoy industry-leading, enterprise-class 24.7.365 support.

Which edition you choose depends on what type of workload the protected instance runs. The agent will automatically detect which type of license is required based on the operating system you are running, but of course you will be able to override that on every agent manually, via remote management API, or – when backing up to a Veeam repository – via the centralized license management available directly through your Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 console!

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 console can be used to manage Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows licenses

But, there is much more to paid editions than technical support alone. Adding full server support was the biggest priority of this release and we had a lot of work to do – starting from something as basic as a server-focused job scheduler and up to full application-aware processing for all Windows enterprise applications: Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, SQL Server, SharePoint, Oracle and file servers. Yes, you guessed it right – the exact same, proven guest processing engine from Veeam Backup & Replication (including transaction log backup for low-RPO protection of databases) is now available within the server edition of the agent.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Application-aware image processing for Windows applications

There is also good news for mobile users. You need to ensure their backups can complete even when they’re away from the corporate network – and we’ve delivered the same functionality in the best way possible! The new functionality called Backup Cache will allow for scheduled incremental backups to complete to a local folder even when the primary backup target is temporarily unreachable. Needless to say, the cached backups will be transparently synced to the primary backup target as soon as the device enters the corporate network perimeter the next time – completely seamlessly for the end user!

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Easy to view the status of the backup synchronization via the cloud check box on the left and the absence of the cloud check box on the right

You may ask, what about travelling or home office users who rarely or even never come to the corporate offices, or public cloud instances outside the corporate network perimeter? How can these be protected as seamlessly (and securely)? For those, the paid editions also introduce support for backing up directly to a Veeam Cloud Connect repository hosted by one of the thousands of Veeam service providers (or in your own enterprise HQ data center) as the target for all of your protected instances regardless of where they’re deployed.

Last but not least, as noted above, paid editions will provide remote configuration and management API for Veeam Availability Console, as well as the framework for mass deployment and configuration of agents. The concept is so simple it’s beautiful – we will provide a tool that allows the local agent’s configuration to be exported out to an XML file that can then be used for a silent deployment of pre-configured agents using whatever remote deployment tool you are using for software distribution in your environment today – be it logon scripts, Group Policy, System Center Configuration Manager or multiple existing third-party tools. How cool is that?

With the two editions, administrators have the flexibility to pick the appropriate level of functionality based on the protected workload – workstation or server. The diagram below shows how all major new features of Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0 map to editions – but of course there are many smaller features and enhancements that will be available in all editions, including free edition (the complete What’s New document will be available when the product goes GA).

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Major features comparison chart for Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Conclusion

Unlike its predecessor Veeam Endpoint Backup 1.5, which was focused on Windows-based endpoints, Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0 can help ensure the Availability of your Windows-based workstations and servers no matter where they run – on-premises data centers, remote or home offices, in the public cloud – or even if they spend most of their time in airplanes, as yours truly.

What’s next? Grab your copy of the public beta – and be sure to share your comments, feedback as well as use cases in the comments or in the official forum!

The post Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0 Public Beta is NOW Available! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0 Public Beta is NOW Available!

Veeam Management Pack for System Center v8 Update 3 is NOW Available!

Source: Veeam

It has been an extremely busy time for Veeam with the release of Veeam Availability Suite 9.5, the release of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 as well as the upcoming public beta of Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows. This release trend is continuing and today I am pleased to announce the general availability (GA) of Veeam Management Pack (MP) for System Center Update 3 and its Availability for download!

What is the Veeam Management Pack?

The Veeam Management Pack for System Center provides integration, monitoring, advanced reporting and detailed topology features for virtualized environments, including the virtual machines, the physical hosts and the associated network and storage fabric. The Veeam MP allows these advanced features to be leveraged across multiple System Center components, including System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), Orchestrator (SCORCH), Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and Service Manager (SCSM). The Veeam MP Update 3 provides many great enhancements as well as some brand new features that will allow customers to maintain operational Availability of their VMware and Hyper-V environments.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s new with the Veeam MP!

What’s NEW in Update 3?

Providing support of the latest operating systems from VMware, Microsoft as well as the rest of our eco-system partners as soon as possible is something that Veeam prides itself on. The Veeam MP for System Center provides full support for Microsoft’s latest iterations of Windows Server 2016, Hyper-V Server 2016 and System Center 2016. Also included is full support of vSphere 6.5 – during our testing of vSphere 6.5 our QC team found no incompatibilities when monitoring within SCOM!

On top of the Windows Server 2016 support, significant scalability improvements within Hyper-V environments have been added. Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) is a common way for storing virtual machine hard disks within Hyper-V Cluster deployments. Veeam has increased the supported number of VMs per host as well as the number of CSVs per cluster that can be monitored.

In March 2014, VMware released their fully integrated storage solution, vSAN. This product has been wildly successful and has achieved fantastic market adoption. In fact, a recent blog post by VMware’s Duncan Epping states that vSAN (recently renamed from VSAN) now has over 5,500 customers worldwide! The Veeam MP for System Center includes a new capability to track alarms from vCenter on vSAN health and configuration. This includes over 70 new monitors that allow you to keep a very close eye on your vSAN software-defined storage and the network and storage hardware that backs it.

Veeam MP for System Center v8 Update 3

Cluster Health Explorer showing just a sample of the monitors available for vSAN deployments

Within Operations Manager you can view the health of your vSAN infrastructure inside of the monitoring pane under the Veeam for VMware MP and then within the vSphere Storage section. The monitors specific to vSAN are included as rollup monitors within the vSphere Cluster object group. Additionally, the Veeam MP continues its awesome knowledge base by including updated product knowledge for each and every vSAN monitor. This built-in knowledge provides known causes, possible resolutions and links to external knowledge resources including VMware KB articles.

Veeam MP for System Center v8 Update 3

Built-in vSAN Product Knowledge for each monitor

Several other key updates have been made to the Veeam MP for System Center, specifically around the management of customized VMware vCenter alarms via the Veeam MP vCenter Alarm Monitor. For instance, if you have a specific hardware vendor integration that has created specialized vCenter alarms, Veeam MP now includes a simple wizard-driven configuration to create an MP monitor to track the state of that custom alarm. Also now it is easy to review the status of the ESXi Host Services. Within the host view of the Veeam MP there is a task that can query and report back on which service daemons are started or stopped. With this it’s now possible to monitor the state of an ESXi service and fire an alert when a state changes. For example, let’s take the ntpd service. Maintaining time consistency across the environment is crucial to ensuring that everything communicates correctly. In this example, an administrator could create a monitor for the ESXi service via the Create Unit monitor wizard and be alerted to avoid issues before they even occur.

Veeam MP for System Center v8 Update 3

Show ESXi Host Services State task which can be run to get the list of all services that are running or stopped on a given ESXi host.

Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 was just released and continued support for our flagship product as well as building out further support of individual features within has been a large area of focus. Scale-out Backup Repository (SOBR) aggregates disparate storage devices together by creating a single software-defined backup repository for you to target your backups. New within the Veeam Backup MP are three different ways to monitor your SOBR deployments:

  • Performance history for Scale Out Repositories – Available as a performance view within SCOM
  • Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager Topology – Available as a topology view within SCOM (Screenshot below)
  • All Backup Repositories as Extents by SOBR – Available as a dashboard view within SCOM

Veeam MP for System Center v8 Update 3

Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager Topology now includes Scale-Out Backup Repositories as well as their extents

One of my favorite Veeam MP features is the very popular Veeam Morning Coffee Dashboard!  The Morning Coffee Dashboard gives you a real-time, at-a-glance overview of your VMware and/or Hyper-V infrastructures. The out-of-the-box Morning Coffee Dashboard looks across all vCenters or Hyper-V environments that you are monitoring within SCOM and provides a holistic overview. New within the Veeam MP, you can now customize and create your own Morning Coffee dashboards. This will be especially handy in distributed environments where there are individual virtualization deployments, perhaps at multiple locations across the organization. These customized dashboards will give you the ability to create overview views that are specific to each environment and each individual admin can keep an eye on a particular view or set of views.

Veeam MP for System Center v8 Update 3

Customized Morning Coffee Dashboard with the new Veeam Infrastructure Summary Widget

Wrap-Up

The Veeam Management Pack for System Center provides you with all of the information and details of your virtualized environment through the familiar and powerful framework that System Center provides. If all of this sounds cool, you should definitely head over to Veeam.com and download your copy of the Veeam Management Pack for System Center Today!

The post Veeam Management Pack for System Center v8 Update 3 is NOW Available! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Management Pack for System Center v8 Update 3 is NOW Available!

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is NOW AVAILABLE!

Source: Veeam

NOTE: Register for a live webinar, Total control and protection of email data with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, on Tuesday, December 20.

 

Many multi-tier applications that once had to be hosted on premises are now being deployed within the public cloud. With this adoption, millions of organizations worldwide no longer desire to manage their on-premises Exchange email infrastructure for a multitude of different reasons. The Exchange Online component of Office 365 provides a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering for businesses to purchase on a subscription basis. To complicate things just slightly, protecting and ensuring the recoverability of this data has been a challenge. Often times, businesses think that just because their data is running in the cloud, it is guaranteed to be available or recoverable. Well, over time, we’ve seen this to be the exact inverse; to ensure that this critical data is available, you must mitigate risk. My good friend and colleague, Hal Yaman, in a previous post, outlined the difference between Availability and Recoverability.

In August at the Next Big Thing event, I had the opportunity to announce, in a technical breakout session, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. It connects to your Office 365 subscription utilizing the Exchange Web Services (EWS) API. This allows you, as a tenant of Office 365, the ability to store your Exchange mailbox items to an offline repository that utilizes the Jet Blue database format. By utilizing Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, these backups are able to restore individual items — mailboxes, folders, messages, tasks and contacts — providing flexible recovery options for your end users.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 connects to your Office 365 subscription to protect your organization’s Exchange Online mail items

The public beta for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 has been available for over two months now and has had over 2,500 downloads. And many have been kind enough to share their valuable feedback with us over on the Veeam Forums, which allowed us to take the original code to the next level of scalability and reliability.

Today, I am happy to share with you some fantastic news, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is NOW generally available!

What’s NEW in the GA version?

For those of you that have tested and provided feedback during the beta period of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, we thank you. Based on this feedback, R&D has enhanced the scalability of the product to support large Office 365 environments with thousands of mailboxes. The second addition provides the ability to now receive email notifications with the status of your Office 365 backup jobs.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Email notifications within Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 Email Settings menu

The last major update aims to solve the mail retention requirements of all environment types. Retention affects the age of mailbox items pruned from repository, and administrators can now also specify the time and frequency of this operation.

For example, an enterprise organization with PCI regulations or a hospital institution faced with HIPAA compliance must keep their mail content for seven years, whereas another company simply needs to make sure their mail is protected and recoverable. Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 allows the ability to define a global retention policy that effects every mailbox protected. The available retention ranges now include 10 years, 25 years, as well as forever.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Retention policy for all mailboxes protected within Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

How can I get Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365?

I bet you now want to get your hands on this new Veeam product, but not sure how? Well, we’ve prepared a short FAQ for you!

Q1: How is Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 licensed?

A1: It is licensed by the number of Microsoft Office 365 users you need to protect. Note that shared mailboxes will be protected for free, since Microsoft also provides these mailboxes at no charge.

Q2: I am an existing Veeam Availability Suite, Veeam Backup & Replication or Veeam Backup Essentials customer, how do I purchase Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365?

A2: You’re entitled to a FREE one-year subscription to Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 for UNLIMITED users. And if your organization has Enterprise Plus edition, you’re entitled to a FREE two-year subscription! In either case, you MUST REGISTER by Dec. 31, 2016.

Q3: I am NOT an existing Veeam customer, how do I purchase Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365?

A3: You can purchase subscriptions to Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 for a special introductory price of $2 per user.

Q4: I am an existing Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) partner, am I eligible for the promotion or to purchase Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365?

A4: No, VCSP partners are not eligible for this promotion, nor can you purchase rental licenses for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 at this time. Although we expect it to be available for VCSP partners in the future.

Q5: What about the other components of Office 365, like OneDrive Business and SharePoint Online?

A5: Version 1 supports Exchange Online backup only. Share in the comments section below which other areas of Office 365 are most important for your business to protect to help us prioritize what’s coming next!

Conclusion

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is now generally available! We’re very excited about this new solution, and I’m very curious how you’ll use it in your environment. Please share those comments with the Veeam community below. This valuable information will allow us to provide you with more details and real life examples of the different use cases that customers are benefitting from with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.

More resources:

The post Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is NOW AVAILABLE! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is NOW AVAILABLE!

Get centralized, off-site backup and replication with Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise

Source: Veeam

“Yes, we’ve had another disaster in our remote office”

It’s problem that’s continuing to plague organizations around the globe. For example, a large global organization was faced with recent outages of their end-user-facing, retail-sales application costing the company thousands of dollars. A mandate from the CIO placed the IT team in a position where they HAD to figure out how to centrally protect the applications and services at their remote office/branch offices (ROBOs), as well as their headquarters (HQ) datacenter.

It’s unfortunate, but this challenge is becoming more and more commonplace in the today’s virtualized datacenter. Senior executives are now demanding centralized, off-site backup AND replication of their many remote offices and datacenters to the HQ datacenter, or in some cases, to the public cloud.

Enterprise organizations have come to discover that there are not many cost-efficient options available that allow them to solve this problem. One option that’s been found is to purchase tape drives for each remote location and ship tape backups to HQ. A second option is to either set up a new or leverage the existing VPN/MPLS connection to each remote office. This would require additional bandwidth to enable the new remote, disk-based backup strategy. Senior executives and IT staff have quickly learned that both of these approaches present significant management challenges.

A better solution, adopted by more than 200,000 organizations worldwide, is Veeam Availability Suite to protect the on-premises virtualized infrastructure. Veeam Availability Suite makes resolving the problem and plugging into Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise (VCC-E) extremely easy.

What is Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise?

You’ve likely heard of Veeam Cloud Connect for Service Providers (VCC-SP). Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise technically operates EXACTLY the same. The only difference is that, within this model, enterprise IT teams operate as the service provider (this is true for most large enterprise IT shops because they share many of the same characteristics). Cloud Connect offers benefits that help simplify several of the ROBO data-protection challenges that enterprises must solve.

Historically, IT had to manage remote connections (VPN) over their corporate MPLS WAN from the headquarters datacenter to each of the remote offices. It’s often cost prohibitive to purchase a connection fast enough to handle the application and backup traffic, which can also result in management challenges. It used to be that if a remote connection to these sites was not available, each location would have to be managed individually. This also ends up resulting in many management challenges! In addition, strict firewall rules at each site and at the main HQ increase the complexity of deploying a remote backup solution. Bottom line? Backing up data from ROBOs to the HQ datacenter simply wasn’t feasible for most enterprises in the past.

Veeam Cloud Connect has solved these key enterprise challenges today by removing the requirement for VPN connections, as well as consolidating all traffic over a single TCP/UDP port for simplified deployment. Traffic traversing the internet is authenticated with TLS and secured with AES-256-bit encryption, which is achieved by Veeam Backup & Replication using a component called the Cloud Gateway. These servers reside within the WAN/DMZ zone of the HQ datacenter and broker the connection between their remote offices, with all incoming traffic natively load-balanced across each of the gateway servers. This traffic is then passed through the internal network interface of the Cloud Gateway to the Veeam infrastructure backup repository for backup or backup copy jobs, or the hypervisor host for replication jobs.

Bandwidth requirements for these ROBO sites is a very costly resource. Some enterprises must even rely on satellite connectivity to the more remote locations. Luckily, VCC-E can leverage a purpose-built, software-based, WAN Acceleration technology, which reduces the required bandwidth by at least 10x!

This way, if there’s an application failure in a remote site, there are many options that allow IT to recover entire VMs, individual items from an application or execute a partial failover of an application in the HQ datacenter. And when true disaster strikes and IT is left with a smoking crater, the centralization that Cloud Connect provides allows IT to execute entire remote-site failover with just a few clicks!

How do I use VCC-E?

VCC-E allows enterprise IT teams to streamline ROBO DR by allowing these sites to send copies of local backups, or even just backup directly, to the central backup repository. As a result, they maintain full control of their data.

VCC-E can be consumed using three approaches:

  1. Most commonly, VCC-E is installed in the HQ datacenter. This allows the Enterprise to centrally operate and manage the Availability strategy for the entire organization. This is accomplished by having the ability to quickly restore VMs back to the original location, or even to the HQ datacenter in case of a complete disaster in the remote site. For the most critical remote locations, IT can create replicas of the VMs for fast failover and minimal RTO.
  2. If the HQ datacenter lacks the required storage capacity, leveraging a public cloud provider, like Microsoft Azure, becomes a great option. In fact, the VCC-E appliance is ready in the Azure Marketplace for deployment today, while Express Routes to Azure data centers are being deployed all over the world! If you’re a current Azure customer, you can easily deploy the pre-built Veeam Cloud Connect appliance and provision cloud repositories for all of your internal “tenants,” such as the HQ datacenter and ROBOs.
  3. Sign an agreement with a regional, national or worldwide hosting provider that can offer the enterprise-dedicated or shared Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) resources in which to run VCC-E. This allows the enterprise organization to own and manage the service offering (off-site backup and replication) without having to own the maintenance of the compute, storage, networking, HVAC and electrical components.

Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise sample deployment

Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise sample deployment

There are many pros and cons to each of the above approaches, and that’s why it’s important to keep in mind that the technology behind VCC-E is flexible enough to fit into any one of these three deployment options.

How do I get VCC-E?

VCC-E is available immediately for existing Veeam customers with at least 100 sockets of Veeam Backup & Replication. And for a short period only, you can try it before you buy it with a FREE 6-month production key for an unlimited number of VMs — all without any up-front commitment. This limited-time offer provides current customers with a unique opportunity to test-drive Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise and decide if it addresses their ROBO or off-site DR needs.

The post Get centralized, off-site backup and replication with Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Get centralized, off-site backup and replication with Veeam Cloud Connect for the Enterprise

Veeam announces FULL integration with Microsoft 2016 Data Center Technologies in NEW Veeam Availability Suite 9.5

Source: Veeam

NOTE: Register for a webinar session, Veeam’s FULL integration with Microsoft 2016 data center technologies, on Thursday, July 28.

 

Timely support of Windows Server Operating System’s new releases is very important to most customers because the applications and infrastructure services most commonly deployed in the private cloud are dependent on the Windows Server Operating System. In the past few years, Veeam has always been first — or among the first — to add support for newly released versions. For example, Veeam Endpoint Backup was the first backup product to fully support Windows 10.

Because Veeam fully intends to maintain this practice of being among the first to add support for newly released versions, I am happy to announce that NEW Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 will be the first to provide FULL, advanced support for Microsoft 2016 data center technologies. Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 will integrate deeply with new Windows Server 2016 technologies, Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 and the 2016 releases of Microsoft enterprise applications. It has always been Veeam’s goal to quickly offer full support for new releases because many Veeam customers and partners are quite anxious to update their environments to the latest versions.

Let’s take a deeper look now at the upcoming integration details.

Windows Server 2016

Windows Server 2016 is one of the most anticipated Windows Server OS releases in history due to the many enhancements made by Microsoft. Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 will permit users to install Veeam Backup & Replication components, as well as to protect guest VMs running on supported hypervisors. For Hyper-V 2016, Veeam will even leverage PowerShell Direct, which allows for a direct connection to guest VMs from the Hyper-V host, without requiring any network connectivity for application-aware processing and guest file system indexing. This is the most-requested, previously unavailable VMware backup functionality for Hyper-V.

Microsoft Hyper-V 2016

Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 also features a number of significant updates. If you’re interested in learning more about the updates, check out this free eBook I authored.

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 will support the new Hyper-V backup framework, as well as the VM hardware version, 7.1 (as of TP5), which is required if you want to take advantage of the many benefits that come with the latest Hyper-V enhancements.

Hyper-V Resilient Change Tracking (RCT)

Before Windows Server 2016, Microsoft Hyper-V did not provide any level of native change block tracking (CBT) to allow for faster incremental backups and restores. To keep track of these changing data blocks, Veeam leveraged a proprietary filter driver, which was installed in the parent partition of the Hyper-V hosts. With Hyper-V 2016, Microsoft is introducing native CBT through a feature called Resilient Change Tracking (RCT), which will make Veeam’s CBT filter driver a thing of the past, and more importantly, allow support for configurations with VMs residing on third-party SMB3 storages.

Microsoft Hyper-V on Nano Server and Storage Spaces Direct

Nano Server is another new deployment option within Windows Server 2016. To learn more about Nano Server, read this free eBook written by my colleague, Mike Resseler. Nano Server has specific use cases, with the main use case being a Hyper-V host. Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 will provide full support for processing VMs residing on Nano Server. Version 9.5 will also support Storage Spaces Direct, Microsoft’s recommended Hyper-V 2016 architecture, which is intended to reduce the size of datacenter footprints and improve overall security.

Storage Spaces Direct and Nano Server  support in v9.5

Version 9.5 will fully support backup and replication of guest VMs running on both Storage Spaces Direct and Nano Server.

2016 updates to Microsoft enterprise applications

Microsoft is adding many new enhancements to their enterprise applications, with major 2016 updates to Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server. Users can rest assured that Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 will provide full support for these new application versions of the application-aware processing engine and Veeam Explorers family. This will ensure that application-consistent backups and high-speed recovery of individual application items are readily available.

Conclusion

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 will once again be the first to FULLY support all new capabilities of Windows Server 2016, Microsoft Hyper-V 2016 and Microsoft 2016 enterprise applications. All of the functionality that I’ve discussed here is already available as part of the private beta. If you have a Windows Server 2016 TP5 environment deployed and are interested in trying out our 9.5, just contact your Veeam sales representative to see if there are open beta spots available in your region.

Providing support for the latest Microsoft platform is only one of the many Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 features that Veeam customers and partners can benefit from. Don’t forget to register to be among the first to know about all of the great new features being introduced with Veeam Availability Suite 9.5.

I want to hear from you! Tell me how you’re currently using Veeam and Microsoft Technologies in your datacenter, as well as how you plan to leverage Microsoft 2016 data center technologies in the future!

 Additional resources:

Veeam named Microsoft Partner of the Year finalist in two categories!

In early June 2016, Microsoft announced Partner of the Year Awards for 2016. Veeam was named a finalist in two of the categories: Application Development and Microsoft Azure Certified Azure Solution.

The post Veeam announces FULL integration with Microsoft 2016 Data Center Technologies in NEW Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam announces FULL integration with Microsoft 2016 Data Center Technologies in NEW Veeam Availability Suite 9.5

Deep dive VMware performance analysis

Source: Veeam

The best things about virtual computing are its ease of scale, management, portability and consolidation Virtualization also presents unique challenges for the IT team members who ask the following questions:

  • How do I monitor this constantly evolving and changing environment?
  • What metrics are the most important?
  • Do we keep using the legacy tools we’re used using?
  • Do I procure something that’s purposely built for the virtual infrastructure (VI)?
  • Like most IT decisions, there are pros and cons to each approach, but what if we took a bit of a hybrid approach?
  • What if the VI could be monitored and reported on within an existing toolset?

Important vSphere metrics

Exactly what do you need to be aware if you already have a monitoring tool? From my experience, the most common pain point and area for concern is disk; otherwise known as the vSphere datastore. Disk is a shared resource with performance problems that exist for many different reasons. A common pitfall is when slower, legacy storage is repurposed for the VI, simply because it’s what’s on hand. The second common pitfall is misconfiguration and overprovisioning. When monitoring disk, you’ll want focus on the following areas:

  • Kernel latency
  • Queue length
  • Device read/write latency

Compute is made up of CPU and memory resources, which are distributed from the parent hypervisor. Just as disk is a shared resource, performance issues always stem from individual VM resource misconfigurations. A few examples include:

  • Oversized and undersized VMs
  • Resource pools
  • VM CPU and memory reservations
  • Out-of-date or missing VM Tools

The above misconfiguration examples place extraneous weight on the parent hypervisor. ESX host CPU scheduling issues lead to VM CPU % Wait and Host % Ready, and can stem from oversized vCPU allocations. Host memory issues occur due to transparent page sharing, ballooning and swapping. Ballooning is a technique that individual VMs utilize to grant guest physical memory back to their parent hypervisor in situations when the parent is out of physical memory. A balloon driver (vmmemctl) is installed through VM Tools within the guest OS. This memory management technique allows the VM OS to communicate with the parent hypervisor and allow the balloon to inflate and allocate memory that’s no longer in use back to the parent. That said, ballooning can cause performance degradation if the guest memory is low and paging has begun. When ballooning is not enough, the dreaded swapping occurs. Swapping is a last ditch memory-management technique taken by a host to reclaim memory. This is achieved by swapping guest physical memory on the datastore out to its individual VM swap file. For a complete rundown on vSphere memory management techniques mentioned here, read this vSphere white paper.

Compute: Host and VM CPU & memory

  • Average memory usage (KB)
  • Balloon (KB)
  • Swap (KB)
  • Consumed
  • Active
  • Average CPU usage (MHz)
  • CPU ready time
  • CPU wait

For a complete list of all VMware performance metrics collected within Veeam Management Pack and corresponding definitions visit the Veeam MP for VMware metric definitions help center.

Current monitoring state

Before jumping ahead to the end state, I’ll start with some of the tools that I’ve seen folks use to monitor the vSphere VI:

  1. ESXTop
  2. vCenter performance tab
  3. Point monitoring solutions
    1. Virtual team
    2. Application teams
    3. DBA team

Each of these tools serve individual purposes. ESXTop provides a great deal of detailed real-time performance information at and individual ESX(i) host level, making monitoring this ongoing very challenging. In addition, ESXTop does not provide any level of historical performance reporting. vCenter server was designed as a centralized control and management tool for the vSphere environment, and not a monitoring or reporting tool. Application monitoring tools have zero awareness of the underlying hypervisor while on the flip side, and virtual environment point solutions have zero insight into the application level, This leaving you completely blind to what’s running within the OS. Put simply, the problem with each of these current state tools is they fail to see the big picture.

the big picture

Future state: Veeam + System Center Operations Manager

The Microsoft System Center suite delivers a perfect solution that allows users to maintain, update, manage and monitor environments. One of the components of System Center is Operations Manager ? a management and monitoring framework. Operations Manager is extensible through management packs (MPs) that contain the knowledge, rules, monitors, graphical views, reports and more to manage and monitor applications and infrastructure components. Many organizations make large time investments in creating business processes that wrap around monitors and alarms presented through Operations Manager. Veeam Management Pack for Microsoft System Center fills the environmental void that’s created when legacy, physical operating systems are run virtualized by providing app-to-metal visibility.

Allow me to simplify. Prior to virtualization, folks ran operating systems and applications on bare metal hardware where the Microsoft Monitoring Agent was installed. This provided monitoring teams with the required visibility to effectively monitor the hardware, operating systems and applications. When you virtualize workloads that a single, bare-metal server now runs, many virtualized servers and applications where the monitoring agent is still present within the guest. Unfortunately, Operations Manager is completely unaware of an underlying hypervisor. Veeam Management Pack allows teams to merge these two and get the best of both worlds! IT admin can still use the tools they’re used to and benefit from the business processes previously built, while the virtualization administrator gets all of the deep vSphere related performance statistics, along with the historical reporting, capacity planning and intelligence needed to effectively run the VI.

Summary

The fast paced and rapidly evolving virtual data center is often forgotten and left unmonitored. As an IT Professional, having the tools and knowledge to do the job and ensure that all of your applications and services are running in an optimal fashion are both extremely important. Whether you’re running VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V (to be covered in depth during a subsequent blog), there are performance metrics that you should watch closely. Please share your monitoring stories with the community below!

Deep dive VMware performance analysis

Advanced Integration with Nimble Storage coming in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 for VMware!

Source: Veeam

Storage snapshots are an everyday part of the modern data center regardless if you’re the virtualization administrator or the storage professional. One of the most popular requests from the Veeam user community is to bring direct storage integration to their favorite storage vendor array. Today we are happy to announce that in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 we’ll be integrating with Nimble Storage. 

Why is Storage Integration Important?

Protecting data in the environment is paramount to the success of the business. As an IT Pro, being agile and having the ability to recover any item, at any time and in any situation; that’s what the business demands. Unfortunately, due to the increasing amount of data in the environment, shrinking backup windows and demand for constant access to data 24x7x365 — this can become a challenge. To satisfy the Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) of the business, IT and Storage Professionals have the benefit of leveraging storage array-based snapshotting mechanisms. This provides nearly zero impact to the production Virtual Machines (VMs) running on the array allowing IT to protect the datastores in which their VMs reside on much more frequent than was possible with hypervisor snapshots alone. Unfortunately, the manual snapshot mount process is cumbersome and prone to user error.

Veeam’s advanced integration with Nimble Storage provides additional protection and recovery options that are not available without direct integration and joint development efforts that provide the ability to:

  1. Schedule the creation of Nimble storage snapshots containing application-consistent VM images, and storage snapshot replication orchestration.
  2. Restore from Nimble storage snapshots or their Replicated Copies (entire VM, guest files and application items)
  3. Backup from Nimble storage snapshots or their Replicated Copies.

Let’s take a look at how this is achieved with Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 with Nimble Storage.

Examining the Benefits of Primary Storage Integration

With Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots and Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots, IT will be able to meet the Recovery Time and Point Objectives (RTPO) of the business. Array-based snapshots reduce the impact from data protection activities on the virtual production environment freeing system resources to further enable the virtualization of highly transactional VMs. To better explain, let’s take a look at a scenario.

In our organization, Meeav Software, we run all of our VMs on the VMware vSphere platform, Nimble Storage and Veeam Availability Suite 9.5. On an hourly basis throughout the day we have scheduled application-consistent snapshots that occur on our vSphere VMFS datastores. These snapshots and their replication to secondary array are scheduled and orchestrated through Veeam Backup & Replication. Our secondary array is then being used as the source of our backup jobs once per evening. Utilizing the secondary array as the source eliminates any performance hit on the production infrastructure during the backup window.

In the event of a SAN failure, you NEED out of band protection, as the data on both primary and secondary array may be corrupted. With Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots, you can take production data off your SAN to isolated backup storage. To do that, we will instruct vSphere to take a snapshot of the required VMs. With this open snapshot, the Nimble device is then instructed to execute a storage snapshot action, following which we immediately remove the vSphere snapshot. As the result, production VMs run off VM snapshots only for a matter of seconds, eliminating performance overhead and infamous snapshot commit issues. Veeam then stores the VM data into self-contained, transportable files.

Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots

Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots (VESS) allows Meeav to directly restore from the native Nimble snapshots (by using native snapshot scheduling engine, or Veeam) while benefitting from many of the restore options that Veeam provides. For instance, at 12 p.m. IT Support received a request to restore an email for the CEO just prior to his critical afternoon meeting. Much to the appreciation of the CEO, we were able to quickly reach into the Nimble Storage snapshot within the Veeam Backup & Replication console (VESS works in FREE Edition as well) to retrieve and restore exactly what was needed. Our IT Administrator also had the option of leveraging the Nimble replicated snapshot that lives on our secondary array to achieve the same result.

Advanced Integration with Nimble Storage

Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots simplifies and dramatically accelerates the restore procedure while completely eliminating the need to perform manual snapshot mount procedures, thus avoiding administrator errors that occur when placed in the infamous “IT hot seat.”

Note: To take advantage of the advanced storage integration Nimble Operating System version 2.3 or later, vSphere 4.1, 5.x or 6.0 and Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 or later is required.

Fast, Easy and Reliable Test and Development Environments

One challenge remains constant within modern day IT: How do I create test and development environments? Before we discuss the how, first it’s important to understand the why. 

Advanced Integration with Nimble Storage

Whenever a request for a set of application VMs is received from the business, likely you’re building multiple environments: Production, User Acceptance (UAT), Quality Assurance (QA), Development (Dev). Each environment has different controls in place for making changes as well as who has administrative access within each environment is different. The challenge for Developers is how can I get production-fresh data into my development environment? The other challenge for Senior Management, how do we know if our backups and availability strategy is good? How do we test patches and updates before applying them to the production environment? Even today, Veeam’s Virtual Lab technology addresses exactly these needs, providing isolated sandbox environments for test and development from backups – however, the performance may not be optimal for I/O demanding tasks.

The integration between Veeam and Nimble gives IT Pros the ability to quickly standup sandbox environments directly from storage snapshots, or their replicated copies. This also allows development teams access in a fenced off environment to test their code against real production data using the full performance of primary storage arrays.

Conclusion

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 furthers the storage integration by adding advanced support for Nimble Storage. With this integration, IT Administrators and Storage Professionals will be able to leverage Veeam Backup & Replication to:

  1. Perform frequent crash-consistent and application-consistent Nimble storage snapshots and replicate them to secondary array for low RPO protection.
  2. Meet strict RTOs and RPOs by performing granular recoveries from Nimble storage snapshots on both primary or secondary arrays.
  3. Backup from Nimble storage snapshots on primary or secondary arrays, thus reducing (or completely eliminating) the impact from data protection activities on production workloads.

Happy Availability with Veeam and Nimble Storage!

Advanced Integration with Nimble Storage coming in Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 for VMware!