Disaster Recovery

Improve your disaster recovery reliability with Veeam

The only two certainties in life are death and taxes. In IT, you can add disasters to this short list of life’s universal anxieties. Ensuring disaster recovery reliability is critical to ensure your organisations enduring viability in your chosen marketplace.

Regardless of the size of your budget, people power and level of IT acumen, you will experience application downtime at some point. Amazon’s recent east coast outage is testimony to the fact that even the best and brightest occasionally stumble.

The irony is that while many organizations make significant investments in their disaster recovery (DR) capabilities, most have a mixed track record, at best, with meeting their recovery service level agreements (SLAs). As this chart from ESG illustrates, only 65% of business continuity (BC) and DR tests are deemed successful.

disaster recovery readiness

In his report, “The Evolving Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Landscape,” Jason Buffington broke down respondents to his DR survey into two camps: “green check markers” and “red x’ers.”

Citing his research, Jason recently shared with me: “Green Checkers assuredly don’t test as thoroughly, thus resulting in a higher passing rate during tests, but failures when they need it most — whereas Red X’ers are likely get a lower passing rate (because they are intentionally looking for what can be improved), thereby assuring a more likely successful recovery when it really matters. One of the reasons for lighter testing is seeking the easy route — the other is the cumbersomeness of testing. If it wasn’t cumbersome, most of us would likely test more.”

DR testing can indeed be cumbersome. In addition to being time consuming, it can also be costly and fraught with risk. The risk of inadvertently taking down a production system during a DR drill is incentive enough to keep testing to a minimum.

But what if there was a cost-effective way to do DR testing that mitigates risk and dramatically reduces the preparation work and the time required to test the recoverability of critical application services?

By taking the risk, cost and hassle out of testing application recoverability, Veeam’s On-Demand Sandbox for Storage Snapshots feature is a great way for organizations to leverage their existing investments in NetApp, Nimble Storage, Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Storage to attain the following three business benefits:

  1. Risk mitigation: Many IT decision makers have expressed concerns around their ability to meet end-user SLAs. By enabling organizations to rapidly spin-up virtual test labs that are completely isolated from production, businesses can safely test their application recoverability and proactively address any of their DR vulnerabilities.
  2. Improved ROI: In addition to on-demand DR testing, Veeam can also be utilized to instantly stand-up test/dev environments on a near real-time copy of production data to help accelerate application development cycles. This helps to improve time-to-market while delivering a higher return on your storage investments.
  3. Maintain compliance: Veeam’s integration with modern storage enables organizations to achieve recovery time and point objectives (RTPO) of under 15 minutes for all applications and data. Imagine showing your IT auditor in real-time how quickly you can recover critical business services. For many firms, this capability alone would pay for itself many times over.

Back when I was in school, 65% was considered a passing grade. In the business world, a 65% DR success grade is literally flirting with disaster. DR proficiency may require lots of practice but it also requires Availability software, like Veeam’s, that works hand-in-glove with your storage infrastructure to make application recoveries simpler, more predictable and less risky.

This article was provided by our service partner Veeam.


Veeam : Ransomware resiliency – The endpoint is a great place to start

Fighting ransomware has become a part of doing business today. Technology professionals around the world are advocating many ways to stay resilient. The most effective method is to have end-user training on how to handle and operate attachments and connectivity to the Internet. One other area to look is frequent endpoint devices: Laptops and PCs.

Veeam has taken ransomware resiliency seriously for a while. We’ve put out a number of posts such as early tips for some of the first attacks and some practical tips when using Veeam Backup & Replication. Now with Veeam Agent for Linux and Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE available as well as Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows (coming VERY soon) as options for laptops and PCs, it’s time to take ransomware resiliency seriously on these devices.

Before I go too far, it’s important to note that ransomware can exist on both Windows and Linux systems. Additionally, ransomware is not just a PC problem (see recent survey blogpost), as at Veeam we see it nearly every day in technical support for virtual machines. We’ll see more content coming for the virtual machine side of the approach for most resiliency, in this post I’ll focus on PCs and Laptops.

Veeam Agent for Linux is the newest product in which Veeam has offered image-based Availability for non-virtualized systems. Veeam Agent for Linux is a great way to do backups of many different Linux systems with a very intuitive user interface:

veeam linux agent

For ransomware resiliency for Veeam Agent for Linux, putting backups on a different file system will be very easy to do with the seamless integration with Veeam Availability Suite. In this way, backups of Veeam Agent for Linux systems can be placed in Veeam Backup & Replication repositories. They also can be used in the Backup Copy Job function. This way, the Linux backups can be placed on different file systems to avoid propagation of ransomware across the source Linux system and the backups. The Backup Copy Job of Veeam Agent for Linux is shown below writing Linux backups to a Windows Server 2016 ReFS backup repository:

veeam backup copy config

Now, let’s talk about Microsoft operating systems and resiliency against ransomware when it comes to backups. Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE will soon be renamed to Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows. Let’s explain this changing situation here briefly. Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE was announced at VeeamON in 2014 and since it has been available, it has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times. From the start, it has always provided backup Availability for desktop and server-class Windows operating systems. However, it didn’t have the application-aware image processing support and technical support service. Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows will introduce these key capabilities as well as many more.
For Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows, you also can put backups on several different storage options. Everything from NAS systems to removable storage, a Linux path, tape media, a deduplication appliance when integrated with Veeam Availability Suite and more. The removable storage is of interest as it may be the only realistic option for many PC or laptop systems. A while ago, Veeam implemented a feature to eject removable media at the completion of a backup job. This option is available in the scheduling option and when the backup target is a removable media and is shown below:

veeam backup schedule

This simple option can indeed make a big difference. We even had a user share a situation where ransomware encrypted one’s backups. This underscores a need for completely offline backups or otherwise some form of an “air gap” between backup data and production systems. Thus, behave as if when you have ransomware in your organization the only real solution is to restore from backup after it is contained. There is a whole practice of inbound detection and prevention but if it gets in, backup is your only option. Having media eject offline is another mechanism that even with isolated PCs and laptops can have more Availability by having the backup storage offline.
Availability in the ransomware era is a never-ending practice of diligence and configuration review. Additionally, the arsenal of threats will always become more sophisticated to meet our new defenses.

This post was provided by our service partner : Veeam


Five considerations when searching for an off-site backup solution

For a number of years now, Veeam has been talking about the 3-2-1 rule of backups, whereby you keep three copies of your backup data on two different media types with at least one of those backups held off-site. Traditionally, most organizations have been able to put this into play by taking advantage of on-premises storage and media hardware along with multiple data center locations to cater for the off-site backup solution. This is where off-site data backup services can come into play to satisfy the off-site backup services requirement.

Off-site backup solutions offer numerous benefits to organizations, including increased efficiency and reliability based upon features and capabilities that not many companies may afford. There’s also no need to worry about infrastructure maintenance as that burden lies with the service provider, and the scalability of service providers can be leveraged without an upfront CAPEX spend. Another advantage of off-site backup solutions is accessibility, as the data is accessible from any internet-connected location and device.


Since Veeam Backup & Replication v8, Veeam has offered Cloud Connect as a means for the Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) partners to provide off-site data backup services. With Veeam Cloud Connect, they can give their customers the ability to leverage cloud repositories to store virtual machines in service provider facilities. By leveraging Veeam Cloud Connect Backup, a number of VCSPs around the world have built off-site backup solutions. The Veeam Cloud & Service Provider directory lists out VCSP partners in your region of choice… but how do you choose between them?

Below are five considerations when searching for an offsite backup solution:

1. Data locality and Availability

Data sovereignty is a still a major concern for organizations looking to back up off site to the cloud. With the VCSP network being global, there is no shortage of locations to choose from to have as an off-site repository. Drilling down even further, some providers offer multiple locations within region, which can increase the resiliency and Availability of off-site backups and let you choose multiple repositories to further extend the 3-2-1 rule. It’s also a good idea to do some research into the service providers uptime and major event history, as this can tell you either way if a provider offering the off-site backup service has had any history of Availability issues.

2. Recoverability and restore times
It’s hard to defeat the laws of physics, and in searching for an off-site backup solution you should think about how long the data you have in a cloud repository will take to restore. This goes beyond the basics of working out recovery time objectives (RTOs) in that taking backups off site means that you are at the mercy of the internet connection between you and the restore location and in the restore capabilities of the service provider. When looking for a suitable off-site backup solution, take into consideration the roundtrip time between yourself and the service provider network and also the throughput between the two sites making sure you test both, upload and download speeds to and from each end.
Note that Veeam-powered off-site backup services can improve recovery times compared to those that rely on tape-based backup due to Cloud Connect repositories at the service provider end being housed on physical disk.

3. Service provider certifications and SLAs

As with data locality, more and more organizations are looking for offsite backup solutions that meet or match their own certification requirements. This extends beyond more common data center standards such as ISO 9001 and 27001, but also now looks at more advanced regulatory compliance to do with data retention and goes as far as service providers abiding by strict security standards. If your organization is in a specific vertical, such as Healthcare’s HIPAA standard, then you may look for an off-site backup solution that is compatible with that.
It’s also worth noting that service providers will offer differing service level agreements (SLAs) and this should be taken on board when searching for an off-site backup service. SLAs dictate the level of responsibility a service provider has when it comes to keeping to their promises in terms of services offered. In the case of off-site backup, it’s important to understand what is in place when it comes to integrity and security of data and what is done to guarantee access to your data when required.

4. Hypervisor support

Multi-hypervisor support does come into play when looking forward towards extending off-site backup and looking at recoverability in the cloud. For example, Veeam Cloud Connect works with both VMware and Microsoft hypervisors, and VCSPs have the ability to offer one or both of these platforms from a replication point of view. However, with Cloud Connect Backup, the off-site backup repository is hypervisor agnostic; cloud repository is acting as a simple remote storage option for organizations to back up to. With Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5, you can now replicate from Cloud Connect Backups and choose a provider that has one or the other, or both hypervisors as platform options.

5. Cost

Cost might seem obvious, but given the variety or services offered through the service providers it’s important to understand the difference in pricing models. Some service providers are pure infrastructure providers (IaaS) offering Backup as a Service (BaaS), which means you are generally paying for a VM license, storage and there might be additional charges for data transfer (however, this is fairly rare in the IaaS space). These service providers don’t cover any management of the backups — generally this is handled by managed service providers that wrap service charges on top of the infrastructure charges offering end-to-end off-site backup solutions.

The five tips above should help you in searching for an off-site backup service. You need to remember that each service provider offers something slightly different, which means your organization has choice in terms of matching an off-site data backup service that suits your specific requirements and needs. My recommendations will also help you navigate through Veeam Cloud & Service Provider partners that leverage Veeam Cloud Connect for their off-site backup offerings.

This article was provided by our service partner. Veeam


Veeam : Your Cloud backup customization option

Cloud backup is a viable option for many use cases, including but not limited to storage, critical workload management, disaster recovery and much more. And as we have covered in our previous concerns related to this series, it can also be made secure, reasonably priced, and migration can be simplified. We found one of the major cloud concerns in last year’s end user survey to be customization. Let’s dive into where customization and the cloud meet.

How customizable is the cloud?

In order to get the most out of their cloud investment, businesses need to be able to tailor the cloud to their exact needs. And even though cloud customization seems to be a concern, there is a general consensus in the IT community that the cloud is customizable. And when you consider the premise of AWS, Azure and other IaaS offerings that allow you to customize services specifically to your needs from day zero, it’s easy to see why. The cloud and customization seems to go hand-in-hand in some respects. Customization is a key component when it comes to the ability to configure cloud security. Being able to customize your cloud environment to meet exact compliance needs depending on what industry you are in, or in which region or country your data resides, makes customization a vital capability within cloud.

Supreme scalability of cloud

Talking about cloud customization would not be possible without also mentioning the flexibility and scalability that come with utilizing cloud over on-premises. If operations are conducted on-premises, then scaling up typically means buying new servers, and will require time and resources to deploy. The cloud offers pay-as-you go models and scaling happens instantly with no manual labor required. If there is a peak in activity, cloud resources can be added and scaled back down when business activity returns to normal. This ability to rapidly scale up or down through cloud can give a business true operational agility.

Customizing your backup data moving to the cloud

When depending on the data management software you use, you can enable a highly customized approach when it comes to handling data moving to the cloud. Veeam offers ultimate flexibility when it comes to the frequency, granularity and ease of backing up data to the cloud, helping you meet 15 minute RPOs which then impact RTOs. What’s great is the products used for backup and replication in Veeam can also be used as a migration tool to make the task of moving to cloud easier than it seemed at first. Let’s go over existing Veeam Cloud backup offerings and new ones to see how they can be utilized to customize various aspects of cloud backup needs.

Veeam and cloud customization

First and foremost: Backup and replication. The two functions used in virtually any environment to ensure the safety and redundancy of your data. You can send your data off site with Veeam Cloud Connect to a disaster recovery site or you can create an exact duplicate of your production environment that will have 15 minutes between them. And you can use these same options to get your data into the cloud, be it a cloud repository for storing backups or a secondary site via DRaaS, all within a single Veeam Backup & Replication console.

Since Veeam Cloud Connect operates through the network, we’ve made sure that we provide an encrypted traffic and built-in WAN acceleration to optimize every bit of data that is sent over. WAN acceleration minimizes the amount of data sent, excluding blocks that were already processed and can be taken from the cache on site. That comes really handy during migrations since you may be processing a lot of similar machines and files. This acceleration is included in Azure proxy as well as other optimizations that help reduce network traffic usage.

Additionally, you can use Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure to gain an extra level of recoverability. First setup and pre-allocate Azure services, then simply restore to any point of time for your machine in a couple of clicks. What’s really cool is that you’re not limited to restoring only virtual workloads, but can migrate physical machines as well!

The Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows (beta version soon available), and the now available Veeam Agent for Linux will help you create backups of your physical servers so that you can store them on the Veeam repositories for further management, restores and migration, should you ever need to convert your physical workloads to the virtual and cloud. Not only does Veeam provide multiple means for getting data to the cloud, but you can also backup your Microsoft Office 365 data and migrate it to your local Exchange servers and vice versa with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365! Many companies have moved their email infrastructure to the cloud, so Veeam provides an ability to have a backup plan in case something happens on the cloud side. That way you’ll always be able to retrieve deleted items and get access to your email infrastructure.

All these instruments are directly controlled by you, and most of them can be obtained with a service provider to take the management off your plate. When working with a provider, it is important to inquire into what can be customized or configured in order to ensure the cloud environment is able to meet your specific needs. This makes working with a cloud service provider a very valuable asset. As they can give you expert advice, reduce any complications and set expectations when it comes to cloud environments and their ability to be customized.

This article was provided by our service partner: Veeam


Migrating to the cloud backups

We have already talked about how secure backups can be in a cloud environment and what the cost may be of not leveraging the potential of DRaaS. The next step would be to start thinking about how to migrate your infrastructure or backups/replicas to cloud backups and at what scale it has to be done. We will review the main points that you need to consider and check prior to initiating your move into the world of cloud.

Who can benefit from the cloud?

The short answer is a bold one: Everyone. Regardless of the size of the operation, there is a good incentive in road mapping your migration over to the cloud as it brings a whole new level of accessibility, scalability and long-term cost savings. But what does that really mean?
When it comes to conventional disaster recovery sites, it’s hard to plan everything beforehand because you have no way of knowing when the disaster is going to strike and at what scale. You’re only as flexible as the hardware that you’re provided with. Any additional capacity would require time and more money to acquire and install.
That’s where the cloud steps up the game. You are presented with a variety of options that allow you to build a flexible DR environment with the ability to grow and shrink its capacity at will. The only price you’ll pay is for the actual hardware in use, thus granting an incredible scalability that is ready for any DR needs. Not every provider possesses such ability at a full scale, but there’s plenty of options to pick from based on your particular needs.
The two approaches Veeam has for businesses with on-premises deployments wanting to get backups or replicas to the cloud are Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). These approaches utilize cloud and service provider technologies which are flexible enough for any use case and you can avoid the cost and complexity of building and maintaining an offsite infrastructure.

So, how hard is it to migrate to the cloud?

What’s important to remember is that migrating data to the cloud is not a one-day feat and is a project that will require planning and a timeline. However, depending on what data management software you use, getting data offsite to the cloud can be a very simplified experience.
Migrating to the cloud certainly doesn’t require you to drop all the investments in your existing DR infrastructure, should you have one. If you’re already running an on-premises infrastructure, then you know that any hardware has its lifecycle and will eventually be replaced. So, you can plan to move your servers and applications to the cloud environment as the time for hardware renewals shows up on the calendar.
If you’re just starting off at the stage of designing your infrastructure then it would be even more beneficial, as you are getting high-class disaster-proof hardware used on Enterprise levels of operation at an affordable price and right-away at your disposal. No need to worry about building and maintaining your own DR site, all the more so about the time to set everything up from scratch.
In any case scenario, Veeam® has the tools to make your migration to the cloud as easy as your daily backup tasks. In fact, even though Veeam Cloud Connect Backup and Replication are used for archival purposes and providing continuous synchronization, they’re a perfect instrument for migrating your infrastructure to the cloud without any hassle.

What should be migrated first?

The first contenders are the servers that will fully benefit from the flexibility and added performance of the cloud. But, not every server or application needs to or can be migrated right away. You need to plan it in the way that won’t obstruct your production performance more than usual hardware migration or upgrade. It’s important to make sure the migration to the cloud won’t cause you trouble during the process or after the completion. That can be done by testing the performance of servers or applications in the lab to find out about any hiccups beforehand. Sometimes an existing set of dependencies, like an on-site SQL database or Active Directory, can make it harder to simply move some applications without correcting their workflow.
In such scenarios the use of hybrid cloud might be helpful. In a hybrid setup one part of your cloud infrastructure is private and running under your full control on-premises and the other part is in public cloud, making use of all the servers that are easily moved to cloud or will benefit from it the most.

Where do you start?

No matter the size of the infrastructure, Veeam Cloud Connect offers a solution to fully control and easily migrate on premises data to highest standard cloud environments – requiring no network (VPN) setup or change to the customer environment. And whether you plan on implementing a big bang migration strategy or the trickle migration strategy, Veeam Cloud Connect allows for both methods.


This article was provided by our service partner Veeam

5 Steps to a Stronger Backup Disaster Recovery Plan

Between catastrophic natural events and human error, data loss is a very real threat that no company is immune to. Businesses that experience data disaster, whether it’s due to a mistake or inclement weather, seldom recover from the event that caused the loss.

The saddest thing about the situation is that it’s possible to sidestep disaster completely, specifically when it comes to data loss. You just have to take the time to build out a solid backup disaster recovery (BDR) plan.

Things to consider when developing your BDR plan include: structural frameworks, conducting risk assessments and impact analysis, and creating policies that combine data retention requirements with regulatory and compliance needs.

If you already have a BDR plan in place (as you should), use this checklist to make sure you’ve looked at all the possible angles of a data disaster and are prepared to bounce back without missing a beat. Otherwise, these steps chart out the perfect place to start building a data recovery strategy.


1. Customize the Plan

Unfortunately, there’s no universal data recovery plan. As needs will vary per department, it’ll be up to you, and the decision makers on your team, to identify potential weaknesses in your current strategy, and decide on the best game plan for covering all of your bases moving forward.

2. Assign Ownership

Especially in the case of a real emergency, it’s important that everyone on your team know and understand their role within your BDR plan. Discuss the plan with your team, and keep communication open. Don’t wait until the sky turns gray to have this conversation.

3. Conduct Fire Drills

The difference between proactive and reactive plans comes down to consistent checkups. Schedule regular endpoint reviews, alert configuration and backup jobs. Test your plan’s effectiveness with simulated emergency. Find out what works, and what needs improvement, and act accordingly.

4. Centralize Documentation

You’ll appreciate having your offsite storage instructions, vendor contracts, training plans, and other important information in a centralized location. Don’t forget to keep track of frequency and maintenance of endpoint BDR! Which brings us to point 5.

5. Justify ROI

Explore your options. There are many BDR solutions available on the market. Once you’ve identified your business’ unique needs, and assembled a plan of action, do your research to find out what these solutions could do to add even more peace of mind to this effort.

Or, if you’re an employee hoping to get the green light from management to implement BDR at your company, providing documentation with metrics that justify ROI will dramatically increase your likelihood of getting decision-makers on board.

Outside of these 5 components, you should also think about your geographical location and common natural occurrences that happen there. Does it make more sense for you to store your data offsite, or would moving to the cloud yield bigger benefits?

One thing is certain: disaster could strike at any time. Come ready with a plan of action, and powerful tools that will help you avoid missing a beat when your business experiences data loss. At LabTech® by ConnectWise®, we believe in choice, and offer several different BDR solutions that natively integrate to help you mitigate threats and avoid costly mistakes.

This article was provided by our partner Labtech



Veeam Disaster Recovery Services

Veeam have put together an excellent guide ‘The Essential Guide to the Biggest Challenges with Cloud Backup & Cloud Disaster Recovery‘.  As one of our chosen backup partners, I urge any data and data security conscious I.T Admin to review this document, it gives a great overview on Veeam’s newest technology such as ‘Disaster Recovery as a Service’ and its benefits over more traditional modes of disaster recovery.

I include a small snippet below:

The cloud offers a variety of advantages over traditional approaches to off-site disaster recovery: it reduces the need to physically move backup media from one location to another, is increasingly cheap, has functionally limitless storage capacity and is flexible

Since the public cloud providers strengthened their ability to replicate complex on-premises environments, and as software vendors developed more powerful DRaaS-enablement technology, DRaaS has become a more powerful option for organizations compared to traditional disaster recovery sites.

In this essential guide you’ll learn about some of the challenges around cloud backup and disaster recovery including:

-The traditional way of doing off-site backup and recovery

-Cloud security worries

-Concerns about pricing blowouts

-Managing and monitoring cloud backup and disaster recovery

-Taking advantage of DRaaS


This guide is available in its entirety from Veeams’  website -> here



Veeam v9 New Features


Unlimited Scale-out Backup Repository

This is perhaps one the biggest features included within v9 – all to often we see environments over provision the storage for their backup repositories – you never know when we might get a large delta or incremental and the last thing we want to have to do is go through the process of running out of space and having to provision more.  In the end we are left with a ton of unused and wasted capacity, and when we need more instead of utilizing what we have we simply buy more – not efficient in terms of capacity and budget management.  This is a problem that Veeam is looking to solve in v9 with their Unlimited Scale-out Backup Repository functionality.  In a nutshell the scale-out backup repo will take all of those individual backup repositories you have now and group them into a single entity or pool of storage.  From there, we can simply select this global pool of storage as our target rather than an individual repository.  Veeam can then chose the best location to place your backup files within the pool depending on the functionalities and user-defined roles each member of the pool is assigned.  In an essence it’s a software defined storage play, only targeted at backup repositories – gone are the days of worrying about which repository to assign to which job – everybody in the pool!

More Snapshot/Repository integration.

Backup and restore from storage snapshots is no doubt a more efficient way to process your backups.  Just as Veeam has added support for HP 3PAR/StorVirtual and NetApp, we are now seeing EMC Dell thrown into that mix.  As of v9 we will now be able to leverage storage snapshots on EMC VNX/VNXe arrays to process our backup and restores directly from Veeam Backup and Replication – minimizing impact on our production storage and allowing us to keep more restore points, processing them faster and truly providing us with the ability to have < 15 minutes RTPO.

On the repository end of things we’ve seen the integration provided for DataDomain and Exagrid – as of v9 we can throw HP StoreOnce Catalyst into that mix. Having a tighter integration between Veeam and the StoreOnce deduplication appliance provides a number of enhancements in terms of performance to your backups and restores.  First off you will see efficiencies in copying data over slower links due to the source side deduplication that StoreOnce provides.  StoreOnce can also create synthetic full backups by performing only meta data operations, eliminating the need to actual perform a copy of the data during the synthetic creation, which in turns provides efficiency to a very high i/o intensive operation.  And of course, creating repositories for Veeam backups on the StoreOnce Catalyst can be done directly from within Veeam Backup & Replication, without the need to jump into separate management tools or UIs.

Cloud connect replication

Last year Veeam announced the Cloud Connect program which essentially allows partners to become somewhat of a service provider for their customers looking to ship their Veeam backups offsite.  Well, it’s 2015 now and we now can see that the same type of cloud connect technology now is available for replication.  Shipping backups offsite was a great feature, but honestly, being able to provide customers with a simple way to replicate their VMs offsite is ground breaking.  Disaster Recovery is a process and technology that is simply out of reach for a lot of business – there isn’t the budget set aside for a secondary site, let alone extra hardware sitting at that site essentially doing nothing.  Now customers are able to simply leverage a Veeam Cloud/Service Provider and replicate their VMs on a subscription based process to their data center.


When VMware introduced the VMware API’s for Data Protection (VADP) it was ground breaking in what it provided vendors such as Veeam the ability to do in terms of backup  VADP is the grounds to how Veeam accesses data in their Direct SAN transport mode, allowing data to be simply transferred directly from the SAN to the Veeam Backup and Replication console.  That said VADP is only supported on block transports, limiting Direct SAN to just iSCSI and Fibre Channel.  In true Veeam fashion when they see an opportunity to innovate and develop functionality where it may be lacking they do so.  As of v9 we will now be able to leverage Direct SAN mode on our NFS arrays using a technology called DirectNFS.  DirectNFS will allow the VBR console server to directly mount to our NFS exports, allowing Veeam to process the data directly from the SAN, leaving the ESXi hosts to do what they do best – run production!

On-Demand Sandbox for Storage Snapshots

The opportunities that vPower and Virtual Labs have brought to organizations has been endless. Having the ability to spin up exact duplicates of our production environments, running them directly from our deduplicated backup files has solved many issues around patch testing, application upgrades, etc.  That said up until now we could only use backup files as the grounds for getting access to these VMs – starting with v9 we can now leverage storage snapshots on supported arrays (HP, EMC, NetApp) to create completely isolated copies of the data that resides on them.  This is huge for those organizations that leverage Virtual Labs frequently to perform testing of code or training.  Instead of waiting for backups to occur we could technically have a completely isolated testing sandbox spun up using Storage Snapshots in essentially, minutes.  A very awesome feature in my opinion.

ROBO Enhancements

Those customers who currently use Veeam and have multiple locations we will be happy to hear about some of the enhancements that v9 has centering around Remote/Branch Offices.  A typical configuration in deploying Veeam is to have a centralized console controlling the backups at all of our remote locations.  In v8, even if you had a remote proxy and repository located at the remote office, all the guest interaction traffic was forced to traverse your WAN as it was communicated directly from the centralized console.  In v9 things have changed – a new Guest Interaction Proxy can be deployed which will handle then handle this type of traffic.  When placed at the remote location, only simple commands will be sent across the WAN from the centralized console to the new GIP, which will in turn facilitate the backup of the remote VMs, thus saving on bandwidth and providing more room for, oh, I don’t know, this little thing called production.

When it comes to recovery things have also drastically changed.  In v8 when we performed a file-level recovery the data actually had to traverse our WAN twice – once when the centralized backup console pulled the data, then again as it pushed it back out to it’s remote target – not ideal by any means.  Within v9 we can now designate and remote Windows server as a mount server for that remote location – when a File-level recovery is initiated the Mount Server can now handle the processing of the files rather than the backup console, saving again on bandwidth and time.

Standalone Console

“Veeam Backup & Replication console is already running”  <- Any true Veeam end-user is sure to have seen this message at one time or another, forcing us to either find and kill the process or yell at someone to log off.  As of v9 the Veeam Backup & Replication console has now been broken out from the Veeam Backup & Replication server, meaning we can install a client on our laptops in order to access Veeam.  This is not a technical change in nature, but honestly this is one of my favorite v9 features.  I have a lot of VBR consoles and am just sick of having all those RDP sessions open – this alone is enough to force me to upgrade to VBR v9 .

Per-VM backup files

The way Veeam is storing our backup files is coming with another option in version 9.  Instead of having one large backup file that contains multiple VMs we can now enable what is called a “Per-VM backup file chain” option.  What this does store each VMs restore points within the job in their own dedicated backup file.  Some advantages to this?  Think about writing multiple streams inside of parallel processing mode into our repositories – this technically should increase the performance of our backup jobs.  Certainly this sounds like an option you may only want to use if your repository provides deduplication as you would lose the deduplication provided job-wide by Veeam if you have enabled this.

New and improved Explorers

The Veeam Explorers are awesome, allowing us to restore individual application objects from our backup files depending on what application is inside it.  Well, with v9 we have one new explorer as well as some great improvements to the existing ones.

  • Veeam Explorer for Oracle – new in v9 is the explorer functionality for Oracle.  Transaction-level recovery and transaction log backup and replay are just a couple of the innovative features that we can no perform on our Oracle databases.
  • Veeam Explorer for MS Exchange – We can now get a detailed export report which will outline exactly what has been exported from our Exchange servers – great for auditing and reporting purposes for sure!  Another small but great feature – Veeam will no provide us with an estimation in terms of export size for the data contained in our search queries.  At least we will have some idea as to how long it might take.
  • Veeam Explorer for Active Directory – Aside from Users and Groups and the normal objects in AD we might want to restore we can now process GPO’s and AD-Integrated DNS Records).  Oh, and if you know what you are doing Veeam v9 can also restore configuration partition objects (I’ll stay away from this one)
  • Veeam Explorer for MS SQL – One big item that has been missing from the SQL explorer has been table-level recovery – in v9 this is now possible.  Also in v9 is the ability to process even more SQL objects such as Stored Procedures, functions and views as well as utilize a remote SQL server as a staging server for the restore.
  • Veeam Explorer for SharePoint – As much as I hate it SharePoint is still widely used, therefore we are still seeing development within Veeam on their explorer.  In v9 we can process and restore full sites as well as site-collections.  Also, list and item-level permissions are now possible to restore as well.