Veeam updated their industry-leading data backup and replication software for Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere. Learn what's new and what's improved in Veeam Backup & Replication version 9.5.

Timothy Warner

Timothy Warner is a Microsoft Cloud and Datacenter Management Most Valuable Professional (MVP) who is based in Nashville, TN. Check out his Azure and Windows Server video training at Pluralsight, and feel free to reach out to Tim via Twitter.

It seems like I reviewed Veeam Backup & Replication v9 only yesterday, but it's actually been more than a year (January 2016, specifically) as of this writing. Please check out that review if you are not yet up to speed with what this solution does: Veeam Backup & Replication v9 — Disaster recovery for Hyper-V and VMware

Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5, part of the Veeam Availability Suite, entered generally available (GA) status on November 16, 2016. Today I'd like to summarize what's new and what's changed with this solution. Personally, I admire Veeam because they are so tightly integrated in the IT community.

It seems that most conferences I participate in have a Veeam booth. Their people are professionals and certainly know what they are doing with regard to the backup, replication, and recovery of Hyper-V and VMware workloads. But enough with the preliminaries — let's get down to business.

ReFS support ^

Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 is certified for Windows Server 2016, and the Resilient File System (ReFS) is its preferred file system for your backup repositories. If you don't know, ReFS is Microsoft's new file system introduced with Windows Server 2012. ReFS boasts support for storage pooling, virtualization, copy on write, and a host of data resiliency features.

Three Veeam features are intertwined with the solution's ReFS support:

  • Fast clone technology: Leveraging Block Cloning API to create synthetic full backups up to 20 times faster than in previous product versions. Gain even faster speeds by combining with Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) and SSD tiered storage.
  • Backup archive integrity: Real-time monitoring and corruption detection

The following screenshot shows a synthetic full backup job that took 58 seconds to complete using the ReFS file system as a backup target. Veeam says that this same operation took 36 minutes on an NTFS volume (reference).

Veeam supports Windows Server 2016 and ReFS (image credit Veeam)

Veeam supports Windows Server 2016 and ReFS (image credit Veeam)

Veeam Recovery to Microsoft Azure ^

This new Veeam feature is absolutely wonderful news not only for businesses who need an Azure-integrated recovery solution but also for organizations considering migration to Azure cloud. Let's say you have physical and virtual servers on premises that need to end up in the Azure public cloud. How do you perform the migration while minimizing downtime?

Besides migrating your workloads to Azure, the Veeam recovery-to-Azure feature is great for companies needing a warm disaster recovery instance in the cloud or a test/development lab easy to rebuild.

The workflow for setting up the integration works like this:

  • Link your on-premises Veeam environment to your Azure subscription
  • Deploy a Veeam proxy VM (called a Veeam Powered Network [PN] virtual appliance) in an Azure virtual network (optional for advanced connectivity)
  • Configure Veeam to support your use case

Here is a high-level topology diagram to show you the integration:

Veeam–Azure integration (image credit Veeam)

Veeam–Azure integration (image credit Veeam)

As you can see in the diagram, a site-to-site or point-to-site virtual private network (VPN) connects your on-premises infrastructure to Azure, and the Veeam virtual appliance serves as an orchestrator/conduit for the cloud backup and restore.

Nimble Storage integration ^

Nimble Storage is a Hewlett-Packard Enterprise subsidiary that manufactures flash storage arrays that work on iSCSI and Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs). Veeam Backup & Recovery 9.5 now offers native integration with Nimble Storage arrays.

As you can see in the following screenshot, you add Nimble storage in the Veeam console the same way you're accustomed to. You can then create Nimble Storage snapshots and perform recovery from those snapshots.

Veeam–Nimble Storage integration (image credit Veeam)

Veeam–Nimble Storage integration (image credit Veeam)

Specifically, this means you can back up your production VMs directly from Nimble Storage snapshots or their Veeam-replicated copies. You also get Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots with which you can perform granular, item-level restores of your VM data.

Wrap-up ^

Well there you have it! If you aren't yet a Veeam customer and want to learn more, I will save you some Googling and provide you with some relevant links.

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