Virtualisation specialist Veeam is aiming to make backups of virtual machines more efficient with Veeam Backup & Replication v7, which adds support for tape storage, built-in WAN acceleration for remote backups and can use SAN snapshots as a backup source.
Due to be available in the third quarter of this year, Backup & Replication v7 adds a number of new features. Many of these are aimed at making it easier for administrators to move some virtual machine backups to less costly storage, freeing up space and enabling more efficient use of resources.
However, some of the high-end features of Backup & Replication v7 will only be available under a new Enterprise Plus licence, which Veeam is also introducing with this release.
Veeam's EMEA evangelist Hans De Leenheer told V3 that Backup & Replication v7 includes features that rivals only offer as optional extras, and also makes backing up virtual infrastructure as simple as possible.
To this end, new capabilities include support for tape storage and built-in WAN acceleration to optimise copying of backups to off-site locations, effectively enabling tiered levels of backup where long-term data can be moved to cheaper storage.
"What we're not doing is supporting backing up virtual machines to tape, what we are enabling is use of tape as a secondary location for long-term retention of backup files, allowing customers to move long-term data to a cheaper form of storage," De Leenheer explained.
Likewise, the built-in WAN acceleration feature in Backup & Replication v7 is purely to optimise the movement of backup data to the cloud or to another off-site location, according to Veeam.
"We're not getting into the generic WAN acceleration market. It is built-in acceleration for our backup process only. When you do a copy job to an offsite location, that's where the WAN acceleration kicks in," De Leenheer said.
The exact technology is being kept under wraps, but it works at the block level and the network level and involves some caching at either end of the connection, according to Veeam.
Another key feature is support for backup from SAN snapshots, but this currently supports only HP StoreVirtual and HP 3PAR StoreServ storage arrays, although Veeam is looking to extend this in future.
Backing up from the snapshot rather than the virtual machine itself allows Veeam to dramatically shorten the time taken to perform the backup, according to De Leenheer.
"If you can do a backup from a SAN snapshot you're not doing it from the production data store, so the impact on the virtual machine will be negligible," he said.
Veeam also now supports Hyper-V with its virtual labs capability, which allows customers to spin up a virtual machine in a test environment directly from a backup. Previously, this was only supported on VMware.
Veeam is also looking to add grandfather-father-son retention for copy jobs on tape as well as disk in the future, according to De Leenheer. He said this will do away with the need to perform a regular full backup every month or quarter.
"You can then do incremental forever. You will only have to do a full backup once, and every other backup afterwards can be incremental," he said.
Veeam Backup & Replication v7 will be available as an upgrade for customers with a maintenance subscription. But Veeam is introducing a new Enterprise Plus licence that sits above its current Enterprise level. The WAN acceleration and SAN snapshot capabilities will only be available to customers who licence Backup & Replication v7 at this level, according to Veeam.
Existing Entperise level customers will be able to move up to Enterprise Plus for no extra charge when they upgrade to Backup & Replication v7, according to De Leenheer, or they can stay on the current licence going forwards.
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