Veeam Backup & Replication Review

Veeam Cloud Connect is a new feature that will make integrating service providers even more simple to store backups outside your datacenter

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Veeam released the new version of Backup&Replication v8. The new version contains more than 200 new features and functions and several bugfixes to v7 patch4.

Additionally v8 GA code will include a workaround for the newly found VMware CBT bug.

As a VCP we already got access to the RTM code so I had already the chance to take a closer look to the new features. Most of them are improvements "under the hood" and only a few could be seen as "killer features" but they all make VBR an even better and more comprehensive backup solution.
Let's have a look at the "What's new" document to see which features are really cool and a must-have. You can find the document here.

  1. Storage Snapshot Integration for NetApp. For all NetApp customers a must-have as Veeam extends the features of NetApp snapshots.
  2. Veeam Explorers for Active Directory and SQL Server. Especially the SQL Explorer and the added transaction log handling is one of the most demanded features of v8.
  3. EMC DataDomain boost integration. For all of the EMC customers that want to speed up storing backups to DataDomain systems.
  4. Encryption. Now you can encrypt your backup files to protect them if you store them outside your security barrier.
  5. Enhanced replication and failover plans. This is cool if you thought about buying VMware Site Recovery Manager as most features of SRM can now be delivered by Veeam.
  6. Veeam Cloud Connect. This new feature will make integrating service providers even more simple to store backups outside your datacenter. Tape is now one step closer to the edge...
  7. Backup I/O control. This feature will reduce load on production datastores during backup times when latency incraeses above a given threshold.
  8. Self restore portal. This feature will give local admins of backed up VMs to recover objects directly from within the VM thus reducing load on the backup admins or service desk.
  9. Forever incremental backup mode. This is a real killer feature. Standard incremental mode is fast but needs synthetic fulls to be reliable consistent. Reversed incremental backup is slower (up to 3x) but doesn't need synthetic fulls. Forever incremental combines the best of both worlds by allowing to create only incrementals but injecting older incrs into the full to reduce the number of restore points. Cool......
  10. Pre-job-script. Everyone ever had to handle pre and post backup scripts know that you have to switch to VMware Tools quiescening. This is unreliable and a bit strange to configure so integrating this functionality into Veeam is a pain killer.
  11. Parallel Guest File Indexing. Formerly you had to wait for the indexing to finish before the backup started. On large fileservers this could easily take 10-30mins. Now indexing is done during the backup.
  12. Linux guest file indexing. Self-explaining.
  13. Snapshot Hunter. This feature wills can for orphaned snapshots similar to the "Consolidation needed" feature in vSphere 5.x. This will add additional security as orphaned snapshots are now being discovered and consolidated automatically.
  14. Remote tape server. For all that still use tape you can now delegate the tape role to any Windows based server known to Veeam.
  15. Dedup storage support. Additional support for ExaGrid and HP StoreOnce dedup devices.
  16. SAN restore for thick provisioned disks. For thin provisioned disks it's still a performance problem so it's currently not supported but thick provisioned disks work. If you use 10GbE this feature isn't very important for you.

All other features raise the easiness of backup handling but can be considered to be minor enhancements. Some new features are already included in other backup tools and simply make Veeam more comfortable but that's okay.

I still miss some functionality and hope it will be added to VBR in the next releases:

  1. Support for DataCore storage. We have plenty of DataCore users here that also use Veeam. It shouldn't be that difficult to add DataCore to the list of supportet storage vendors.
  2. Search for folders in Enterprise Manager FLR. You're still restricted to searh for files but what if your user deletes a whole folder and can't remember the name of any file within this folder?
  3. Higher level of integration of VBR into VMware vSphere web client. Though you can now start VeeamZIP backups from within the web client, standard backup or replication jobs are still unavailable to configure or even start from the vSphere client. As EM can handle these options and fully supports RESTful API it shouldn't be a big problem for a tighter integration.
  4. Why do you still need EM to do 1-click restores? It would be much easier to search for files from within the Veeam GUI rather than using a second "application" for restoring single objects.
  5. vPower NFS on Linux repositories as NFS is native on Linux and should be a bit faster than the emulation on top of Windows.

Nevertheless, as far as I can see from the first real-world tests and the what's new document, Veeam Backup&Replication is getting more and more mature and can easily be an option for higher-priced backup tools. If they now add an extended support for physical systems why should you use any other tool than this one?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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1 Comment

author avatarChris Childerhose
ExpertTop 5Real User

Nice review.  v9.5 has come even further than v8 from your review with multiple enhancements and updates including Nimble Storage integration. Also Update 1 has vSphere 6.5 support which is very welcomed.