veeam_logoToday (Wednesday) at VeeamON brought with it some of the biggest news to come out of the conference.  Veeam has officially announced the arrival of Veeam Endpoint Backup, a solution enabling IT shops to backup their physical Windows desktops and laptops, but do it in a similar style as to how we currently backup our virtual infrastructure with Veeam Backup and Replication.  Oh, one more important key to this announcement is that  Veeam Endpoint Backup is absolutely free – I thought that ensued a worthy mention in the first paragraph!

But you can’t hot-add my laptop?

Ok, let’s take a look at what we know thus far about how this works.  Basically we are looking at a package that is installed directly on our endpoint.  From there, we can chose to backup our entire system, individual volumes, or specify individual files to be part of our backup job.  Easy enough thus far right?  As for targets, or where we are going to backup to we have a few options – we can backup to a drive attached to the source machine, such as a USB or SATA disk, we can point our job to a NAS device or to a file server via a CIFS share, or, perhaps the most appealing to me, we could backup a Veeam Backup and Replication repository.  From there its just a matter of setting up your retention settings and you are set to go with physical protection provided by Veeam

The restore process is much the same as the backup, meaning we can perform file or volume level restores, as well as complete bare-metal restores.  Veeam has also provided the option to create a recovery type USB key that can be used to boot the endpoint in the event that you aren’t able to get to Windows in order to do the restore.

So what’s and endpoint?

Veeam has stated that this is not an Enterprise product and its main purpose is to provide protection for your Windows desktops and laptops.  That said the list of OS support includes Windows 7 and up, as well as Windows Server 2008 and up – so essentially we could have a Veeam solution for our physical infrastructure.  One can see how this would be very appealing to IT shops that have only a handful of physical servers left and might be currently using another solution alongside Veeam to back these up.

Oh and it all can be yours for only FREE

Veeam has a long history of releasing free products and tools to the virtualization community.  We’ve seen it happen with products like Backup and Replication and Veeam One.  We’ve also seen separate standalone tools come out for free such as the Veeam Explorers and the highly popular FastSCP.  Following that same model comes Veeam Endpoint Backup.  Offered free to everyone and supported with a “best-effort” type model.  Veeam states they simply want to get this product into the hands of IT Professionals in order to get feedback and look at future expansion.

What the future holds

crystal-ballVeeam touting that they want feedback for future expansion isthe key here – I would love to see some functionality like this built in to Veeam Backup and Replication – allowing us to remotely install some sort of Veeam agent and setup backup jobs directly from within the centralized console.  I’m not saying this is going to happen, but it does seem like a logical step for Veeam to take with the product – and maybe that’s the plan seeing as this is a separate product targeted at client machines, leaving the doors open to provide physical server protection from elsewhere, say Veeam Backup and Replication.  This would allow us to use our enterprise type features such as application aware processing as well as things like SureBackup and virtual labs on our physical infrastructure.  Or even open up doors for having a physical server replicated to a virtual machine.  Of course this is all just me sitting on the Cosmopolitan balcony speculating while recovering from the VeeamON party last night – and could turn out to simply be the advil talking 🙂   Even if they do hold steady with just endpoint protection I’m excited to see where Veeam will take it.  Veeam is a company that is constantly releasing very innovative features into their products so you never know what you might find inside a 3.x or 4.x version of Veeam Endpoint Backup.

But, back to reality – Veeam Endpoint Backup is here now, it’s cool, it’s free and it’s going into a public beta come November of this year.  How do I sign up – follow the white (green) rabbit to this page and simply provide your email and you can be the first to know when Veeam Endpoint Backup Free hits the internets!  For now we wait, keep calm, and VeeamON!