veeamlogoYesterday during the opening general session at VeeamON CEO Ratmir Timashev announced that Veeam is set to release yet another free tool into their backup arsenal, Veeam Backup for Linux.  Roughly one year ago at Veeams inaugural conference he took the stage across the street and surprised most with their Endpoint Backup solution, allowing organizations to backup their physical desktops, laptops, and servers, so long as they were Windows based.  Veeam Backup for Linux fills a hole that was left with Endpoint Backup, the millions of physical and cloud based Linux distributions that are out there “running the world”.  And just like Veeam Endpoint Backup, Veeam Backup for Linux comes in at the low low price of FREE!

What we know so far

Veeam Backup for Linux works by placing an agent into your OS – Distribution wise we are limited to just Debian and Redhat based builds right now, with more to come as Veeam get’s set to go GA with the product.  From there Veeam has built a proprietary Change Block Tracking (CBT) driver within their agent, allowing them to perform their ever popular incremental backups just as they would with any other Windows device utilizing VMware’s CBT capabilities.  As far as snapshots go Veeam has gone custom on that play as well – although they fully support LVM capabilities, they’ve opted to use their own snapshot mechanism, which can perform at the block level and store the snapshot data on your actual backup device, rather than utilizing LVM snapshots which would essentially place your snapshot data on the same volume you would be backing up.  All of this being provided in a consistent state, just as VSS quiesces your Windows servers.

2015-Q4-Veeam-Backup-for-Linux

As you can see above the UI is actually quite slick.  We know most Linux installs, be they cloud based or not are deployed in a headless, bare boned type manner – with the vast majority of them not containing and desktop manager solution such as gnome.  Having the product report back process in an organized manner through just the command line is a nice feature of Veeam Backup for Linux.

Veeam Backup for Linux also fully integrates with Veeam Backup and Replication – allowing us to backup to our existing backup repositories – meaning we can take advantage of all of the goodness that VBR provides to us.  Things like encrypting our backup files, copying them off-site, setting up notifications, etc. – all of this can be done within the VBR console on our Veeam Backup for Linux backups.

Where do we go from here?

So where does this leave us?  What are Veeams plans for VBL – This I don’t know but I’m always willing to speculate Smile  Personally I’d love to see Veeam Backup for Linux and Veeam Endpoint Backup have a tighter integration with Veeam Backup and Replication.  Central management for jobs, remote deployments, etc.  I’d love to see all of this functionality move into a paid version of VBR – I don’t think I’m alone with this either.

Secondly, and believe me this is just purely my speculation but I think Veeam Backup for Linux may open the doors for something more.  As they have put resources into building the ‘data mover’ technology which can run on Linux I’d love to see them port that into Veeam Backup and Replication in the form of proxies.  Currently we have to deploy Windows based proxies in order to scale our Veeam environment – in most cases this isn’t a big deal – but since version 3 I’ve been looking for Veeam to release a small Linux based proxy that we can utilize, something with a smaller footprint and without the costs of Microsoft licensing.  Maybe Veeam Backup for Linux contains some base code that Veeam can utilize for this – again, this is purely just my speculation and honestly I’ve only had one coffee this morning so I may be a little crazy.

With all that said Veeam Backup for Linux is not yet available – it’s slotted for a release sometime in the first half of 2016!  If you’d like, you can sign up for a first come first serve beta version here!