Tag Archives: DR

#VFD5 Preview – OneCloud

med-vert-notag-wpcf_93x60Am I looking forward to the presentation at Virtualization Field Day 5 from OneCloud?  I have no idea!  Why?  Well, here is a company that I know absolutely nothing about!  I can’t remember ever coming across OneCloud in any of my journey’s or conferences!  Honestly, I think this is the first company that is the only company that is presenting at VFD that I have absolutely no clue about what they do…

Disclaimer: As a Virtualization Field Day 5 delegate all of my flight, travel, accommodations, eats, and drinks are paid for. However I do not receive any compensation nor am I required to write anything in regards to the event or the sponsors. This is done at my own discretion.

That will certainly change fast

OneCloud will present at VFD5 on June 24th at 1:00 PM where I’m sure we will all be enlightened a little more on the solutions they provide.  That said I don’t like going in cold, knowing nothing about someone – thus, this preview blog post will at least help me understand a little bit about everything OneCloud has to offer…

So let’s start from the ground up.  OneCloud is essentially a management platform for a hybrid cloud play.  Their core technology, the Automated Cloud Engine (ACE) is the base to where they provide other services.  From what I can tell ACE essentially facilitates the discovery of your on premises data center, taking into account all of your VMs, physical storage and networking information.  From here, ACE can take different business objectives and transform these into API calls in order to essentially replicate all your infrastructure into the public cloud – for now, it appears to be just Amazon’s AWS which is supported.

The service running on top of ACE is OneCloud Recovery.  OneCloud Recovery allows organizations to facilitate a disaster recovery or business continuity solution involving the public cloud as the primary target – skipping costs and complexity of implementing a second or third site on premises.


So here is how it all happens from start to finish – OneCloud is deployed into your environment, via the virtual appliance route.  Another instance is also deployed into Amazon.  From there it auto discovers your environment; your networking setup, storage configurations, data and applications are all tied together and somewhat of a blueprint of your environment is created.  You then use their policy engine to apply RTO and RPO objectives to your applications.  OneCloud will then provision a fully functioning virtual data center in Amazon – one that mirrors your environment in terms of networking and configuration.  OneCloud not only duplicates your environment into Amazon, but it will also optimize both your compute and storage in order to minimize costs.  Meaning it will scale down on CPU where it believes it can and place your data onto the most cost effective storage.  Once your data is there OneCloud performs ongoing replication in order to meet the RPO you have selected.  From there it’s just a matter of performing your normal DR tests and engaging in any failover (and failback) operations.

OneCloud seems to have some interesting technology and I’m looking forward to learning more at VFD5.  Some questions for OneCloud that come to mind – How do they compare to VMware’s vCloud Air DR services?   Do they plan on expanding out to other public clouds such as Google, Azure, or vCloud Air?  With a strong software base in ACE do they plan on moving outside just the DR/BC realm – things such as DevOps and public cloud labs come to mind.   I really like how they are abstracting away what can be some very complicated API calls to Amazon – any time a company provides a solution that involves simplicity it’s always a good thing, but especially so when dealing with the complex networking and configuration of public cloud and disaster recovery.  If you would like to learn more about OneCloud with me you can do so by watching the live stream on the VFD5 event page.  That stream, along with any other content created by myself will be posted on my VFD5 event page as well.

Backing up your vCenter DB – all three of’em

three-fingersWait!  What!  3!?!?!  Yes, you read correctly!  While in the days of vCenter 5.0 and below we only had to worry about 1 database, the release of 5.1 has tripled that!   This is something I hadn’t even thought about until recently attending a vBrownbag put on by Justin King (@vcenterGuy).

So there’s the SQL database from vCenter right – ok – no big, I know about that one and am backing it up – KB article on how to do that.

Then there is the SSO database – no problem, I knew about that one as well since I had to create it when I first upgraded to 5.1.  Again it’s a MS SQL DB, doesn’t change that much –  which is easy enough to backup…

But then Justin started talking about the Inventory service – remember, that’s the third requirement you had to install when upgrading.  Well guess what?  It has a database too!  It’s not SQL at all – it’s sitting on your vCenter Server in xDB format.  My first thought was what is even in this database – I can’t browse it like I can the SQL databases (or I just don’t know how to).  What I can gather from the What’s New docs and VMworld presentations the Inventory database holds things such as a read cache of all the objects that are accessed within the vSphere Web Client and all of your tags and categories that are setup from vCenter.  I’m sure there’s more but this is all I can find.

However back to my main objective, how do I back this thing up?  A little digging around and I found this KB article on how to backup/restore your vCenter Inventory database.  Basically it’s as follows.

Backing up the inventory database (WINDOWS)

  1. Navigate to the Inventory scripts folder (c:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\Inventory Service\scripts)
  2. Run the following
    • backup.bat -file backup_filename

Restoring the inventory database (WINDOWS)

  1. Navigate to the Inventory scripts folder (c:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\Inventory Service\scripts)
  2. Run the following
    • restore -backup backup_filename

So utterly simple yet so not talked about 🙂  Wait – but what if I’m using the vCSA?  Am I out of luck?  Absolutely not!  Use the following…

Backing up the inventory database (Linux)

  1. Navigate to the Inventory scripts folder (/usr/lib/vmware-vpx/inventoryservice/scripts/)
  2. Run the following
    • ./backup.sh -file backup_filename

Restoring the inventory database (Linux)

  1. Navigate to the Inventory scripts folder (/usr/lib/vmware-vpx/inventoryservice/scripts/)
  2. Run the following
    • ./restore.sh -backup backup_filename

So there you go!  You can now sleep at night knowing you aren’t going to lose all of your hard work setting up those tags!  Moral of the story – Pay attention and participate in the vBrownBags – there is always some great information and learning to be had.

New Orleans or Madrid? Veeam says take your pick…

techedFeel like a trip to New Orleans or Madrid?  Fancy yourself some TechEd craziness?  How’s about saving yourself a little bit of money and having Veeam purchase your ticket?  The guys in green are at it again with their monthly drawings and have placed a full conference pass to TechEd 2013 into the March slot.  So no excuse, get on over and enter the drawing now!  And the best part is, they don’t really slam you with email too bad after the fact either so no reason not to!  The winner will be announced March 18 so time is running out!

Veeam Backup and Replication Cloud Edition!!!

veeam_logoToday Veeam has announced the release of a new addition to their flagship Veeam Backup and Replication software.  This edition, labelled Veeam Backup Cloud Edition adds additional capability to automatically sync or copy your VMware or Hyper-V backups to the cloud.  And when they say cloud they really mean it.  This bad boy comes with support for 15 of the most popular cloud storage providers (Amazon, Glacier, Rackspace, Azure) making it very cost effective for customers to get some offsite disaster recovery type solutions in place without the need for a second site or even more infrastructure.

All or selected backups (and even other files you select) are compressed and deduped yet again, then sent to the cloud provider in a secure, encrypted fashion (up to 256 AES encryption).  Again, the support for the most popular cloud providers eliminate the need for you to learn complicated cloud APIs and just like every other Veeam product, this seems to be fairly easy and simple to setup, configure and use.  It provides the ability to schedule limits on your bandwidth used and provides some nifty reporting features as well to inform you that your backups have been successfully copied offsite.  Also included is a cost estimator to help you gauge just how much those monthly storage bills are going to be.  Have a look at the following video to see all of the new features in action…

And for those who can’t take the time for the video, a few screenshots below 🙂

Cloud Options Storage Cloud Selection Select Files to send to Cloud Main Screen File Purge Optoins Encryption Options Encryption Options 2 Delete After 30 Days - Keep them after Veeam deletes them

As per lisensing, current customers are able to purchase this as an additional product, on a per socket basis, just as they have purchased Backup and Replication.  New customers have the ability to bundle this with their purchase of Veeam Backup and Replication on a yearly subscription basis.  Buuuut, I’m know lisensing expert and do not work for Veeam so you should probably contact them for the details…

Nakivo the latest to offer NFR lisenses to VMware professionals for FREE!!!

nakivo logoIf you are a VCP, vExpert, VCI or even a VMUG member you have no excuse to not try out Nakivo.  In a press release yesterday Nakivo announced that they are now handing out free 2 socket NFR lisenses of the latest version (2) of their flagship product Backup and Replication.

In addition to their day-to-day duties, VMware professionals run their home and work labs to try and learn new software, verify new concepts and ideas, and run pre-production tests. “We are pleased to provide VMware professionals with a fully-functional, yet a free data protection solution for their home and work labs allowing them to drive innovations in business and technology, enhance their IT infrastructure, and improve professional skills,” said Bruce Talley, CEO at NAKIVO.

IMO this is a good move by all companies.  vExperts, VCPs, and VCI’s are on the verge of the latest technologies and often throw these products into their homelabs to evaluate and try out, which normally results in some free marketing and exposure to the companies as blog posts and tweets go flying out about the products.

So, if you qualify and are looking for your lisenses, head on over here and sign up to grab yourself a couple of sockets worth.  I know I will!!!

Veeam Job taking a crazy long time on Processing Configuration…Check your destination!

veeam_logoAs of late I’ve found myself engulfed in configuring and tuning some Veeam replication jobs.  As I’ve been monitoring these I’ve noticed that there were a few VMs that seemed to be taking what I considered too long to replicate.  After a little bit of investigation I realized that the majority of the job was spent on the Processing Configuration section of the Veeam job.

ProcessingConfigurationTimeNow after a look into the logs it appeared that the VM replica in question was actually living on a different datastore than was setup for the destination location of the job.  Also, when i went to browse that destination datastore, there were a ton of folders labelled VMName_Replica_1, Replica_2, Replica_3 and so on and so forth, around 50 or so :).  So, the solution to solve this issue is either to change your job destination to the proper datastore (where the replica actually is) or to Storage vMotion your replica to the original job destination.  I chose the latter as I had many other VMs in the job that already resided on the correct datastore.  Anyways, after that the next round of replication sat on Processing Configuration for 30 seconds instead of 40 minutes.

Moral of the story, if you are Processing Config for a long time have a look at your job definitions, more particularly your destination datastore and where your actual replicas are physically located.  You probably have a mismatch there.  No Storage vMotion – No Problem, check out Veeam’s Quick Migrate – it’ll do the same thing for you.

Book Review – Manage Partitions with GParted How-to by Curtis Gedak

9823covI know I know, you are probably thinking to yourselves “Hey, isn’t this a virtualization blog, why are you writing about partitions and disk management”.  Well the truth of the matter is that I’ve been using GParted to do partitioning for quite a while now and to be honest have always had great successes with it (meaning it’s saved my bacon a few times 🙂 )  Well, over the holidays I had the chance to check out a new book by Curtis Gedak titled Manage Partitions with GParted How-to and I’m glad I did!!!!  Curtis Gedak has managed the GParted project for the past 4 years so you can safely assume that he has some pretty good knowledge on the topic at hand 🙂

So, on to the actual book.  It is broken down into a few key concepts (Must know, Should Know and Become an Expert).  Honestly, when I first started reading this I thought it might be something that I would need to sit down with a copy of GParted loaded up in front of me, but in the end I just ended up reading it from cover to cover without even touching a computer.   Each chapter is broken down into a few different sections; Getting Ready, How to do it, How it works, and There’s more.  This type of writing style and organization makes it very easy to also use this as a reference book when performing GParted actions.  The book takes you through every single action that can be performed within GParted; certainly check out the TOC here.

Throughout all my experiences with GParted I’ve been just sort of “using” the application, never really knowing what it is that is happening in the background.  This book gives you the deep dive that you need in order to fully understand how partitions are laid out on a disk as well as a step by step guide in order to create, modify, resize, move, and manage your partitions in order to give you the most effective and efficient disk use possible.

Honestly, don’t take my word for it either, check it out.  You can get a free chapter here where you can see for yourself the wealth of information and sharp illustrations.  However if you do want to take my word, my word would say if you use GParted on a regular basis, or if you plan on starting to use it, this book would be great for you.

My first shot at a whitepaper!

This past year I was approached by PHD Virtual with the opportunity to possible author a whitepaper.  Now I have never done anything like this before and honestly don’t consider myself to be the best writer in the world but I thought I’d give it a shot.  I compared it to my quest of trying to improve at my presentation and public speaking skills, meaning I’ll never improve if I don’t put myself in those uncomfortable positions right?  So armed with nothing I gave it a go and then end result is now published on their website.  You can find the completed result titled ‘5 Steps for improving Virtual Backup & Data Recovery in Large Enterprises’ over in the whitepapers section of PHD Virtuals’ resources page.

All in all it was a great experience and took a lot more work than I initially though it would.  Given then chance though, I’d most certainly do it again…Let me know what you think…but don’t be too harsh 🙂

Unitrends Enterprise Backup – In the lab!!!

Unitrends has been inside the backup industry for over 20 years!  That’s a long time to be a key player inside of one industry.  How do they do it?  By staying on top of the ever so changing nature of backup.  That’s why I decided to do this sponsored review of Unitrends latest offering, Unitrends Enterprise Backup.   Again, this review is sponsored but it most certainly contains my words and thoughts about the product.  Now that that’s been cleared up let me say that they make it pretty easy for you evaluate the product yourself.  Personally I went and grabbed a free NFR license that they offer to all Microsoft and VMware certificate holders.  Even if you simply belong to a VMUG you can get yourself an NFR license.  While the Unitrends Enterprise Backups deployment route requires Hyper-V or VMware, the appliance itself can backup and protect both your physical and virtual environment, but for the purpose of this review I only tested on a virtual infrastructure.


This couldn’t have been easier!!!  Unitrends has taken the virtual appliance route when it comes to installation, meaning a simple File->Deploy OVF Template and following a quick step wizard is all you really need to do to get Unitrends into your environment.  This honestly took around 10 minutes from start to finish to deploy into my environment.   Just be sure you meet the minimum system requirements (100GB free space, 2 CPUs, 4GB RAM) and deploy the appliance.  There is one single appliance to deploy whether you plan on using the free, trial, NFR, or complete enterprise solution.


Once the appliance has been deployed into your environment it’s now time to get it configured and ready to go.  Like most virtual appliances you must first configure IP and DNS settings inside of the VM console.  Unitrends provides a nifty little console menu to simplify this operation.  Once you have an IP configured the rest of the configuration can be done through the web interface by opening up a browser and pointing to the IP of your Unitrends appliance.  Upon the first login to the appliance Unitrends displays a setup wizard which takes you through most all of the steps that you need to configure to get up and running.  The steps of this process are outlined below

  • Accept EULA
  • Set Date/Time Parameters
  • Configure Hostname
  • Configure SMTP server
  • Change default console authentication (root password)
  • Add any additional administrative users to the system
  • Select an installation type – Just a note here you will have the option to either install as a local backup system or as a vault.  The difference being that vault actually acts as a replication target for a local backup system, giving you the ability to replicate your locally backed up files to another Unitrends installation in an offsite location.
  • Add additional storage to the Unitrends system.  If you left all of the defaults when deploying the defaults you should have roughly 80GB of storage to use as a backup target, here you can add additional storage to the appliance.
  • Install any required agents – If you are solely using this product to backup VMware VMs (or strictly current Windows OSes or Hyper-V) then this step can be skipped, however if you plan to backup any Linux or Mac OS based PHYSICAL systems then you have the option to deploy the agents needed at this time.  As with most settings you can always do this later as well – I skipped this for the time being.
  • Add Client – In Unitrends terms a client is a server/computer that you want to protect.  For the sake of protecting a VMware environment a client will be either your vCenter Server or ESXi host.  Here is where I added my vCenter Server by providing the DNS name as well as credentials then clicking ‘Setup’.  (Shown below)
  • Deduplication Options – You have the option here to disable the Unitrends software deduplication if you happen to be using a deduplication appliance or have deduplication enabled on your underlying storage array.

Honestly at this point you have all the configuration you need to start protecting your virtual environment with Unitrends.  Obviously there are a ton more settings and tweaks you can set in the Settings section of the application but I will concentrate more on the core functionality of the product rather than dive into each and every configuration setting.  Unitrends lays this functionality out in their top navigational menu, thus the rest of this review will follow the same structure.


The status section is there to do just what you would think, display the past, present, and future status of your backup system.  Not a whole lot to say about this section other than there are some really nice visualizations that let you see your future schedule for backups as well as the outcomes from previous backups.


Ok, here we go now into the meat and potatoes of this product; its’ ability to backup your virtual infrastructure.  First off you will see a couple of tabs along the top after selecting Backup; 1-Time Backup and Schedule Backup.  As you may have guessed one option performs a 1-time backup and the other allows you to assign a schedule.  For the purposes of this review I will only go over the scheduled backup option.
The first step is to setup a schedule or modify an existing one.  In my case I called this RPO 6 hours and set the Incremental Forever options to occur every 6 hours (brilliant eh? 🙂 )  Since I have selected my vCenter Server from the navigational menu i can see a list of potential VMs to protect in the list box to the left.  This list is dependent and will change based on the item you select in the navigational menu, meaning if it was an Exchange server you may see storage groups or databases, SQL you would see databases, etc…  Again in our case we are dealing solely with VMware so I see a list of VMs.  One cool and useful feature is the ‘Auto Include New VMs’ option.  This allows you to automatically include new VMs into a specified schedule as they are created and registered with vCenter without physically configuring the Unitrends appliance.  A very cool feature to be able to protect those VMs that tend to just show up in your environment.
The Schedule column on the right hand side of the screen is where you define how and when you want your backups to occur.  You will see here options around the minimum and maximum number of days to retain your backups as well as the backup strategy you wish to deploy.  This strategy could be one of the following….
  • Incremental Forever – This strategy essentially performs a full backup on the target and then subsequently performs incremental backups from then on.  Periodically (I think once every two weeks) the original full backup is synchronized and brought up to date using the  incremental backups locally and differentials are generated for the retention points leading up to this.  A great strategy to obtain a near continuous data protection strategy and speed up the time it takes to backup a virtual machine.
  • Full with Incrementals – Basically the same as Incremental Forever however giving you the ability to specify when the full backup occurs (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly).  I believe in this option the full backups are performed on your production environment and not generated from incrementals.
  • Full with Differentials – This would be somewhat the reverse of Full with Incrementals meaning you will always have an up to date full backup, with differential files as your restore points.
  • Custom – you guessed it, play with it and tailor it to how you want it to be.

And guess what?  You’re done!  Depending on the configuration you’ve specified your backups and retention policies should kick off immediately and start protecting your VMs.  The process of creating a backup job or schedule inside of Unitrends is very very simple.  What I like most about this process is how it is laid out in the web interface.  With the exception of advanced settings (SMTP and storage) all of the configuration and setup is done on one simple screen (See below).


So far we have installed, setup, and configured some backups jobs with Unitrends.  Now is the time to put it to the test and do perhaps the most important function that backup solutions provide; the ability to restore.  Unitrends offers a couple type of restores within their product; Restore a computer or Restore a system.  Now these terms sound like they do essentially the same thing but they most certainly do not.  Your most common type of operation and traditional restore is handled through restore a computer.  This will restore a VM from your local backup instance.  The ‘Restore a System’ is actually a DR operation that will restore your system from either an archive or a replicated (vaulted) instance.  I’ve mentioned the vault options earlier in this review and due to limited resources I can’t efficiently test this so for the case of this section I’ll walk through restoring a single VM from Unitrends.
First off if you select your vCenter in the navigation menu while in the restore section you should be presented with a nifty little screen.  What I like most about this is it is very easy to select your targeted restore time through either the visualizations provided or the Recovery Point Times table.  You then have a couple of options on how to restore.
Firstly is the ‘Next (Select Options)’ button.  This is the route to take if your desire is to restore a complete VM.  Once moving into the next screen you simply need to select a desired host and datastore, give your restored VM a name and you are off to the races.  Another noteable and huge feature is Instant Recovery.  This is the ability to publish the backup files directly to an ESX host and run your VM directly from the backup files themselves.  An awesome feature that you may need to use if access is needed immediately.
The second option, ‘Restore Selected Files’  allows you to perform a file level restore.  In order to first do this you must click the ‘Create’ button in order to create an image to restore from.  After this process is complete a network path will be displayed allowing you to connect by a couple of different methods.  Through Windows you could simply browse or map to the selected path.  Unitrends will also prevent this image as an iSCSI target allowing your end users to connect and restore any files they wish to an location they wish.  Once completed be sure to click the ‘Tear Down’ button in order to unmount the image.


So now we are on to the Archive capabilities of Unitrends.  In order to use the archive features you need to have archive storage attached to your appliance.  I facilitated this by adding a second disk to the VM and configuring it under the Storage and Retention settings however it appears you can also use a NAS or iSCSI type solution as well.  So basically the archive capabilities allow you to take either all or portions of your local backups or local appliance directories and setup different retention schedules on them in order to preserve certain recovery points in a different location.
Again like most configuration that is done within Unitrends all of it is on one screen.  You can see from the screen shot that all that needs to be done is selecting what to archive, the type of backups (a lot of options in here), your archive target and some simple options on whether to compress and encrypt your archived data.  You also have the ability to test your archive settings before submitting the archive job in order to ensure you have enough space remaining on your targets.  Archives can be run both on demand as well as scheduled.  There targets can consist of attached vmdks, iSCSI targets, NAS devices as well as tape drives.


Although fairly self explanatory I wanted to touch on this section as I found it to be one of the real shining points around Unitrends Enterprise Backup.  As you can see in the screenshot below Unitrends has a ton of predefined reports that you can generate and view dealing with everything from the outcomes of your backup jobs to your deduplication savings to storage utilization to inidividual reports dealing with applications such as SQL server.


So there you have it!  That in a nutshell is Unitrends Enterprise Backup.  I can’t say that I have really truly done this application justice as there are a lot of features that I didn’t get a chance to test.  Outside of this review Unitrends contains many features such as not only backing up your virtual infrastructure but your physical presence as well all from one interface.  They have solutions for full application item recovery such as Exchange mailboxes and SQL databases and tables.  Unitrends has a very solid, scaleable, easy to use system.  One of the biggest high points for me is just the ease of use.  Having most all of the configuration options for setting up backup jobs on one screen is a great feature allowing administrators to see the full scope of options and settings all at once.  Another awesome thing about Unitrends is the free edition.  Although limited to 4 VMs you get a fully functional product – no catch!  Don’t believe me?  Try it for yourself.   Go grab a fully functional trial at Unitrends.com.

Happy New Sphere is back!!! Win a copy of Designing VMware Infrastructure by @TrainSignal and @Scott_lowe

It’s that special time a year again, a time for family, friends, laughter, food, fixing your sister-in-laws friends computer, oh, and giving!  And that’s just what I want to do…GIVE!  Back for a second year (that’s right, I have done something twice on this blog now) is my Happy New Sphere Giveaway!  Last year we handed out a copy of Trainsignals VCP 5 Training and this year we have a copy of TrainSignals Designing VMware Infrastructure to place in somebody’s hands.  If you haven’t already you can check out a previous review of this course that I’ve done.  It’s full of great information that any VMware designer, architect, or even administrator should know.  I thought this course was awesome!   Also, to one lucky runner up we have a copy of “Administering VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0” by Mike Laverick (blog/twitter)  Because what’s a great design with a continuity/disaster recovery plan right?  Actually, it’s because I have one sitting around here from the Toronto VMUG to give away!!!!!!

So, here’s the answer to the question everyone has been asking!  How do I win?  What does it take?  Well, simply leave a comment on this post…Not really concerned about what is in it…leave your best design tip, what type of content you’d like to see on this blog in the coming year, your best #scottlowefact, a comment about either of the sponsors (Trainsignal or VMUG)…whatever you wish…

And wait, OMG a second entry!!!  Yes, just help me spread the word about the contest by sending out the following tweet.  That’s kind of a double edge sword as it actually decreases your chances of winning by the more people that sign up 🙂  Oh well, the price you pay for that precious second ballot!  Honestly, don’t be too concerned, there was only like 60 entries last year…The tweet and hash tag is below!



I’ll leave the contest open for new entries up to January 4th.  I’ll try to draw a winner sometime around then as well….don’t hold me to it though… 🙂  Either way, good luck and a big huge thanks goes out to Trainsignal and Angelo Luciani of the Toronto VMUG for graciously providing the prizes.  Oh, and Happy New Sphere!!!!!

It’s #Veeam time again! – Backup & Replication 6.5 is here…Almost!

It’s that special, magical time again, time for yet another sweet release from Veeam.  Now, it’s nothing new and shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that I just love Veeam releases and this one is no exception.  Although a minor release they have squeezed a couple sets of new awesome functionality into the core product that can only continue to get more and more awesomesauce as time goes on.  So with that said let’s have a look at a few of the features and enhancements that I find are crazy cool…  Keep your eyes pealed as we should see this release come to life sometime this quarter!

vSphere 5.1 Support

First and foremost support for VMware’s recent release of vSphere 5.1  From what I’ve heard the platform and architecture inside of ESXi 5.1 has changed significantly making it quite the challenge for backup and replication vendors to get to the point where they can say their products are supported.  It’s nice to see Veeam as one of those first supporters of vSphere 5.1

Full Support on Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8

Support for both backing up and running on Windows Server 2012!  Meaning you can now take advantage of some of the new Windows Server 2012 features with your Veeam Server/Repositories on top.  Think about it, you can now place your backups on the new deduped file system of Win 2012 and obtain deduplication across your Veeam jobs…pretty cool!

Veeam Explorer for Exchange

Although this was released to beta earlier as a separate application it’s now bundled into Veeam 6.5 as a feature set.  Meaning you will see this crazy one-click mailbox item level restore awesomesauce inside of the core Veeam Backup and Replication.  Oh, guess what?  It’s also included in ALL Veeam B&R Editions – Including the free version!  Apart from the inclusion of this in the core product they have also made a number of enhancements to it such as mailbox datastores are now auto detected and mounted and the ability to restore directly back to the original location is now available within the Enterprise version of Veeam B&R.  On top of that, there is support for any offline edb file, meaning it could be used with existing backups or SAN snapshots.  Nice!

Veeam Explorer for SAN Snapshots

I’m seeing a trend here with the Veeam Explorer for ___ ____ title!  Although right now this is only supported with certain HP arrays and VSA’s containing the SANiQ storage functionality,  this technology is pretty cool and I’m sure you will see the vendor array support expanded in the future.  The ability to restore/run VMs directly from SAN Snapshots as well as restoring individual files is pretty crazy!  Kudo’s to Veeam for building this in…and again, across all editions, including the free one!

The Core Product Enhancements

  • Veeam ONE integration – The release of B&R 6.5 is coupled with a release of the Veeam ONE product as well.  With this they have added a tight integration between the two products allowing you to monitor and report on the health of your B&R infrastructure and jobs from with Veeam ONE.  Don’t be surprised if you see a nice little ‘suite’ containing both products.
  • DR for your DR – Finally this is here!  The ability to schedule, automate and run backups of the Veeam Backup server itself.  You can now easily create backups of your Veeam configuration (containing infrastructure and job information) and restore them back to the same or another server.  So when disaster hits it’s now easy to recover your disaster recovery solutions.
  • Engine Enhancements – the core has been updated to provide further enhancements to your deduplication and compression as well as performance gains when it comes to reverse incremental s and large files.
  • Recovery Enhancements – You can now do that ever so awesome 1 click file level recovery, but this time direct it right back to it’s original location.  Suweeet!
  • Scheduling – ability to chain scripts is now available.
  • Management – More powershell cmdlets have been developed to support failover and failback for replicas as well as perform the new VeeamZip functionality!

So that’s all for now (all I know about) 🙂  Don’t delay, head on over to veeam.com and read up  for yourself and check it out!  Be sure to include your Exchange Admin on the Explorer for Exchange functionality – It’ll drive them crazy!!!!  In a good way!