Veeam Backup & Replication v6 will support Hyper-V and have Changed Block Tracking for Hyper-V

The next release of Veeam Backup & Replication will support image level backup of virtual machines running Microsoft Hyper-V. So far the product was able to make image level backups of VMware virtual machines only.

Veeam B&R version 6 will support all versions of Hyper-V, including the free version.

The reason for the added support is the expected growth in the marketshare of Hyper-V. Currently VMware has a marketshare of 84% of the server virtualization market while Microsoft Hyper-V has a marketshare of 11%. Gartner estimates that the share of Hyper-V will grow to 27 % by the end of 2012 while the marketshare of VMware will reduce to 65 %. It is also expected that companies will have both Hyper-V and VMware ESX(i) running in their datacenters.

Veeam Backup & Replication v6 will support three major features for backup of Hyper-V virtual machines:
– image based backup and replication
-changed block tracking
-compression and deduplication

Version 6 is expected to be released in Q4 of 2011. Besides Hyper-V support, also VMware support will see massive improvements.

There will be one download and one install which will enable the backup of Hyper-V and/or VMware virtual machines from the same console. It is expected there will be no public beta, just a private beta. At Microsoft TechEd demo’s will be given. There will be a possibility to transfer Veeam  licenses for VMware hosts to Hyper-V and reverse so the customer can use licenses while migrating their virtualization infrastructure from one vendor to the other.

Veeam Backup & Replication v6 has some unique features not available in other backup software able to make image level backups of Hyper-V virtual machines. Host based replication at the virtual machine level is one of those.
A very interesting but not unique feature is Changed Block Tracking. This enables to make fast, incremental backups of virtual machines at image level. It works the same way as Changed Block Tracking (CBT) of VMware virtual machines. But CBT for VMware is a feature delivered by VMware while CBT for Hyper-V is delivered by Veeam. What is does is keeping track of the changed blocks of a Virtual hard disk files (VHD) of a Hyper-v virtual machine. Only those blocks are backup-ed by Veeam instead of the whole virtual machine file. This reduces backup time and storage space.

Microsoft DPM 2010 is also able to just copy the changed blocks to data from the virtual machine hard disk file to backup storage. This is called Express Full. Taken from this blog

DPM utilizes the Hyper-V VSS writer to synchronize block-level differences within the VHDs using a process called an “Express Full”, which identifies which blocks have changed in the entire VHD and then sends just the updated blocks or fragments. This provides a complete and consistent image of the virtual hard disk files on the DPM server or appliance. DPM maintains up to 512 shadow copies of the full VHD set by storing only the block-level differences between any two images.

Version 6 will support the three features mentioned before. Features available for VMware like Instant VM Recovery or SureBackup will follow in a future release.

The image below shows the interface of Veeam Backup & Replication v6. It does show some new features like Quick Migration Sessions. Details on the exact usage are unclear at the moment.

There has been a lot of attention on the announcement of Veeam. Sean Clark writes a good posting about the move of Veeam at his blog. Maish Saidel-Keesing has a blogposting as well.

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