Veeam Backup & Replication v8 will have NetApp snapshot support

Veeam anounced one of the new features of the to be released Backup & Replication v8.

Version 8 will support NetApp storage snapshots.

With this feature Veeam extends its support for storage based snapshots. Veeam already supports HP storage snapshots using  Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots. It  lets you restore VMware VM data directly from native and HP StoreServ (3PAR), HP StoreVirtual (LeftHand) and HP StoreVirtual VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance) snapshots.

Combining NetApp snapshots with Veeam B&R is combining the best of two worlds.

NetApp ONTAP which is the operating system of the storage offers several ways to protect data at the storage layer:

  • Snapshot: creates a point in time copy of a ONTAP volume for data protection purposes. Creating a storage based snapshot does not have an impact on performance of the virtual machines. Creation of snapshots can be full scheduled and is a first line of defense for dataprotection. It allows a very low Recovery Point Objective (RPO).
  • SnapMirror: replicates the snapshot to a different NetApp storage device.
  • SnapVault: archives a snapshot

Advantage of combining Veeam B&R and NetApp snapshots

Veeam Backup & Replication will be able to directly acces the ONTAP Snapshot data and make a backup of the data included in the snapshot. Backup of virtual machines running on NetApp is a two step process now.

The advantage of an ONTAP storage snapshot is that is does not have a negative effect on the performance of virtual machines. When VMware based snapshots are used instead, there can be an impact on performance when snapshots are deleted when the backup has finished. Read about the impact on performance when using VMware snapshots here.

The reason to use Veeam B&R for backup of the NetApp snapshot is that you want your backup data to be stored on a different physical storage device. Snapshots are not backups! If your NetApp is lost (technical errors, fire) your snapshots (if not mirrored using SnapMirror) are lost as well.

 

Restoring data from NetApp snapshots is a bit complicated and time consuming process. When using Veeam B&R however restore is very simple and fast. Veeam is able to restore virtual machines, individual guest files but also Exchange and SharePoint items directly from ONTAP Snapshot, SnapMirror or SnapVault as a source. It is also possible to run a virtual machine from a snapshot using the Veeam Instant VM Recovery technology. There is no need for copying data from backup source to production volume. This enables a very low Recovery Time Objective.

You can learn more here http://go.veeam.com/v8-netapp.html or read Luca Dell’Oca’s post http://www.veeam.com/blog/veeam-to-offer-advanced-data-protection-with-netapp.html

There is a webinar on April 17th http://www.veeam.com/videos/veeam-netapp-integration-3999.html

Veeam Backup & Replication v8 is expected to be available in second half of 2014.

Windows Server 2012 R2 Update KB2919355 causing failed backups of Hyper-V VM’s

After installation of Windows Server 2012 R2 Update KB2919355, backups of Hyper-V VM’s fail. The error is

 

Error: Client error: The system cannot find the file specified

This error is not caused by the backup software nor the storage used. It is a bug in the Microsoft update. Veeam is curently working on a workaround which is expected to be released this Tuesday.

So be carefull installing this Microsoft update.

More info on the Veeam forum.

Veeam Explorer for Active Directory Beta released

Veeam just released a beta version of Veeam Explorer for Active Directory. This nice piece of software allows a simple restore of Active Directory objects without having to restore a complete Active Directory server. Just  do a file level recovery of a domain controller. The guest filesystem will be mounted locally on the backup server to C:\veeamflr folder. After that, browse into that folder with Explorer for Active Directory and open ntds.dit . Use the Explorer for Active Directory to restore objects directly into the operational AD. It is also possible to export to a LDIF file.

Supported are Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2012. When restoring objects of a Windows Server 2012 domain controller make sure Veeam Explorer for Active Directory is installed on the same version OS (2012) or on Windows 8. 

The info below was taken from the Veeam forum:

VEAD supports search and restore of all AD objects types, including users, groups, computer accounts and contacts. It can restore individual object’s attributes, the entire objects, and even the whole organizational units (along with the hierarchy). Of course, the deleted objects do not have to be present in the Recycle Bin, as we will obtain all the data from backup where the objects are still present in AD. More importantly, unlike many other Active Directory recovery solutions, we do not require that the tombstone of the deleted object is still present in AD. VEAD is also fully Microsoft Exchange aware, so when restoring the user account, we will restore all Exchange-related attributes and reconnect the mailbox. As you will see, this is a very comprehensive solution.

But, there is one more thing. VEAD also has the unique ability to recover passwords! Imagine accidentally deleting the entire OU with all your users. Without this feature, each user will be prompted to set the new password upon first logon, which is very disruptive and insecure. But this feature will come even more handy if you lose an OU with computer accounts! If you simply restore those back, computers will not be able to logon to the domain because of computer account password mismatch. Now, just imagine the nightmare of going to each computer, switching it into workgroup, and then joining it back into the domain… hundreds of times! This is when you will really appreciate this feature.

The beta can be downloaded  here. (requires B&R 7.0)

Andrea Mauro of vinfrastructure.it wrote a great post about Veeam Explorer for Active Directory

Veeam releases Backup & Replication 7.0 R2 update supporting vSphere 5.5.

Today Veeam released Veeam Backup & Replication R2. This version has a lot of new features. One of the most interesting is support for VMware vSphere 5.5. The update also contains bugfixes.

Veeam has named this release a patch. To obtain the patch please download it from: Download

More information here

What is new:

VMware

  • vSphere 5.5 support, including support for 62TB virtual disks and virtual hardware v10 virtual machines.
  • vCloud Director 5.5 support.
  • Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 as guest virtual machines (VMs).
  • Added ability to limit maximum amount of active VM snapshots per datastore to prevent it from being overfilled with snapshot deltas. The default value of 4 active snapshots can be controlled with MaxSnapshotsPerDatastore (REG_DWORD) registry key.

Microsoft

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and free Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 support, including support for Generation 2 virtual machines.
  • Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 as guest virtual machines (VMs)
  • Support for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
  • Support for the installation of Veeam Backup & Replication and its components on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1.

Built-in WAN acceleration

  • Increased data processing up to 50% with hard drive based cache, and up to 3 times with SSD based cache. Multi-core CPU on source WAN accelerator is recommended to take full advantage of the enhanced data processing engine.

Replication

  • Added ability for source and target proxy servers to reconnect and resume replication when network connection between source and target site drops for a short period of time.

Tape

  • Added support for a number of enterprise-class tape libraries with partitioning functionality that allows presenting multiple tape library partitions to the same host.
  • Import/export slot interaction has been redesigned to add support for a number of IBM and Oracle tape libraries.

Application-aware processing

  • Added ability for application-aware processing logic to detect passive Microsoft Exchange DAG database present on the VM, and process it accordingly.
  • Added support for Exchange CCR clusters.

User interface

  • User interface should now remember size and positions off the main window, as well as all panels and columns.

 

 

Free 180-day NFR license for Veeam Backup & Replication v7

Veeam is giving away FREE 180-day NFR licenses for 2 sockets of Veeam® Backup Management Suite™ for VMware or Hyper-V for your home or work lab.

This offer is for  VMware vExperts, VMware Certified Professionals (VCP), Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP), Microsoft Certified Technology Specialists (MCTS) and Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) only!

Veeam Backup Management Suite is built from Veeam Backup & Replication™ to deliver the data protection, visibility and control you need for your VMware or Hyper-V environment. By leveraging the capabilities and benefits of virtualization, Veeam Backup Management Suite helps organizations modernize their data protection strategy and mitigate daily management risks.

Get a FREE NFR license for your lab to see the benefits of Veeam Backup Management Suite for yourself:

  • Complete visibility of your backup and virtual infrastructures
  • Advanced monitoring of backup jobs and resources
  • At-a-glance reporting and detailed documentation of backup status, performance, availability, utilization and more!

And while you download the software, help Veeam to win Windows IT Pro Community Awards! They are nominated in SEVEN categories. You can vote here http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2013-CommChoice-WinITPro-FinalVoting

Register for the NFR license  here,

 

What is new in VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.5

This post is part of a series of posting on the VMworld 2013 announcements. See this post for an overview of what has been announced at VMworld 2013.

AT VMworld 2013 VMware announced Site Recovery Manager 5.5
Part of SRM is the ability to replicate on a per VM basis. Information on What is New on vSphere Replication can be found here.

VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) is a business continuity and disaster recovery solution that helps you to plan, test, and run the recovery of virtual machines between a protected vCenter Server site and a recovery vCenter Server site.

You can configure SRM to work with several third-party disk replication mechanisms by configuring arraybased replication. Array-based replication surfaces replicated datastores to protect virtual machine workloads. You can also use host-based replication by configuring SRM to use VMware vSphere Replication to protect virtual machine workloads.

You can use SRM to implement different types of recovery from the protected site to the recovery site.

What is new:

this information is based on VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.5 Release Candidate| 19 JUL 2013 | Build 1228390

  • Ability to test your DR non-disruptively from any site, and view both sites
  • SRM 5.5 allows you to protect virtual machines with disks that are larger than 2TB
  • support for Windows Server 2012 for installation of SRM
  • New configuration option to support vSphere Replication
  • Storage DRS and Storage vMotion  supported when moving virtual machines within a consistency group.
  • Protect virtual machines in Virtual SAN environments by using vSphere Replication. You can use Virtual SAN datastores on both the protected site and on the recovery site.
  • Preserve multiple point-in-time (MPIT) images of virtual machines that are protected with vSphere Replication. Advanced settings include an option to recover all vSphere Replication PIT snapshots.
  • Protect virtual machines that reside on vSphere Flash Read Cache storage. Flash Read Cache is disabled on virtual machines after recovery.
  • SRM 5.5 no longer supports IBM DB2 as the SRM database, in line with the removal of support for  DB2 as a supported database for  vCenter Server 5.5.

SRM 5.5 still needs the C# (full vSphere client) for management. So no support for the vSphere web client.
The operational limits for using SRM 5.5 with vSphere Replication 5.5 are the same as for using SRM 5.1 with vSphere Replication 5.1.

•MPIT retention is turned off by default, but can be enabled in advanced settings within SRM.  This is the default behaviour as only the recent point in time will have any SRM failover customizations such as scripts, network changes, etc. applied to it during failover.  If the administrator reverts to an earlier snapshot these changes will be lost.  Enable this setting in advanced features in SRM if retention of MPIT is desired.
•Compatibility with Storage vMotion of primary objects with vSphere Replication is retained when using SRM, completely transparently.  There is no real restriction on where or when users may migrate VMs.
•SRM has always supported multiple vSphere Replication servers, but be aware that topologies are more restrictive when using SRM vs. using stand alone vSphere Replication. I.e. VR supports many topologies depending on where VR appliances and VR servers are deployed.  SRM still supports only 1-to-1 pairing or Many-to-1 shared recovery.
•VSAN support is also maintained in SRM if using vSphere Replication
•Migrating VR based VMs with SDRS or sVmotion is fully supported within SRM as well.

Secondly, the support for Storage vMotion has been expanded to include migration of VMs within a consistency group on an array when using array based replication and vCenter 5.5 with vSphere 5.1 and above *only*:

•If VMs are moved out of a disk consistency group the replicated VMX file may not be created in the right location rapidly enough, causing the VM to be unrecoverable
•Therefore Datastore Clusters *must* be made and *must* contain only the datastores provided by the consistency group on the array, i.e. each datastore cluster may contain only datastores from the same consistency group on the array.
•Each datastore in the consistency group will have the same availability characteristics (RPO, speed, etc.) and therefore each datastore in the datastore cluster/pod will have the same characteristics.
•When that is the case, storage vMotion and storage DRS are supported within the datastore cluster/pod.  This will ensure a valid VMX and VMDK file is always present and available for recovery.
•SRM will scan all datastores in a protection group for a valid VMX file for any given VM.  If a VM is migrated on the primary site, the VMX will be created on the new datastore and deleted on the old.  This means the replication of that VMX will happen and the deletion of the old one in parallel with the action on the primary site.
•This means the migration may not have completed when failover occurs, in which case we can still use the old VMX, or it will have completed in which case we can use the new one.  In any case the VM remains recoverable as long as consistency groups are used.

Further explanation on storage vmotion:

“Fundamentally what we’re doing is now scanning all the directories in the replica datastores of a datastore group in a PG on the recovery site.  We look for the vmx everywhere now instead of just looking for the vmx in the last place it was put when the vmx was protected.
So the caveat is the VM must be placed in the primary site on a storage cluster that contains only datastores that contain only disks/luns/disk groups that are part of the same consistency group on the backend.

It is a manual process to set this up and there is no error checking, so the administrator must know the storage layout well.

If all the replicated files reside in a SRM protection group backed by a storage cluster backed by datastores backed by only disk groups/LUNs/etc. in a consistency group, then you can manually migrate or turn on storage DRS for those VMs.

This is because we now look for the files for that VM in all directories associated with that protection group.
Since those disks in the consistency group are all replicated with the same schedule and write order fidelity is maintained, we can therefore allow them to move because there will always be a recoverable set of files either at the source location (if a crash/recovery occurs during migration) or at the target location (if it completes successfully before the crash/recovery).

This is the scenario we’ve had to avoid in the past, an incomplete migration leading to the deletion of the primary VMX before the replication engine has placed the new VMX in the appropriate directory at the recovery site, or before SRM has been notified about the new location at the recovery site.

Not there are no checks to ensure it doesn’t move out to somewhere incorrect, so there is still the risk of moving it into an unprotected area or outside of the consistency group if they are not careful, and that can still lead to a non-recoverable VM.  We do send alerts if vmotion has moved it out of protection, but do not stop the migration.

Caveats and Limitations

  • SRM 5.5 RC does not support upgrading from a previous release. Only a fresh installation of SRM 5.5 RC is supported.
  • No storage replication adapters (SRA) are  provided for SRM 5.5 RC. Existing SRM 5.1 SRAs should work, but SRM 5.5 RC  does not officially support array-based. Protecting virtual machines by using  vSphere Replication is supported.
  • Using vSphere Replication with VMware Virtual SAN environments is supported but is subject to certain limitations in this release.

    Using SRM and vSphere Replication to replicate and recover virtual machines on VMware Virtual SAN datastores can results in incomplete replications when the virtual machines are performing heavy I/O. ESXi Server can stop  unexpectedly.

    SRM and vSphere Replication do not  support replicating  or recovering virtual machines to the root folders with user-friendly names on Virtual SAN datastores. These  names can change, which causes  replication errors.  vCenter Server does not register virtual machines from such paths. When selecting Virtual SAN datastores, always select  folders with UUID names, which do not change.

  •  SRM 5.5 RC offers limited  support for vCloud Director environments.  Using SRM  to protect virtual machines  within  vCloud resource pools (virtual machines deployed to an Organization) is not supported. Using SRM to protect the  management structure of vCD is supported. For information about how to use SRM to protect the vCD Server instances, vCenter Server instances, and databases  that provide the management infrastructure for vCloud Director, see VMware vCloud Director Infrastructure Resiliency Case Study.
  • SRM does not accept certificates signed using MD5RSA signature algorithm.
  • Windows Server 2003 is not a supported platform for  SRM Server but the SRM installer  allows  you to install SRM on Windows Server 2003.

In the future SRM will be deployed as a virtual appliance.

This post is part of a series of posting on the VMworld 2013 announcements. See this post for an overview of what has been announced at VMworld 2013.

What is new in VMware vSphere Data Protection

This post is part of a series of blogpostings on VMworld 2013 announcements. See here for a complete overview of all announcements.

VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is VMware’s backup and restore tool. It is provided for free with vSphere Essentials Plus and higher editions.

So far the features of the tool were very limited. Use cases  of VDP are small companies, remote offices etc.

vSphere Data Protection

With this release, vSphere Data Protection (VDP) gains the following capabilities:

  • Disk-level granularity
  • Detachable/remountable data partitions
  • Replication to the cloud. Data can be replicated to a cloud provider who has EMC Avamar
  • Time-of-day scheduling
  • Removal of the blackout window
  • Restore without dependancy of vCenter. Direct to host “Emergency Restore” for any VM

vSphere Data Protection Advanced (VDP Advanced) offers all the features available in VDP, plus these:

  • Replication
  • Data Domain integration
  • Exchange message-level recovery
  • SharePoint integration
  • Automated backup verification

more info on the VMware website.

One of the new features in  VDP is the ability to select individual .vmdk files for backup. To avoid backing up an OS page or swap file, perhaps it now makes sense to create a separate .vmdk file for the page/swap file, which could then be excluded from VDP backup jobs.

Another new feature is that scheduling of backup jobs is now much more granular. The time of the start can now be set. In the past VDP selected the runtime by itself.

The datastore where to store the VDP operating system disk and the data disk can now be individually set. In the past this had to be on the same datastore. This now enables a scenario in which the VDP OS is lost due to a disaster. A new VDP virtual appliance can be installed and point to the original VDP data disk.

Sneak Peek: Veeam Backup & Replication v7

Veeam will release Veeam Backup & Replication v7 in Q3 2013. The  new release will have 2 disruptive innovations, 7 market changing features, and 75+ enhancements according to a tweet of Veeam!

Some of the enhancements are shown in this document.

Besides new features there will be a new edition as well: Enterprise Plus.

some of the new features are:

Backup Copy jobs
Best practices and common sense dictate keeping at least two copies of your backups, and new Backup Copy jobs let you implement proper backup and retention policies without requiring extra backups, copy scripts or capabilities like storage-based file replication. VM backups are automatically archived to the storage location of your choice, and validation and remediation make sure your copies are available and reliable.

Built-in WAN Acceleration
 

 

 

 

 

Gartner Catalyst session: Modernizing Business Continuity and DR Using Virtualization and the Cloud

One of the presentations at Gartner Catalyst Conference was titled Modernizing Business Continuity and DR Using Virtualization and the Cloud.

It can be watched online for free here. If you do not have an account you can create one for free and watch three sessions for free.

This blogpost has a summary of what was presented here.

The outline of the  presentation by Werner Zurcher is :

Server virtualization and public and private cloud services have dramatically changed the alternatives organizations have to ensure greater application availability and disaster recovery. This session provides detailed guidance on how to modernize business continuity and highlights lessons learned from bleeding edge organizations that are already using private and public clouds for DR. The key questions answered in this session include:
• How are technologies like server and storage virtualization and software-defined networks architected to improve business continuity?
• Who is enabling, and who is embracing cloud DR and for what use cases?
• What are the most common architectural pitfalls that should be avoided?

As IT is becoming more and more important organizations are looking for ways to improve their business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities. Superstorm Sandy and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan increased the number of questions by Gartner customers on how to improve DR.

To start improving BC and DR, some advise from Gartner

  • IT must know the business requirement for BC and DR
  • IT should use virtualization to improve mobility, availability and DR.
  • use automation to simplify disaster recovery.
  • use the cloud to support BC management and assure IT service recovery

 

Gartner did interviews with 16 of its clients to understand how they perform BC and DR. All Gartner customers who are innovative on DR have a high degree of virtualized servers. Their servers were between 75 and 99% virtualized. That is much higher then the average. Gartner estimates that by the end of 2013 67% of all servers will be running virtualized.

Most companies have 3 to 4 tiers of application protection levels ranging from  Mission critical, critical, important and non important for example. Each tier describes uptime requirements, availability, RTO and RPO. Many companies also have a Tier 0 level for critical infrastructure components. In this level of protection are services like Active Directory, DNS and DHCP. These services need to be available at all times. Organizations do not want to rely on  restore of Microsoft AD first and only after succesfull restore start with restoring the business applications.

The slide below shows the average spending on disaster recovery by industry. Clearly banks, telecom and airlines spent the most money of their IT budget on DR.

The slide gives an indication of RTO and RPO per industry.

.Dr-slide1GIF

 

Benefits of server virtualization to DR

Virtualization makes DR much easier and less costly. Virtualization provides hardware abstration. VMs can run on any supported hardware platform. In the secondary datacenter used for DR less hardware is needed when servers are virtualized. Virtualization also enables using the cloud as a DR site.

DR Automation tooling

A quote of one of the Gartner customers who participated in the study was: “We’re moving away from RecoverPoint to get away from replicating everything. I want only certain things to get replicated. Also, with LUN-based replication, if everthing on the same LUN isn’t related, it gets more difficult to move or test (failover and failback).

Death to array-based replication

Dr-slide2

This quote comes from a Gartner client using Zerto Virtual Replication. They are moving to the cloud for DR this fall. In the Gartner study 10 of the 16 customers were using software replication. 7 of those 10 are using a combination of software and hardware replication (replication performed at storage level) .

<note from author: In April 2012 I did a review of Site Recovery Manager, Zerto Virtual Replication and Virtualsharp Reliable DR. Since then new versions have been released. Read the review here . 

I also blogged about using Zerto for DR to the cloud in this blogposting titled Is your data ready for the next natural disaster or other hazards to IT?

>

Garter recommends to separate  data of virtual machines in 3 different virtual disks.

  • Disk 1 for operating system, application software files.
  • Disk 2 for paging/swap file and temporary files
  • Disk 3 for data

Disk 1 and disk 2 only require to be replicated once per day. Replication of the page disk could be needed to reserve the storage in the DR site. Actually as the virtual machine will restart in the secondary site is case of a disaster, the replicated paging/swap files will be overwritten at startup.

Automation makes DR much easier. 6 participants of the Garner study were using VMware Site Recovery Manager. One customer was using Hyper-V Replica with system Center Orchestrator, one company was using Zerto Virtual Replication,  <note: Veeam Backup & Replication does not offer an automated recovery feature on par with the ones mentioned by Gartner)

One of the best features of DR tools is automated test failover to a DR sandbox. This allows failover to be tested without disrupting the production environment. One of the customers is quoted: Virtualization and SRM allow us to eat chips and watch TV during the DR-test.

DR to the cloud

18% of the respondents in a recent Storage Magazine survey are using Disaster Recovery to the cloud (aka Recovery as a Service RaaS). Those were all small companies. Large companies all operate two or more datacenters which are used for DR. Gartner asked 1000 of its clients if they were using cloud for DR purposes. Only one !  was using cloud for DR, another was moving to it. Gartner got the same response on another query to 1000 respondents executed at a later date.

<note from author: I guess most of Garners clients are large organizations. The actuall usage of DRaaS in total will be higher>

So large organizations are not doing DR to the cloud yet.

An issue with DR as a Service is the bandwidth to and from the cloud. Companies are starting to use carrier Ethernet with 1Gbps links to the cloud. When looking for DraaS vendors distance between your location and that of the DraaS provider is an important thing to consider. Even when using 1 Gbps connection if the distance is too far the throughput is low/latency high. Of course the providers location should not be too close either. Gartner recommends something like between 20 and 100 miles away.

Gartner spoke to a Recovery as a Service provider. This provider has a couple of cloud based recovery services. Veeam Backup and Replication was used most by their customers. More information on using Veeam for DR here. 

Very often European organizations are using three datacenters. Two are close to eachother (arond 30 km max). Those two datacenters can be so close to eachother because in Europe there are no earthquakes , hurricanes or other natural disasters hitting a whole region. DR is done using the primary and secondary DC. When datacenters are close together it is easier for staff to get there for maintenance etc.  Some organizations like banks use a third datacenter to store data just to be sure. Or use the cloud as a third datacenter to run webservers. If both datacenters are unavailable at least some critical public facing websites remain available.

Use the Business Continuity Management tools from the cloud (SaaS).
BCM tools offer features like emergency messaging and notification services. Also they offer DR plans, business impact analysis, DR strategy, IT DR planning etc.   This can be very handy to have quick access to when a disaster have happend… <note from author: I am sure you stored Recovery plans in several safe places outside where your production data lives)>

The documentation having instructions how to recover, who to inform, contact details etc can even be accessed from a mobile Phone when using SaaS tools.

Dr-slide6Dr-slide5

Investigate cloud DR for appropiate IT services. Cloud DR is not an all of nothing proposition. You can protect a subset of your applications using cloud DR. Get comfortable with it and extend the usage of Cloud DR when you are comfortable with it.

Test your DR plan regularly, This is what all companies do who participated in the Gartner study. However most of them did not test a failback.

Backup to the cloud using Windows Azure Backup

One of the use cases of cloud computing Infrastructure as a Service is data recovery. IaaS service models have unlimited compute and storage capacity without upfront investments. More and more vendors are adding support for backup to the cloud. Some examples are Microsoft who acquired StorSimple. Storsimple is a hardware appliance which offers local storage and a gateway to various cloud storage providers. Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition offers the same kind of functionality delivered in software.

Windows Azure has a preview feature named Azure Backup  which offers an unlimited storage capacity for backup purposes. This post will give some insights in this feature and how to connect to it.

azure-backup

Read more of this post

Veeam announces Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint

Veeam Software is adding some very cool features in its upcoming Backup & Replication v7 release.

Earlier announced is support for VMware vCloud Director
Also announced is the plug-in for VMware vSphere Client.

Today Veeam announced another feature:Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint

This will be included at no additional charge in both the next release of Veeam Backup Free Edition and in Veeam Backup & Replication v7, which will become generally available in the second half of this year.

Capabilities include (all without the use of agents):

  • Browsing SharePoint databases within compressed, deduplicated image-level backups of SharePoint virtual machines (VMs) without having to restore the entire database
  • Searching for specific SharePoint items with rich search capability for e-discovery purposes
  • Recovering and exporting items directly to the original SharePoint server, or sending items as email attachments to specific users
  • Support for SharePoint running on both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere.

This blog posting on the website of Veeam clearly explains the use case of Veeam Explorer for Sharepoint.

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint introduces a single tool that can easily be used to backup, compress and deduplicate SharePoint data stores. But—the real beauty of this powerful tool comes when it’s time to restore.  Imagine a user calls your helpdesk and says…

“I accidentally deleted a file from SharePoint and I really need to get it back!”

At this point your helpdesk Tech smiles and opens Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint. Now your Tech can access the SharePoint database from within the compressed, deduplicated backup file. No restoration of the backup file is necessary. The data is displayed just as if your Tech were looking at files in Windows Explorer.

“Can you tell me the name of the file?”

As the user gives the name of the file your Tech simply browses to the desired file location.  And, if the user doesn’t know the name or location of the file, don’t worry, your Tech can use the built in search feature to find it.  And when your Tech finds the file, just right-click the file and choose to restore it to SharePoint, send the file to the user or simply copy it to another location. No full database restoration is necessary.  It’s that simple, and the process literally takes a couple minutes to accomplish.

 

Registration for public beta is now open.

A short video explaining can be watched here.

 

 

Veeam announces Backup & Replication plug-in for vSphere Web Client

Today Veeam announced that Veeam Backup & Replication v7 (to be released in Q3 2013) will feature a plug-in for the vSphere Web Client.

From the same console used for management of hosts, vm’s, networks and storage administrators are now able to get an overview of protection status of VMs.

The vSphere Web Client plug-in will have good information such as success, warning, and failure counts for all jobs as well as some cumulative information on key backup infrastructure topics such as storage space used and available. The figure below shows the main view of the vSphere Web Client plug-in for Veeam Backup & Replication.

More information including a video at Veeam.com

 

Storage issues on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. Microsoft struggling to fix!

Storage is a crucial component of any virtualization platform. Issues on storage will have an effect of performance and availability of virtual machines.

In Windows Server 2008  Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) had a couple of issues. I remember redirected io issues during backup operations, the way iSCSI is used to handle reservations of volumes (see this issue) and third party drivers (McAfee Antivirus, see this issue) could harm performance and/or reliability.

It is always a  good idea to fully test your backup solution before implementing Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V in your production environment.

Microsoft improved quite a bit on CSV storage in Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. Also integration between storage arrays and Hyper-V was improved. ODX or  Offloaded Data Transfers improve copy performance by offloading the data copy to the storage array instead of doing the work by the Hyper-V host.

ODX enables a large improvement in duration on actions like a storage migration or regular copy of a file.

However still some issues are being noticed.

One of the issues is related to ODX. As ODX is a new interfacing technology it needs to be implemented in the storage array firmware. Not all storage vendors support ODX at the moment. However ODX is default enabled in Windows Server 2012. This might cause issues. Read Aidan Finn blogpost titled Enabled ODX In Hosts With Non-Supporting SAN Can Cause CSV Stability Issues on this.

Veeam Backup & Replication does not like ODX either. It will disable ODX as can be read in this thread. VeeamFCT is a service installed on each Hyper-V host which VMs are protected by Veeam Backup & Replication. It handles Changed Block Tracking (CBT) by installing a driver (VeeamFCT.sys) so only changed blocks of data in the virtual machine disk file are processed during backup. Veeam is working on a fix as can be read in this thread.

Last but not least there has been a major issue on backup of CSV. This could cause VMs to go in pause of CSV volumes to go offline. Microsoft needed several patches to get this fixed and it still seems to be not fixed for all users. I blogged about this here.

An overview of fixes:

KB2799728 did not fix the backup issues as it had a memory leak .
workaround is to de-install the KB2799728 and enable per host and lun serialization in dpm ( http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh757922.aspx )

Then Microsoft released KB 2813630 ( available here.) which is supposed to solve both backup issue and memory leak. However users in this Microsoft forum are complaining that this fix of fix does not fix the issues either. They are awaiting v3 of KB2813630.

update June 13
Around the 15th of May Microsoft released a new, important bugfix which solved many issues. Read my post for more information.

 

Zerto announces Virtual Replication 3.0

For disaster recovery  (DR) of virtual machines running on vSphere just a few rocksolid solutions are available, in particular for enterprise environments. In April 2012 I published an overview of the three major vendors of DR solutions for vSphere. VMware Site Recovery Manager is  well known. Zerto Virtual Replication is another great solution. It is increasingly being used by enterprise sized organizations and service providers.

Today the company announced their 3.0 version.

New enterprise features include:

  • Remote Office / Branch Office (ROBO) support: Standardize protection across the organization with support for branch offices, delivering the same tight SLAs of the main office.
  • 100 percent assurance for DR testing: New ‘test-before-you-commit’ capability delivers comprehensive recovery.
  • Parallel recovery feature accelerates large application availability.

New Cloud Service Provider features include:

  • Zerto Self-Service Portal (ZSSP): Offer mission-critical protection quickly and easily with a SSP that integrates into the existing infrastructure with little to no effort.
  • Zerto Cloud Manager (ZCM): A centralized management point for CSPs to get a complete view of disaster recovery customers across multiple sites. This feature is also useful for enterprises building private clouds.
  • vCloud 5.1 seamless integration: Native support for vApps, Storage Profiles, Org Networks, Provider vDC and more.
  • VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) integration: The only disaster recovery solution for vCAC environments.

The addition of features since the 1.0 release are shown in this table.

See the Zero Pressrelease  for more information.

Veeam Backup & Replication v7 announced

At VMware Partner Exchange Veeam announced one of the new features of the yet to be released Backup & Replication v7 (B&R v7). The 7.0 version is expected to be released in Q3 2013.

B&R v7 will support VMware vCloud Director.

Using the vCD API, Veeam will display the vCD infrastructure directly in Veeam Backup & Replication, backup all vApp metadata and attributes, restore vApps and VMs directly to vCD, and support restore of fast-provisioned VMs.

YouTube video explaining vCloud Director support here.

More information here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 94 other followers

%d bloggers like this: