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Product Update: Veeam Backup and Recovery Version 9

Posted by Mike Pagan on Mar 7, 2016 4:00:00 PM

BackupandReplication.jpgVeeam Backup and Replication is probably a product that probably doesn't need an introduction but in case you are not familiar, Veeam is a next generation backup product built for virtual machines. Most of Network Center's customer have moved from legacy backup products to Veeam, so the release of version 9 is a milestone release in Veeam's product portfolio.

I have been using Veeam Backup and Recovery as Network Center’s primary backup product for about 2 years now, so when version 9 was released I was ready to test the update on our servers. (At the Network Center we "eat our own dog food," which means that we use the products we recommend).

A couple days after the update was available, I downloaded and started the update. I walked through the three phases of the update (Enterprise Console, Backup Console and Backup and Recovery) and it was quick and easy. After a reboot of the server, that night’s backups were ready to run and all backup jobs have completed successfully since the update (which is exactly how an upgrade is supposed to work).

For those of you who wait until the first update of a software before considering updating, Anton Gostev, Vice President of Product Management and author of the Veeam Community Forums Digest announced on 2/14/2016 that "(Veeam is) now planning to release Update 1 around the end of this month" Based on this information you should be clear to upgrade your Veeam software after the first of March. 

If you would like a full walk through of the current upgrade process, check out Vladan Seget's How-to Upgrade to Veeam Backup and Replication v9. His blog post has screen shots and a video that details the process if your curious about the details.

Best New Features:

So there is a new update of your backup software, why should I care? Good question. It's easy to get lost in the never ending slog of product updates, but here are some of the new features that I think make the update worthwhile: 

  • Standalone Backup Console: This doesn't add new backup functionality to the product but it does allow for admins to add the console do their laptop/desktop and connect back to the Veeam server to check the status of the backup jobs and make changes. Sure, you can RDP to the server to do the same thing. What if you wanted a junior admin to be able to check the backup jobs without giving them access to the server itself? The new standalone console and role based access controls now allow that to happen.
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  • Backup Copy Job Improvements: There have been a number of enhancements with how v9 handles backup copy jobs including parallel processing of jobs, graceful termination of running jobs and general performance improvements. All of these improvements should make the off site copy of your backup data faster and more reliably.

  • New Veeam Explorers:
    • Backup/recovery of Group Policy Objects, Active Directory integrated DNS records
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    • Exchange 2016 support and additional eDiscovery features
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    • More granularity recovery SQL information with table-level recovery and object-level recovery
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  • Per-VM Backup File Chains: This new backup repository option creates a new backup file chain per VM, which can increase backup performance. For those with de-duplicating storage appliances like ExaGrid this can increase backup performance by up to 10x according to Veeam.
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  • BitLooker: Ok, so the name is too similar to Microsoft's BitLocker which may be a poor marketing decision, but the features that it adds are useful. BitLooker helps to reduce the size of your backup files by excluding:
    • Deleted file blocks
    • Swap and hibernation files
    • User-specified files and folders (I prefer to back everything up, but there are use cases where it is required to exclude a folder or two from the backup) New, modern UI: This isn't so much a feature, but it does make the new version feel like a complete and mature product.

      There are other new improvements in v9 that I did not mention, so if you're interested in the full list check out the What's new in Veeam Backup & Recovery v9 document from Veeam.

      As always if you have any questions about the upgrade or would like some assistance with it, please let us know we'd be happy to assist.

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Topics: Data Backup, Virtual Replication, Veeam

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