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VeeamAt InfraDMS, we know backup and replication.  The “DM” in InfraDMS stands for Data Management and we pride ourselves on our robust end to end data management offering.  From high performance flash based storage to off-site tape storage, InfraDMS knows how to manage and archive your critical data.  One of our key platforms is Veeam® Backup & Replication™ and we are very excited to deploy the latest version (v8).  We wanted to highlight some of the key new enhancements to the one of the best backup managers available.

Veeam Cloud Connect
Avoid the risk of catastrophic data loss in case of a site disaster through hosted backup repositories with Veeam Cloud Connect. It’s the easy, efficient way to get backups off site to InfraDMS through:

  • Get your backups off site to an InfraDMS datacenter through a single port over a secure connection protected by SSL authentication and network traffic encryption.
  • Complete visibility and control: Access hosted backup repository content and perform recoveries directly from a cloud repository—no need to copy backup files locally first!
  • Modern backup architecture: Leverage Built-in WAN Acceleration, forever incremental backups, Backup Copy jobs, GFS retention and MORE with cloud repositories, just as if they were your local backup repositories.

End-to-end encryption
With Veeam’s built-in AES 256-bit encryption you can secure your data end to end:

  • At source (backup file encryption via backup proxy)
  • In flight (network traffic encryption for replication and quick migration)
  • At rest (via “at source” encryption, or using tape encryption)
  • Unique password loss protection enables IT managers to maintain the ability to recover backups even if the passwords set on backups by your IT staff are lost, all without compromising security. More importantly, because all Veeam technologies are tightly integrated, backup encryption does not impact the data reduction ratios of built-in compression and WAN Acceleration, as is the case when using third-party bandwidth reduction solutions.

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Active Directory
New Veeam Explorer™ for Microsoft Active Directory makes item-level recovery with Active Directory easier than ever by providing the following simple and powerful functionality:

  • Instantly restore individual Active Directory (AD) object attributes, objects and entire containers
  • Recover user and computer account passwords to avoid disruptions
  • Perform 1-click compare between backed up and production Active Directory states on both object and object attribute levels
  • Easily search for objects and attributes in the backed-up AD; includes plain text and advanced LDAP filter-based search capabilities
  • Export selected objects from backed-up AD state into LDIFDE format

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server
Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server enables you to achieve low RTOs and RPOs with Microsoft SQL Server database protection with the following all-new functionality:

  • 1-click individual SQL database recovery for lowest RTO; no more searching for database files or spending time reattaching them to SQL server using native management tools
  • Web-based restore portal for SQL database restores by delegated database administrators
  • Agentless transaction log backup and replay for no-impact, low RPO protection of your SQL databases.  Back up your databases as often as every five minutes!
  • Point-in-time SQL database recovery down to individual transactions with the unique transaction logs viewer to ensure lowest possible RPOs
  • Full support for SQL AlwaysOn Availability Groups for both backup and restore

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange
Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange brings additional functionality, making granular Exchange restores easier and more efficient than ever. New features include:

  • Web-based restore portal for delegated help desk operators enables secure mailbox items recoveries without restore operators having access to the content of restored items
  • Ability to recover hard-deleted items that you thought might have been lost forever
  • Support for searching of and recovering to Online Archive mailboxes
  • Restore of Public Folder permissions (in addition to Public Folder contents)
  • Support for item-level recovery from secondary (passive) DAG node backups

Backup from Storage Snapshots and Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots –now available for NetApp
Veeam’s storage snapshot integration technologies have been extended to support NetApp storage. Achieve an unprecedented level of data protection through a combination of NetApp’s low recovery point objective (RPO) capabilities and Veeam’s low recovery time objective (RTO) enablement.  The integration of NetApp and Veeam allows you to:

  • Create virtual machine (VM) backups from storage snapshots up to 20x faster than the competition
  • Recover individual VMs, guest files and application items quickly and efficiently from NetApp Snapshot, SnapMirror and SnapVault
  • Improve disaster recovery (DR) protection by creating instant, secondary backups from storage snapshots to SnapMirror and SnapVault
  • Create frequent, no-impact storage snapshots with snapshot-only “backup” jobs managed directly in the Veeam Backup & Replication console, including support for application-aware processing
  • NetApp integration supports NFS, FC and iSCSI connectivity, and both 7-mode and cluster-mode deployment options. All Data ONTAP storage is supported, including
    NetApp FAS, FlexArray (V-Series), Edge VSA and IBM N Series.

Replication enhancements
Improve offsite backup and recovery with additional replication enhancements from Veeam, allowing you to:

  • Reduce the impact on your WAN link with Built-in WAN Acceleration for replication, resulting in up to 50x faster replication over slow links, and up to 20x reduction in bandwidth consumption on fast links
  • Reduce the impact on primary storage with replication from backup files, and replication from NetApp storage snapshots
  • Lower failover complexity with new Failover Plans, providing built-in orchestration for easy 1-click entire site failover
  • Lower RTOs to ensure zero data loss with Planned Failover functionality designed to facilitate data center migrations using replication jobs
  • Reduce the time difference between replicated states when replicating a group of VMs by processing retention policy at the end of the replication job for all VMs, as opposed to doing this after each replicated VM
  • Eliminate bandwidth loss on network disconnects with true resume of data transfer upon network disconnects; available for both standard and WAN-accelerated replication jobs

Automatic Intelligent Load Balancing

  • Job start time priority: The backup infrastructure resource scheduler will now prioritize all jobs according to their start times, and attempt to finish any particular job as soon as possible once it has been started. This means that if you start multiple jobs at once, the scheduler will assign newly appearing processing resources to the job that started earlier, as opposed to assigning them between all running jobs. This approach ensures that the backed-up state of all VMs within the same job remains as close together as possible.
  • Retry cycle priority: The retry cycle inherits the priority of the job it belongs to, as opposed to getting the same priority as other running jobs.
  • Periodic job priority: The resource scheduler will now give highest priority to jobs scheduled to run periodically over daily and monthly jobs to ensure required RPOs are being met.
  • Snapshot removal priority: Pending snapshot removal tasks get highest priority among all other tasks in the event that Backup I/O Control starts restricting task assignment to a certain datastore.
  • Backup window enforcement: Activities isolated to backup repositories, such as full backup transformation, should no longer be affected by the backup window setting.
  • Periodic jobs improvements: Scheduled, periodic jobs will now have more predictable start time behavior upon reaching their defined time periods, which have been limited to factors of 24 hours (i.e., 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24).

VMware vSphere

  • Snapshot Hunter: Detects and automatically consolidates hidden VM snapshots to prevent production VMs from stopping due to datastores overfilling with snapshot files. To detect hidden snapshots before exiting, and in addition for checking “Consolidation Needed” VM status, the jobs will physically scan datastores for snapshot files belonging to snapshots not registered in vSphere. If hidden snapshots are found, the job will attempt to automatically consolidate them by following the procedure described in VMware support KB article KB1002310. If the job fails to remove hidden snapshots due to snapshot files being locked, the job will log an informational event and exit, however a background system process will attempt to perform consolidation three more times every four hours in the hope that file locks will be removed. If these attempts fail too, Snapshot Hunter will stop trying, and a warning email will be sent to the global notification recipients urging them to take manual action.
  • Direct SAN restore: This enables thick virtual disk restore directly through the SAN fabric for faster performance and no impact on the production network. Using thick disks is common among users who choose to do thin-provisioning on a storage level. This functionality is explicitly disabled for thin disks, because it impacts vCenter Server and does not provide acceptable performance due to vSphere storage architecture. We recommend using hot add for fast restore of VMs with thin disks.
  • Hot add improvements: Backup proxies can now process multiple virtual disks of the same VM in parallel using hot add. This includes hot add backup, restore and replication (on both source and target proxy). Additionally, performance of said operations can see an increase of up to a few times depending on the environment.
  • Tag-based job population: Jobs can now be populated using VM tags as the dynamic selection scope. This provides incredible flexibility around job management. Consider using Veeam Business View (part of Veeam Availability Suite™ v8) to automate the assignment of tags to newly created VMs in your environment based on pre-defined rules.
  • Tag backup and restore: VM tags are now backed up and restored when restoring VMs back to the original location.
  • DRS cluster-based job population: Jobs can now be populated using DRS clusters as the dynamic VM selection scope. This job population method gives greater predictability of job size compared to other methods.
  • DRS cluster support. DRS clusters can now be selected as the target for restore or replication. The actual VM placement will be determined by the restore or replication job automatically by querying DRS recommendations at VM creation time.
  • Append to VM attribute: Instead of overwriting the existing contents of a selected VM attribute (such as VM Notes) with the last backup status string, last VM backup information can now be optionally appended to the current attribute’s value.
  • Support for vSphere Flash Read Cache: Restore jobs and replication jobs will now correctly configure VMs when restoring or replicating to target hosts without SSD storage installed.
  • Building VMs list optimization: The performance of the Building VMs list job operation was enhanced by optimizing virtual infrastructure data queries.
  • Snapshot release improvements: VM snapshot interaction logic in corner cases (such as job hangs and crashes) has been reworked to reduce the chance of snapshot files being locked by data movers that may still be running, thus preventing potential snapshot removal issues.
  • Backup server connectivity: The backup server no longer requires connection to source and target ESX(i) host on port 902, as the operation requiring this connection is now performed by the source and target backup proxies respectively. This requirement was causing issues in environments with high network isolation, such as in service provider environments.

Microsoft Hyper-V

  • Shared VHDX support: Backup jobs can now back up shared VHDX virtual disks in a crash-consistent state. The full VM restore wizard has also been enhanced to account for shared VHDX restore specifics.
  • Consistency groups: Jobs can now process more than one VM from the volume snapshot at a time instead of creating a separate volume snapshot for each processed VM. For reliability reasons caused by Hyper-V backup architecture, the maximum amount of VMs is limited to four per snapshot by default in case of software VSS, and eight per snapshot in case of hardware VSS, but can be increased on fast primary storage with the MaxVmCountOnHvSoftSnapshot (DWORD) and MaxVmCountOnHvHardSnapshot (DWORD) registry values under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Backup and Replication key.
  • Volume-based job population: Jobs can now be populated using volumes as dynamic VM selection scope.
  • Checkpoint-based replicas: Replica restore points are now stored as VM checkpoints for faster recovery to any replica restore point, better reliability and the ability to power on any required restore point manually if required.
  • VLAN ID support: SureBackup® network mapping rules for production networks and multi-OS filelevel recovery helper appliance configurations now support pointing to specific VLANs in a multi-VLAN environment.
  • VSS failover control: Failover from hardware-based VSS snapshots to software-based VSS snapshots has been made optional in order to prevent undesired usage of software-based VSS snapshots when a hardware-based snapshot fails.
  • Hyper-V resource pool support: Hyper-V resource pool settings are now preserved when restoring VM backups to their original location, and are automatically removed when restoring a VM to a different location.
  • Smart Paging File support: The Smart Paging File location can now be customized in replication jobs to control the file’s placement on the target host, thus preventing potential issues upon failover.
  • CBT driver certification: The proprietary changed block tracking (CBT) driver has passed Microsoft Windows Hardware Certification testing for Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • CBT driver improvements: Optimizations to further reduce the CBT driver’s CPU consumption have been added.
  • Bitlocker support: Support for CBT on CSV volumes encrypted with Bitlocker has been added.
  • Differencing VHDX improvements: Backup and replication performance has been improved significantly for differencing virtual disks, especially for VMs running on Windows Server 2012 R2.

Built-in WAN Acceleration

  • Performance improvements: Data processing performance has been improved up to 3x compared to v7 with the latest patch. The enhanced data processing engine includes additional optimizations specifically aimed to better leverage faster CPUs and SSD cache.
  • Cache optimizations: The WAN accelerator cache will now consume the entire allocated space immediately upon creation to prevent fragmentation and avoid unexpected lack of disk space issues at a later time as the cache grows.
  • Cache management: The WAN accelerator cache population can now be triggered without having to run the job by selecting one or more backup repositories to crawl for OS data. Cache reset was also made available directly in the user interface for troubleshooting purposes.

Full product brief here: Veeam Backup v8 – What’s New

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