Veeam Backup, Replication Software Adds Built-In WAN Acceleration

Veeam Software this week unveiled the latest version of its data protection software for virtualized environments, a version that comes complete with built-in WAN acceleration and the ability to do backups based on data snapshots in Hewlett-Packard storage environments.

Expected to be available during the third quarter, the new built-in WAN acceleration and snapshot-based storage capabilities in Veeam Backup & Replication v7 cap a list of seven major features of the new release, which also include integration with Microsoft SharePoint and VMware's vCloud Director, self-service recovery of virtual machines and guest files, and native tape support.

The new version helps make Veeam Backup & Replication a leading data protection application in virtualized-only environments, said Ratmir Timashev, president and CEO of the Baar, Switzerland-based storage software vendor.

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Timashev, quoting IDC statistics, said that three years ago, 20 percent of all workloads were running in virtualized environments. This compares to 60 percent today and an estimated 90 percent within three years.

"Our solution was developed specifically for virtualized environments," he said. "We don't support physical servers, so we don't need to worry about legacy agents and solutions. Instead we can support VMware vSphere 5.1 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012 within one month after they are released."

Built-in WAN acceleration in Veeam Backup & Replication helps solve issues related to how to take backups offsite for disaster recovery purposes, Timashev said.

"Today, customers either use tape, or they do basic copies of data over the network with or without WAN acceleration," he said. "A WAN acceleration appliance can be very expensive at $50,000 and up."

Veeam's built-in WAN acceleration was developed in-house, and includes deduplication, compression, multi-threading, and TCP/IP-optimized caching, Timashev said. The technology accelerates the movement of backup data to physical or cloud-based sites, as well as work

"Because we know our backup better than Riverbed, Silver Peak or Cisco, we can do those backups as fast as if the customer uses a dedicated appliance," he said.

The WAN acceleration software installs on a server or as a virtual appliance in Windows operating environments to provide high-speed distance backup for both VMware and Microsoft virtualized environments, said Rick Vanover, product strategy specialist at Veeam.

"The only requirement is that it installs on Windows," Vanover said.

NEXT: Applying Built-in WAN Acceleration To The Real World

Veeam's built-in WAN acceleration lets solution providers offer customer choice in cost and feature set based on the size of their environment and their budget, said Omar Torres, director of cloud services architecture and operations at VeriStor Systems, an Atlanta-based solution provider.

While VeriStor partners with WAN acceleration products such as those from Silver Peak, not every customer needs the advanced features of the more expensive dedicated WAN acceleration appliances, Torres said.

"For larger environments with more complex needs, Veeam's WAN acceleration can offer the ability for organizations to create a more distributed model for traffic optimization by offloading the acceleration for backups and replication to Veeam and allowing their existing products to operate more efficiently for other types of traffic," he said.

Veeam Backup & Replication v7's support for snapshot-based backups builds on earlier versions of the technology that allowed customers to browse snapshots and recover virtual machines and files directly from snapshots without going through a recent backup, Baar's Timashev said.

What's new is the capability to recover data from backups that are made of multiple snapshots, thereby ensuring access to the latest version of the data for quick recovery in a disaster, he said.

The feature currently supports snapshots made using HP storage technologies including the HP VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance), LeftHand and 3Par, he said. Veeam worked with HP to develop the capability. Veeam will expand it to other storage vendors' offerings, he said.

VeriStor's Torres said recovering from backups made of multiple snapshots is useful for supporting backups of virtual machines with high transactional I/Os including database or logging servers.

"In these scenarios, using traditional hypervisor-based snapshots can cause issues such as I/O timeouts, excessive snapshot growth, or complications with deleting the snapshots due to the constant I/O traffic," he said. "Since storage arrays are faster and more efficient at creating snapshots, backing up from an array snapshot can help eliminate the risk of any disruption or impact to these types of critical systems."

Torres said that, while VeriStor's cloud services supports data protection applications for both physical and virtual workloads, his company is seeing more and more customers becoming 100-percent virtualized.

"Because of this, we find great value in using a platform that is purpose-built for supporting virtualization, allowing us to give our customers choice and options coupled with tight integration to the hypervisor," he said.