Veeam Backup & Replication v8 – The small improvmnets that mean a lot

In my previous post i described the new major features of Veeam Backup & Replicaton V8.

I also mentioned that there are around another 150 additional improvments. I’m not going to mention every single one of them but I do want to point out some of the best ones.

Forever forward incremental backup mode: This new, default backup mode for primary backup jobs creates forward incremental backups for all the following runs after the initial full backup, which always remains the oldest restore point in a full backup chain. When the retention policy needs to remove the oldest restore point, the job merges the oldest incremental backup into the full backup file, discarding any data replaced in the full backup file by this process. This is identical to how Backup Copy jobs store the backup files. Because forward incremental backup creation involves mostly sequential write I/O, the forever forward incremental backup mode reduces the time a VM runs off of a snapshot by up to 3x when compared to the reverse incremental backup mode. This prevents a VM snapshot from growing large and making its commit much faster, thus reducing both backup window and load on production storage.

Quick rollback: When restoring an entire VM, the new quick rollback option can be used to restore only the data blocks known to be changed since the last backup was taken. This option is not selected by default, and should only be enabled in case of application-level issues. Basically meaning you can use it when your original VM is intact but you wish to restore it because of an issue with in the VM itself.

Job script enhancements: Both pre and post-job scripts are now executed as a part of the job, instead of being launched in a separate, unmonitored process. This allows us to reflect script execution results (depending on the exit code) right in the job status.

Preferred networks selection: Enables the selection of preferred networks for multi-homed backup proxy and backup repository servers. This helps to ensure the backup and replication traffic istransferred over dedicated backup networks, without impacting the production network. Great when setting up a dedicated backup network.

Multi-streaming of restores: Veeam Data Movers now leverage multiple TCP/IP streams when performing restores, in addition to backups. This helps to improve performance by more fully leveraging available network bandwidth of high latency links.

Copy-only VSS processing: Application-aware processing can now be configured to perform “copyonly” backups, which allows application-consistent images to be created without touching transaction logs. This can be required if transaction logs are processed with a third-party application.

Microsoft Exchange VSS improvements: If standard VSS processing of a Microsoft Exchange Server times out, the job will retry processing using persistent in-guest VSS snapshot, which should prevent VSS processing timeouts commonly observed with Microsoft Exchange 2010. Persistent snapshots are removed from the production VMs once backups are finished. All VM, file-level and item-level restore options have been enhanced to detect and properly handle restores from Exchange backups created with the help of persistent VSS snapshots.

Oracle VSS improvements: Oracle databases that do not meet the requirements for successful VSS processing are automatically excluded from application-aware processing to avoid job failures.

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.

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.

CBT driver certification: The proprietary changed block tracking (CBT) driver has passed Microsoft Windows Hardware Certification testing for Windows Server 2012 R2.

Rotated Drives: Rotated drives functionality can now be enabled with a checkbox in the advanced backup repository settings, as opposed to being controlled by registry settings.

Remote tape server: This enables leveraging tape libraries and standalone drives connected to any Windows server in the environment, as opposed to the requirement of attaching them directly to the backup server. Adding multiple tape devices connected to different servers is supported.

Quick Backup: Enables fast, incremental backups of one or more selected VMs. Quick Backup looks up the job to which the selected VM belongs, and runs incremental backup for the selected VM only. If multiple jobs exist for the same VM, the one with most recent restore point will be used to ensure smallest incremental backup and fastest backup. Restore points produced by Quick Backup do not affect overall job retention; they are “glued” to the previous restore point produced by a standard job run, and are removed during regular job retention processing.

Job-level email notifications: Email notification settings can now be configured on the job level. Joblevel notification can include a custom set of recipients and be triggered by different status than global notifications.

These changes help show the progress that Veeam is making in the backup sector. The product now not only focuses on backing up your VM infrastructure but also looks inside your infrastructure to help guarantee application & item level recovery. Also the improved backup to cloud and tape show how veeam is applying both modern and classic technology to allow for full off site backup and replications including encryption to allow for protection of hte offsite data.

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