Veeam announces Backup and Replication 7 for VMware, Microsoft environments

Version 7 adds built-in WAN acceleration, tape support, and SAN snapshots for HP storage arrays

If you are a VMware fan or have been involved with server virtualization for any length of time, you've probably already come across the "green machine" marketing group from Veeam Software at VMworld, Microsoft TechEd, a local VMware User Group (VMUG) meeting, or any number of other virtualization community events or meet-ups. With roots going back to 2006, the company really exploded into the virtualization scene when it launched Veeam FastSCP (Fast and Secure Copy) for VMware ESX Server, a fast, secure, and easy-to-use tool to transfer ISO files to ESX Server or to make a backup copy of an existing virtual machine.

Fast-forward to 2013, and the company continues to innovate and address virtualization product gaps with both free and for-pay software solutions. While offering a number of different management tools to the market, the company is still perhaps best known for its backup and recovery software. Veeam says it now has more than 60,000 customers worldwide, and it claims the company's free Veeam Backup tool is used by more than 150,000 VMware professionals, making it the most widely adopted tool to help manage VMware.

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In an effort to make backups of virtual machines even more efficient, Veeam Backup and Replication v7 has added seven significant modifications and 50 tweaks. In this release, Veeam has brought enhanced backup and recovery support for VMware vCloud Director, a VMware vSphere Web Client plug-in, Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint, Virtual Lab support for Microsoft Hyper-V, and self-service recovery of virtual machines and guest files.

"With this latest version of our flagship software, we're once again disrupting existing markets by including capabilities that others sell as expensive, separate components," said Ratmir Timashev, Veeam president and chief executive. "Veeam Backup & Replication v7 removes obstacles to offsite backup with built-in WAN acceleration and brings to life the full potential for data protection of the virtual infrastructure."

Three new features stand out as disruptive innovations within Veeam Backup & Replication v7: built-in WAN acceleration, tape support, and backup from storage snapshots. With these three new features, Veeam may be able to further accelerate the growth of its existing customer base and appeal to larger enterprises.

Built-in WAN acceleration
The built-in WAN acceleration feature was designed by Veeam to copy data to the cloud or another offsite location, and this new feature makes that process much more efficient. The company estimates that backup transfers would be up to 50 times faster than a traditional file copy across the WAN. It therefore makes much better use of bandwidth for customers with remote offices or several large data centers.

"This is not a 'general purpose' WAN accelerator, but functionality specifically tuned for Veeam data transfers across the WAN," said Doug Hazelman, senior director of product strategy for Veeam Software. "The major benefit to start is that if you need to copy your backups to an offsite location, we can determine what data blocks are already there and send less data across the WAN connection. Our WAN acceleration includes global caching, variable length dedupe, traffic compression, TCP/IP optimizations (multi-threading, provisions for high latency links) and resume on disconnect."

Hazelman added that if a company has already deployed a general-purpose WAN accelerator, it can be configured to bypass Veeam traffic, thereby freeing up CPU resources and cache for other traffic.

Built-in WAN acceleration could make Veeam more competitive with larger vendors, and it certainly will prove to be a major product differentiator with competitors in the small-business market.

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