Monthly Archive: January 2016

Jan 29 2016

Veeam Backup & Replication turns v9 this month

veeam-v9Veeam Backup & Replication was first introduced as a 1.0 product back in 2008 and helped launch the revolution of the data protection industry with a backup product specifically designed for VMware environments. To put that in context with vSphere back in 2008 vSphere consisted of VirtualCenter 2.5 together with ESX 3.5 and ESXi was just being introduced. Back then Veeam was a small company consisting of around 10 employees. Fast forward to today and they’ve come a long way since that time, Veeam now has over 2,000 employees and has just released version 9 of their flagship Backup & Replication product. You can read more on the history of Veeam in a post I did back in 2014.

Veeam Backup & Replication is one of the core components of the Veeam Availability Suite along with the Veeam ONE monitoring and reporting tool. The v9 release of Veeam Backup & Replication is packed full of new features and enhancements including a lot more integration with some of the big storage array vendors. I was on a blogger early preview of the v9 release and one nice thing that caught my attention was new support for Direct to NFS backups. Prior to v9 Veeam has always supported Direct to SAN backups where a backup appliance could directly backup VMs on a SAN without involving the hypervisor which is more efficient, in v9 that has been extended to NFS storage arrays as well.

The list of new features and enhancements in this release is ridiculously long, so rather than list them all here go check out the 10-page What’s new in v9 document that Veeam has published. You can also give this blog post from Doug Hazelman a read and check out a recorded webinar from Rick-a-tron that provides an overview of the v9 Availability Suite

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Jan 18 2016

Customer adoption of VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols)

Tom Fenton recently published an article on Virtualization Review detailing the current state of VMware’s new Virtual Volume (VVol) storage architecture. In the article he polled a few vendors to find out what they are seeing as far as customer adoption of VVols. A few vendors responded including myself, both HDS & Dell did not have an accurate way to track adoption and where mainly relying on customer feedback. They are mainly seeing customers testing it out right now and using it in Dev/Test environments. HDS stated one of the limiters to VVol adoption is customers still on vSphere 5.5 and Dell stated customers are still trying to understand it better before diving in.

At HPE, we can track actual usage of VVol adoption via our array phone home capability which provides us with some usages stats on the array. In the article based on my feedback Tom wrote that we had seen at least 600 3PAR arrays with the VVols VASA Provider enabled within the array. More recent numbers puts that at around 720 arrays, but its important to note that this just means they have the potential to use VVols, not that they have VMs running on VVol storage. More detailed stats show that about 50 customers have created VMs on VVol storage. So this is pretty much inline with what other vendors are seeing which is pretty light adoption of VVols right now.

VVols has been available as part of vSphere 6 for almost a year now (March 2015), so why aren’t more people using it? There are probably a lot of reasons for this including:

  • Customers haven’t migrated to vSphere 6
  • Array firmware doesn’t support VVol
  • Lack of replication capabilities in VASA 2.0
  • Lack of knowledge/understanding of VVols
  • Limited scalability and feature support in some implementations
  • It’s essentially a 1.0 architecture

In my previous post on when customers would start adopting VVols I went into a lot more detail on the barriers/challenges to VVol adoption. I expect usage to pickup within the next year or so based on a number of factors:

  • VASA 3.0 with replication support in the next vSphere release
  • More arrays support for VVols
  • Increased scalability and more feature support
  • More mature implementation from VMware and array vendors
  • Better understanding of VVols and how to implement it

Until then I expect to see steadily increased usage of VVols, like any new technology or feature, adoption is almost always slow at first as customers are often cautious about jumping right in to something new. The same growing pains were apparent with VSAN as well when it was released as a 1.0 new storage architecture. If your array supports VVols I encourage you to definitely try it out and learn all you can about it as VVols is the future and at some point I expect VMFS to be phased out just like ESX was. If you are looking for resources to learn more about VVols be sure and check out my huge ever-growing VVols link collection and also my VMworld 2015 STO5888 session that VMware has made publicly available.

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Jan 18 2016

Top 10 Best Practices for VMware Data Availability

I recently updated a popular paper that I did for Veeam years ago which is now available on Veeam’s website


Backing up virtual machines (VMs) may seem like a simple process, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. For maximum data availability, you shouldn’t use the same method you used to back up physical servers: You need techniques and features that were designed specifically for virtualized environments.

In this FREE white paper, Top 10 Best Practices for VMware Data Availability, written by VMware vExpert Eric Siebert, you’ll learn the proper methods, techniques and configuration and how to leverage the built-in features of Veeam® Backup & Replication™ to take your backups to the next level. You’ll also learn about:

  • Using the 3-2-1 Rule to keep your VMs and critical data safe
  • Leveraging policy-based controls for smarter data protection
  • Working with new vSphere features, including VSAN and VVols storage architectures
  • And more!

top10bp-veeam

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