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What’s new with Veeam v11 Backup and Replication?

James Kilby

The long-awaited updated version of Veeam’s flagship product launched recently and it has introduced many new and innovative features. In total, over 200 features and enhancements were introduced with Version 11 (V11), making it the most compelling data protection solution for cloud, physical and of course virtual workloads.

Veeam have continued to innovate and improve across the entire product set, striving towards the goal of having a single solution to protect your data no matter where that is running.

Here we will look at three of the most valuable improvements made to Veeam Backup and Replication in the release of Veeam v11, and outline the benefits associated with them.

Continuous Data Protection

Continuous Data Protection (CDP) is one of the new features released with Veeam v11 and is aimed squarely at mission critical applications. It provides a near-zero recovery point objective (RPO) and provides ultra-low recovery time objectives (RTOs) by relying on replica virtual machines in a “ready to go” state.

Veeam CDP has been implemented with a number of powerful features. Firstly, it doesn’t rely on virtual machine snapshots as it is built on top of vSphere APIs for I/O filtering (VAIO). This means that the protected workload doesn’t suffer from virtual machine stunning issues. Another distinct benefit is that the technology is hardware agnostic. It does not require the same storage technology at the source and destination locations, nor does it rely on any in guest agent’s simplifying network topology.

Although many array vendors have supported similar replication mechanisms, this can involve expensive hardware at both sites, costly replication licences, and typically with strict network bandwidth and latency requirements. 

Veeam allows for policy-based protection to separately define the required RPOs per job. This allows for CDP to perform sync cycles as needed. It also has short-term retention mechanisms allowing for point in time recovery with the use of an I/O journal mechanism. This sophisticated technology means that replications  can be very precise to a point in time or an action, providing accurate replications  from specific points in time. .

Veeam CDP also integrated with the existing Veeam Replication technology for long-term retention with optional application-aware capabilities, and has new RPO reporting capabilities to ensure that your mission-critical servers are receiving the recovery service they require.

Veeam CDP has a built-in calculator that can look at the historical I/O of the workloads to be protected that can be used to estimate the network bandwidth required between the source and destination locations. It will also evaluate if the CDP proxies are sufficient to achieve the desired RPOs.

Hardened Linux Repository

Ransomware is becoming a significant challenge to protect against as the threat becomes more sophisticated. Veeam has supported a number of repository technologies allowing for flexibility of choice for the customers. This has included utilising Windows and Linux servers or SMB or NAS based appliances. 

Veeam v11 has introduced the capabilities to harden this Linux appliance to allow for immutable backups protecting against malware, hackers, and insider protection against a malicious employee. 

The hardened Linux repository leverages single-use credentials that are used during initial deployment but are not stored within the Veeam configuration databases, eliminating the possibility for hackers to extract the credentials and therefore compromise the repository. 

The hardened repository doesn’t require the SSH protocol to function. All data transfer and command functionality has been moved into a Veeam transport protocol. This allows customers to secure SSH for management with multi-factor authentication (MFA) without breaking Veeam backup functionality. 

The hardened repository allows for all backups targeted to it to make recent backups immutable for a configurable period of days. This protects backups from all modification. If GFS backups (grandfather, father, son) backups are configured, they are made immutable for the entire duration of the retention policy.  The ransomware protection is compliant with a number of industry regulations ensuring that customers with complex data requirements are able to secure data in a verified non-erasable and non-modifiable way.

The hardened repository can also use XFS fast cloning technology. This reduces storage consumption and improves synthetic backup performance.

Archive to Cloud

The Archive to Cloud feature within Veeam Backup and Replication has had a large number of improvements added within Veeam v11, potentially providing better capability and cost reductions.

Veeam v11 has introduced an archiving capability utilising Amazon Glacier and Microsoft Azure Archive Blob Storage. This is an addition to the capacity tier that previously existed in V10 of the product. Veeam will handle the moving to the archive tier for archiving, which offers great options for data that you may be required to store for compliance reasons but typically don’t expect to restore from, such as WORN data (Write Once Read Never). Veeam have also introduced multiple restoration options to allow the end-user to control the restore speed and therefore the associated costs. 

Related to the immutability benefits offered with the hardened Linux repository, Veeam can also leverage the object lock feature within Amazon S3 Glacier, preventing deletion from S3 within a predetermined period of time. The archive capability utilises dynamic provisioning of an EC2 data mover to migrate data between S3 and Glacier. This reduces bandwidth and expense by migrating data all within AWS rather than retrieving it to an on-premises location before pushing back to AWS. This brings a compelling use case for longer-term retention for monthly, quarterly, or annual backups. In one example, 1TB of backups stored for 3 years was up to 23x cheaper than utilising the Veeam Capacity Tier with AWS S3. This is a huge improvement on historically expensive cloud backup options, and makes archiving to the cloud affordable for organisations of any size.

Conclusion

As you can see from just the core offerings mentioned above, the newest version of Veeam’s Back Up and Replication product is an established and compelling solution to many of the backup and replication issues commonly seen in organisations today. Given the power of capabilities such as CDP and the Hardened Linux repository, even organisations who are running earlier versions of Veeam would do well to upgrade to V11 and gain peace of mind from continued confidence in their backup environment.

Xtravirt are proud to be a Veeam Accredited Service Partner (VASP), an elite group of partners who are recognised for having a high level of expertise and the ability to deploy even the most complex installations. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Veeam v11, choose one of the options below:

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