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Veeam adds WAN acceleration to virtual machine backup product

Virtual machine backup specialist Veeam has added WAN acceleration, storage array snapshots and other features to version 7 of its Backup & Replication virtual machine backup product

Virtual machine (VM) backup specialist Veeam has announced version 7 of its Backup & Replication product. Key new features include WAN acceleration and the ability to use storage array-based replication.

WAN acceleration in Backup and Replication 7 is a form of source data deduplication that ensures blocks already copied from one site to another are not sent over the wire again during backup.

It will only work with Veeam backup files. The first time files are copied from one site to another everything is copied, but thereafter only changed blocks are backed up.

The second major feature addition is the use of storage array snapshots rather than VMware snapshots during VM backups. This offloads the snapshot to the storage device and its built-in processing power, rather than using the resources of the physical server on which virtual machines reside.

In this version, Veeam – which works with VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualisation platforms – will only do this with HP arrays, but more partnerships with storage array makers are planned, said Doug Hazelman, vice-president for product strategy at Veeam.

“To date, Veeam has needed to use VMware snapshots as a source for backups. But now we can use HP SANs’ built-in snapshots as a source, with the benefit that there’s no effect on virtual machine performance when committing changes. We are talking to other suppliers and expect to extend this capability to other SANs in future,” he said.

Other major new features include item-level recovery of Microsoft SharePoint documents, integration with VMware’s vCloud Director platform, user self-service recovery of virtual machines and files, plus the ability to archive directly to tape.

In addition to the Enterprise and Standard editions, Veeam has introduced an Enterprise Plus edition of Backup & Replication 7, which includes the WAN acceleration and array-based snapshot functions.

Veeam is one of a number of specialist virtual machine backup suppliers that only support VM backup in their products. A few years ago the market was split between those that did physical server backup and those that supported virtual machines.

Now, most mainstream backup products will back up physical and virtual machines, but Veeam has no plans to add physical machine backup, despite most organisations retaining some purely physical servers for availability reasons.

“We don’t support physical backup, and to do so would seem like a step back. We never say never, but it’s looking like the trend is towards more and more virtualisation; 80% of IT environments in the next year or two,” said Hazelman.

“And our customers are clever. Where they have operations on physical servers they save the data to a virtual machine and back it up with Veeam,” he added.

Veeam Backup & Replication 7 will be available in the third quarter of 2013.

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