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Veeam stretches VM backup to Hyper-V

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Veeam Software, one of myriad vendors of archiving and disaster recovery software vendors that has sprung up to tame virtual server environments, has revved up its aptly named Veeam Backup & Replication tool to v6, and expanded out beyond the safe bet of coping with VMware ESX Server and ESXi hypervisors to wrestling with VMs running atop Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor.

The move is yet another indication that Microsoft is getting some traction with Hyper-V in an enterprise market that to date has been utterly dominated by VMware.

Veeam was founded in 2006 by Ratmir Timashev, the company's president and CEO, who had previously founded Aelita Software, a systems management tool maker for Windows Server platforms that was acquired by Quest Software in 2004.

In 2008, Veeam bought nworks, which had created a series of connectors to allow HP's Operations Manager and Microsoft's Systems Center Operations Manager to plug into VMware hypervisors. In addition to selling these plug-ins, Veeam sells a suite called ONE that does monitoring, capacity planning, change management, reporting, and chargeback for workloads running on ESX Server and ESXi. The company has over 30,000 customers using its for-fee software, and another 150,000 using its free FastSCP file transfer program to move around ESXi guest VM files.

Veeam is not jumping into the deep end of the Hyper-V pool by supporting its entire ONE stack of tools on the Microsoft virtualizer, but is rather sticking a toe into the shallow end of the pond by allowing for VMs running on Hyper-V to be replicated and archived using its new Backup & Replication v6 release. (Presumably, Veeam will eventually support Hyper-V, KVM, and Xen hypervisors with the ONE stack.)

Backup & Replication v6 has both image-based backup and replication of live VMs in a single package, both for ESXi and Hyper-V virtual machines. The software also has de-duplication and compression features built in so you don't clog the network with unnecessary traffic. For those customers who are using Microsoft's Cluster Shared Volumes, which allows a pair of clustered VMs to share a single LUN, Veeam's v6 tool can do changed-block tracking on those clustered Hyper-V VMs and get them backed up and replicated without disturbing the failover cluster.

The Hyper-V support does not require an agent to be installed on Windows Server or its guest VMs, can restore Windows files from an image-level backup, and can create a full backup from incremental backups, eliminating the need to do full backups every so often – you do have to start with an initial full backup, of course. All of these features, which are new with v6, also work in conjunction with VMware's ESXi hypervisor.

Backup & Replication v6 comes in Standard and Enterprise editions. The Standard Edition has basic recovery verification and an index of Windows guest files in current backups, while the Enterprise Edition has more advanced recovery verification and testing of more restore points, an index that includes current and archived backups, and a feature called universal application item recovery – U-AIR, for short.

This U-AIR feature allows system administrators to reach into an archived VM and restore an individual object such as a database record, an email message, or a file, from the archived VM. Tape archiving products have been doing this forever, but what you need to know is that Veeam charges a premium for this capability. This functionality is available for ESXi guests but not yet for Hyper-V guests.

Backup & Replication v6 Standard Edition costs $599 per server socket under management while the Enterprise Edition costs $899 per socket. On February 1, Veeam is going to raise prices to $699 per socket for the Standard Edition and $1,099 per socket for the Enterprise Edition. ®

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