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Veeam Software Boosts Virtual Machine Backup And Replication

Veeam Software has announced version 6 of its Backup & Replication software, adding features such as enterprise scalability, advanced replication and file restore, as well as adding functionality to its vPower feature, which allows an IT administrator to run a virtual machine (VM) from a compressed and deduplicated backup file without having to extract it first. In addition, version 6 is expected to support the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor, in addition to its existing support for VMware; the company had already said in May that it intended to support Hyper-V by the fourth quarter of this year.

Veeam faces competition in the virtualization management space but is differentiated because it focuses on data protection, says Rob Amatruda, research director for data protection and recovery at IDC. The new version 6 is iterative in the sense that the company isn’t offering something revolutionary and different, but fine-tuning tools it has already offered, he says. "It seems like a relatively mundane product in terms of giving customers the ability to do recovery, but it streamlines the process," he says, by enhancing the architecture to improve performance, offering the ability to do load balancing across jobs and workloads, and performing recovery without requiring physical agents on the hypervisor.

The primary new feature is enterprise scalability, according to Doug Hazelman, VP of product strategy and chief evangelist for the Columbus, Ohio, company. Veeam is doing this by going to a distributed architecture and adding a proxy server, which is the source to initiate the backup, and a repository server, or the target for the backup, he says. This means that the backup server primarily coordinates and deploys proxy servers, and, for example, more VMs can be installed at a remote office without data having to go back and forth across the wire to the main office, reducing the amount of data sent over a WAN, he says. In addition, intelligent load balancing lets the software choose from the proxy server with the least load, he says.

Other new features include replication enhancements that can speed performance by up to 10 times and streamline failover, as well as a one-click file restore that extends the company’s existing file-level recovery with a web-based restore directly to the original VM that does not require a direct network connection or an agent, the company says.

Version 6 of the software is scheduled to be available in the fourth quarter for both the VMware and Hyper-V hypervisors, except for the vPower functionality; Hazelman could not say when that feature would be available for Hyper-V. The company also has not yet decided whether it will change the price of the product and will announce pricing when the product is generally available. The price of the product will be the same for VMware or for Hyper-V. Currently, the product costs $599 per socket for the standard edition and $899 per socket for the enterprise edition, which has some additional high-end features that not all users need.

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