As you have noticed, Veeam is anouncing Veeam Backup & Replication v7 features one at a time at the go.veeam.com/v7 page. We already announced support for vCloud Director, a vCenter Web Client Plugin and the Veeam Explorer for Sharepoint. Today it is my honor to tell you that Veeam is bringing all the features of Veeam Virtual Labs to Hyper-V. I will explain all major features in just a minute but first I need to explain where all this features are based on.

It’s called vPower

vPower is a Veeam patented technology that enables you to power up a VM from within a deduplicated and compressed backup file. This means that your VM is already back online before you started restoring the actual data to the production environment. Because the machine is already running, the RTO is minimal (minutes). Of course you need to take in mind that you are running on backup storage so you will need to migrate the VM to the production storage. This is done with the allocation to the VHD or VHDX file being pointed to the backup file (where the backed up VHD and VHDX files are stored). Let me show you with a picture how that looks like:

vPower

What is Virtual Labs

So let’s go to the next stage. If I can boot a VM from within a backup file, can I also boot it without being network attached so the other VM’s wouldn’t see it? Of course. How is that beneficial other than the fact that you can access it through a console view? What if I could boot it, fenced from the other machines but still accessible. This is what Virtual Labs does. It starts one or more VM’s from the backup file, behind a network proxy appliance. Let me show again with a picture and then we can start talking the real deal here:

VirtualLabs

You get it? Where the lock stands, we put a network proxy appliance. This way you can start as many VM’s as necessary in a protected “ bubble” . A classic example here would be an Exchange environment. What could you do with an Exchange server if there is no Active Directory domain controller (DC) available? So you would start a DC first and then the Exchange server. Get the point here? This “ bubble”  is the springboard for 3 major Virtual Lab features: SureBackup / U-AIR / On-demand-Sandbox. I’ll walk you through with some use-cases.

SureBackup

If you are a backup administrator or have ever been involved with backup products, you will be familiar with the report you get in the morning with all succeeded or failed backup jobs. But given the fact that the report shows the job has succeeded, you still shiver when someone asks you for an actual restore? I know the feeling. With vPower + Virtual Labs we can power on your VM’s like I already explained and test up into the actual application. You could use any test script in the process that really shows you the application is running and responding as it should.

An example of a “non-standard”  application is Zarafa (e-mail software) that runs on a Linux machine with a MySQL database. Do you know any data protection product that would give you the power to actually test the recoverability of this? You can review one of our Webinars with vExpert Joep Piscaer that explains his successes with Veeam SureBackup: LINK

Universal Application Item Restore (U-AIR)

Given the fact that you can start an environment identical to the latest backup , wouldn’t it be nice that you can actually recover items? With U-AIR you can recover any item from any application. The same way we gave you the opportunity to actually test you backups.

We even got it easier with a click-through wizard for Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server. For Active Directory for example you will not only be able to restore a single AD object, we will also check the object before you restore it if nothing has changed that involves that object. If for example the name of the overlying OU (Organizational Unit) or even a parameter of the object itself has changed, you will get a notification. This short 5 minute demonstration (LINK) shows you just that.

On Demand Sandbox:

I can check my last backup if all the applications are recoverable. I can even recover any object from any application without restoring the entire VM and equally important: without any agents within the VM. What more can I do with an environment that is protected from my production network but looks identical to my production network? How about testing a software update or a patch. How many times have we had issues with patches that go wrong? Test it before you run it in production. The alternative is waiting too long with the patches because you want to mitigate the risks.

Think about critical multi-tiered applications: developing new versions of your application requires multiple levels of testing: Unit testing / Integration Testing / User Acceptance testing / Production verification. Wouldn’t you rather do all of this testing on an actual production environment? Wouldn’t it sometimes not shorten the actual testing process? With on-demand-sandbox you can do just that.

A third option that comes to mind is training. How many of you had new colleagues on the IT staff that need to learn in a production environment? It’s called hands-on learning, right? I know I learned a lot this way, but I also know I screwed up a few times because I had not actually done the process before. What if I could have just done the wizard on yesterday’s production environment first?

All these powerful features are coming soon to Hyper-V in v7 (2013/Q3)!

You want to know more?

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Hans De Leenheer

Author: Hans De Leenheer

Hans De Leenheer is former Evangelist for the EMEA region at Veeam. Hans lives in Belgium and is “that guy” that makes every meeting different. Hans has a decent background on enterprise IT infrastructure with a keen interest in storage. In that area Hans holds... 

Published: April 17, 2013