Microsoft has a new Windows Server 2016 and Veeam has a new Veeam Availability Suite 9.5. The release dates of these two great products are too close to be a coincidence. In fact, I know that many of the features of Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 were built specifically for Windows Server 2016. Many of our competitors in the Availability marketplace will claim that they have “support” for Windows Server 2016, which in most cases just means that they can back up an instance of Windows Server 2016 if the conditions are right. At Veeam, we don’t just support Windows Server 2016. Instead, we actually built in a deep integration with the innovative features and functions that make the latest Windows Server platform great! The following are my top 10 reasons why I think you will love Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 for Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V!

#10: Support for 2016 data center applications!

Veeam fully supports Windows Server 2016! Backup, replication, monitoring and recovery are ALL best-of-breed! Instant VM Recovery, Instant File-Level Recovery and the ability to reach into the most current database workloads — like new Microsoft Active Directory, SQL, Exchange, SharePoint and Oracle — and do granular recovery are ALL fully supported on Windows Server 2016. Veeam even supports new features like Nano Server, Storage Spaces Direct, Advanced Resilient File System (ReFs) and Resilient Change Tracking.

#9: Storage Spaces Direct

Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) is a state-of-the-art, software-defined storage system. It can be configured in Windows Server 2016 in either a converged or hyper-converged scenario on hardware of the customers’ choice — even something as inexpensive as JBOD. S2D can be used as the storage platform for Hyper-V and, you guessed it, it is fully supported by Veeam!

#8: Windows Server 2016, anywhere you want!

Veeam customers can deploy Windows Server 2016 in all kinds of environments, including Hyper-V, VMware, single site, multi-site, the private cloud, the hybrid cloud and the public cloud. Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 has the flexibility to protect Windows Server 2016 deployments wherever and however you choose to deploy.

#7: ReFS full allocation

I used to build VMs using an approach called thin provisioning because it was really fast. The problem with thin provisioning is that all the thin provisioned VMs on a single host were sharing the disk subsystem without any insight into who they were sharing it with, or how much had been used. Problems arose when disk space ran out and all the VMs on that host that had been thin provisioned crashed together. Ouch! With ReFS full allocation, you can get the speed of thin provisioning. In fact, new VM provisioning is almost instantaneous, along with the benefits of an isolated disk subsystem. Veeam supports it!

#6: ReFS snapshot commit

ReFS uses something called a Block Cloning API to track file system contents. Then, when a block is duplicated, instead of writing the block over again, the file system simply writes a pointer to the original block. This Block Cloning API provides some pretty cool opportunities when it comes to committing snapshots, and even more so when it comes to saving disk space on things like synthetic, full backups. Again, Veeam supports it!

#5. Resilient Change Tracking

Remember that cool feature in previous Veeam editions called Changed Block Tracking? Veeam installed it as a filter driver to the OS and it then monitored block level changes and recorded them in change files that allowed for rapid incremental backups when the time came. Microsoft has now included a similar functionality called Resilient Change Tracking in Windows Server 2016. This means no more filter driver installation from Veeam and, if you can believe it, this direct integration of Resilient Change Tracking makes it possible to get even faster backup times from Veeam Availability Suite 9.5.

#4: Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure

As the line between private and public clouds continues to blur, Veeam customers will want to recover VMs not just on-premises, but to public cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure. Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 includes the built-in capability to restore directly to Microsoft Azure. It’s a simple as linking your Veeam instance to your Microsoft Azure account, and then recovering to Azure. Veeam also offers a specific Veeam Cloud Connect solution that can extend archive and recovery solutions to Azure through managed service providers or directly through the enterprise.

#3: Nano Server

Windows Server 2016 introduces a new installation method that lets an instance of Windows Server 2016 be completely headless. No overhead. All configuration is done with PowerShell commands and you literally start with next to nothing and build only what you want. This is a game changer when it comes to conserving resources on VMs running Window Server 2016. You guessed it, you can back it up and recover it with Veeam Availability Suite 9.5.

#2: PowerShell Direct

Kudos to Microsoft on this one! In the past, if you wanted to administrate a VM using PowerShell, you needed to configure remote administration tools and permissions, even if the VM you were trying to administer was on the same Hyper-V host. It was sort of silly. PowerShell Direct can now be used to issue commands directly (thus the name) from the host to its local VMs. Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 supports PowerShell Direct and can be used to issue commands from the Veeam console to the local VMs, without additional remote admin tool configuration.

#1: Advanced ReFS integration!

We all want to put more stuff on less disk. Now, advanced ReFS makes this concept a true reality. You can use this amazing technology to save 30% to 60% on synthetic full backups. This is one of the coolest joint benefits available when using Veeam and Windows Server 2016. The results are exceptional. For more details, check out the following Advanced ReFS integration blog post by Rick Vanover. This technology’s effectiveness is really quite remarkable. And, of course, Veeam supports it.


And these are the top 10 reasons why I think you will love Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 for Windows Server 2016 and Hyper-V. It is important to note, however, that I left several cool technologies that Veeam supports off this list. If I were to make this a top-12 list, I would add containers and support for physical installs of Window Server 2016. Windows Server 2016 is one cool operating system and the new features are nothing short of genius. Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 is built for Windows Server 2016. If you aren’t already using Veeam Availability Suite 9.5, visit our website and download your FREE trial today.

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