Vembu Community and Free Editions Updates

There are lots of resources available which help technical practitioners and decision makers evaluate options. One of the most valuable things that I’m enjoying with partner solutions that I work with is the community and free editions that are available. I run a reasonable sized lab environment which is ideal for using these platforms.

Vembu has been doing a lot around opening up more freely available tools to the market which helps get more environments protected and more of us involved in active testing of their products. I’m very pleased with the product experience and will be sharing those experiences in my upcoming data protection series.

Before you read those posts, I highly recommend taking some time and seeing what solutions may map out for you. With the timing of VMworld 2019 very near, it’s also super important for you to know what works and what may have any limitations based on your requirements. This means that you can have a more data-backed conversation around data protection as you evaluate potential solutions.

Free VMware backup software

VMware is the clear leader in virtualization but lacks an out-of-the-box data protection capability.  Despite years of taking a run at an internal offering, the rise in the data protection market shows that incumbent vendors generally can not get the same results on management features within their own products.  It’s ideal to look at the best-of-breed options by dedicated platform specialists.  VMware backup for free is part my own lab environment and I even use it on some cloud-hosted vSphere resources and store both on-premises and out in AWS using S3.

Product Page:

Data Sheet Page:  Product Datasheet

Free Backup for Hyper-V

I am seeing more and more Hyper-V implementations and the ease of building out a Hyper-V (also free with the Windows license) environment for labs is a great exercise to make sure to keep in tune with the latest happenings from the Microsoft virtualization camp.  This is also where having a free backup alternative is super helpful and I’ve been using Vembu as part of my lab infrastructure for Hyper-V as well.

Product Page:

Data Sheet page: Product Datasheet

Free Backup for Windows Server

Hey, don’t forget that you may have some standalone servers which need protection as well!  Despite everything being virtualized (which is not 100% true) and everything going to the cloud (also, not 100% true), the rest of us have a bunch of servers which need a little care and feeding, including data protection.

Product Page:

Data Sheet Page:  Product Datasheet

The differences you will find in the free versus the paid versions of any of the suite of tools is available in the online feature chart here:

Most notably different is the full support for CBT (Change Block Tracking) and CDP (Continuous Data Protection) which will be limited to a small number of virtual machines in the free editions.  Despite the limited count, you can run some full-featured testing using a subset of the environment which will give you an idea on the performance and capabilities.

Please let me know if there are any specific features you want to have explored and shared in the series.  Big thanks go out to Vembu for their support of the community as well which includes things like blog sponsorship and tons of information sharing with the blogging community.

Tech Field Day VFD3 – CommVault – The simple goodness of Simpana

We wound down Day 2 of Tech Field Day VFD3 with CommVault reviewing their flagship product Simpana. For those who aren’t already familiar with CommVault, or the Simpana 10 release, it is an incredibly popular product with good reason.

but-wait-theres-moreNot just a backup company

With their roots in backup and recovery, it has been difficult for many of us as virtualization admins and data center admins to see beyond the core role that CommVault Simpana provides. Backup and restore capability is obviously a core part of their service offering.

Imaging having de-duplication (source and target), Cloud target, hardware accelerated snapshots, and support in the VMware environment and Hyper-V environment to do machine, volume, and object level archive and retrieval.

Sure sounds a lot like a backup company right? Well, they are, but there is much more to the picture than this core feature set.

End-to-End and the Hybrid Cloud world

Among the features that Simpana offers, they have support for both physical and virtual servers. Tack on policy based backups and tight hypervisor awareness for both VM and vApp protection and then you have a strong case to look at CommVault.


I won’t try to cover all of the feature set here because the real good info will come when you watch the video of our session, but there are many on-premises model protection scenarios and features that Simpana 10 can deal with.

So this is where the next layer comes it!


The hidden gem of Simpana

Well, it isn’t hidden as a feature, but what is often hidden for technologists who evaluate Simpana is the business value that comes from the product in its self-service recovery, and compliance management features. There is also a beautifully crafted orchestration environment built in which lets you run VM lifecycle processes that will neatly integrate in your protection plan.

The lifecycle management also covers conversion of machines using disparate source and destinations which is a rather unique feature offered by only a few protection vendors.

For the organizations that are dealing with compliance requirements for retention, recovery, and legal hold situations, there are some really cool features.

Too much good info to share here, so I would definitely recommend chatting with the team at CommVault to see how it may be a fit. They can be found at @CommVault on Twitter and for much more info and to pick up whitepapers and goodies.


DISCLOSURE: Travel and expenses for Tech Field Day – Virtualization Field Day 3 were provided by the Tech Field Day organization. No compensation was received for attending the event. All content provided in my posts is of my own opinion based on independent research and information gathered during the sessions.


Congratulations to Veeam on the v7 release – this one is a game changer!

As a friend of the folks at Veeam, I have been lucky enough to be involved in the preview releases and review process as the product evolved. The v7 release of the Veeam Backup & Replication product is significant, and fantastic!

The product speaks for itself with the features, but there are some key things that really made this one super cool for me. You can click the image below for the full infographic on what is contained as a start:


Destination: Cloud

Probably one of my favorite things to work with is the cloud targets. There are lots of targets supported with Veeam including Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Azure, Rackspace among many others, and the cool feature is OpenStack support! This is really handy for storing your compressed backup images in a commodity storage location so that you can have a true recover-anywhere scenario.

Using Glacier was my target of choice because of the really low cost to maintain data there, and with the compression levels of my backups it saved a lot of cost to store the content there. Since I’m less concerned about the speed of my target storage, I preferred to build my solution based on low operational cost.

I’ve got a post queuing up on the OpenStack target so stay tuned for much more info on this one.

Filesystems FTW!

For those who are leading the push towards new filesystems, the Microsoft ReFS is fully supported in the newest release, so you can perform file-level recovery in your Windows Server 2012 environment regardless of your deployed filesystem. It runs the gamut on other choices with support for all of the Linux EXT*, XFS and HFS plus other traditional and journaling filesystems.

Speed Boost = Win

My backups were drastically faster with the v7 release thanks to parallel processing. The previous release of Veeam Backup & Replication would serially process backups, so there was some limitation on the amount of content that you could process within a certain window.

I’m using a few different backup products, and the comparative increase in speed was unmatched. From 6.5 to 7.0 there have been changes in compression, WAN acceleration and with the parallel processing, which combined to make a significant bump in the amount of VMs that can be backed up in the time window.

Single pane of awesome

I dread the phrase “single pane of glass”, but this one was a big step in the right direction. The integration with the vSphere Web Client was another really slick features that came with v7. If you aren’t already using the vSphere Web Client, you will inevitably see this become the tool of choice in future. I’d suggest getting used to it now, and then you will find lots of good reasons to use it.


Having your backup management baked into your virtualization console will be great to give you one less product screen to have to deal with as you do your day to day admin tasks.

Got tape? Not a problem

One of the biggest concern that many organizations have is the storage of long-term backups to tape media. I’ve been working in financial services, insurance services and health care fields for quite a while and I can tell you that tape backups are a necessary evil thanks to legal retention policies.


Well…maybe this is a bit too “legacy”, but you get the idea

So the addition of being able to use a tape drive as a target was probably one of the biggest features that makes this a game changing upgrade. Storing of backups to offline media gives that extra layer of protection that will make your users, and the auditors very happy 🙂

Trusting your product

I know that we see a lot of marketing slides on products and there are lots to choose from. The products that I support are ones that I know, so I can speak from experience that I trust Veeam from experience.

Trust, to me is defined by deleting your own Active Directory account and recovering from backup. It works. I tried it to confirm. Have you ever tried to do AD account recovery? That can be a horror story for most folks, so just having that option alone was a win for me.

With a lot of upcoming work on SharePoint also, I plan to take a run at the SharePoint object and item level recovery which will be a definite push for using Veeam Backup for the SQL and SharePoint web servers. More to come on that once I can fully test the feature, but in the interim you can talk to great product experts like Rick Vanover (@RickVanover)

This is just a taste of the options available, so the first place you should start is by downloading the product and kicking the tires on it yourself.

You can follow the link to the right of your screen which will help to let them know that Eric from DiscoPosse sent you, and you can always go to to see the entire product line. Look back here for more cloud goodness with Veeam soon too!




Veeam Cloud Backup – Another Great Way to Protect with Veeam!

250x250_cloudFor current and potential customers of Veeam Backup & Replication, there is a new sheriff in town! Thanks to the awesome folks at Veeam Software, they are introducing the new Veeam Backup Cloud Edition.

Why Cloud Backup?

The advantage to using Veeam Backup Cloud Edition is that you can leverage numerous cloud storage services (15 key vendors already on board!) and thanks to pre-transfer compression, AES 256-bit encryption and the fantastic Veeam de-duplication capability, you can get the best of every side of the equation.

How does it work?

The Cloud Backup is an add-on for existing customers with service agreements in place, and for new customers of the Veeam Backup & Replication suite, the cloud storage gateway is packed inside there to so you get full functionality in-site and now off-site with your favorite cloud storage provider.


Is This Right for You?

The challenge with using any cloud storage service for storage is that it can be costly depending on how you use it. That being said, the Cloud Backup Edition is pretty nicely targeted towards small to mid-sized businesses who can add the flexibility and protection of cloud storage and keep their costs down by reducing or even eliminating tape and archival off-site.

Many companies are not running backups at all because of the potential costs. Now the barrier to true system and data protection has been lifted.

Hybrid Cloud? Yes please!!

For those who have some concerns over putting all of their backed up and replicated eggs in one public cloud basket, there is also the option of using private cloud or hybrid cloud configurations like OpenStack. Another great reason to take a strong look at Veeam Backup Cloud Edition and OpenStack 🙂

The Cloud Edition is available by subscription on a per-CPU socket licensing model so you buy what you need and big capital cost to get you up and rolling.

Time for the teaser view!

Here are some screen grabs from the user interface and you can see what you will be looking at when you get your Veeam environment up and running:

Main Screen

This is a quick walk through of the backup process. First we setup our Cloud providers (lots to choose as you can see) and these credentials will be securely used for the backup plans:


Simply setup your access and secret key information. You can even use the Cost Estimates tab to assign the storage usage rates for an estimate of the overall storage utilization for your object storage. NOTE: These are estimates only unfortunately. At this point, the Cloud providers do not fully expose their billing information via their storage API.


Backup plans are assigned compression and encryption configurations:


Encryption options available for multiple bit lengths and encryption algorithms:

Encryption Options

Purge options for the backup plan give you flexibility to retain deleted files per-plan, or using the global policy assigned to the entire product:


Using the Backup Plan Wizard lets you choose files, folders and volumes as needed:

Select Files to send to Cloud

Selecting your destination storage provider shows your cloud options as well as File System targets:

Storage Cloud Selection

Getting your Veeam Backup Cloud Edition

It’s as easy as clicking the graphic below to get your Free Trial and then you are on your way to new ways to protect your environment! And don’t forget to tell them that DiscoPosse sent you 🙂