In my earlier posts, I talked about the new ‘backup copy job’ type including WAN acceleration and SAN snapshots. In this last post, I’ll discuss licensing and wrap things up with my personal thoughts and conclusions.

Veeam Editions and licensing

Although not really a feature, and not really earth shattering, but I included some bits and pieces about the new licensing scheme.

Basically, Veeam is introducing a fourth edition (in addition to ‘free, ‘standard’ and ‘enterprise’): Enterprise Plus.

Veeam v7 - Licensing - New Feature Breakdown

In a nutshell, a lot of the game-changing features (WAN acceleration, storage-assisted backups / SAN snapshots) are only available in the Enterprise Plus edition. Other features (such as archive to tape with full backup tracking, vCloud Director support) are only included in the Enterprise edition and up. Finally, the vSphere Web Client plugin is included in every edition except the ‘free’ edition.

A quick mapping ‘customer needs [x]’ to the required edition:

Veeam v7 - Licensing - Flexibility and Choice

Any current customer on Veeam Backup & Replication v6.5 Enterprise edition receive a free upgrade to v7 Enterprise Plus. This is not a mandatory upgrade. Please be aware that you do need to buy support/maintenance for v7 Enterprise Plus (if you decide to upgrade your license) when renewing your maintenance contract. Current customers can upgrade until November 1st.
New customers buying before the beginning of Q3 (so before July 1st) get all the v7 features for free.

My conclusion

With the release of v7 with its ‘7+2’ new features and over 50 enhancements, Veeam Backup & Replication is maturing into true off-site backups for cloud service providers. It’s the new features that make the backup process much more efficient (not touching the source VMs multiple times), give the user a whole lot more flexibility (decouple the local job and its backup files from the job for placing the backup off-site, and the ability to leverage SAN snapshots). There were a couple of scenarios where I was hesitant to offer a Veeam-based solutions. Obviously, the requirement of using tapes often prevented the use of Veeam; I don’t like the fact that we’d need two backup solutions both managing only a part of the backup process. Having tape support will change the outcome of a significant part of our backup consultancy business.

Secondly, having a much more mature feature set for storing copies of your backup off-site instead of having to use a 2nd backup job (which was created on a different time, so the contents of this 2nd backup job is different, thus you’d need to manage two backup sets) is a big plus for me. The majority of my customers are using or considering off-site backups, and in the current version of the product, stuff gets clunky and weird. With the new v7 version, I expect better results. I always felt that Veeam was a little hit and miss in the off-site replication section of their product. Since one of the best features of the product is the Instant VM Recovery (using vPower NFS), I never understood why anyone would want to use the ‘Replication’ job type and wast precious space on primary storage (be it shared or local storage) on hosts on the secondary site; I usually opted for a second backup job for each VM storing the VM on a secondary backup repository (compressed and deduplicated). With the new backup copy job, Veeam has removed much of the negative impact of using a 2nd backup job while retaining and even improving on the functionality (by implementing the WAN Accelerator).

I  is clear Veeam is aiming their version 7 release at the service provider segment as well as end-user customers. To really change the way service providers use Veeam’s products, true multi-tenancy needs to built into the platform. Integrating with vCloud Director helps service providers, but without a true multi-tenant interface and architecture, service providers won’t be able to offer self-service (granular) restore to customers. There is a small speck of light on the horizon, though: the REST API is available to Enterprise Plus customers, with which service providers can built their own multi-tenancy interface. I’m curious as to what Veeam is developing themselves on this front. Only time can tell.

Finally, I do hope Veeam will integrate the different cloud storage providers from the ‘Cloud Backup’ tool in their 6.5 ‘Cloud Edition’ into v7 ‘backup copy job’ functionality. This way, I have all the off-site options (remote backup repository to a secondary site or to a backup / DR as a service provider, tape archive or $random-generic-cloud-storage-provider) available to me from the same interface.