Andy Pilkington
March 6, 2023

Why Veeam V12 is a Significant Breakthrough for Data Protection and Recovery

The eagerly awaited update to Veeam Backup and Replication is now here. V12 launched on 14th February so I put this article together to pick out a few of my favourite features in this release along with explaining why I feel they are an important step forward in data protection and recovery.

Package Updates

The Veeam Data platform is now available in 3 packages from Foundation to Premium with each version including additional components.

It’s great to see automation becoming a core feature of the product now as, when disasters strike, this puts people under pressure to recover workloads as fast as possible. This component can not only automate recoveries using pre-defined recovery plans but also makes validation of recovery targets much easier to achieve.

Backup Target Enhancements

One of the biggest features for me is the support for object storage as a direct target for backups. Fundamentally object storage is now a Tier 1 storage class. Whilst we have had the ability to burst out into object storage as part of a capacity tier “bolt-on” for some time now, this didn’t give us much control. Control was limited to defining which backups should be offloaded to this storage.

Historically, with block storage-based repositories, we have been reliant on expensive storage arrays at the back end to provide data resilience and availability. Object storage provides several enhancements over traditional block storage with data transmission safeguards and advanced redundancy features, all helping make sure your backup data is error free and available when you need it.

Veeam Data Mover

As a VCSP (Veeam Cloud Service Provider), this was the most eagerly anticipated feature for us. For those who are managing data backups, especially at scale, and making full use of the space-saving benefits of ReFS and/or XFS, you will absolutely love this functionality. Its ability to move backups between repositories without having to inflate the synthetic full backups to their full size – game changer. The same feature allows VM’s to be moved between backup jobs which would again, usually be administrative nightmare to arrange.

Cyber Threat Protection

Veeam have been at the forefront of providing features to protect against cyber attack and in the last 5 years alone have introduced.

-       Backup Job Encryption

-       Immutable backups

-       Hardened Linux Repositories

-       Insider Protection used by us VCSPs to stop offsite backups being deleted

-       Secure Restore to ensure integrity and safety of data prior to recovery

Today the default should be immutability for your all your backups, however this was previously limited to primary VM backups. Now v12 brings immutability to all workloads including NAS and physical server agent backups.

In addition, the creation, ongoing maintenance and security of a hardened Linux repository has been enhanced. V12 has introduced a wizard for configuring the repository and removed the need for SSH access to the repo for patching and updates.

Showing Linux the Love

The introduction of secure Linux repositories along with Linux based backup proxies showed the commitment of Veeam to this OS, allowing businesses to make significant savings on Windows licensing. This is set to continue with the addition of Linux proxies for CDP (Continuous Data Protection) which again can show massive savings specially for service providers.

And, whilst not Linux as such, Open Source in general has a big part to play in Veeam v12 with PostgreSQL being the default Veeam database new for installations. Whilst this won’t make any difference to smaller sites where SQL Express should suffice, for larger environments, this is again a major cost saving vs SQL Standard.

Data Recovery Updates

A data protection solution is only as good as the ability to restore, so there are some very welcome files level recovery improvements in v12. These include the ability to compare files contained in a backup with those in production allowing easy identification of changed files, attributes or ACLs along with the ability to restore only changed/deleted files. All very useful features in a ransomware recovery scenario.

There are over 500 new features in v12, so this is really just scratching the surface. If you want to know more, reach out to one of our experienced data protection experts who would love to help with your data protection challenges.  

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