Official Release vSphere 5.0 Hardening Guide

Today VMware officialy released the vSphere 5.0 Security Hardening Guide, v1.0. The format of the guide has changed from previous versions. The guide is released as a Excel spreadsheet only. The guideline metadata that was the standard in earlier guides has been expanded and standardized. CLI commands for assessment and remediation of the guidelines are included for the vCLI, ESXi Shell, and PowerCLI. For additional information, look at the Intro tab of the spreadsheet.

The Official vSphere 5.0 Hardening Guide can be downloaded here

Snap 2012-06-04 at 22.16

Veeam Backup and Replication v6.1

Today Veeam announced Veeam Backup & Replication v6.1. This award winning virtualization backup software suite provides the best recovery of your virtualized environment for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments.

Backup 1

By providing Backup capabilties and Replication within one product Veeam provides a company a fast and easy way to recover from a disaster the way they choose. Veeam provides these virtualization-specific solution with the following features:

  • 2-in-1: backup and replication: Image-based backup and replication in a single unified, storage-agnostic solution.
  • Multi-hypervisor support: Protect VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V VMs with a single product, from a single console, minimizing cost and complexity.
  • Synthetic full backups: Eliminates the need for periodic full backups, thus reducing backup time and overhead.
  • Built-in deduplication and compression: Reduces network traffic and storage requirements up to 75% or more.
  • Near-continuous data protection: Captures changes and updates VM images as often as every few minutes. Replicate on-site for high availability and off-site for disaster recovery, without expensive storage or specialized software.
  • Agentless: There are no agents for you to license, deploy, manage or monitor on hosts or VMs

Another excellent feature included in Veeam’s Backup & Replication suite is vPower. With vPower it’s possible to start a backup VM (while compressed and deduplicated) without restoring it first.

veeam vpower backup replication 50 540

There are multiple new features for version 6.1, some specific for VMware environments:

  • Hot add. If a VM has multiple disks, hot add is performed once for the entire VM, instead of once for each processed disk, which speeds up VM processing.

  • vPower NFS performance. Removed unnecessary logging to improve vPower NFS performance.

  • Failback performance. Enhanced the virtual disk digest calculation process to improve failback performance.

  • Delete default backup proxy server. As long as it’s not the only one, you can now disable and delete the default VMware backup proxy server.

  • Warnings. The warning message indicating failover to network processing mode has been changed to an information event. Likewise, the warning message about outdated VMware Tools on the processed VM has been changed to an information event.

Veeam also added a couple great features for Microsoft Hyper-V:

 

  • SCVMM 2012. Added support for System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager.
  • Localized Hyper-V servers. Added support for localized Hyper-V servers.
  • VMs on backup server’s host. You can now protect VMs running on a Hyper-V host where the Veeam backup server is installed in the parent partition.
  • On-host backup proxy server tasks. You can now customize the maximum number of concurrent jobs on a Hyper-V on-host backup proxy server.
  • Changed block tracking. Added compatibility with certain 3rd party applications (such as antivirus) that previously affected changed block tracking. Also, to keep CSV volumes clean and for better reliability, files containing changed block tracking information are now stored on local host storage.
  • Application-aware and VSS processing. Improved reliability of application-aware and VSS processing.
  • Replication. To prevent replicas from auto-starting upon host reboot, VM auto start options are no longer replicated. Virtual network optimizations and VLANID settings are now replicated.

Veeam Backup Free Edition:

With version 6.1 Veeam introduces a new free mode. This provides a lot features that are also available in the paid (full) version, but their are also a few of the functions not available. One of the great functions it does provide is the new and improved FastSCP to manage files within your virtualized environment. More information about the Free edition can be found on the Veeam Website, including the download.

VeeamZip:

With VeeamZip you can compress and backup a VM to into a file that you can save on a network attached storage device , a USB stick or any other external storage device.

Comparing the two editions:

Here you can download a comparison sheet between the full and the free version!