With the upcoming release of Windows Server 2012 being one of the most anticipated events this year it seems only natural to look at Hyper-V 2012 and see what changes are coming and how they may affect Backup Exec. While researching the topics I wanted to cover it came to me that I should start by looking at when Backup Exec first offered support for virtual environments; this took me back to October of 2008 and the release of Backup Exec 12.5. That was the first release where support for virtual environments was offered via an application agent; in this case it was the Backup Exec Microsoft Virtual Agent which has since become the Backup Exec Agent for Hyper-V. That agent has matured in ways other vendors have copied and imitated: from our “agentless” VM backups to our Application Granular Recovery Technology (AppGRT) that was extended into protecting virtualized applications such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL, Active Directory and SharePoint that allows you to recover application data without running an application backup. Four years have passed and we’ve seen a lot of changes in the world of virtualization, so much so that the software and IT industries have seen the rise of virtual environment “management and protection” completely change their approach as there are now more virtual machine deployments than physical machine deployments. As our industry grapples with Virtual Desktops and their place within corporate IT, more focus is being placed on “the cloud”. Ah yes, the “cloud”: Our current stop on the virtualization train and as we see from the latest trends of what we have come to call XaaS (Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, etc.) there is more to come and this train has no scheduled stops. Not until the only remnant of the physical world remaining is that monitor on your desk, the laptop on your coffee table, the tablet in your hands or the smart phone in your pocket…that final link that connects you to your “virtual cloud” of computing and data resources, only then might there be a pause while we take a deep breath and look forward to the next disruptive technology. So later this year we will welcome the release of Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 2012 with a lot of fanfare and subsequently set our sights on the highly anticipated release of Jarvis by Stark Industries…Okay so maybe Jarvis isn’t just around the corner for the mainstream IT consumer but after reading the Windows Server 2012 Licensing & Pricing FAQ located on the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform landing page it’s obvious that Microsoft sees mainstream IT as a consumer of virtualization and cloud services.
While attending Microsoft Tech Ed North America 2012 in Orlando, FL, I spent much of my time in various Hyper-V sessions, wanting to soak up as much as I could, and the occasional Azure session when nothing Hyper-V specific caught my attention. Throughout all of the sessions I came across a common thread: The superior scalability of Hyper-V 2012. From the scale out of support for processors and virtual processors to memory and storage to networking and availability there doesn’t appear to be a single aspect of Hyper-V that wasn’t enhanced and pushed beyond current levels of support. So over the next several weeks I’m going to take a look at some of the upcoming features in Hyper-V 2012 and how they may relate to Backup Exec.
Next week I’ll take a look at how Backup Exec protects Hyper-V today so that we have a foundation on which to build for upcoming posts.