Status of VMware vSphere 6.7 support by VM backup companies

Posted by Paul Braren on Apr 19 2018 (updated on Jul 12 2018) in
  • Backup
  • ESXi
  • HomeLab
  • HomeServer
  • Storage
  • Virtualization
  • Above image adapted from What's New with vSphere 6 HOL.

    Table of Contents, in alphabetic order:

    This short article is really just about one of the very first questions that pops up very soon after any major release of VMware vSphere. Experienced enthusiasts tend to look for ways to learn about and test the latest release of vSphere without putting their VM backups at risk. You can see here that the vSphere 6.7 VM backup support question has already landed right here at TinkerTry, with vSphere 6.7 announced just 2 days ago, on April 17 2018.

    Of course, for production environments, you'll want to wait a while for things to mature, see also a nice perspective on very real challenges surrounding attempts at Day 1 backup support for major new vSphere releases.

    CoreStorageTitle-768x258
    What’s new with vSphere 6.7 Core Storage by Jason Massae at VMware Blogs. Includes details on new support for 4Kn HDDs.

    Instead of an agent installed in each VM, you configure backups of your ESXi host(s) or vSphere clustered hosts, and they're kept in a centrally managed repository of sorts. This approach may offer vendors the ability to leverage FAQ: VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection (formerly known as VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection or VADP) (1021175), see also oldie-but-goodie Using VMware Infrastructure for Backup and Restore.

    Despite these superficial similarities, each has it's own distinguishing features. For example, there's Veeam, and its very mature and trusted VM backup solution that installs on Windows and possess a slick and relatively friendly UI, despite the wealth of features. Then there's ease-of-use NAKIVO also featuring a slick UI, and many deployment methods that include installing the server code on Windows, Linux, on a NAS's Linux, or as a simple-to-configure virtual appliance.

    Some have trial edition restrictions and/or time-bombs, but some even offer NFR with perpetual use for non-production environments only. This may mean you'll be vetted to be an IT Pros before you're offered and NFR download link, but the reward may well be no restrictions and no time-bombs for non-production workloads such as home lab testing.

    This market is apparently quite healthy, I didn't actually realize there were quite so many vendors out there until I pulled this article together. This list represents most of the VM backup solutions available today, and whatever information I could currently find about their vSphere 6.7 support statements. The information will get stale, but I have provided you with your own search buttons to help hunt down the latest information as of the day you happen to come across this article. There are more thorough search terms than I show here, but those came up mostly empty as well.

    Feedback, and or notifications of omissions, are always welcome! Just drop a comment below.

    In alphabetic order. They should all work fine with vSAN, but stated support for vSAN is a bit tougher to come by, and out of scope for this particular document. It will also be interesting to see whether a new VMware vCenter Converter Standalone comes out with support for vSphere 6.7.


    Altaro VM Backup

    vm-backup

    On Apr 19 2018, Google search results for

    On Jul 05 2018, I spotted support for 6.7 had shown up at altaro.com/vmware-backup some time since the Internet Archive Wayback Machine last grabbed it on May 18 2018.

    Is it currently supported?

    Yes. You can view the VMware versions under OS Support, along the bottom of the VM Backup page:

    OS Support
    VMware vCenter 5.0, 5.1, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 6.7
    VMware vSphere 5.0, 5.1, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 6.7
    VMware ESXi 5.0, 5.1, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 6.7
    (Free VMware ESXi is not supported)

    In the Altaro Support Center, see also What are the system requirements for Altaro VM Backup?, last updated July 2 2018.


    Commvault

    vmware-commvault

    On Apr 19 2018, Google search results for

    Is it currently supported for use with vSphere 6.7?

    Yes. See Sven’s TinkerTry comment below on Jun 18:

    Commvault v11 sp12 is out with support for vsphere 6.5u2 and 6.7 http://documentation.commvault.com/commvault/v11_sp12/article?p=3368.htm

    From:


    Micro Focus VM Explorer Virtual Machine Backup

    overview

    Formerly known as HPE VM Explorer, and before that, Trilead VM Explorer.

    On Apr 19 2018, Google search results for

    Is it currently supported for use with vSphere 6.7?

    No relevant search results yet.

    ETA on 6.7 support?

    Unknown.

    Despite lack of support, does it install and work anyway?

    One report of it not working, with this error message:

    Not supported: VMware ESXi 6.7.0 build-8169922

    On Jul 9 2018, I received one report of it working:

    Eddie Kreutz • an hour ago
    This afternoon I downloaded the version 7.1.1 of the VM explorer from the Micro Focus site. Installing works fine and now ESXi 6.7 is processing correctly.

    but the site's documentation doesn't yet mention 6.7.


    NAKIVO Backup & Replication

    vmware-backup

    On Apr 19 2018, Google search results for

    Is it currently supported for use with vSphere 6.7?

    2018-07-12_9-35-08
    NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.5 Beta was announced on Jul 11 2018, featuring full vSphere 6.7 support.

    No relevant search results yet, I've reached out to NAKIVO for comment, seen below. On Jul 11 2018, I received an email invite to beta test NAKIVO v7.5 featuring vSphere 6.7 support, with a sign-up page.

    ETA on 6.7 support?

    I received a statement on Apr 25 2018:

    Regarding v 6.7, it will be supported within 90 days of VMware’s release.

    Best regards,
    Anton


    Anton Shelepchuk | Senior Pre-Sales Technical Manager

    Despite lack of support, does it install and work anyway?

    One report of success with 7.3.1 looks favorable, and another report with 7.4.1 that had an issue, but success in the end.


    Unitrends Backup

    enterprise-backup-software-by-unitrends

    On Apr 19 2018, Google search results for

    Is it currently supported for use with vSphere 6.7?

    See Is vsphere 6.7 supported yet?, here's an excerpt:

    bnelson (Unitrends)
    Hello Mark,

    Thank you for your inquiry. Unfortunately Vsphere 6.7 is not yet supported. Here is the compatibility matrix which lists the supported versions of Vsphere.

    https://www.unitrends.com/wp-content/uploads/Compatibility-and-Interoperability-Matrix.pdf

    Thanks,

    April 26, 2018 at 1:41 PM

    ETA on 6.7 support?

    Unknown.

    Despite lack of support, does it install and work anyway?

    Unknown.


    Veeam Backup & Replication

    vmware-esx-backup

    On Apr 19 2018, Google search results for

    The results you'll really want to focus on:

    you can also find much more detail in this forum thread. While login is required, see why it's worth it.

    Is it currently supported for use with vSphere 6.7?

    No. See KB 2443. Need to wait for Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3a.
    Yes. Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 3a RTM has arrived, described at TinkerTry here.

    ETA on 6.7 support?

    Anton Gostev's Apr 22 2018 edition of his weekly "The Word from Gostev" was posted by Cragdoo in the forum here:

    Finally, since everyone will have the question about expected Update 3a timelines anyway: historically, we've been shipping new vSphere release support on average within 2 months from GA (with the official commitment for new platform support being 90 days from GA date). In this particular case however, there are additional unknowns in the equation: Windows Server 2016 RS4 and Windows 10 Spring Creators Update releases, support for which needs to catch the same release train.

    I actually bumped into Anton Gostev briefly at VeeamON 2018 last week. Today, on May 22 2018, he posted an update on testing progress in the same forum thread, here's an excerpt:

    Full testing cycle has now been completed, and the list of impacted transport modes (in addition to nbd) now also includes direct SAN and hot add... so yes, basically all of them got hit :o

    The good news is that we should be able to work around most of the issues, possibly except one - but that will cause minor feature loss only. The bad news is that some may require VDDK patching, which is a fairly costly way to fix issues in terms of dev and QC time. Nevertheless, we should still be able to ship the update late next month.

    Anton Gostev's Jun 10 2018 edition:

    Veeam Community Forums Digest June 4 - June 10, 2018

    THE WORD FROM GOSTEV
    We've reached the first RC build milestone with Update 3a for Veeam Backup & Replication, which is the point when our QC starts to perform the final regression cycle, with the RTM build typically following in 10 to 15 days. Once that happens, the following 1-2 weeks we will be doing pilot deployments, as per our standard release process – with our support engineers reaching out to customers with support cases open on issues fixed in the update. This lets us track everyone who received the RTM build for an unlikely event of its recall due to the discovery of a major regression. I will announce the RTM build availability both here and on the forum, so that anyone else who wants to participate in the pilot could reach out to our support for the build. Below is a recap of new platform support situation in the Update 3a build to be shipped:

    VMware vSphere 6.7 will be fully supported with no known issues or limitations from Veeam perspective. But those of you who like to be on the cutting edge with new vSphere functionality, please be aware that you won't be able to backup VMs with virtual NVDIMM devices present, or with virtual disks residing on PMem datastores. This is due to lack of VM snapshot support for such VMs in vSphere. But this should not come as a surprise, as it's quite traditional for VMware to release new functionality this way (remember no snapshot support for Fault Tolerant VMs originally).

    VMware vSphere 6.5 U2 will NOT be officially supported with Update 3a due to the previously discussed vSphere API regression introduced by U2 and impacting environments with heavy host load. However, Update 3a does introduce "preliminary" U2 support by fixing all outstanding U2-specific issues (such as hot add transport failing with certain proxies), so in theory the newer U2 build fixing the API issue should be supported automatically – so long as it does not break something else, of course. And in general, Update 3a will make U2 "safer" to use in average (not heavily overprovisioned) environments which already upgraded to one. It's just that we are unable to support it officially, because any significant load spike will cause vSphere API to start failing randomly, consequently impacting most of the Veeam functionality. I will keep posting updates on VMware investigation of the API issue in the main topic about vSphere 6.5 U2 support.
    ...

    The latest estimate I've heard from Veeam is for 9.5 Update 3a to go from RTM to GA on July 2nd, subject to change of course.

    Despite lack of support, does it install and work anyway?

    There are reports of "Error: Object reference not set to an instance of an object" but there are also some successes in specific circumstances, as reported in this part of the thread. Be careful out there!
    Use RTM of 9.5 Update 3a.


    Vembu Backup and Replication

    2018-06-14_8-58-37

    Google search for:

    Is it currently supported for use with vSphere 6.7?

    Yes. See also vembu.com/vmware-backup, where it states:

    Supports VMware vSphere v6.7 which includes VMware Virtual Volumes and Virtual SAN

    ETA on 6.7 support?

    I reached out to Vembu for comment, and their response on May 23 2018 was:

    Support for VMware vSphere 6.7 will be available in the next few weeks

    On June 14, I received new email from Vembu that vSphere 6.7 support had become available June 12, [tweeted on June 14](https://twitter.com/paulbraren/status/1007249753837592577. As seen right on their homepage, Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.1 now supports VMware vSphere 6.7:

    2018-06-14_19-40-03

    Apr 20 2018 Update

    Day 1 support commented added above. Clarification on VMware vSphere Storage APIs inserted.


    May 22 2018 Update

    Added Anton Gostev's forum post updates in the Veeam section above, along with some updated information from Altaro, Unitrends, and Vembu.


    Jun 11 2018 Update

    Added Jun 10 2018 updates from Veeam Community Forums Digest.


    Jun 18 2018 Update

    Sven left a comment that Commvault is now supported.


    Jun 24 2018 Update

    I updated the Commvault section above.


    Jul 05 2018 Update

    Altaro support for 6.7 added.


    Jul 08 2018 Update

    Altaro added a comment that pointed to their article, last updated July 2 2018.


    Jul 09 2018 Update

    Micro Focus section updated.


    See also at TinkerTry

    TinkerTry-logo-highlighted

    veeamon-2018-recap

    See also

    CoreStorageTitle-768x258

    1021175
    • FAQ: VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection (formerly known as VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection or VADP) (1021175)
      kb.vmware.com/s/article/1021175

      ...
      What is VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection?

      VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection is the next generation of VMware’s data protection framework originally introduced in vSphere 4.0 that enables backup products to do centralized, efficient, off-host LAN free backup of vSphere virtual machines.
      A backup product using VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection can backup vSphere virtual machines from a central backup server or virtual machine without requiring backup agents or requiring backup processing to be done inside each guest virtual machine on the ESX host. This offloads backup processing from ESX hosts and reduces costs by allowing each ESX host to run more virtual machines.
      VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection leverages the snapshot capabilities of VMware vSphere to enable backup across SAN without requiring downtime for virtual machines. As a result, backups can be performed non-disruptively at any time of the day without requiring extended backup windows and the downtime to applications and users associated with backup windows.
      ...