Review NAKIVO Backup & Replication – Multi-Tenancy, licensing and conclusion

In the last part of the NAKIVO Backup & Replication review I highlight the Multi-Tenancy option, licensing and the final conclusion.

Multi-Tenancy and branding

NAKIVO supports multi-tenancy to deliver Backup-as-a-Service (BAAS) and Disaster-Recovery as a Service (DRaas). The tenants are isolated from each other and cannot access other tenants. Each tenant can access their own environment through  a self-service portal and perform all data protection of recovery tasks.

For each tenant custom branding can be used.

A single copy of NAKIVO can create and manage up to 1000 tenants providing a single pane of glass. The multi-tenancy option is available in the Enterprise Essentials en Enterprise license.

Licensing

The following licensing options are available for NAKIVO Backup and Replication for VMware and Hyper-V.

Number of licenses available per  organization Support Price (€) per socket Description
Basic 4 1 year included 84 Basic backup
PRO Essentials From 2 to 6 1 year included 169 Basic backup including backup copy and Backup to Cloud services for small environments up to 6 socket licenses.
Enterprise Essentials From 2 to 6 1 year included 249 All the backup options are included such as Disaster Recovery and Multi-Tenancy (BAAS and DRaaS) for small environments up to 6 socket licenses..
Pro Unlimited 1 year included 329 Same as the Pro Essentials edition with unlimited licenses.
Enterprise Unlimited 1 year included Request price Same as the Enterprise Essentials edition with unlimited licenses.

More information about the editions, options and pricing can be found here, link.

Another licensing option is the NAKIVO Cloud Provider Edition for cloud providers who host multiple customers. With this edition you can buy a pool of licenses per Virtual Machine. All the license are pooled together and can be used over the tenants.

Final conclusion

In  the last months I did multiple blog posts about NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.5 and v8. I highlighted the following topics:

  • Review NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.5 released, link
  • Installation and basic configuration, link
  • Backup and Recovery, link
  • Replication, link
  • Multi-Tenancy, editions and licensing and the final conclusion (this post).

The installation, configuration and management of NAKIVO Backup & Replication is very simple. I really like the the Virtual Appliance option and the possibility to install NAKIVO B&R on a NAS device. This saves licensing and hardware costs. The management is done by web browser so no extra software is needed to install.

The backup, restore and replication jobs are wizard based. Within a couple of minutes the configuration is done. There a multiple ways to recover data such as individual files, objects such as Active Directory and SQL, complete VMs and recover VMs cross platform.

Replication of VMs can be done for Disaster Recovery. In version 8 a new feature is added called “Site Recovery”. With this new feature you build automated recovery workflows with one-click failover, failback, and datacenter migration. The recovery workflows can be tested non-disruptive to make sure you meet the RTOs.

For cloud providers who offers Backup-as-a-Service (BAAS) and Disaster-Recovery as a Service (DRaas) there is a multi-tenancy option with custom branding for each tenant. Per VM licensing is available for cloud providers.

And as final the licensing and pricing of NAKIVO is very competitive and attractive when comparing them to other data protection solutions.

In short my final conclusion about NAKIVO Backup and Replication: Simple, fast, lots of great features and competitive pricing.

Next week VMworld Europe 2018 in Barcelona will start. NAKIVO will show at VMworld some new enhancements that will be available in NAKIVO Backup & Replication v8.1.

More information about NAKIVO can be found here: link

New enhancements in Runecast Analyzer 2.0

Runecast Analyzer provides proactive management for VMware environments. It discovers potential risks in the VMware environment before they can cause a major outage. In 90% of the outages with VMware environments, the root cause is based on a known issue that is already available in the VMware knowledge base. Runecast Analyzer uses information from the VMware knowledge base, security hardening guides (VMware, DISA STG and PCI-DSS), and best practices to proactively identify problems or outages before they occur.

In my last review of Runecast Analyzer I tested version 1.7 (link) with vSphere and vSAN support. The next version (1.8) included NSX-V support and a couple of weeks ago version 2.0 is of Runecast Analyzer is released. This version includes the following new enhancements.

New User Interface (UI)

Runecast Analyzer 2.0 has a complete redesigned User Interface(UI) that includes new widgets such as:

  • Historical Trending
  • Host with Most Issues

History trending

It includes historical trending for at least 3 months of vSphere, vSAN and NSX-V scan results. By default every day (this can be changed) a scan is performed against one of more vCenter environment(s). The scans contains the description, IP address and why the issues was detected. The trending information is showed in widgets in the UI.

With this functionality you can keep track how compliant you are and what progress you made to solve issues. All the detected issues are summarized in the “Issue History” widget per day or weeks.

Hosts with Most Issues

Another new widget in the UI is the “Hosts with Most Issues”. It shows which ESXi host that has the most issues and deserves the most priority to investigate.

History Analysis

History Analysis is a new functionality that helps with isolating the root cause of the reported incident as quick as possible.

The first section shows a chart with a trend of detected and fixed issues over time. There are interactive dots in the chart trend that shows  issues and details of the scan. The second section shows a table with detailed descriptions of the issues.

Within the history analysis there can be filtered on:

  • Severity (Critical, Major, Medium or Low)
  • Source ( PCIDSS, SH, BP or KB)
  • Applies to (Network, Compute, vCenter, Management or VM)
  • Products (NSX-V or vSphere)

The issue results can be compared with previous scan results and the differences are showed.

This makes the new history analysis very powerful for finding issues in the vSphere environment for example after a maintenance window when performing configuration changes.

vSphere 6.7 with vSphere HTML5 client support

Runecast Analyzer supports vSphere 6.7 and has a HTML5 web-plugin for the vSphere Client and even integrates in the NSX dashboard.

PCI-DSS compliance 

Runecast Analyzer 2.0 includes a new profile with 226 different checks for the Payment Card Industry Data Securiy Standard (PCI-DSS). The profile can be enabled and automatically checks if you are compliant with the PCI-DSS profile (Runecast Analyzer supports PCI DSS 3.2.1).

This helps with becoming PCI-DSS compliant and very helpful for companies in the financial space.

The PCI-DSS results can be easily filtered and exported in different formats (PDF, CSV or clipboard copy). This can be useful when having for example an audit.

Latest VMware Knowledge Base updates

When there are new knowledge definitions available the definition database can be (automated) updated. For example with the Spectre, Meltdown and L1TF vulnerabilities, Runecast Analyzer can quickly identify those vulnerabilities when VMware releases the KB articles.

Appliance Update

In version 2.0 of Runecast Analyzer the internal components of the appliance are updated to the latest versions (such as Ubuntu, 14.04.05 LTS, PostgreSQL 10, Apache Tomcat  9.0.10 and TLS 1.2 is used). The appliance meets the latest security compliance. The appliance and knowledge definitions can be easily updated when a new version is available.

For new users deploying a new appliance (OVF) is a piece of cake. Runecast Analyzer is installed en operational within a couple of minutes. A free Runecast Analyzer trail or demo can be requested by using the following link.

Version 2.0 of Runecast Analyzer adds great new enhancements that helps better to proactively identify problems or outages before they occur and easily check the compliance of the VMware vSphere, vSAN en NSX-V environment.

Review NAKIVO Backup & Replication v7.5 – Replication

In this part of the NAKIVO Backup & Replication review I highlight the replication feature. With the replication feature you can replicate VMs. The source VMs are copied, a VM replica is created of each and replicated to the target VMware environment (also known as the recovery site).

VM Replication protects for example against the following type of disasters:

  • Natural disasters  (earthquakes, floods, tornados etc.)
  • Data center  problems such as power losses, fire and water damage
  • Hardware problems such as host, network and storage failures
  • Human errors
  • VM failures caused by updates or patches, virus or manually removal

The replication feature can be used for business continuity as part of you’re disaster recovery plan. When a disaster occurs, the protected VM(s) can be quick failed over from the primary site to the recovery site.

When the primary site is restored the VM(s) can be failed back to the primary site.

Another use case it to use replication for migrating the VMs to a new VMware environment for example when moving from on-premises to a cloud provider.

Configuration

The configuration of the replication job can be done by using  a 7 step wizard:

1. VMs. Select the VM(s) that will be replicated.

2. Destination. Select the destination host(s) and datastores the VM(s) will be replicated to.

3. Networks. If the VM on the primary site has another network than on the recovery site you can make a mapping between them. In my test environment I have an stretched L2 network so the source and target network are the same.

4. Re-IP. With this option the replicated VMs will be mapped to a new IP address. In my test environment I have an stretched L2 network so the IP address will not change.

5. Schedule.Select the scheduling for the replication job. The VM replication will be executed at the schedules. So note that the VM(s) in primary site are not synchronous replicated.

6. Retention. Set the retention for the replicated VMs. Per VM you can have up to 30 recovery points.

7. Options. Set the options for the job.

Click on Finish & Run to start the first replication job. The VM will be replicated to the recovery site in a powered off state in the vSphere client.

Perform a VM Failover.

If a disaster occurs at the primary site or something happen with one or more protected VMs you can perform a failover from the primary to the recovery site. To perform a VM failover follow these steps using the following wizard:

In the recover menu select VM failover to replica.

1. Source. Select the VM and recovery point to use.

2. Networks. If the VM on the primary site has another network than on the recovery site you can make a mapping between them. In my test environment I have an stretched L2 network so the source and target network are the same.

3. Re-IP. With this option the replicated VMs will be mapped to a new IP address. In my test environment I have an stretched L2 network so the IP address will not change.

4. Options. In the options section enter the job name. I checked the “Power off source VMs” box to prevent IP conflicts.

Click on the “Finish & Run” button to start the recovery job. The VM in the primary site is powered off and the replica VM is powered on in the recovery site. In the vSphere client, the replica VM is running after the failover.

VM Failback.

After the disaster, the protected VMs are at the recovery site. When the infrastructure at the primary is restored you may want to return these VMs back. With the replication feature these VMs can be transferred back to the primary site. Transferring the VMs back involves performing some manual steps such as deleting the recovery job (with the keep recovered VMs option) and create a new replication job.

In a next release of NAKIVO Backup & Replication a new feature called “site recovery” will be introduced. Site recovery will enhance the replication feature with for example automated testing and workflow options. With these options you can test for example if the disaster recovery plan works as expected in a isolated environment.

Update: August 27, 2018. NAKIVO announced today version 8 with Site Recovery feature. This powerful new feature allows you to:

  • Build automated recovery workflows
  • Run one-click failover, failback, and datacenter migration
  • Perform non-disruptive recovery testing
    Make sure you meet your RTOs

More information about the Site Recovery feature can be found here link.

In the next NAKIVO Backup & Replication review I will highlight the editions, licensing and conclusion of my four reviews.