Thursday, July 18, 2024

Current Timeline

Production testing of Thinware vBackup version 5.0 beta 6 is currently underway. Given satisfactory findings during the beta program we plan to move Thinware vBackup version 5.0 to GA by the end of the private beta program. We understand the impact this has on our customers who unknowingly moved to vSphere 6.5 or 6.7 and/or who are wanting to move to vSphere 6.5 or 6.7 as soon as possible. We are working very hard to complete development and testing as soon as possible and greatly appreciate your patience during this time.

Completed Tasks:
   - New feature design and POC testing
   - Identify improvements to be added
   - Identify bugs to be resolved
   - Client (GUI) development (incorporate new features, improvements, bug fixes)
   - Client (GUI) testing
   - Backup engine development (incorporate new features, improvements, bug fixes)
   - Backup engine testing
   - Database import development (incorporate database changes)

Production testing with private beta group
   - Documentation revisions
   - Build installer
   - QA Testing

Current Work in Progress:
   - N/A

Tasks Outstanding:
   - N/A


Overview of Thinware vBackup Version 5.0

Thinware vBackup version 5.0 is definitely our most comprehensive release yet. There has never been a Thinware vBackup release that incorporated as many new features and improvements. We have redesigned most of the forms in vBackup client and completely rewritten all code behind. The backup engine in Thinware vBackup version 5.0 has been completely redesigned and written from scratch. With this you will find Thinware vBackup version 5.0 to be much faster and with improved error handling you will find Thinware vBackup version 5.0 much easier to use and troubleshoot. 


What's New?

Click here to download the current draft of What's New for Thinware vBackup 5.0.0.



Q: Will this release include a built-in scheduling feature?
A: Yes and no. You will still need to configure scheduling via Windows Task Scheduler, but we have added integration that allows you to view and interact with (enable/disable and execute) vBackup related tasks from within vBackup Client. We plan to follow this up with the ability to add and edit scheduled tasks from within vBackup Client, but this is currently planned for a future release.

Q: Will this release include support for VMware ESXi 6.5 and 6.7?
A: Yes. This release includes two new features (*see below) that add support for VMware ESXi 6.5 and 6.7.

Q: When will the incremental backup feature be released?
A: We have had this feature ready for quite some time now, but due to the recent release of VMware ESXi 6.5 and 6.7 and all of the changes required to support it, we have had to postpone releasing this for public testing. We plan to change our focus back to incremental backup and other performance enhancements as soon as we validate coverage of our customers’ immediate need of support for VMware ESXi 6.5 and 6.7.


Draft Release Notes:

Thinware vBackup version 5.0 is planned to have the following new features and bug fixes:

   - Scheduled task management (view and interact with vBackup related tasks configured in Windows Task Scheduler)
   - Abandoned snapshot management (record snapshot name if unable to verify removal, re-attempt removal on next job run)
   - Ability to use a web services port other than 443 (for management servers and host servers)
   - Set command protocol (SSH or VADP) at host server
   - Ability to use SCP for data transfers (vs. NFC) *adds support for ESXi 6.5 and 6.7
   - Ability to bypass backup proxy (direct backup from host server to NFS or iSCSI storage target) *adds support for ESXi 6.5 and 6.7
   - Ability to delete expired backups prior to job run
   - Add VM boot settings (VRAM file) to backup and restore processes
   - Ability to turn off/on disks created in 2GB extents
   - Detect disks set as independent, fail job and tell user to exclude disk

Ability to enable/disable Windows event logging
Ability to enable/disable job logging
Replaced file (per job) based logging with task logging in vBackup database
Ability to only send notifications on error
Ability to enable use of explicit SSL when sending e-mail notifications
Changed connection validation for management and host servers (from ping to TCP port connection test)
Added color coding to error, warning and user tip messages in console window (red = critical error, yellow = warning, cyan = user tip)
Changed e-mail notification subject to include debug mode and outcome (failed, completed, with x errors) at beginning
- Remove support for VCB
   - Remove support for physical machine replication
   - Add tip for errors from unsupported versions of VMware Virtual Disk Manager
   - Download VM configuration prior to snapshot (vs. currently after snapshot)
   - Change refresh form data process to only refresh currently selected view (inventory or scheduled tasks)
   - Add/Edit Management Server wizard: use Edit Host Server wizard to edit properties for discovered host servers
   - Add/Edit Management Server wizard: add show/hide details for discovered host servers
   - Add/Edit Management Server wizard: add select/deselect all for discovered host servers and virtual machines
   - Add/Edit Host Server wizard: add select/deselect all for discovered virtual machines

Add/Edit Host Server wizard: warn user if host server password contains certain special characters (e.g. / \ ^ & | " < > SPACE)
- Change all "datastore" references to "database" to avoid confusion with "VMFS datastore" terminology
   - Add text below item lists: select host server to change license assignment, select disk to change provisioning type
   - Temporary snapshots nested above lowest branch not discovered in check for existing temporary snapshots
   - Create snapshot task for Image-SSH job errors with certain region and language format settings in windows
   - Backup of VM names with similar name endings (x-mail1 and mail1) can cause failures (temp snapshot may be created for wrong VM and then never removed)
   - Upload configuration (VMX) file step in restore backup process fails if SSH port set to anything other than 22
   - When changing view to inventory, if management server selected, form title not updated property
   - If 'managed by job' does not exist restore process and mount backup processes fail

In this release we are also adding tons of placeholders and prep work for the following new features to be released next:

   - Incremental backup
   - Online restore points (managed snapshots)
   - Multi-threaded disk download
   - Ability to override standard Windows system resource scheduling priority given to backup processes
   - Ability to disable e-mail notifications for jobs that complete successfully and/or with warning
   - Enhanced e-mail notification rules (disable/enable notifications, custom recipients list) per job, VM, host server

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