We're considering to drop Windows Server 2008 support for backup infrastructure servers in Veeam Backup & Replication v10, and would like to hear your opinion on this plan. We will continue to support Windows Server 2008 R2, so we're only talking about non-R2 installations here.
Essentially, this means that Veeam Backup & Replication v10 will not support Windows Server 2008 (non-R2) for backup server, backup proxies, backup repositories, WAN accelerators, tape servers, mount servers, gateway servers (so all servers running one or more B&R components), as well as the Enterprise Manager server.
However, we will continue supporting Windows Server 2008 as a guest OS, including full application-aware processing functionality. The scope of the change is limited to the servers running any Veeam roles.
There are 5 major considerations that lead us here:
1. There are certain technical and security benefits in supporting Windows Server 2008 R2 only, for example this will allow us to use a later version of .NET Framework.
2. The introduction of vSphere 5.5 already required all of our customers to upgrade their 32-bit Windows Server 2008 backup proxies to 64-bit ones (due to VDDK 5.5 system requirements). Most have also updated to 2008 R2 as a part of this process (2008 R2 is only available in 64-bit version).
3. Around the same time frame, the introduction of 64-bit data movers also pushed our customers to upgrade OS on their Windows-based backup repositories to 64-bit one for improved scalability.
4. Already, Windows Server 2008 R2 is the minimum version of Hyper-V we support, and is also the minimum version that our Agent for Windows (formerly Veeam Endpoint Backup) supports. It makes sense to put Veeam Backup & Replication in sync.
5. This will allow us to reduce the amount of platforms we need to test against by one, which became important with the introduction of Windows Server 2016. Everybody wins when we do not have to spread our QC resources thin, allowing our engineers to spend more time on more current platforms.
[EDIT] Additionally, Windows Server 2008 OS has issues in system cache allocation logic under heavy I/O (such as during backups) that causes long-running backups to come to a complete crawl, making it a bad candidate to run Veeam data mover on - thanks to @ian0x0r for the reminder!
Please vote and let us know your opinion!