Going beyond the Veeam Backup, Proxy, and Repository Servers

When most people think of the components that make up a Veeam Backup and Replication infrastructure, the common expectation is that there are three:

  • Veeam Backup Server
  • Proxy Server(s)
  • Repository Server(s)
    • Simple Backup Repository
    • Scale-out Backup Repository

It may surprise you that there are additional components that enable Veeam’s simplicity, reliability and flexibility. I would like share a number of these other components and provide some suggestions on their deployment to ensure that you get the most out of your Veeam implementation.

Microsoft SQL Server:

The Veeam configuration is stored in a Microsoft SQL Server database – known as the Veeam configuration database. (I mean, what else did you think it would be called? 🙂 )

Step 8. Select Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server 2016 SP2 is included with Veeam Backup and Replication v10. It is important to be aware of the limits that the Express version has:

  • Limited to the lesser of 1 socket or 4 cores
  • A maximum of 1.4 GB of RAM
  • Database size can be no larger than 10 GB

Therefore, it is suggested to use a standard or enterprise edition of SQL Server when:

  • You want to use the advanced features of Microsoft SQL Server
  • Protecting more than 500 workloads
  • Using Files to Tape jobs extensively
  • Unable to configure an external staging server (more on the staging server later)

Veeam Backup and Replication Console:

The Veeam Backup and Replication Console is a client-side component that lets to manage, configure, and administer the Veeam infrastructure. By default, the console is installed on the Veeam Backup server, but you can also install it on your local workstation.

The console does not connect directly to the backend SQL Server or any of the other infrastructure components. It connects directly to the Veeam Backup Server service and queries it periodically while the console is open.

The console will automatically be upgraded when the Veeam Backup and Replication server is upgraded. When the console starts, it will communicate with the backup server service and determine that an upgrade is required. The upgraded console version will automatically be downloaded and installed once user confirmation is received.

WAN Accelerator:

When sending data to an offsite location, one of the biggest challenges that you may encounter is the lack of bandwidth. There may be simply more data that you need to copy over in a period of time than the laws of physics will allow.

To overcome these (lack of) bandwidth challenges, Veeam offers WAN acceleration that helps optimize data transfer over a WAN. This is a built-in feature that enables:

  • Global data deduplication
  • Network traffic compression
  • Multi-streaming upload
WAN Accelerators - Veeam Backup Guide for vSphere

And with the release of Veeam Backup and Replication v10, there is also a “High Bandwidth Mode” available for WAN Acceleration. This would be used when connections of 100 Mb/s or greater. “High Bandwidth Mode” will use a quicker compression method, optimized fingerprints / digests and an alternative deduplication algorithm specifically designed for high speed connections.

The result of Veeam WAN Acceleration… a better and higher speed data transfer – regardless of what your WAN connection speed is!

Guest Interaction Proxy

Let’s first answer the question… what is a “Guest Interaction Proxy” and why do I need one?

The guest interaction proxy is used when at least one of the following is configured in the backup job:

  • Application Aware Processing
  • Guest file system indexing
  • Transaction log processing

When the backup job starts and is processing the VM, it will deploy a runtime process in the VM guest OS.

The benefit of identifying additional and / local guest interaction proxies is that it will allow you to spread the load across a number of hosts. In addition, if you are protecting VM’s in a remote site, it will ensure that you minimize the amount of traffic that is transmitted across the WAN connection.

Guest Interaction Proxy

As a best practice, you will want to ensure that the assigned guest interaction proxy is located on the remote site if the job is protecting remote workloads. In addition, having more than one guest interaction proxy will provide redundancy in the event one is offline.

If you would like to configure the guest interaction proxy, simply take a look at a backup job settings under “Guest Processing”:

Mount Server:

The primary focus of the mount server is to reduce the amount of traffic when performing file, application and instant VM recoveries to a remote site. The mount server is also used when performing a Veeam Secure Restore.

When initiating an applicable restore type, Veeam will mount the backed up VM disk(s) to the mount server.

File-Level Restore Scenarios - Veeam Backup Guide for vSphere

Once the disks from the backups are mounted, the applicable Veeam Explorer will be able to navigate and select the applicable files / application items to restore. The same mounting process occurs for a Secure Restore and the applicable Anti-Virus solution(s) will scan the disk(s). That is very important since Veeam is not powering on the VM to run a scan. As the act of powering on a VM may initiate the virus to be enabled.

If your Veeam Backup server is remote to where your backup repository is located, specifying a local mount server (to the repository) will ensure a minimal amount of traffic will be sent across the WAN for the restore process.

Mount Server

As a best practice, you will want to ensure the assigned mount server is as close to the repository (and have network connectivity) as possible. Therefore, be sure to select a mount server that is local to the repository.

If you would like to configure / edit which Mount Server is being used, simply edit an applicable repository:

Gateway Server:

When you deploy a network attached storage (SMB / NFS), Dell EMC DataDomain or HPE StoreOnce repository, each of these do not have ability to run the Veeam Data Mover service. As a result, a connection between the backup proxy and backup repository or between backup repositories can not be established. To enable communication, a Veeam Gateway Server is utilized.

Gateway Server

The Veeam Gateway server will host a Veeam Data Mover service and will then allow communication / data transport between the data mover services.

As a best practice, you will want to ensure the assigned gateway server is as close to the repository (and have network connectivity) as possible. Therefore, if sending data over a WAN, select a gateway server on the target side.

If you would like to configure / edit which Gateway Server is being used, simply edit an applicable repository:

Staging Server:

When you want to fine-tune a SQL Server, Oracle server and SharePoint server, the Veeam Staging Server makes that possible. Think of it as a “helper” for Veeam’s advanced recovery features.

A staging server is required in the following scenarios:

  • Restore or export to a specific transaction
  • Restore or export to a specific point in time
  • Restore or export a database object
  • Restore Microsoft SharePoint item level recovery
  • When using SQL Server Express for the configuration database and the database you are looking to restore exceeds the SQL Server express thresholds (ie: database size)

If you would like to configure / edit which Staging Server is being used, simply open the Veeam Explorer for SQL, Oracle, or SharePoint and go to the “General Options”.

Tape Server

Not only can Veeam send backups to disk, but Veeam also provides the capability to send your backups to tape along with files / shares / NDMP data in your environment. Really making it simple to implement the 3-2-1 rule with your data.

With Veeam Backup and Replication v10, Veeam supports tape drives of LTO-3 and above. The tape drive must have a a driver installed. However, Veeam is able to communicate directly with a tape library via SCSI commands if needed.

Tape Environment - Veeam Backup Guide for vSphere

The tape server will be deployed from the Veeam Backup and Replication console… just like any Veeam component. It can deployed on a dedicated server or directly on the Veeam Backup and Replication Server.

Veeam Backup and Replication is the cornerstone of your data protection strategy. Knowing the different components, how they work, and how to configure them for the best performance will ensure your success!

Unlocking the power of the Veeam External Repository

Over the last 3 years, I had the opportunity to have a front row seat for two major releases of Veeam Availability Suite along with numerous updates. And with over 200+ new features / enhancements combined, one of my favourite innovations is the Veeam External Repository.

The first question you may be asking is… “What is an External Repository?”. Very simply, it is a READ-ONLY repository, managed through Veeam Backup and Replication, which allows you to access backups and data generated using Veeam Backup for AWS and / or Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure

In the figure below, you can see that Veeam can create native snapshot(s) of your cloud instances along with sending a copy for backup purposes to lower cost object storage.

Once the backups are generated and placed in object storage, the External Repository will be able to leverage those backups for a variety of use cases (keep reading to find out!).

The process to configure a Veeam External Repository is as simple as creating a Backup or Scale-Out Backup Repository. First, initiate the configuration wizard and select the source (AWS or Azure):

Once the steps in the configuration wizard are complete, an “External Repository” option will be available under the “Backup” node in the Veeam Backup and Replication console once it is created.

When selecting the “External Repository”, it will enumerate the policies and backups configured in Veeam Backup for AWS and / or Veeam Backup for Azure. For example, below is a screenshot of policies defined in the Veeam Backup for AWS portal.

And what are the use cases for a Veeam External Repository? Let’s discuss!

Implement the 3-2-1 rule for your cloud based workloads

The External Repository can be used as a source for your backup copy jobs. This means that you have the capability to create additional copies of your cloud workloads and place them into a Backup or Scale-out Backup Repository:

Perform Instant VM Recovery of your cloud based workloads

The ability to instantly recover your on-premises workloads was a feature Veeam pioneered in 2010. Now with the External Repository, this capability has been extended to your cloud based workloads.

Not only will this ensure that your workloads are available to your end users and customers as quickly as possible, but this will also give you the greatest flexibility in workload mobility.

Restore your backups to the original cloud or an alternate cloud

Simply right click on the required workload and then select “Restore to…”

Easy access to restore guest OS files and folders

In addition to be able to restore an entire VM / workload, Veeam also provides the capability to easily access and restore guest files, folders, and volumes in the VM along with application items (SQL, Active Directory, Oracle, Exchange, SharePoint).

As a best practice, if you are sending your traffic across the public Internet and Direct Connect from Amazon or ExpressRoute from Microsoft are not being used, Veeam has a great FREE VPN solution called Veeam PN.

If you are currently or are planning to use Veeam Backup for AWS and / or Veeam Backup for Azure, the External Repository in the Veeam Availability Suite will provide simplicity to data protection and recovery ability along with cloud mobility.

Veeam Backup for Nutanix AHV

March 24th 2020 Veeam released the second version of its protection platform for Nutanix AHV.

v2 has deep integration into Veeam Backup & Replication v10. This is done by installing the Nutanix AHV Plug-in on your Veeam backup server. Once you have the plug-in installed, you can add a Nutanix AHV cluster, and deploy the AHV backup proxy via the Veeam Backup & Replication backup console. Review the video below for more on the steps for installation, configuration, and for some restore options.

What’s new?

Below is a list of the new features. For more details review the release notes, and the what’s new document.

  • Centralized management
    • Central deploy & upgrade proxies
    • Job management allowing you to view, start/stop, disable jobs, and launch the the proxy web UI directly from Veeam Backup & Replication.
    • License management
    • VeeamZip support
  • Restore improvements
    • AHV file level recovery appliance
    • Entire VM restore, allowing you to restore any workload to AHV including physical, virtual, and cloud servers.
    • AHV native snapshots restores
    • Instant VM recovery directly to VMware vSphere.
  • AHV Backup Proxy enhancements
    • Job options that allow you to create backup and snapshot only jobs on protection domains, with the added ability to take a scheduled active full.
    • Backup job targets which now include deduplication appliances, and repositories backed with file systems that support block cloning,
    • Global email notifications
  • Enterprise Manager integration for file level recovery
  • Veeam ONE support for backup reports with your AHV workloads.
Installation, Configuration, and Restores with Veeam Backup for Nutanix AHV

Veeam Backup & Replication v10

Today marks the general availability of Veeam Backup & Replication v10!

This release has over 150+ enhancements, and the “What’s New” document is 16 pages long!

Here is the list of the new major features.

  • NAS backup
    • Provides the ability to protect NAS workloads running on SMB (1,2,3) NFS (3, and 4.1), and files sitting on Microsoft Windows, and Linux Servers.
    • This has all been built with scale in mind, and not just for processing initial full backups, but with a incremental forever approach with storage-agnostic changed file tracking.
  • Ransomware protection, and simplified data management
    • Immutable backups using S3 object locking.
    • Added a Copy Policy to Capacity Tier which will provide redundancy and off-site backups with ease.
  • Instant VM recovery
    • 10 years ago, Veeam invented and pioneered Instant VM Recovery, with v10 it brings it to a new level.
      • Instant restore any backup to VMware.
      • Next-generation instant recovery engine, that has seen 3X improvement on boot times.
      • Ability to perform multi-VM instant recovery for VMware.
      • VM disk come to the mix, not only can you instantly restore a VM, you can now instantly restore a disk.
  • Veeam data integration API
    • Veeam has always been putting your backup data to work, with the likes of DataLabs. As of v10 you now have an API to interact with any Veeam backup.
      • Provide instance access to third-party products.
      • Perform data mining
      • Automate on-going security analysis
  • Linux Ecosystem Integration
    • XFS Integration
      • You can leverage fast clone technology which will provide much faster synthetic full backup operations, and also use space-less full backup technology reducing the amount of disk consumption required.
    • NFS backup repository
      • That’s right, you no longer need a Linux server to host your NFS shares, and it can be accessed native within Veeam for use as a repository.
    • Linux backup proxy
      • Setup Linux systems as hot-add proxies! You are not locked to an appliance and can use your preferred Linux distribution.
    • Network-less guest processing
      • This is for Linux VMs that Veeam cannot access the OS via the network. Using the vSphere guest interaction API, Veeam can access the guest OS via the ESXi host.

For more details head over and have a read of the “What’s New” and “Release Notes” documents.

  • GA version: 10.0.0.4461

Veeam – Exporting a Backup

I’m sure there has been a time when you are required to export a workload for a specific point in time from backups you already have. It could be for litigation reasons, an upgrade of an application, and many other countless use cases.

Did you know you can do that with your Veeam backups? Well… You can!

An export can be done from a full, incremental or reverse-incremental restore points, that are located in simple, scale-out, object storage, or cloud repositories.

For more details browse this Veeam Help Center Section

IMPORTANT: If you are going to do this today, keep this in mind, and make sure to apply the private hot-fix if you are impacted. This hot-fix is only needed for environments where a Scale-Out Backup repository contains Linux-based or ExaGrid-based extents.

Let’s have a look.

First head over to your “Backups” and select “Disk”
Once you locate the backup you want to export, expand the backup, and right-click the system name. You will then select “Export backup”
Select the backup you want to export.
Specify the restore you want
Once you have your restore point selected, choose when you want this exported copy to be deleted.
In the next section you can provide a reason for the export task.
review your summary, if you are pleased, click finish.
The restore session will show the details of the job, and progress.
Once the task is completed you can access your exported point in time under “Backups” and “Disk (Imported)”
Here you can see the one restore point, the creation time, and date/time for the restore point.
The exported backup is located within the same repository where the source backup files were located. In this case FNReFS.
You will note that the source repository matches for the original backup.
if you explore the backup job location you will see a folder called “Oracle_Linux” that is the location the exported backup was created from. You will also notice a folder with the name “Oracle-Linux77_2019….” this is the exported copy, and you can see the name reflects the creation time, and the deletion time associated with these files.
You can see the file is exported as a VBK, you can copy or move it to another location if needed.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 v4 – Upgrade and New Features

Today Veeam launched the new version of Backup for Microsoft Office 365 v4.

This version offers the following new features.

  • Leverage object storage to store your Office 365 data, including AWS S3, Azure Blob, IBM Cloud and S3-compatible providers.
    • Reduce costs with object storage and only pay for what you consume
    • Leverage unlimited scalability with unlimited storage capacity
    • Simplify deployment in the public cloud with no complex planning
  • Version 4 also includes added security with at-rest encryption for data in object storage and faster backup performance for SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business.

To find out more details head over to the following locations.

Below is a short video outlining the upgrade procedure, and configuration of the new features.

veeam-backup-for-office-365-v4

Veeam User Groups (Western Canada)

Two VUGs are coming to Western Canada this month.

You can expect to see more locations in the following months. Follow the Veeam User Group and Veeam Canada on Twitter for updates.

Here are the two locations.

  • Calgary
    • Wednesday, April 24th from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m
    • Location: Ruth’s Chris Steak House
      294, 115-9th Avenue SE, 2nd Floor of Calgary Tower, Calgary, AB T2G OP5
    • Register
  • Vancouver
    • Friday, April 26th from 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Location: Steamworks Brew Pub
      375 Water Street Vancouver, BC V6B 5C6
    • Sponsored by ExaGrid
    • Register

What can you expect?

The Veeam User Groups are a technical gathering for people in the Veeam user community. This will provide you the opportunity to network with your peers, and your local Veeam resources. At the same time enjoy a great meal, and educational content.

This is the planned agenda

  • The latest Veeam news and product updates
  • Veeam Availability Suite tips and tricks
  • Veeam ONE
  • Useful technical resources
  • And more!

However, normally any User Group I have attended turns into much more, with open dialog, discussions, and conversations about anything the community wants to talk about.

Let’s not forget free stuff.

Every community member who joins the event will be entered for the following.

All attendees will also be entered in a raffle to win a complimentary hotel stay at the Fountainebleau (value at $1,800) and one free pass to attend VeeamON (value at $900) in Miami, Florida (flight not included)! the drawing will be on April 30. Learn more about VeeamOn

VeeamOn 2019

Summer is around the corner, you want to feel the heat a little earlier? Where can you go? VeeamOn!

This year it will be hosted in Miami, FL @ the Fontainebleau Resort, from May 20th to the 22nd!

Annotation 2019-03-18 202535

What can you expect this year?

  • Veeam Certified Engineer Training
    • 50% off training
    • 3 days of instructor-led training
    • Training will occur before the main event
  • VeeamOn Conference
    • 2 days of information from
      • Veeam
      • Partners
      • Industry leaders
      • Practices from around the globe
    • Meet, and socialize with your peers
    • The Expo Lounge
    • Get details on what is coming, before anyone else
    • Of course a party
      • By the pool with Flo Rida

Here is a sample of the sessions you can expect

  • Supercharge the Veeam Scale-out Backup Repository with Veeam Cloud Tier Deep Dive
  • Veeam DataLabs Deep Dive: Testing, Restore Options and More
  • Ultimate Guide to Veeam Cloud Mobility: Tips, Tricks and Use Cases
  • Veeam Backup & Replication Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them
  • Veeam ONE Deep Dive on New Capabilities
  • Veeam Agents for Microsoft Windows and Linux: Advanced Agent Deployment, What’s New and Tips
  • Veeam Availability Orchestrator: Getting Started with DR is Easier Than Ever
  • Cloud Native Backup Made Easy with Veeam Availability for AWS
  • Architecture, Installation, and Design for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
  • Introduction to Automated Deployments of Veeam Backup & Replication for Deployment Agility
  • MSP Configuration and Usage of Veeam Availability Console
  • Advanced Veeam Availability Orchestrator Use Cases and Configuration
  • Automate Yourself Out of a Backup Job — Advanced PowerShell & API Usage
  • Healthcare: What You Need to Know in 2019
  • Veeam Storage Integration Deep Dive
  • Tips and Tricks from R&D
  • Top 7 Worst Practices when Using Veeam Backup & Replication
  • Let’s Manage Agents
  • Secrets to Design an Availability Infrastructure for 25,000 VMs
  • Veeam Capacity Tier & Veeam Cloud Mobility Under the Microscope

To learn more, and register head over to the VeeamOn Website. If you are a VMUG member you can save with the following code VO19-VMUG-100

Please make sure to let your Canadian contacts @ Veeam know you are going, I heard from a little birdie there could be a special get together for you!

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange 2013 Beta

Everyone who uses Veeam today is familiar with the product Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange. It has made item level recovery a dream; you almost wish people would delete email, just to use it….. no not really, but that is how simplified the process is. Version 6.5 supports Microsoft Exchange 2010, however today you can get the Beta for version 7 that supports both Microsoft Exchange 2010 and 2013. The beta works great; it will be fully integrated with Veeam Backup and Replication v7. With the beta not everything works as seamless when it comes to mounting the backup directly to the Veeam Explorer console, but it will when it is fully released. If you would like to download the Beta head over to Veeam and get started.

What has the new version brought to the table?

· Support for Exchange 2013

· Improved engine of restoring items back to the Exchange Server

What Features do you get?

· Explorer like interface that allows you to look into your Exchange Backups and locate things quickly with a familiar interface.

· Search capabilities across one or many mailboxes; quickly find what you are looking for.

· Ability to export to a PST file with no commands to run, export to MSG files to store in a folder, or send as attachments.

· Recover to the original mailbox or a different one.

· No Agents! For backup or restores

· No need to restore the backup

· No special backup, if you already have Exchange 2013 backups you can even use them. Even if the backups came from another source. You just need to point the tool to the Exchange Database File (EDB)

Beta Requirements

· Veeam Backup & Replication 6.5

· Microsoft Windows 2008 or later (64-bit)

· Microsoft Exchange 2010 or 2013

· Microsoft Outlook 2010 or later 64-bit, only if you want to export PST

Install

**To install the v7 Veeam Explorer you will need to uninstall the previous version.

Go to the Control Panel, and launch “Program and Features” and remove “Veeam Explorer for Exchange”

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Extract the files from “Veeam_Explorer_for_Exchange_7.0.0.481” you should now be able to execute “VeeamExplorerForExchange.msi”

The first screen you will see is the welcome screen, click “Next”

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Accept the “EULA”

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Choose your install location.

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At this point you are ready to install

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Within a few seconds the install is complete.

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Now the real work begins, Restore time

With the beta version like I mentioned above you need to do a couple of extra steps. Please remember these extra steps are just for the beta, and when it is fully released you will not have to do this.

Open up the Veeam Backup & Replication console. In the left window expand “Backups” and click on “Disk”, in the right window you will now see all your backups. Expand the disk that contains your Exchange 2013 backup. Right click the backup and select “Restore Guest File (Windows)”. This will mount the backup to your Backup Server. In my setup the location is “C:\VeeamFLR\Exchange02”.

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At this point you should see the “Restore Wizard” pick the restore point you would like to recover data from.

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Click “Next” and enter in a restore reason if you would like.

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Click “Finish” and wait a few moments while the backup mounts to your server.

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At this point you should see the following screen. In the ribbon at the top of the screen you will see “Exchange Items” we are now going to click that and it will launch the Veeam Explorer Console. clip_image013

If this is your first time running the Veeam Explorer console, we do need to do one extra step. We need to provide the application with the Exchange Database Storage Engine file (ese.dll) you can locate this file from your Exchange server. In my setup I have copied the file to my backup server and stored it in a folder on the C Drive called ExchangeDLL. The location of the file on your Exchange Server resides in the bin folder my setup its located at “C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V15\Bin” Once you have copied the file to your backup server we are going to point Veeam Explorer to the proper location. **You only have to do this once**

Click “Options”

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Click “Browse” for the version of the ese.dll you want to specify.

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Locate the file you copied from your Exchange Server, click “open” then click “ok”.

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This is the section where we point Veeam Explorer to the mailbox database. Click “Add Store”

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You will be prompted with the following window. You now need to locate your EDB file, you may have more than one Mailbox Database, if you do select the one where the mailbox resides that you need.

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The file location will vary, depending on your setup. However the database file will be in the same folder location as it is on your Exchange Server. Remember all we are doing is looking at a mounted copy of your Exchanger Server Backup. Once you have the file located, select it and click “open”

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You are now told “online Exchange backup detected, log replay is required” this is normal, and now the logs will be replayed to the database. Click “Recover”

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Explorer view of your Exchange Database is visible. From here you can see all users who are located in this mailbox database.

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We are going to go ahead and restore some items. But first we need to delete some! From my Administrator account I am going to go ahead and delete everything from the account including e-mails, calendar items, and tasks. You will need to take my word for it. Like I said I deleted everything from my account, I want to restore all the items. Here I could go and restore the entire administrator mailbox, but I want more control. In this example I will go ahead and use the “Advanced Find” and add the criteria that I want to show any item over 1KB in size which happens to be everything in that account.

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At this point I am ready to restore the email back to it original location. I have selected all the items I want to recover, right clicked an item and click “Restore to…”

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If you notice from the information below, I am also restoring this email to a server that is not part of the same domain as my backup server. But it is no issue; we have the ability to specify different credentials. I populated the Mailbox account I want to restore the items, but this could have been any mail account in my Exchange Organization.

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The CAS server address should be populated; you can change this if you must. You can also select the location to restore the items; you can put everything back to the original location or specify a different folder.

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Here you can select if you want to only restore changed items, deleted items, and if you would like to mark all restored items as unread.

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Once you hit restore you will see a status window.

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When the Job completes you will get a status window to let you know the outcome of the restore. In my case I didn’t delete a contact so the items merged. Even though this was a small restore it only took 15 seconds! Imagine the hero you can become when you can restore items to someone’s email within a few minutes.

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You don’t always have to restore to the production Exchange Server. Below I will explain your other options.

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Open: Allows you to open the item within Veeam Explorer to look at the item in more detail.

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Save to .msg file: from here you can save the item as a .msg to a location of your choosing

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Save to Desktop: Will save the file as a .msg to the desktop

Send to: Attaches all the items to an email that you can send directly to another mailbox, and from within Veeam Explorer.

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Export to .PST file: Export a selected amount of items or the entire mailbox to a .PST file. You can specify the filename and the location

Export to Desktop\Mailbox: This will automatically export your selection to the desktop with the name of the mailbox.

Veeam Explorer for Exchange also comes with the Veeam Backup Free Edition. Even with this being a beta feature it is rock solid. If you are not running Veeam today head over to www.veeam.com and check out all the great solutions Veeam has developed to ease the stress for Virtualization administrators around the world. You can always tell the Administrators who run Veeam; they are the ones who look well rested with a simile on their face.

Veeam Cloud Backup Edition

I have had a little bit of free time the last couple of nights….. that I enjoyed every minute in the Lab looking at the new product release from Veeam. Veeam Cloud Backup Edition is a new product from Veeam that gives you the ability to move your Veeam Backup’s off to 15 Cloud Storage providers, any that support OpenStack, and even Local/Remote File Shares. What does this give us? An Affordable solution for off-site backup of our Virtual Environment with no re-design of our local backup processes. Make sure to head over to the Veeam website and get more great products to help manage and protect your Virtual Infrastructure.

Key Features

Cloud-Agnostic – Support for 15 different public storage clouds

Encryption – Up to AES-256-bit encryption this is done on the server before transmission.

Compression – Saves time and Money! Data is compressed before sending to the cloud.

Cost Estimation – You can set limit by GB or Dollar, Makes sure you don’t go over your Storage Budget.

Job Notifications –  email to keep you informed on your backups copied to the cloud

Bandwidth scheduling – Control bandwidth in real time, and based off of Local or WAN locations.

Licensing

All components of Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition use the same license file. The license file should contain a Cloud backup option. If you use a license without the Cloud backup option that you previously obtained for Veeam Backup & Replication, you will not be able to use Veeam Cloud Backup. When you go to launch the application you will get the following error.

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System Requirements

Veeam Cloud Backup Console

Specification Requirement
Hardware CPU: any modern x86/x64 processor (minimum 2 cores recommended)

RAM: 4 GB

HDD: 25 MB

Network: 1 Gbps

OS Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the following operating systems are supported:

· Microsoft Windows XP SP3

· Microsoft Windows Server 2003 SP2

· Microsoft Windows Vista SP2

· Microsoft Windows Server 2008 SP2

· Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

· Microsoft Windows 7 SP1

· Microsoft Windows 8

· Microsoft Windows Server 2012

Note that Microsoft Windows 8 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012 are not supported for the file-level restore from the cloud scenario.

Software .NET Framework 4.0 (included in the setup)
Cloud Storage A registered cloud service account.

 

Installation

The installation of the this product is very fast, and painless. That is one of the reasons I enjoy working with Veeam products.  You need to keep in mind when installing Cloud Edition, it has to have all of its components installed on the same local machine as the Veeam B&R SQL Database. The reason is to get all the integration working correctly, with the integration you will see the History of the Cloud Jobs from within the Veeam B&R Console.

Prerequisites

– Of course make sure it meets the System Requirements

– Make sure you have the proper license file

– From above highly recommended to install Cloud edition on the same machine as the SQL Database.

Screenshot of Install

For this installation I already have a version of Veeam B&R already running, I am only showing the Veeam Cloud Backup Install.

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You can now choose your User Mode. To sum it up all users can have the same settings and plans, or they can have different plans and settings for their own account. I am going with the Common Setup. But you could see the use case for this.

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You can change your install location, I’m moving mine to my D Volume. I just find it easier to manage. You can go ahead with the defaults.

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Time to watch the progress, but you won’t be waiting long.

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Took all of 3 Minutes from the point I launched the installer.

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First Launch

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The Welcome Tab is your first landing spot where you can go ahead and setup your backup plan. All the other tabs are practically empty right now until you create a Backup Plan and start running them.

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Under the File Menu you will get to see all your Cloud Storage Vendors. I don’t think anyone will be displeased with the choices. If you do not have a Cloud Storage Vendor at the moment you can start your shopping now. You can even select Amazon Glacier, and start to use that for very low cost storage for archive data.

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From the Screen Shot above you will also see Export configuration and Import Configuration. This gives you the ability to export your Backup Plans and restore them on another server.

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From the tools menu you can select “Change Service Account” this will allow you to run the Cloud Console under a different service account, if you need to change authentication for a Backup/Restore. Network Credentials gives you the ability to use different credentials for different network paths, very handy option.

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Now we get into the options. You can set Application preferences, connection attempts, bandwidth schedule, Global Purging settings, proxy, logging and advanced settings.

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Create a Backup Plan

I do not have a Cloud Storage Vendor Account. For my testing I am going to be using a Shared folder that is not part of my Lab Domain.

The first thing I am going to do is setup network credentials for that path.

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Time to complete the Backup Plan Wizard.

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Next setup is select your Cloud Storage “In my case I will select File System” and create a new account. From the Advanced link, you can choose a Backup Prefix that will allow you to have more than one Job go to the same bucket but be able to identify it easily.

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With our Storage defined we now need to give the Plan a name, and decide if we want to store the plan configuration in the Storage. The default is yes. I agree that it is a good choice, this way if the server you are running the Cloud Backup’s from is no longer with you, you have the configuration for the job saved offsite.

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Backup Mode

You have two main choices

Advanced Mode –  You can use Encryption and supports Versioning of Files. But you can only access your files with Veeam Cloud Edition manager.

Simple Mode – You can use any file manager to access your files, however encryption and versioning is not supported.

Really the choice is yours, but I like the Advanced mode where I can use Encryption to protect my data, and also the ability to keep versions of files. Custom Mode basically does a vanilla replication. You may be very interested in the last option to force using VSS, this will be quite useful if another process is accessing your files.

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Now it is time to go ahead and select your Backup Source. I am going to select a Veeam Backup folder called Critical VM_s.

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The Advanced Filter is just that, it lets you choose exactly what you want to replicate or what you don’t want to replicate. Along with the ability to skip folders, and choose files that were modified within a certain date/time.

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Now we get into Compress and Encryption. I am going to select compress all files, and do AES 128 Bit Encryption *** Please do not forget your Encryption Key, that could turn into one bad day when you need it to restore *** You can also select to encrypt your file names.

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Purge Options can be pulled from the Global settings in the options, or you can set different ones per Job.

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Schedule gives you a few options. You can do it manually, specific date, recurring, or real-time. With real-time it will monitor the folder and check it every 60 Sec for any changes. It will store the Changes locally, and every 10 Minutes move it to your cloud storage.

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Pre / Post Commands will allow you to execute a command before or after the Job. Depending on the result of the command the job will continue or fail.

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Notifications can send off Email alerts, and can also generate a Windows Event log entry.

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look over your summary and make sure all looks as you had planned.

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Now with a Backup Plan in place the Welcome Screen has changed. It now shows our new Storage, and Backup plan. The Backup Plan tab is the place to go if you want to run a Job, view it’s progress, or make changes.

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The Backup Storage Tab gives us a view into our Storage, and gives us the ability to restore files from the location, or delete them.

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Backup Plan Execute

Now that I have my plan configure, and just finished doing a full backup of two VM’s. I am going to move that to my backup storage.

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This is going to be a fairly small transfer of about 14.3 GB’s. To start the Backup Plan launch the Cloud console and go to the Backup Plans Tab, and click the link “Run”

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click the down arrow on the right to get more details

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The Backup has completed

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The Email Notification

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From the Backup Storage Tab you can view your files

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From within the File Share this is what you will see. D$ are where the files reside in an encrypted format, meaning from this location I can look at the files, but can’t do anything with them. CBB_Configuration is where the configuration for the Backup Plan is stored.

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Command Line Trigger Backup Plan

You may be asking yourself, well….. I want to run a backup job from Veeam B&R, then have it automatically run a Cloud Backup to my Off-Site Storage? That you can! Veeam Cloud Backup has a little tool called cbb.exe it is located at the install location for Veeam Cloud (C:\program files\Veeam\Cloud Backup\cbb.exe) To learn more about it just go ahead and run the command with no arguments or the ?. Also Veeam Cloud Backup Help from within the console has a full section related to the CLI.

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But all we want to do is trigger a Cloud Backup after the Veeam Backup is complete. To get a list of Backup plans run cbb.exe plan –l the plan I want to trigger is VM Different-Storage.

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The command that trigger this pan would be as follows

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We now know the command we will need. Go ahead and open up notepad, paste the command, and save it as a bat file. Lets go edit our Veeam Backup Job. As you can see we can enter in a post command from the Advanced options from the Storage settings. I’m going to go ahead and save the changes.

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Going to start the Job again with the new post command.

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Once the Job is completed the post command runs and then we run the cloud backup.

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Restore Time

Time to test the restore, no point replicating this data if we can’t restore it.

First thing I am going to do is delete two files.

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Let’s restore them. Go to the Cloud Backup Console and go to the Backup Storage Tab. Expand your location where the files should exist.

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You will see the two files I deleted from my Backup Folder. I have selected them, right clicked and now going to restore them to their original location.

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Just going to do this once, no need to save

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I’m going to restore the latest version. This is where Versioning comes into play if you did the advance mode.

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In this case I want to restore to the original location.

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These files were encrypted and still are, we need to have the password to complete the restore.

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Make sure all is as it should be.

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The progress of the Job

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It took all of 30 secs, but again this is local storage and no compression needs to take place.

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You can check now under the History Tab to see the two files that were restored.

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My files are back where they should belong.

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Take Away

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed something amazing about the new Cloud Backup……. It can replicate any file, I didn’t go into detail on it, but I have done other Job’s of just random files, without an issue. Veeam could have built this product to block any other type of replication that wasn’t a Veeam Backup, but they didn’t. Which I thank them for that, it makes my business case that much easier. I think when I put this in my environment I am going to find many more uses for it. For what this product is going to cost in the overall picture of data protection and security, I am getting… What about you?

To find out all the details, have a look here