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? ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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!

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

Iโ€™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. โ€“ 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. โ€“ 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.

Letโ€™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, Whatโ€™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 โ€” 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!