Category Archives: Backup

Veeam Velocity 2019 – Update 4 Launch and Innovation Awards

This time next week we will be well into Veeam Velocity 2019. In previous years, this event acts as our global sales kick off however this year we have incorporated partners into the event and will be using it as a platform to launch the next major version of our Veeam Availability Suite. Specifically we are launching Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4 which includes a ton of new features and enhancements to our platform and I can truly say that we have raised the bar when it comes to innovation in the availability space.

There are a number of internal and partner related sessions happening over the three days with the highlight being the offical Launch Event for the Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4. This will be live streamed from the event and you can register to view the stream here. During the event I will be on stage with other members of the Veeam Product Strategy team where we will be showing live demo’s of some of the key new features of Update 4.

For those attending, you can view all sessions and build your session schedule through the Velocity 2019 app. You can find the app on the Google Play or Apple App Store by searching “CrowdCompass AttendeeHub” in the store. Download the app then search for Velocity 2019!

You can access the online version of the app here.

Veeam Innovation Awards @ Velocity 2019

At Velocity 2019 will host the second edition of our VIAs for partners. The Veeam Innovation Awards program seeks to celebrate Veeam partners who are thinking differently about IT as a key strategic component to meet the demands of today’s business. Similar to the first VIAs held at VeeamON 2018 last year, the second iteration of the awards heavily features VCSPs who consistently lead the way when it comes to pushing the boundaries of innovation in our space.

This time around we have already announced the main prize winners:

  • iLand
  • Offsite Data Sync
  • PhoenixNAP
  • Zettagrid

What we are doing for Velocity is announcing a best of show by way of having the public vote on each of the winners video submission which effectively go through each of their own innovative technology solutions and pitch their solutions to the voting audience. The voting is only open until this Friday, so I would encourage all people who work in and around Veeam to cast their vote.

References:

https://www.veeam.com/blog/join-veeam-launch-event.html

https://go.veeam.com/innovation-awards-2019

VCSP Important Notice: 9.5 Update 4 RTM Is Out…With vCloud Director Replication Support and more!

Today, Veeam has made available to our VCSP partners the RTM of Update 4 for Backup & Replication 9.5 (Build 9.5.4.2399). Update 4 is what we term a breaking update, meaning that if a Cloud Connect tenant upgrades from any previous 9.5 version before VCSPs this will break backup or replication functionality. With that in mind the RTM has been made available for our VCSP partners to ensure it is installed and tested before being pushed out to production before the GA release.

Veeam Backup & Replication releases from 9.0 (build 9.0.0.1715) can write backups via Cloud Connect to a cloud repository on 9.5 Update 4. For Cloud Connect Replication, existing Hardware Plan based replicas can go to a cloud host on 9.5 Update 4. To take advantage of the new vCloud Director based replication, tenants need to also be on Update 4.

As I detailed yesterday, there are a number of updates that need to be applied to Veeam ONE, Veeam Availability Console and Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.

VCSP Features and Enhancements:

Update 4 is a very significant update and contains a number of enhancements and known issue fixes with a lot of those enhancements aimed at improving the scalability of the Backup & Replication platform that VCSPs can take advantage of. One important note is around the new Instance-based licensing model that all VCSPs should be aware of. There is an initial guide here, information in the VCSP Forums and there will be emails sent to explain the changes.

  • vCloud Director support – Massive Feature Enhancement! Simplifies setting up Veeam based DRaaS for Service Provides with vCD, and enhances tenants experience with additional capabilities provided by vCD
  • Capacity Tier – Move tenant’s backup files as they age out of operational restore window to a cheaper storage – AWS S3, Azure Blob or on premises object storage
  • Gateway pools – Create and assign pools of cloud gateways to the tenants
  • Tenant to tape jobs – Cloud Connect backups can be written to tape with the hand of GFS media pool and Backup to Tape jobs
  • Tenant-driven password change – Tenants can now change the password they use to connect to the service provider by editing one on the registered service provider
  • Platform Support – vCloud Director 9.5, VMware 6.7 Update 1 and Windows 2019 (1809) support.

There has also been a lot of work to improve and enhance scalability in the Backup & Replication Cloud Connect functionality to accomodate the increasing usage of Veeam Agent for Windows and Linux of which there is a new version (3.0) coming at the same time of Update 4 GA. For Veeam Availability Console, Update 4 will be taken advantage of fully in the upcoming major release a little later after the Update 4 GA.

Conclusion:

Once again, Update 4 for Veeam Backup & Replication is an important update to apply for VCSPs running Cloud Connect services in preparation for the GA release which will happen in about two weeks at our Velocity event. Once released I’ll link to the VeeamKB for a detailed look at the fixes but for the moment, if you have the ability to download the update do so and have it applied to your instances. For more info in the RTM, head to the VCSP Forum post here.

Important Updates for VAC, VBO and Veeam ONE … Update 4 is Coming!

Things are moving here at Veeam with the impending release of Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4. In preparation for the release there have been a number of update patches released for our supporting platform products. Importantly for our Veeam Cloud and Service Providers who are expected to receive RTM details any day now, it’s important to understand that the following patches need to be applied ASAP before your main IaaS Veeam or Cloud Connect instances are updated to Update 4.

https://www.veeam.com/kb2832 – Veeam ONE
https://www.veeam.com/kb2835 – Veeam Availability Console
https://www.veeam.com/kb2809 – Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

For Veeam ONE there is a little manual work to be done by way of an MSSQL script. If not executed before Update 4 is deployed, Veeam Cloud Connect monitoring and reporting in Veeam ONE 9.5 Update 3 will stop working.

For Veeam Availability Console,

the patch update is a Cumulative Patch for Update 1 of 2.0. This adds immediate compatibility support for Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4 as well as Cloud Connect 9.5 Update 4 compatibility support which is how VAC does it’s communicating between the server instance and remote sites for monitoring and management of remote Backup Servers and Agents. Note that there are new features in Update 4 which will not be supported in this version of VAC…the next major release of VAC will add supportability for those features not supported.

As well as the Update 4 compatibility, there are also a number of resolved issues, the full list of which can be viewed in the VeeamKB. To apply the patch, head to the VeeamKB and follow the instructions. You need to have at least VAC 2.0 Update 1 Build 2.0.2.1750 as shown below.

From there, make sure you have a backup of the database, close down the Web UI and execute all three MSI packages as administrator on the server.

Once completed the patches are applied and VAC 2.0 Update 1 is up to date running on version number Server Version 2.0.2.1913. Note that updated Windows for Agent Builds have been pushed out and can be upgraded as per my post a few months back.

For Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365,

It’s important to note that standalone instances and also those installed ontop of instances with Veeam Backup & Replication Update 4, which would be most VCSPs who are utilising the Self Service feature through Cloud Connect need to be updated. DO NOT install on those running Update 3 or 3a. You need to running at least 2.0.0.567 or 2.0.0.594 before installing this cumulative patch before updating.

Like the Update patch for VAC, this is a Cumulative Patch and also includes a number of important resolved issues relating to SharePoint and OneDrive, Exchange Online, restore operations and general server fixes. The full list can be found in the Resolved Issues section of the VeeamKB. For those with tenants that run the Explorers for Exchange or SharePoint seperate to an installation of Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 or those running pre Update 4 versions, there are also upgrades for both contained in the patch release.

All set for Update 4!

With all that in place, VCSPs should be ready to deploy the RTM of Update 4 when it becomes available. Stay tuned for more information on that front. There is lots to love about Update 4 for Service Providers and customers alike!

 

AWS re:Invent 2018 – Veeam and N2WS Recap and Thoughts

There was so much to take away from AWS re:Invent last week. In my opinion, having attended a lot of industry events over the past ten or so years, this years re:Invent has left the industry with a lot to think about it! AWS vigorously defended their position as the number one Public Cloud destination (in their eyes) while trying to lay a path for future growth by expanding into the true enterprise space. Also, with the announcement of Outposts set a path to try and dominate the hybrid world with an on-premises offering.

Instead of writing down my extended thoughts it’s more consumable to hear Rick Vanover and myself talk about the event from a Veeam perspective in the short embedded video below. I’ve also embedded a video with David Hill and Sebastian Straub covering things from an N2WS perspective, as well as talk about the N2WS related announcements at re:Invent 2018.

I’ve also posted the Veeam session video here:

Veeam’s AWS re:Invent 2018 Session Posted

This week, myself and David Hill presented at AWS re:Invent 2018 around what at Veeam is offering by way of providing data protection and availability for native AWS workloads, VMware Cloud on AWS workloads and how we are leveraging AWS technologies to offer new features in the upcoming Update 4 release of Backup & Replication 9.5.

For those that where not at AWS re:Invent this week or for those who could not attend the session on Wednesday, the video recording has been posted on the offical AWS YouTube page.

We had some audio issues at the start which made for some interesting banter between David and myself…but once we got into it we talked about the following:

  • The N2WS 2.4 Release
  • Veeam VTL and AWS Storage Gateway
  • Update 4 Cloud Tier
  • Update 4 Cloud Mobility
  • Data Protection for VMware Cloud on AWS

I wanted to highlight the Cloud Tier section where I give an overview and quick deepdive into the smarts behind the new repository feature coming in Update 4. The live demo of me using our Patented Instant VM Recovery feature to bring up a VM with data residing in Amazon S3 is a great example of the power of this upcoming feature. Not only does it allow storage efficiencies locally but offloading old data to Object Storage for long term retention, but is also is intelligent enough to recover quickly and efficiently with its Intelligent Block Recovery.

Enhanced Self Service Restore in Backup for Office 365 v2.0

Earlier in the year I gave an overview on the Self Service recovery capability of Veeam Backup for Office 365 which gave Veeam Cloud and Service Providers the ability to offer self service to their tenants for the recovery of Exchange data that’s been backed up on their platforms as a service.

As a bit of a refresher:

Tenant admins communicate with the Service Provider via the Cloud Gateway component which handles flow of data. The Service Provider grants the ability to their tenants so that each tenant can perform self restore operations using Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange. By default, tenants are not able to restore anything from the backup without a Service Provider assistance.

The steps above show the self restore scenarios performed by the Tenant:

  • Tenants use Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange to send restore requests via Veeam Cloud Gateway directly to the Service Provider.
  • On the Service Provider side, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 management server detects a proxy server responsible for processing tenant data.
  • Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 management server locates an associated repository that contains a backup file that belongs to the Tenant.
  • Corresponding backup data is then transferred back to the tenant via Veeam Cloud Gateway.
What’s Changed in v2.0:

As mentioned, one of the big limitations in VBO v1.5 was the fact you could only restore the most recently backed up recovery point which limited it’s usefulness for most administrators looking to take advantage of the feature. That’s changed in VBO v2.0 with the ability to now choose a point in time from the Explorers. This is true for both Veeam Explorer for Exchange and Sharepoint (Which also does OneDrive).

Shown below is a Service Provider view of a restore operation for the Sliema organisation. As with the previous versions you have the ability to use latest or go back to a point in time.

As a reminder…the retention is set against the Backup Repository in VBO. Organisations are assigned to Repositories which dictates their own retention. At the tenant end, once the Veeam Explorer has been launched and the Connect to a Service Provider option has been chosen, you now see similar options to either do the latest, or go to a point in time.

If you go to choose a point in time that precedes the date of the first backup you will get the error below. Once a correct point in time has been selected the Self Service can begin. Shown below i’m able to go back to the 3rd of May 2018 restore point and perform actions on mail items. In this case, I was looking for a AWS Bill that I had deleted out of the mailbox and had gone way past my default Exchange retention settings. Back on the Service Provider end, you can see the active restore job session which is being facilitated through Cloud Connect. Conclusion:

To reiterate, the market for Office365 backups is significant and we have built in some pretty cool technology into Backup & Replication that works with Backup for Office365 that allows easy, self service capabilities that can be productized by Service Providers out of the box. Not only can Service Providers offer services to backup client Exchange, SharePoint or OneDrive Organisations but they can also extend that to offer self service which increases overall operational efficiencies at the provider end while also offering enhanced services to clients.

References:

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/vbo365/guide/vex_sp_add.html?ver=20#pit

Configuring Service Provider Self Service Recovery with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Quick Post – Veeam Backup for Office 365 v2 Important Patch plus Self Service Warning Fix

Last week we snuck out an important cumulative patch for Veeam Backup for Office 365 v2 bring the build number up to 2.0.0.567. The patch is actually fairly significant and I would recommend anyone running VBO to update as soon as possible. It covers Licensing, SharePoint and OneDrive, Group and Shared Mailbox fixes and enhancements as well as general server fixes.

To download and install the update, head to the VeeamKB here. There are some important notes about the upgrade process depending on your deployment configuration.

  • Execute VBO2.0-KB2765.msp as administrator on the Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 server.
  • If there are any remote proxies in your environment please update those as described here 
  • If you use a remote VBO365 console and/or remote VBO365 PowerShell module installation, please contact technical support to assist you in upgrading those components.
Self Service Warning Fix:

Not related to the update, but something that I had happen to me on testing the upgraded VBO instance was that when I went to perform a Self Service through the Veeam Explorer for Exchange or Sharepoint I had the following pop up.

Once hitting ok, I didn’t have the ability to choose a Service Provider connection for the Self Service restore operation. This was the same for both Exchange the Sharepoint Explorer. Working with our support to ensure it wasn’t a regression in the latest patch we found an entry in the Explorer log files that pointed to the issue.

[28.09.2018 13:08:15] <37> Info [CloudCacheSync] Synchronizing provider 119.252.77.83

[28.09.2018 13:08:16] <37> Error Exception while connecting to endpoints [119.252.77.83]
[28.09.2018 13:08:16] <37> Error No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it 119.252.77.83:6180 (System.Net.Sockets.SocketException)

[28.09.2018 13:08:17] <37> Error All cloud gateways are unavailable (Veeam.Backup.Core.CCloudGateSvc+CAllGatesUnavailableException)

[28.09.2018 13:08:17] <37> Error Credentials with id ‘a22f868a-a51a-473f-9f6d-cff9ff250fa3’ were not found (System.Exception)

Basically the issue was caused by the fact that I had an uncontactable Service Provider endpoint configured in the Backup & Replication Server. Once I removed the offending entry in the Service Provider section, I was able to reload the Explorers and have the ability to perform self service recoveries again. It’s probably something that won’t come up under normal tenant circumstances as I connect to multiple Service Providers from my NestedESXi Homelab instance…but something to take note of if the warning appears for you.

References:

https://www.veeam.com/kb2765

Quick Fix: Specified vCloud Director is not supported when trying to add vCD 9.1 to Veeam ONE

Back in May when VMware released vCloud Director 9.1 they also depreciated support for a number of older API versions:

End of Support for Older vCloud API Versions

  • vCloud Director 9.1 no longer supports vCloud API versions 1.5 and 5.1. These API versions were deprecated in a previous release.
  • vCloud Director 9.1 is the last release of vCloud Director to support any vCloud API versions earlier than 20.0. Those API versions are deprecated in this release and will not be supported in future releases.

Due to this, and being mid release cycle, Veeam ONE had issues connecting to vCD instances that where running version 9.1.

The error you would get if you tried to connect was:

Over the past few months i’ve had questions around this and if it was going to be fixed by way of a patch. While we are waiting for the next release of Veeam ONE that is due with Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4 there is a way to get vCD 9.1 instances connected into the current build of Veeam ONE.

There is a HotFix available through Veeam Support to resolve the Known Issue. It involves stopping the Veeam ONE services, replacing a couple of DLL’s and then re-starting the services. Once implemented Veeam ONE is able to connect to vCD 9.1.

So if you have this problem, raise a support case, grab the HotFix and the issue will be sorted.

References:

https://docs.vmware.com/en/vCloud-Director/9.1/rn/rel_notes_vcloud_director_91.html#deprecated

Automated Configuration of Backup & Replication with PowerShell

As part of the Veeam Automation and Orchestration for vSphere project myself and Michael Cade worked on for VMworld 2018, we combined a number of seperate projects to showcase an end to end PowerShell script that called a number of individual modules. Split into three parts, we had a Chef/Terraform module that deployed a server with Veeam Backup & Replication installed. A Terraform module that deployed and configured an AWS VPC to host a Linux Repository with a Veeam PN Sitegateway. And finally a Powershell module that configured the Veeam server with a number of configuration items ready for first use.

The goal of the project was to release a PowerShell script that fully deployed and configured a Veeam platform on vSphere with backup repositories, vCenter server and default policy based jobs automatically configured and ready for use. This could then be adapted for customer installs, used on SDDC platforms such as VMware Cloud on AWS, or for POCs or lab use.

While we are close to releasing the final code on GitHub for the project, I thought I would branch out the last section of the code and release it separately. As I was creating this script, it became apparent to me that it would be useful for others to use as is or as an example from which to simplify manual and repetitive tasks that go along with configuring Backup & Replication after installation.

Script Overview:

The PowerShell script (found here on GitHub) performs a number of configuration actions against any Veeam Backup & Replication Server as per the included functions.

All of the variables are configured in a config.json file meaning nothing is required to be modified in the main PowerShell script. There are a number of parameters that can be called to trigger or exclude certain functions.

There are some pre-requisites that need to be in place before the script can be executed…most importantly the PowerShell needs to be executed on a system where the Backup & Replication Console is installed to allow access to the Veeam PowerShell Snap-in. From there you just need a new Veeam Backup & Replication server and a vCenter server plus their login credentials. If you want to add a Cloud Connect Provider offering Cloud Connect Backup or/and Replication you enter in all the details in the config.json file as well. Finally, if you want to add a Linux Repository you will need the details of that plus have it configured for key based authentication.

You can combine any of the parameters listed above. An example is shown above where -ClearVBRConfig has been used to reverse the -RunVBRConfigure parameter that was executed first to do an end to end configure. For Cloud Connect Replication, if you want to configure and deploy an NEA there is a specific parameter for that. If you didn’t want to configure Cloud Connect or the Linux Repository the parameters can be used individually, or together. If those two parameters are used, the Default Backup Repository will be used for the jobs that are created.

Automating Policy Based Backup Jobs:

Part of the automation that we where keen to include was the automatic creation of default backup jobs based on vSphere Tags. The idea was to have everything in place to ensure that once the script had been run, VMs could be backed up dependant on them being added to vSphere Tags. Once done the backup jobs would protect those VMs based on the policies set in the config.json.

The corresponding jobs are all using the vSphere Tags. From here the jobs don’t need to be modified when VMs are added…VMs assigned those Tags will be included in the job.

Conclusion:

Once the script has been run you are left with a fully configured Backup & Replication server that’s connected to vCenter and if desired (by default) has local and Cloud Connect repositories added with a set of default policy based jobs ready to go using vSphere Tags.

There are a number of improvements that I want to implement and I am looking out for Contributors on GitHub to help develop this further. At its base it is functional…but not perfect. However it highlights the power of the automation that is possible with Veeam’s PowerShell Snap-In and PowerCLI. One of the use-cases for this was for repeatable deployments of Veeam Backup & Replication into POCs or labs and for those looking to standup those environments, this is a perfect companion.

Look out for the full Veeam SDDC Deploy Toolkit being released to GitHub shortly.

References:

https://github.com/anthonyspiteri/powershell/tree/master/BR-Configure-Veeam

Quick Fix – Backing up vCenter Content Library Content with Veeam

A question came up in the Veeam Forums this week about how you would backup the contents of a Content Library. As a refresher, content libraries are container objects for VM templates, vApp templates, and other types of files. Administrators can use the templates in the library to deploy virtual machines and vApps via vCenter. Using Content libraries results in consistency, compliance, efficiency, and automation when deploying workloads at scale.

Content Libraries are created and managed from a single vCenter, but can be shared to other vCenter Server instances. VM templates and vApps templates are stored as OVF file formats in the content library. You can also upload other file types, such as ISO images, text files, and so on, in a content library. It’s possible to create content libraries that are 3rd party hosted, such as the example here by William Lam looking at how to create and manage an AWS S3 based content library.

For those looking to store them locally on an ESXi datastore there is a way to backup the contents of the content library with a Veeam Backup & Replication File Copy job. This is a basic solution to the question posed in the Veeam Forums however it does work. With the File Copy, you can choose any file or folder contained in any connected infrastructure in Backup & Replication. For a Content Library stored on an ESXi datastore you just need to browse to the location as shown below.

The one caveat is that the destination can’t be a Veeam Repository. There is no versioning or incremental copy so every time the job is executed a full backup of the files is performed.   

One way to work around this is to set the destination to a location that is being backed up in a Veeam Job or an Agent Job. However if the intention is to just protect the immediate contents of the library than have a full once off backup shouldn’t be an issue.

You can also create/add to a File Copy job from the Files view as shown above.

In terms of recovery, The File Copy job is doing a basic file copy and doesn’t know about the fact the files are part of a Content Library and as you can see, the folder structure that vCenter creates uses UIDs for identification. Because of this, if there was a situation where a whole Content Library was lost, it would have to be recreated in vCenter and then the imported back in directly from the File Copy Job destination folder location.

Again, this is a quick and nasty solution and it would be a nice feature addition to have this backed up natively…naming and structure in place. For the moment, this is a great way of utilizing a cool feature of Veeam Backup & Replication to achieve the goal.

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