Tag Archives: Veeam

Veeam Availability Console 2.0 Update 1 Important Patch Release

Earlier this month a patch was released for Veeam Availability Console 2.0 Update 1. Contained in the list of fixes is an important note about those that manage Windows Agents through VAC that are sending backups via backup copy jobs. In short there was an issues with the reporting and billing leading to some incorrect value for the tenant quota usage.

There are also a number of other resolved issues including some monitoring and alarm fixes as well as for those using the ConnectWise Plugin. The patch is advised to be deployed to all VCSPs running VAC especially those with tenants sending backup copy jobs as mentioned above.

To apply the patch, head to the VeeamKB here 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 both MSI packages as administrator on the server.

The first one updates the VAC server.

The second one updates the ConnectWise Manage Plugin. Once completed the patches are applied and VAC 2.0 Update 1 is up to date running on version number Server Version 2.0.2.1807. Note that updated Windows for Agent Builds have been pushed out and can be upgraded as per my post a few months back.

References:

https://www.veeam.com/kb2694

Video – Protecting AWS and Hybrid Workloads with Veeam and N2WS

Back in April, I was lucky enough to present at the AWS Summit in Singapore. The session was a joint one with Alex Thomson from N2WS on how Veeam and N2WS are protecting native workloads within AWS and also extending that out to protecting Hybrid workloads sitting on-premises back to AWS or within VMware Cloud on AWS. The session video is embedded below and goes for about 30 minutes.

Alex and I talk about Veeam’s vision for Intelligent Data Management, an introduction into N2WS, a look at VTL solutions for offsite backups and finish out with an introduction into how Veeam works natively with VMware Cloud on AWS.

Veeam has pioneered the market of Availability for the Always On Enterprise by helping enterprises meet recovery time and point objectives (RTPO) of less than 15 minutes on any cloud or hybrid platform. Veeam recently acquired N2WS, a leading provider of cloud native backup and DR solutions providing backup automation and instant recovery for AWS workloads. Come and hear how N2WS is leading the backup and recovery of EC2 instances and native AWS workloads, how Veeam VTL technology leveraging the AWS Storage Gateway offers offsite cloud repositories as well as how Veeam is offering leading availability solutions for VMware Cloud on AWS.

Speakers

– Anthony Spiteri, Global Technologist, Product Strategy, Veeam.
– Alexander Thomson, Sales Director EMEA & APAC, N2WS

Released: Backup for Office 365 2.0 …Yes! You Need to Backup your SaaS

Last week the much anticipated release of Veeam Backup for Office 365 version 2.0 (build 2.0.0.567) went GA. This new version builds on the 1.5 release that was aimed at scalability and service providers. Version 2.0 adds support for SharePoint and OneDrive. Backup for Office 365 has been a huge success for Veeam with a growing realisation that SaaS based services require an availability strategy. The continuity of data on SaaS platforms like Office 365 is not guaranteed and it’s critical that a backup strategy is put into place.

Version 1.5 was released last October and was focused on laying the foundation to ensure the scalability requirements that come with backing up Office365 services were met. We also enhanced the automation capability of the platform through a RESTful API service allowing our Cloud & Service Providers to tap into the APIs to create saleable and efficient service offerings. In version 2.0, there is also a new set of PowerShell commandlets that have been enhanced from version 1.5.

What’s New in 2.0:

Office 365 Exchange was the logical service to support first, but there was huge demand for the ability to extend that to cover SharePoint and OneDrive. With the release of version 2.0 the platform now delivers on protecting Office 365 in its entirety. Apart from the headline new features and enhancements there are also a number of additional ones that have been implemented into Backup for Microsoft Office 365 2.0.

  • Support for Microsoft SharePoint sites, libraries, items, and documents backup and restore.
  • Support for Microsoft OneDrive documents backup and restore.
  • Support for separate components installation during setup.
  • Support for custom list templates in Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint.
  • Support for comparing items with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange.
  • Support for exporting extended logs for proxy and controller components.

We have also redesigned the job wizard that enhances setup, search and maintaining visibility of objects.

Architecture and Components:

There hasn’t been much of a change to the overall architecture of VBO and like all things Veeam, you have the ability to go down an all in one design, or scale out depending on sizing requirements. Everything is handled from the main VBO server and the components are configured/provisioned from here.

Proxies are the work horses of VBO and can be scaled out again depending on the size of the environment being backed up. Again, this could be Office 365 or on-premises Exchange or SharePoint instances.

Repositories must be configured on Windows formatted volumes as we use the JetDB database format to store the data. The repositories can be mapped one to one to tenants, or have a many to one relationship.

The API service is disabled by default, but once enabled can be accessed via a URL to view the API commands in Swagger, or directly via the API endpoint.

Free Community Edition:

In terms of licensing, VBO is licensed per Office 365 user in all organizations. If you install VBO without a license, you will trigger Community Edition mode that allows you to have up to 10 user accounts in all organizations. This includes 1 TB of Microsoft SharePoint data. The Community Edition is not limited in time and doesn’t limit functionality.

Installation Notes:

You can download the the latest version of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 from this location. The download contains three installers that covers the VBO platform and two new versions of the Explorers. Explorer for Microsoft OneDrive for Business is contained within the Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint package and installed automatically.

  • 0.0.567.msi for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
  • 6.3.567.msi for Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange
  • 6.3.568.msi for Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SharePoint

To finish off…It’s important to read the release notes here as there are a number of known issues relating to specific situations and configurations.

Links and Downloads:

VeeamON Forum Sydney and Auckland…Not too Late to Register!


Back in May, we held VeeamON in Chicago where we launched Veeam’s vision and strategy to lead the way in intelligent data management. One of the great things about VeeamON is that it spawns a series of VeeamON Forums and Tours globally. There is no other vendor that is committed to taking their message around the world and hitting as many cities as possible. Last week I was in Malaysia for the VeeamON Forum there and this week I’m heading over to Sydney for VeeamON Forum there on Thursday, and then jumping over to Auckland for the event there on Tuesday.

The regional VeeamON event’s give the local teams an opportunity to take the VeeamON message to local partners, customers and prospects. Content is derived from the main VeeamON with local touches added to suit the regions. It’s excellent to have our Co-CEO, Peter McKay headlining the Sydney event, with other executives traveling in for the event. We also have Dave Russell who recently joined us from Gartner presenting in both Sydney and Auckland.

As mentioned, I’ll be in Sydney where I’ll be presenting on What’s coming from Veeam in 2018 and also co-presenting with VMware talking about how Veeam is leading the way in backup and recovery for VMware Cloud on AWS workloads. For the Auckland event, I’ll be doing a main-stage demo and presenting the What’s coming in 2018 session as well as a look at Veeam Availability Console 2.0. I always love presenting in my home region and looking forward to not only presenting the sessions, but also engaging with customers and partners.

There is still time to register for the events if you are local to those cities. The registration and agendas are listed below. There is a lot to take in on the day, with two tracks (Business and Technical) as well as a number of ecosystem partners sponsoring the show floor. This is a seriously well attended event historically and there is a lot to be taken away from it.

https://go.veeam.com/veeamon-forum-aus
https://go.veeam.com/veeamon-forum-nz

Hope to see you there in Sydney or Auckland

Veeam 9.5 Update 3a – What’s in it for Service Providers

Earlier this week Update 3a (Build 9.5.1922) for Veeam Backup & Replication was made generally available. This release doesn’t contain any major new features or enhancements but does add support for a number of key platforms. Importantly for our Cloud and Service Providers Update 3a extends our support for vSphere vSphere 6.7, vSphere 6.5 Update 2 (with a small caveat) and vCloud Director 9.1. We also have support for the April update of Windows 10 and the 1803 versions of Windows Server and Hyper-V.

vSphere 6.7 support (VSAN 6.7 validation is pending) is something that our customers and partners have been asking for since it was released in late April and it’s a credit to our R&D and QC teams to reach supportability within 90 days given the amount of underlying changes that came with vSphere 6.7. The performance of DirectSAN and Hot Add transport modes has been improved for backup infrastructure configurations through optimizing system memory interaction.

As mentioned, the recently released vCloud Director 9.1 is supported and maintains our lead in the availability of vCloud Director environments. Storage snapshot only vCloud Director backup jobs are now supported for all storage integrations tht support storage snapshot-only jobs. Update 3a also fully supports the VMware Cloud on AWS version 1.3 release without the requirement for the patch.

One of the new features in Update 3a is a new look Veeam vSphere Client Plug-in based on VMware’s Clarity UX. This is more a port, however with the announcement that the Flex based Web Client will be retired it was important to make the switch.

In terms of key fixes for Cloud and Service Providers, I’ve listed them below from the VeeamKB.

  • User interface performance has been improved for large environments, including faster VM search and lower CPU consumption while browsing through job sessions history.
  • Incremental backup runs should no longer keep setting ctkEnabled VM setting to “true”, resulting in unwanted events logged by vCenter Server.
  • Windows file level recovery (FLR) should now process large numbers of NTFS reparse points faster and more reliably.

Veeam Cloud Connect
Update 3a also includes enhancements and bug fixes for cloud and service providers who are offering Veeam Cloud Connect services, For more information relating to that, please head to this thread on the Veeam Cloud & Service Provider forum. A reminder as well, that if you are running Cloud Connect Replication you need to be aware that clients replicating in on higher VMware VM Hardware versions will error out. Meaning you need to either let the customer know that the replication cluster is at a certain level…or upgrade to the latest version…which is now vSphere 6.7 that gives Version 14.

For a full list check out the release notes below and download the update here. You can also download the update package without backup agents here.

References:

https://www.veeam.com/kb2646

Released: Veeam Availability Console Update 1

Today, Veeam Availability Console Update 1 (Build 2.0.2.1750) was released. This update improves on our multi-tenant service provider management and reporting platform that is provided free to VCSPs. VAC acts as a central portal for Veeam Cloud and Service Providers to remotely manage and monitor customer instances of Backup & Replication including the ability to monitor Cloud Connect Backup and Replication jobs and failover plans. It also is the central mechanism to deploy and manage our Agent for Windows which includes the ability to install agents onto on-premises machines and apply policies to those agents once deployed.

What’s new in Update 1:

If you want to get the low down from the What’s new document can be access here. I’ve summarised the new features and enhancements below and expanded on the key ones below.

  • Enhanced support for Veeam Agents
  • New Operator Role
  • ConnectWise Manage Plugin
  • Improved Veeam Backup & Replication monitoring
  • New backup policy types
  • Sub-tenant Accounts and Sub-tenant Management
  • Alarm for tracking VMs stored in cloud repositories
  • RESTful APIs enhancements

RESTful APIs enhancements: VACs API first approach gets a number of enhancements in Update 1 with more information stored in the VAC configuration database accessible via new RESTful API calls that include:

  • Managed backup server licenses
  • Tenant descriptions
  • References to the parent object for users, discovery rules and computers

As with the GA, this is all accessible via the built in Swagger Interface.

Enhanced support for Veeam Agents: VAC Update 1 introduces support for Veeam Agents that are managed by Veeam Backup & Replication. This adds monitoring and alarms for Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows and Veeam Agent for Linux that are managed by a Veeam Backup & Replication. One of the great features of this is the search functionality which allows you to more efficiently search for agent instances that exist in Backup & Replication and see their statuses.

New Operator Role: While not the Reseller role most VCSPs are after this new role allows VCSPs wanting to delegate VAC access to their own IT staff to take advantage of the new operator role without granting complete administrative access. This role allows access to everything essential to remotely monitor and manage customer environments, but restricts access to VAC configuration settings.

ConnectWise Manage Plugin: ConnectWise Manage is a very popular platform used by MSPs all over the world. VAC Update 1 includes native integration with ConnectWise Manage. The integration allows VCSPs to synchronize and map company accounts between the two platforms, integrated billing, enabling you to use ConnectWise Manage to generate tenant invoices based on their usage and the plugin allows you to create tickets based on triggered alarms in VAC. The integration is solid and based on VACs strong underlying API driven approach. More importantly, this is the first extensibility feature of VAC using a Plugin framework…the idea is for it to just be the start.

Alarm for tracking VMs stored in cloud repositories:  A smaller enhancement, but one that is important for those running Cloud Connect is the new alarm that allows you to be notified when the number of customer VMs stored in the cloud repository exceeds a certain threshold.

Scalability enhancements: Finally there has been a significant improvement in VAC scalability limits when it comes to the number of managed Backup & Replication servers for each VAC instance. This ensures stable operation and performance when managing up to 10,000 Veeam Agents and up to 600 Backup & Replication servers, protecting 150-200 VMs or Veeam Agents each.

References and Product Guides:

https://www.veeam.com/vac_2_0_u1_release_notes_rn.pdf

https://www.veeam.com/documentation-guides-datasheets.html

https://www.veeam.com/availability-console-service-providers-faq.html

https://www.veeam.com/vac_2_0_u1_whats_new_wn.pdf

Installing and Managing Veeam Agent for Linux with Backup & Replication

With the release of Update 3 of Veeam Backup & Replication we introduced the ability to manage agent from within the console. This was for both our Windows and Linux agents and aimed to add increased levels of manageability and control when deploying agents in larger enterprise type environments. For an overview of the features there is a veeam.com blog post here that goes through the different components and the online help documentation is also helpful in providing an detailed look at the ins and outs.

Scouring the web, there has been a lot written about the Windows Agent and how that’s managed from the Backup & Replication console, but not a lot written about managing Linux Agents. There theory is exactly the same…Add a Protection Group, add the machines you want to include in the Protection Group, scan the group and then install the agent. From there you can add the agents to a new or existing backup job and manage licenses.

In terms of how that looks and the steps you need to take. Head to the Inventory menu section and right click on Physical & Cloud Infrastructure to Add Protection Group. Give the group a meaningful name and then to add Linux machines select Individual or CSV method under Type. In my example I chose to add the Linux machines individually and added then added the machines via their Host Name or IP Address with the right credentials.

Under Options, you can select the Distribution Server which is where the agent will be deployed from and choose to set a schedule to Rescan the Protection Group.

Once this part is complete the first Discovery is run and all things being equal the Linux Agent will be installed to the machines that where added as part of the first step. I actually ran into an issue upon first run where the agent didn’t install due to the following error shown below.

The fix was as simple as installing the DKMS package on the servers via apt-get. Asking around, this was not a normal occurrence and that it should deploy and install without issue. Maybe this was due to my Linux server being TurnKey Linux appliances…in any case, once the package was installed I re-triggered the install by right clicking the machine and selecting Install Agent.

Once that job has finished we are able to assign the Linux agent machines to new or existing backup jobs.

As with the Windows Agent you have two different Job modes. In my example I created a job of each type. The result is one agent that is in lock down mode meaning reduced functionality from the GUI or Command line while the other has more functionality but is still managed by the system administrator. The differences between both GUIs is shown below.

From the Jobs list under the Home menu this is represented by the job type being Linux Agent Backup vs Linux Agent Policy.

Finally, when looking at the licensing aspect, once a license has been applied to a Backup & Replication server that contains agent licenses, an additional view will appear under the License view in the console where you can assign or remove agent licenses from.

From within Enterprise Manager (if the VBR instance is managed), you also see additional tab views for the Windows and Linux Agents as shown below.

References:

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/agents/introduction.html?ver=95

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/agentforlinux/userguide/license_vbr_revoke.html?ver=20

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/agents/agent_policy.html?ver=95

Using Terraform to Deploy and Configure a Ready to use Backup Repo into an AWS VPC

A month of so ago I wrote a post on deploying Veeam Powered Network into an AWS VPC as a way to extend the VPC network to a remote site to leverage a Veeam Linux Repository running as an EC2 instance. During the course of deploying that solution I came across a lot of little check boxes and settings that needed to by tweaked in order to get things working. After that, I set myself the goal of trying to automate and orchestrate the deployment end to end.

For an overview of the intended purpose behind the solution head to the original blog post here. That post was mainly focused around the Veeam PN component, however I was using that as a mechanism to create a site-to-site connection to allow Veeam Backup & Replication to talk to the other EC2 instance which was the Veeam Linux Repository.

Terraform by HashiCorp:

In order to automate the deployment into AWS, I looked at Cloudformation first…but found that learning curve to be a little steep…so I went back to HashiCorp’s Terraform which I have been familiar with for a number of years, but never gotten my hands dirty with. HashiCorp specialise in Cloud Infrastructure Automation and their provisioning product is called Terraform.

Terraform is used to create, manage, and update infrastructure resources such as physical machines, VMs, network switches, containers, and more. Almost any infrastructure type can be represented as a resource in Terraform.

A provider is responsible for understanding API interactions and exposing resources. Providers generally are an IaaS (e.g. AWS, GCP, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack), PaaS (e.g. Heroku), or SaaS services (e.g. Terraform Enterprise, DNSimple, CloudFlare).

Terraform supports a host of providers and once you wrap your head around the basics and view some example code, provisioning Infrastructure as Code can be achieved with relatively no coding experience…however, as I did find out, you need to be careful in this world and not make the same initial mistake I did as explained in this post.

Going from Manual to Orchestrated with Automation:

The Terraform AWS provider is what I used to create the code required to deploy the required components. Like everything that’s automated, you need to understand the manual process first and that is where the previous experience came in handy. I knew what the end result was…I just needed to work backwards and make sure that the Terraform provider had all the instructions it needed to orchestrate the build.

the basic flow is:

  • Fetch AWS Access Key and Secret
  • Fetch AWS Key Pair
  • Create AWS VPC
    • Configure Networking and Routing for VPC
  • Create CentOS EC2 Instance for Veeam Linux Repo
    • Add new disk and set size
    • Execute configuration script
      • Install PERL modules
  • Create Ubuntu EC2 Instance for Veeam PN
    • Execute configuration script
      • Install VeeamPN modules from repo
  • Login to Veeam PN Web Console and Import Site Configuration.

I’ve uploaded the code to a GitHub project. An overview and instructions for the project can be found here. I’ve also posted a video to YouTube showing the end to end process which i’ve embedded below (best watched at 2x speed):

In order to get the Terraform plan to work there are some variables that need modifying in the GitHub Project and you will need to download, install and initialise Terraform. I’m intending to continue to tweak the project and complete the provisioning end to end, including the Veeam PN site configuration part at the end. The remote execution feature of Terraform allows some pretty cool things by way of script initiation.

References:

https://github.com/anthonyspiteri/automation/aws_create_veeamrepo_veeampn

https://www.terraform.io/intro/getting-started/install.html

 

Quick Post – Configuring Key Based Authentication for AWS based Veeam Linux Repository

I’ve been doing a little more within AWS over the past month or so related to my work with VMware Cloud on AWS and the setting up of EC2 instances to use as Veeam Linux Repositories. When deploying a linux based instance in AWS you set a key pair to the instance at the time of deployment. You then download the private key pem file and use that to remotely connect to the instance when desired.

In my testing, I wanted to configure this EC2 instance as a Linux Repository. When creating a new repository you need to set up the Linux server with the key pair. To do this you need to select the Add Linux Private Key drop down in the new Linux Server window.

Next you need to enter the username of the EC2 instance which in this case is centos (best practice here is to create a new repository user and elevate to root but for my testing using the provided) and then load up the pem file that contains the private key. You don’t need to enter in a Passphrase.

The check box to Elevate specified account to root is also selected. Accept the server thumbprint as shown below.

Once accepted the Veeam Linux components will be installed and all things being equal you will have a Veeam Linux based repository ready for action that lives remotely on an EC2 instance.

Once complete you can tag the location against the repository and now use it as a backup target.

So there you go, a quick post on how to get an EC2 Linux instance up and running in Veeam Backup & Replication as a Linux Repository.

VeeamON 2018 Recap

VeeamON has come an gone for another year and it is an exciting time to be in the (hyper) availability industry. There has been a significant shift in the way that backup and recovery is thought about in the IT Industry and Veeam is without question leading the way in this space. We have been the driving force of change for an industry that was once seen as mundane yet necessary. This year we did not announce any new products or features but more importantly laid the ground work for what is to come with our new vision and strategy. To be the leading provider of intelligent data management solution for a world where data is now highly distributed, is growing at exponential rates and where hyper-availability is desired.

What does that exactly mean?

Well for me it is an evolution of our messaging that what presented in August of 2016 where the Veeam Availability platform was first launched. The platform it’s self has evolved over the past eighteen months with the release of Veeam Availability Orchestrator, Veeam Availability Console, Backup for Office 365, both the Windows and Linux agents and more recently the pending releases of our Nutanix AHV backup and support for AIX and Solaris. Put that together with the acquisition of N2WS for AWS availability and you can see that we are serious about fulfilling the promise of the vision laid out during the event.

2018 Highlights:

Apart from delivering three sessions, my highlights revolve around my discussions with customers and partners and getting face to face feedback on how we are doing. This is critical to our function in the Product Strategy team but for me personally it allows me to interact with some of the best innovators in the service provider landscape. On that note, another highlight was the inaugural Veeam Innovation Awards of which I was a voting panel member along with Michael Cade and Jason Buffington. It was great to see four VCSPs win recognition and awesome to have Probax (a local Perth company) included as part of the initial group of winners.

From the Show Floor:

I have copied in a number of media interviews and daily wraps below that go into more detail about the event, it’s announcements and the messaging that we are putting forward as a leader in the space. Enjoy the discussions below and I am already looking forward to VeeamON 2019…I have a feeling it’s going to be massive!

 

Veeam Cloud Announcements:

Veeam expands multi-cloud solutions at VeeamON 2018

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