Registration for Veeam’s annual vendor exhibition has been open for a few days. Once again this year, VeeamON will take place as a free virtual conference. So register today and enjoy great presentations by various Veeam experts. Not only will you benefit from your registration, but for every registration Veeam will donate $3 to the Girls Who Code (@GirlsWhoCode) initiative.
As a little goodie you have the opportunity to receive a Veeam Swag Box when registering until April 22nd. So don’t wait too long, register today and we’ll see each other at #VeeamON 2021!
Today’s Homelab session dealt with the creation of a short customer demo of the Veeam Backup & Replication functionality SureBackup. As I have already implemented several SureBackup jobs for other customers, I was confident that I could quickly finish configuring the environment. For those who have not worked with SureBackup before, Veeam provides an excellent guide in their Help Center. You can find this guide here. Unfortunately the whole thing did not work out as expected. Already at the beginning I made a crucial mistake which made the creation of the demo a nerve-wracking adventure. More on this in a moment. First of all, for those of you who have no idea how the creation of a SureBackup job works, I would like to give a short outline.
Recently I got the chance to redesign the existing backup environment of a customer. The customer has been successfully using Veeam Backup & Replication for years, but the environment has been growing over the years and therefore the backup environment has been adjusted from time to time. After an unpleasant data loss mid-year, the customer decided to give us the task of revising his backup environment.
As part of the design, we decided to leave all components of the backup environment outside the customer’s productive Active Directory domain and only connect where absolutely necessary. In general this works without problems, only the installation and configuration of additional, Windows-based Managed Servers to use them for example as remote backup repository requires some additional attention. If we try to add the Managed Server in the Veeam Backup & Replication Console and do not use the default Account Administrator (UID 500), the installation of the necessary Veeam Services fails due to Remote UAC being enabled by default.
As we do not want to use a standard account in our design (a general recommendation), we use dedicated service accounts and therefore rely on the second solution. For those of you who don’t want to read the Microsoft article here are the steps you need to perform on the managed server.
Launch regedit (Click Start, type regedit and press ENTER).
Navigate to the following register entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
Create a new DWORD value (32-Bit) with the following name: LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy
Assign the new DWORD the value 1.
After creating the registry entry, adding the Managed Server and installing the Veeam Services works without any problems.
Right before my vacation I reached a goal, which was actually already on my list for 2019. I tried and managed to get the Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE) certification in the 2020 edition. This was also my first online proctored exam. So in the following I would like to tell you why it took so long since my Veeam Configuration and Management training in 2019 and what experiences I made with the 2020 exam in the „Remote Edition“.
Most of my customers now use tag-based backup with Veeam Backup & Replication to protect their business-critical applications and services. This ensures that they no longer need to perform any configuration within the backup software to protect their workloads. Only the individual adjustments of the Guest Credentials for Application-Aware Processing have to be done in the Veeam Console. The added value you have by doing this I have already covered in another blog post. In the ever accelerating IT world and the changes that come along with it, it is extremely important for my customers to be able to make fast and reliable statements about the data backup status of certain systems. Since we use vSphere tags to perform nearly all of our backup administration from within vCenter, it would be consistent to have the appropriate status information available at this location as well. This is where the Notification Settings within the Advanced Backup Settings come into play. How you can configure simple status updates in vCenter without installing additional plug-ins or tools, and what you should consider when doing so, I‘ ll show you below.
Yesterday I had a scheduled update of his Veeam Backup & Replication installation with one of my customers. We planned to go from version 9.5 Update 4b (184.108.40.20666) to version 10 GA (10.0.0.4461).
As usual, I created an encrypted configuration backup before the update for safety reasons. How this works and why you should encrypt the configuration backup you can read here and here. I prefer to be a little more cautious at this point, before I have the trouble in hindsight. However, I did not need the configuration backup. The update went smoothly and without problems.
Since I carried out the update during the day, it was not possible, in agreement with the customer, to perform a complete backup run directly after the update. Therefore, I did a short functional test using the Quick Backup capabilities of Veeam Backup & Replication. There were no problems here either.
Today the customer called and reported about failed backup jobs. So I looked into it:
This week I reworked the backup of a customer. The customer is using Veeam Backup & Replication to back up their VMware vSphere infrastructure. For whatever reason (the customer couldn’t give me the exact reasons), a single backup job was created for each VM.
Apart from the poor deduplication rate, these over 100 backup jobs were anything but easy to manage and monitor. We looked at different ways to group the backups and after a short time on the whiteboard we came to a first solution: VMware vSphere Tags. These tags exist since vSphere 5.1 and are the successors of the Custom Attributes. Within Veeam Backup & Replication, they can be used as selection criteria for the VMs to be backed up in a backup job.
First we had to create the appropriate category (Backup) and tags within vSphere. Then we were able to use the newly created tags as selection criteria within the backup job.
The customer operates some hosted VMs for external customers. The VMs to be backed up are in different domains with different credentials. For this reason, we faced the challenge of having to use different credentials for different VMs within a single job. This is generally no problem for Veeam Backup & Replication. But when working with container objects like tags (but also clusters, folders, datastores, etc.), the functionality is a bit tricky to find. If we look at the settings for Credentials under Guest Processing, we first see only the container object for which we can assign certain credentials.
But if we click the Add… button and switch to VMs and Tags again, we have the possibility to expand our selected tag and see all VMs to which our tag is currently assigned.
If we now select all VMs for which we would like to assign individual credentials and press Add, we will be able to store the correct credentials in the next step.
Even if it is not immediately recognizable at first glance, the assignment of individual credentials works not only with the dedicated selection of individual VMs, but also with the use of container objects such as tags. This enables a highly automated implementation of backup jobs even in complex environments with different credentials. New VMs only need to be given the appropriate tag and the backup administrator must receive the appropriate credentials if more than just backing up the entire VM is required.