Last year I wrote a blog post about my online proctored VMCE 2020 exam experience. Since I took the VMCE 2021 exam a few days ago I do not want to spare you an updated view on my experience associated with the exam. You can find the post about the 2020 exam right here.
Instead of hiding the new badge until the end of the post I am going to tease you with the nice VMCE 2021 Badge right from the start this time.
Last friday I struggled with some of our Dell EMC Datadomain (DD) Systems. I tried to establish a MTree replication between two identical systems. The first few steps worked without an issue, so I was confident to get into the weekend early. But then things changed.
But first things first. Let’s start with the step by step process on how I enabled the replication.
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.