Error: Failed to call RPC function ‘StartAgent’: Timed out requesting agent port for client sessions.

A customer recently reached out to me with the issue below, while I hadn’t seen this issue before I thought I would check to see what I could dig up before they opened a ticket with Veeam support. “Error: Failed to call RPC function ‘StartAgent’: Timed out requesting agent port for client sessions.”

Veeam KB 1922 to the rescue, the cause of this issue is the ‘configuration of a Windows server within the Veeam console being set to have a limited number of ports to use‘ which thankfully can be resolved quite easily. To resolve simply go to the ‘Backup Infrastructure’ section in your VBR (Veeam Backup and Replication) console, go to the properties of any Windows servers that are being used by the job that is failing. So in this customers case, we can start with the backup proxy, then the backup repository, then if the problem still persists we can increase the port range on the VBR server as well. Once the port range is increased we simply click OK to apply the changes, I recommended we start with a relatively small number of ports (50) and increase if the problem still persists.

I haven’t figured out why in this customers case they encountered this port exhaustion issue, I find it curious as I’ve worked on much larger Veeam deployments before that didn’t encounter this issue. Ill need to perform some investigation and report back here once I learn more.

**UPDATE** Restarting the VBR server has resolved the issue without having to increase the port range. If it continues to happen we’ll look at increasing the port range but until then the default settings are good to stay.

 

 

My VMCE-ADO experience

So my first go at the VMCE-ADO exam was way back at New Orleans during VeeamON 2017. That experience could quite easily be described as an A+ for attendance but an F for effort, it was a textbook case of the ‘7 Ps’ and I walked away with a measly 50% result.  Thankfully I was fortunate enough to be using an exam voucher which included a free reattempt so I thought why not give it a go while I can. That exam showed me first hand just how tough it really is but more importantly, I saw what it was going to take in regards to study to make sure I was really ready for the next attempt.

Unfortunately, it has been over a year since VeeamON 2017, in fact, VeeamON 2018 has already come and gone, yet I couldn’t delay sitting the exam any longer as the reattempt voucher was just about to expire. Timing was not the best as we just sold/purchased/moved houses 3 weeks prior and it was my sons 3rd birthday 2 weeks prior. I think I gained a few grey hairs this month… Nevertheless, the exam was booked and I couldn’t reschedule it without getting out my credit card.

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Business Categorisation in Veeam ONE Business View

One of the lesser known features of Veeam ONE is its ability to divide the virtual environment into various groupings and categories, essentially creating a view that is easier to digest from a business standpoint. This view can be valuable when you consider that most tools we would use such as vSphere client or SCVMM/Failover Cluster Manager are often configured to present information and data, for say, a more a technical perspective, something which might not be relevant or even make a whole lot of sense for all business stakeholders. 

 

Both Veeam ONE Monitor and Veeam ONE Reporter will use this categorization provided by Business View. Veeam ONE Reporter, enables us to generate reports and build dashboards based on the categorisation created in Veeam ONE Business View. While Veeam ONE Monitor, we can monitor Veeam ONE Business View groups of VMs, hosts, clusters and storage objects.

By leveraging Veeam ONE Business View to group and categorise these objects into a hierarchy that makes more sense from a non-technical perspective such as office departments, projects, SLAs and much more we can easily review and report on resource allocation and utilisation based on these groupings.

Now that part is out of the way, I wanted to demonstrate how Veeam ONE Business View can be configured to help automate this process. We can configure set & forget rules and policies that organise objects into these group and categories. I’ve written this article to dive further into how one can configure Veeam ONE to categorise our infrastructure.

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Facing the threat of cyberattacks: how does your disaster recovery solution stack up?

It’s a message every IT manager dreads.

‘Your personal files are encrypted by CTB-Locker. To decrypt the files, you need to pay 3 bitcoin.’

Yet, unfortunately, getting locked out of your company’s own data – and then being expected to pay a ransom to get it back – is becoming more common as cybercriminals get craftier. Like pesky bed bugs that have become immune to deterrents, ransomware attacks such as CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, Locky, TorrentLocker and Virlock are constantly evolving to sneak past all the new defences that IT security experts are busy building up.

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Veeam Replication Job Stuck at 99%

Recently I had the opportunity to deploy Veeam B&R utilising Cloud Connect Replication for a customer to replace their existing DR solution. We were running into an issue with a couple replication jobs that were sitting at 99% for longer than I would expect, in some cases for several hours.

I wasn’t sure what it was doing as there was no network traffic, CPU or even disk usage on the on the source that could be detected. The Veeam job showed no tasks currently underway and  I didn’t want to speak to the Service Provider to check their end until I had verified everything was working as expected at the source so I kept digging.

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Veeam Vanguard 2018 nominations are now open

Rick Vanover has posted on the official Veeam blog regarding the opening of the Veeam Vanguard nominations for 2018. This will be the third year of the Vanguard program for which the recipients receive a variety of awesome benefits, one of which is a trip to VeeamON.

Some Vanguards are bloggers, some are active on the Veeam Forums, some are active on Spiceworks sharing a lot of Veeam-specific information or even on the Veeam subreddit, the list goes on for all of the ways Vanguards have engaged with the Veeam community.

If you know anyone that you’d like to nominate, perhaps yourself even, I strongly recommend giving it a go.

Nominations will be accepted until Friday, Dec. 29. You can go through the nomination process here.

Veeam and Backblaze B2 – Introduction

Contents

Introduction
Phase 1 – Create the Backblaze B2 Bucket
Phase 2 – Install and Configure Synology CloudSync
Phase 3 – Configure Veeam Backup Repository
Phase 4 – Create the Veeam Backup Job
Phase 5 – Testing and Tuning
Summary

Introduction

B2 Cloud Storage is an object storage service offered by Backblaze that enables users and organisations to upload files to their heart’s content billed on a per monthly basis using a pay for what you consume model. Backblaze has evolved this object storage service ‘B2’ out of the already successful $5 a month unlimited backup plan which was built from the ground up using Storage Pods. Storage pods are designed in-house by Backblaze, leveraging consumer grade hardware and hard drives in a purpose-built chassis designed to minimise costs, reduce footprint and yield the best dollar per GB possible. For example, using 4TB drives, they can achieve a cost per GB as low as $0.036.

These Backblaze pods, which are now up to revision 6, are literally filled to the brim with hard drives, over 60 of them in fact in a 4U chassis. I recommend that you go and check out more on these awesome units here.

So, Backblaze takes these Storage Pods a step further for B2, by grouping 20 at a time into a Backblaze Vault it enables them to optimise reliability and durability of the entire system.

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ANZ Veeam User Group – Brisbane

The inaugural ANZ Veeam User Group meeting has been scheduled for 6:00 PM on Friday the 22nd of September in BrisVegas.  The location of the meeting will be at the Saxons Office, Level 11 300 Adelaide St Brisbane City.

We are planning for 3 speakers covering a range of Veeam topics and we expect the event to run for 1.5 hours.

The Veeam ANZ User Group has a strong focus on community and networking with other Veeam users so come join us for a wonderful night learning and discussing all things Veeam.

To register, please go to this Eventbrite link.

Indexing guest OS files in Veeam

So you may have noticed that when you’re configuring a backup job in Veeam Backup & Replication there is an option to ‘Enable guest file system indexing’. The menu tells us it will “create catalog of guest files to enable browsing, searching and 1-click restore of individual files” which sounds quite important but then it also says that “indexing is optional and not required to restore instant file level recoveries”. So you may be thinking whats the point of it then or whats the advantage here and should I enable it?

What is it? Allows you to perform searches within guest OS files stored inside the backups without having to mount the backup files first.

How does it work? It’s worth pointing out that Veeam is agentless so this indexing happens without agents, nor does it need to scan the whole file system, instead when a backup job runs, during the guest OS freeze process, Veeam creates a catalog (or index) of the VM guest OS files by directly reading from the NTFS Master File Table (MFT). For a typical VM, the required data is captured and parsed nearly instantly, which Veeam calls Instant Indexing. After the index has been created, this information is stored on the Veeam Backup & Replication server.

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Poor performance on your File to Tape Job?

Are you experiencing poor performance for your Veeam File to Tape jobs? It is likely caused by your SQL Express database that the Veeam B&R server is running from. It may be time to upgrade to a licensed version of SQL Server just as this customer has done below, a job that took 25 hours has now reduced down to 5 hours.

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The new SQL Standard 2016 instance was installed on the same Veeam B&R server where SQL Express 2012 was running.