I received some positive news the other day concerning my Veeam Vanguard 2022 application, I’ve been renewed for another year in the Program. As a Veeam enthusiast, there is no better thing than being a Vanguard member.
For those who haven’t heard about the Vanguard program before, it’s awarded to those who have contributed to the Veeam community.
I recommend anyone interested in becoming a Vanguard to get involved in the Veeam community, whether it be through Veeam Use Groups, the Veeam subreddit or even the Veeam community forums and apply to the Vanguard program during the next intakes.
There are a couple of benefits of becoming a Vanguard including access to roadmaps, betas, free keys, awesome swag and access to those in the know at Veeam.
You can find all the Veeam Vanguards from past and present at the following link: Veeam Vanguard List.
Sending Veeam backups to object storage such as Azure Blob has become a hot topic in the last few years. According to Veeam’s quarterly report for the end of 2021, Veeam customers moved over 500 PB of backups just into the top 3 cloud object storage vendors alone.
With many organisations starting to dip their Veeam toes into object storage I thought I would write a bit more about the subject. This blog post is aimed at helping backup administrators who wish to better understand from a Veeam perspective working with public cloud object storage, specifically Azure Blob.
Compared to the traditional NAS or disk-based block storage Object Storage is a completely different shift in how data is stored and accessed. For example, in object storage, it’s intended that files are not modified. In fact, there is no way to modify part of an object’s data and any change requires deletion and replacement of the whole object.
In Azure terminology, objects are stored in a ‘Blob’, which can be thought of as similar to a volume on a disk but far more scalable. Blob storage is a pay-per-use service. Charges are monthly for the amount of data stored, accessing that data, and in the case of cool and archive tiers, a minimum required retention period. In case you haven’t realised, Blob storage is Microsoft’s object storage solution.
There are numerous methods we can utilise to leverage Microsoft Azure Blob with Veeam Backup & Replication. For example, Azure Blob can be used as an Archive Tier target within a SOBR (Scale-Out Backup Repository) for long-term retention of backups, an archive repository for Veeam NAS Backups and some readers may even be familiar with the external repositories function.
The most popular method is using Blob as a Veeam Capacity Tier which is configurable within a Veeam Scale-Out Backup Repository.
Veeam makes available, for free, Visio stencils available from their website here which are useful for creating Veeam diagrams in Microsoft Visio. These stencils enable specific Veeam components to be illustrated in greater detail instead of relying on generic stencils found in the stock Visio library. I’ve been using these Veeams stencils for several years now while they’ve proven themselves to be beneficial they aren’t short of a few quirks and issues.
Recently, a colleague of mine, David Summers, mentioned he has been working on improving the Azure Visio stencils and could help improve the Veeam stencils the same tool he has developed. For those interested, David has had quite an interesting journey around Azure Services Visio stencils which is definitely worth a read over at his GitHub David-Summers/Azure-Design
After passing the Veeam stencils through his tool, the following changes were implemented.
Icons are now sorted alphabetically
New connections points have been added (North/North East/East/South East/etc)
New Connection points are relative to the centre/size of each icon
Text box is now placed at the bottom of each stencil icon, instead of the middle
Text box will now dynamically resize it’s width and height based on the amount of text
To make icons stand out, drop shadow has been enabled on all icons, this is a personal preference and can easily be disabled
Bonus PNG and SVG icons have been split out so third-party programs outside of Visio that support PNG and SVG can make use of them
The improved Veeam Visio stencils can be downloaded below;
Did you know that you can use DiskSpd to measure and simulate Veeam disk operations such as Active Full, Forward Incremental, Synthetic Fulls, even SureBackup and restore operations? By simulating Veeam disk operations, we can use this tool for troubleshooting Veeam backup and/or restore performance issues.
I wanted to try the tool myself so I’ve recorded some of the results after testing DiskSpd on my home desktop PC.
Was recently troubleshooting an issue with the Veeam Backup Enterprise Management (VBEM) web portal showing ‘Service Unavailable – HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable’. Checking Windows event logs. the following error was recorded.
Turns out this is a known problem when VBEM is deployed on a machine that also has System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) agent installed.
To resolve this issue, it requires temporarily uninstaling the SCOM agent, restarting the VBEM service, verifying the VBEM portal works then finally reinstalling the SCOM agent using a particular method detailed below.
I recently had the opportunity to migrate a small regional office from Hyper-V to VMware by leveraging Instant VM Recovery of Workloads to VMware vSphere VMs available in Veeam Backup & Replication v10. With this latest Instant VM Recovery, Veeam can instantly recover any Veeam backup created by any Veeam product to a VMware vSphere VM. In other words, physical servers, workstations, virtual machines or cloud instance Veeam backups can now be restored to VMware. Veeam even handles the P2V/V2V conversion automatically with it’s own built-in logic. How good is that!
To get started, a backup was taken of the source Hyper-V VMs prior to the scheduled outage window. During the outage window, the source Hyper-V VMs being migrated are powered down and the Veeam backup job is run again to ensure all changes to the VM disks have been backed up. Once the backup has completed, the source VM should not be powered on again.
To start the migration process, browse to the backups, right-click the VM to be migrated and click ‘Instant VM Recovery’ then ‘VMware…’
At the next screen, ensure the selected restore point matches the time for when the VM was shut down and the last backup ran.
While attempting to instantly recover a Hyper-V VM to an ESXi host, Veeam encountered the following error, ‘failed to publish VM %name% Error: One or more errors occurred’.
Some Veeam users were discussing the same symptoms when ‘Server for NFS’ feature is enabled on the Veeam forums. In this particular case, the VBR/repository role is configured on a StoreEasy 1460 which runs Windows Storage Server 2016 standard and ‘Server for NFS’ feature was indeed enabled.
This is the second part of a three-part blog series on Veeam and Pure Storage FlashBlade. In the previous blog post, we configured a Network File System (NFS) share on a Pure Storage FlashBlade as a Veeam backup repository. In this blog post, we will be focusing on configuring SafeMode snapshots to harden the backup files that are residing on the FlashBlade.
Ransomware attacks continue to rise, with constantly evolving sophistication and complexity. A key part of ransomware resilience strategy is backing up data on a regular basis and implementing a strong line of defence against threats targeting the backup data. Adopting industry standards for data protection such as 3-2-1 rule, offline backups and immutable backup storage are effective techniques to protect backup data sets against malicious attacks. Now let’s discuss how to make your FlashBlade system an immutable backup storage target with SafeMode snapshots.
A storage snapshot is a point-in-time, image-level view of data that are impervious to ransomware. This immutability makes them an ideal layer of defense against ransomware. The problem with storage snapshots is they can still be removed by rouge admins or attackers if they gain access to the storage array management. In the case of a Pure Storage system, the deleted snapshots are temporarily stored in a ‘destroyed state’ that is similar to a recycle bin. If these snapshots are not recovered in a timely manner, they will be auto-eradicated and can even be manually destroyed prior to the auto-eradication.
The SafeMode snapshots on the other hand, cannot be deleted, modified, or encrypted either accidentally or intentionally. This prevents the manual and complete eradication (permanent deletion) of data backups that are stored within the FlashBlade. Due to their immutability, the SafeMode snapshots serve as an additional mitigation mechanism against ransomware attacks or rogue administrators.
In this blog, we’ll be configuring an NFS share on a Pure Storage FlashBlade which will be utilised by Veeam Backup & Replication v10 as an NFS backup repository.
Veeam Backup & Replication has supported backups directly from NFS (Direct NFS Access) and restores directly to NFS (Data Restore in Direct NFS Access Mode) natively for a while now but backing up to an NFS share was always a bit of a challenge. Limitations around mounting an NFS share on Windows meant organisations were required to deploy workarounds that required Linux servers and NFS mount points which often ended up in the ‘too hard bucket’ for administrators who preferred the ease of Windows and SMB.
The great news is Veeam Backup & Replication v10 can now natively leverage an NFS share directly without any Linux machines acting as a middleman. In typical Veeam fashion, it’s a simple wizard-driven process to add the NFS share just like any other backup repository types supported by Veeam.
We’ll be using a Pure Storage FlashBlade as the underlying storage for the NFS share in this guide. FlashBlades are great targets for Veeam for a couple of reasons, they provide high performance in a dense form-factor, they support multiple protocols such as NFS, SMB and Object Store in parallel and scaling out is a simple case of adding another blade.
New features in Veeam v10 such as the Multi-VM Instant recovery or data APIs are increasing the storage IOPS demanded which some legacy backup storage are failing to deliver. The FlashBlade being an all-flash storage platform is designed to handle the random I/O traffic that can be generated from large Multi-VM Instant Recovery sessions (aka restore bootstorms).
With the addition of ransomware-proofing backups with PureStorage SafeMode which will be discussed in a later article in this series, it’s pretty easy to see why these devices make great Veeam backup targets.
Configuring the FlashBlade NFS Share
Let’s get started – After logging into our FlashBlade management interface, we are Lets get started – After logging into our FlashBlade management interface, we are greeted with the typical Pure Storage interface, for those familiar with FlashArrays you’ll notice the interface is identical.
VeeamON 2020 was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA from May 4th till May 6th, 2020. Due to current events happening around the world it’s been moved into the virtual space, VeeamON 2020 is going online!!! With two days of live collaboration and interactive experiences starting tomorrow (Wednesday, June 17) at 9AM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Fortunately, Veeam is running with several different timezones in mind so you can build out your agenda and plan your experience by consulting the schedule by time zone. Check out more information here: https://www.veeam.com/veeamon/agenda
Even though it’s going digital, VeeamON is still going to be the best place to go to learn about all things Veeam from a variety of industry experts, the full list of guest speakers can be checked out here: https://www.veeam.com/veeamon/speakers. There are quite a few Veeam Vanguards presenting so I recommend checking them out as well.
Even with a virtual conference, Veeam is making VeeamON 2020 as engaging and interactive for everyone as much as possible. There will be access to live elements from breakout sessions to expert Q&As, demo sessions, the first Techfest —VeeamathON — a virtual Expo Hall.
Wrapping up, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn something more about Veeam from the comfort of your office/home for free. I for one cannot wait to see what Veeam have in store for the next 12 months with new features and enhancements.