First look at Veeam Endpoint Backup BETA

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As a blogger writing about Veeam software I was invited to participate on the new BETA program for Veeam Endpoint Backup a few days before public BETA will be available. So let's have a look at this new tool from Veeam.

Endpoint Backup (VEB) is a free to use tool for backing up endpoints aka clients. VEB is not written to be used in virtual environments as Backup&Replication is but rather to be used on physical systems like laptops, desktops and even servers. The hardware is negliable as VEB runs as a Windows process and thus only requires one of the supported operating systems. Currently all Windows versions with at least Windows 7 kernel (including server OS) are supported.

Beside the main product binaries the installer installs a localdb version of MS SQL Server 2012. This is a special, ressource-minimized version of SQL Server that is used to store all required information (e.g. configuration, schedules, backup files etc.) for VEB. Additionally there is some driver installation required for the virtual disk driver subsystem to open the backup files later. One thing to mention here, there was no reboot required after installing the product. It can be used instantly. That's because VEB only uses VSS to create snapshots of volumes and files so no additional driver layer has to be installed.

After first installation I took a look at the additional ressources needed by VEB. The SQL Server takes ~280MB of RAM, the VEB tray program that is used to configure VEB needs ~40MB and the Veeam service takes another 25MB. So in sum VEB needs ~320-350MB of RAM on my client system (Windows 8.1) in idle mode. During backup VEB spawns another process that takes additional 40MB. So plan for an amount of 400MB for VEB. Not a problem on modern clients but needs to be considered.

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Veeam v7 configuration data is corrupt during setup

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Two days ago I started a new installation of Veeam B&R. The cause for this is one of my favourites: the customer wanted to replace a combination of Symantec BackupExec and vRanger. Both tools definetly do some kind of backup but I like the easiness of VBR and if you can replace two backup solutions with a single one, do it!

So I had a server in front of me where the two backup tools mentioned before were installed. As the customer wanted to reuse this server and keeping access to the backup data at the same time I decided to do a parallel installation of VBR beside the two other tools. Such an installation will definetly cause problems and that's where I ran into. To make things worse, this system acts as vCenter instance too.

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Tape backup slow after upgrade to Veeam v8

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A few days ago I upgraded one of our customers Veeam Backup&Replication v7 installation to v8. Normal backups and restores ran at nearly same speed. Problems started when I used tape to copy the backup files to a long-term storage medium.

Since the upgrade backup jobs to tape ran at exactly 18,4MB/s and didn't ever exceed or drop down from this speed. It seemed like any kind of bandwidth throtteling is in place. Restores also drop in speed from formerly 60-70MB/s (it's an LTO5 drive directly attached to the backup server via 6Gb SAS) to ~30-35MB/s. Clearly the hardware should do a better job and in v7 it did the same backups at 70-80MB/s in average with peaks up to 120MB/s.

Surely the load on the source disk system is a factor but even with no load on the storage the backups and restores keep this low speed.

I searched the Internet and especially the Veeam forum and found a post from someone having exactly the same issue but with the new tape role enabled thus transferring data from the backup storage to the tape server over LAN and then over SAS to tape. Surely this setup could be limited by the LAN performance but the reported 25MB/s should be no problem for a GBit LAN.

Checking for any bandwidth throtteling setup didn't show any misconfiguration as there was no throtteling enabled at all.

Veeam support checked the problem and found that the low speed was also related to a problem that v8 is handling the source backup files in a wrong way. This behavior is related to handling reverse incrementals in a wrong way thus copying more data to tape then needed. There is a KB article published in the meantime and a hotfix available. As you already may guess if you see the description of this KB article this hotfix won't be the solution to the performance problem. And you're right. Even after applying this hotfix, tape jobs remain at the same speed as before.

In my case, this will render tape integration more or less useless as I have to copy several TB to tape. No fun with <20MB/s.

I opened a case with Veeam but have to produce more logs to help Veeam support finding the problem. I expect (and hope) a solution to be available within the next week.

I post this article becasue I don't think this performance problem is related to the used hardware (IBM server with IBM tapelibrary and IBM storage) but will also hit users with other hardware. So it seems to be more general problem or a misconfiguration that is introduced during upgrade. This is possible as especially the tape support is changed through the implementation of the tape proxy role.

I will keep you informed about any news on that topic. In the meantime I would recommend to test your setup BEFORE the upgrade, get some logs that proves your tape installation to be correct and working fast and test your setup after upgrade. If you encounter the same performance hits as I did consider a rollback if there hasn't been a solution published in the meantime.

Update 24.11.2014

As soon as I uploaded the required logs to Veeam support I got nearly instantly (okay, after 30min but that's really fast) an update to my call. Veeam support checked the logs and found out that the limitation to 18MB/s was a result of enabled network encryption. Strange as copy to tape should be only local in my environment as I have backup to disk storage and tape drive attached to the same host. BUT in my environment as a result of reusing a server that has formerly other services installed, there was a second NIC configured using an official IP address. I don't know why this was done but it forced the Veeam installation to think it has to transfer data from an official IP to the private IP the server really used to do communication. In that case, Veeam encrypts network traffic by default. This setting is currenlty hard-coded and can't be disabled within the Veeam GUI. Veeam support send me a registry key that forces encryption to be disabled globally:

HKLM\Software\Veeam\Veeam Backup and Replication\DisablePublicIPTrafficEncryption = 1 where DisablePublicIPTrafficEncryption is a new DWORD to be manually set.

After restart of the Veeam backup Server service the copy to tape runs at ~90MB/s what is the vaule I've seen before upgrade to v8.

FlexBackup meets Veeam Cloud Connect

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With Veeam Backup and Replication v8 just around the corner and the new possibilities for simple cloud based backup comming with this new release, TechniData IT Service GmbH extends it's FlexBackup program to support this new version.

Formerly FlexBackup required either a VPN connection or was based on simple SSL encrypted traffic over the internet. With the new Veeam Cloud Connect (VCC) feature integration cloud storage is even more simple to accomplish. All Veeam users already have the required licenses included in every paid version of Veeam B&R, so no additional costs here. All they have to do is upgrade to v8 as soon as it is general available.

On the other side, the provider only has to join the VCC program. Therefore the provider already has to part of the Veeam Cloud Provider (VCP) program. TechniData already has the VCP membership so joining the VCC program is a consequent step.

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Veeam Backup&Replication v8 is available

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Veeam released the new version of Backup&Replication v8. The new version contains more than 200 new features and functions and several bugfixes to v7 patch4.

Additionally v8 GA code will include a workaround for the newly found VMware CBT bug.

As a VCP we already got access to the RTM code so I had already the chance to take a closer look to the new features. Most of them are improvements "under the hood" and only a few could be seen as "killer features" but they all make VBR an even better and more comprehensive backup solution.

Let's have a look at the "What's new" document to see which features are really cool and a must-have. You can find the document here.

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Veeam Backup for endpoints FREE

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During VeeamON, Veeam released a new product line called Veeam Backup for Endpoints. This new product line covers backups from PHYSICAL clients and laptops. The client can run Windows 7 or higher or even Windows Server 2008 and higher.

Backups can be stored on NAS-shares, internal or external harddisk drives attached to the client or even VBR repositories. The backup data is compressed and saved in well known VBK format. Backups can be triggered by logon or logoff or a scheduler.

Restores are available on a file, volume or harddisk base and can be even bare-metal.

Seeing this feature set you can compare the solution to tools like Acronis TrueImage BUT as the name addon "FREE" already implies, this tool is completely free to use at no charge.

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Best practice guide for using Veeam with HP storage systems

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Veeam and HP worked very closely together to get an unmatched integration of HP storage into Veeam Backup and Replication. To get the best out of this combination, HP and Veeam released an official best practice whitepaper available here. (You have to register at Veeam to download the whitepaper). A "probably" older version of this guide (Nov 2013 vs August 2014 that is available at the Veeam site) is available here without registering.

Another hint if you are a german (speaking) customer. TechniData IT Service GmbH releases two bundles with HP hardware, storage, networking, VMware vSphere hypervisor and Veeam software (Backup&Replication and VeeamONE) where all components are highly integrated and tested to provide a superior grade of stability, performance and functionality. You can choose between a entry level bundle containing two hypervisor servers with VMware vSphere, HP StoreVirtual VSA software, ProCurve networking and Veeam Backup Essentials Enterprise Plus on a dedicated HP backupserver.

Veeam HP Bundle2

The performance bundle contains three hypervisor servers on VMware vSphere, 3PAR StoreServe 7200 FC-based central storage system, FC-SAN components and a dedicated backupserver running Veeam Backup Essentials Enterprise Plus.

Both bundles leverage the tight integration of Veeam B&R into HP storage.

If you are interested in these bundles contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or wait a few days to let the bundles be available on the official website at www.its-technidata.de

Veeam Hyper-V off-host proxy requirements

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During one of my last projects we were faced with non-working off-host proxy backup mode in a Hyper-V environment. We used Server 2012 R2 on the hypoervisor hosts and Server 2008 R2 on the backup proxy. This should work as Veeam explicitly stated within their user guide that the versions between the Hyper-V server and the off-host backup proxy only SHOULD coincide but not MUST. For my understanding of Veeam this is correct as I will only use the Hyper-V on the backup proxy when I do a Sure Backup but during normal off host backup jobs the OS version of the proxy shouldn't have any effect.

As the customer only had a Server 2008R2 license we installed it on the backup proxy and ran into multiple problems with using it as a off-host proxy. During a technical support nightmare (it took almost 4 weeks to get an answer from Veeam that was more than just a guess) Veeam told us that this is an error in the user guide and that the versions HAVE TO be the same.

This was the first time I was a bit disappointed from Veeam and their support but I hop this article helps others to make not the same mistake as we did by reading the user guide to exactly.

 

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