In case you missed it last week, the Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 (Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam One combined) is available for download right now.

Both the What’s New documents are available for Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam One so I am not going to list it all here.

With the new release there is now support for another storage vendor: Nimble! This one is probably the most requested on our forums but besides this it’s a known fact that the people over at Nimble wanted us to work together. I spoke a few times with them at events and they stated they had the need for a proper integration and felt this task was up to Veeam.

If you are looking at upgrading to Windows Server 2016 (or any related application such as Active Directory, SQL Server or SharePoint) make sure you upgrade to 9.5 however keep in mind that the 9.5 release currently does not support vSphere 6.5! This is related due changes under the hood and therefor support is currently planned for update 1 so you might want to hold of on the jump to vSphere 6.5.

Another cool thing about Windows Server 2016 is the new version on ReFS. I am not going to cover these details as Rick Vanover already did this in a blog post but I can tell you it is a big deal and gamechanger for storing Veeam backups.

Personally there are 3 other features in the Veeam Availability Suite I want to highlight.

1. VMware vSphere infrastructure cache

Maintains an in-RAM mirror of vSphere infrastructure hierarchy to dramatically accelerate job start up (Building VM list operation) and user interface responsiveness while browsing a virtual infrastructure.

This approach removes the load from a vCenter Server, making it more available to perform its core infrastructure management duties, and improves backup success ratio in the environments where jobs would often time out or fail due to an overloaded vCenter Server. The cache is maintained up-to-date with real-time updates via a subscription to vCenter Server infrastructure change events.

2. Parallel processing for full VM restore

As the feature title states this restores multiple disks in parallel, similar to the way backup is performed. This technique is automatically used for all disk-based backup repositories (except Data Domain deduplicating storage for which a new improvement has been added by leveraging a custom tailored logic for both backups and restores).

3. Veeam One Scalability

One major improvement is related to Veeam One and are mostly related to under the hood changes but this is a major step forward in terms of enterprise needs. There are 3 improvements towards the data collection engine which achieve this.

Backup data collection mode: In this mode, Veeam ONE collects Veeam Backup & Replication™ data only and skips virtual infrastructure performance data. This allows you to improve scalability of your Veeam ONE server.

Enhanced advanced scalability mode: This mode collects performance metrics that are used in predefined alarms and reports. This allows users to improve scalability of their Veeam ONE server.

Granular performance metrics selection: The enhanced data collection engine now allows users to select individual performance metrics for each monitored object type (e.g. VMs, hosts, datastores), to improve Veeam ONE server scalability.

As a final note make sure to read the release notes for Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam One before upgrading.

If you have any questions or need a demo you can always contact your local Veeam represent or hit me up on Twitter.

Last friday Veeam announced the RC for Veeam Endpoint Backup and with it also the integration towards Veeam Backup & Replication v8.

The video below demonstrates how easy it is to backup any endpoint computer towards the Veeam Backup repository and afterwards export the backup to a VMDK and use it with a virtual machine.

To test this there are 2 requirements:

  • Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE RC has to be installed on an endpoint device
  • Veeam Backup & Replication v8 patch 2 has to be installed

Currently patch 2 is also available as a RC built but it can’t be used on a production server. You will need to install a temporary Veeam server. This is done to prevent any impact on your production server. If you try to install it on your production server the following error will appear:
VBR Patch 2 RC error

What’s new (taken from the forum post)

New Veeam Endpoint Backup features include:

  • Backup directly into Veeam backup repositories.
  • Full support for Bitlocker drive encryption on backup and restore.
  • Ability to control power state of the computer after daily backup.
  • “When backup target is connected” event (former “On storage attach” event) now supports both USB drives and remote storage, and triggers when you connect to a network from which your remote backup target is reachable.
  • Metered internet connections are now detected and not used to perform backup to remote targets.
  • More smart way of handling retries (both in scheduler and UI).
  • Customizable backup destination folder.
  • Support for rotated USB drives.
  • Backup is automatically prevented from starting when a device is running off battery and battery level is less than 20%
    Slightly improved backup performance (local data movers “talk” over shared memory, as opposed to network sockets)
  • Recovery Media enhancement (virtual keyboard w/multi-language layout support, USB 3.0 devices support)
  • New shiny setup!

New B&R features around integration include:

  • Restore guest files and application items from endpoint backups.
  • Export physical disks contents from backup into VMDK/VHD/VHDX virtual disk files.
  • Basic monitoring and management of all incoming backups, including email notifications to B&R admins about endpoint backup status.
  • Ability to assign end users permissions on individual backup repositories (permission settings dialog becomes available upon the first connection
    attempt from Veeam Endpoint Backup to a B&R server, before that it can be accessed by Ctrl-right-clicking the backup repository).
  • Traffic throttling settings from Global Network Traffic Rules now apply to Veeam Endpoint Backup jobs as well.
  • Support for endpoint backups in Backup Copy and Backup to Tape jobs.
  • Ability to encrypt endpoint backup stored in Veeam backup repositorites.

For more information about the current RC check out the Veeam forums.

For more information about Veeam products check out www.veeam.com.

Enjoy!

The title of this blogpost may be a rough choice but it feeds my current thoughts on the current model of the Always-On Business.

Lately I have been meeting a lot of people around protecting their business data and helping them to achieve the Always-On Business. Something that I do notice is that a lot of people/companies have the need for (near-)continuous data protection but the applications which they need to have online all the time 24/7 are far from ready for their needs.

Years ago (before virtualization) applications usually ran on 1 or maybe 2 servers and the need for being online 24/7 wasn’t as big as now. Yet things have changed now and (mostly) thanks to virtualization achieving 24/7 is becoming a must.

While people moved from a server at the office to a (rented) server in a datacenter things drastically changed. Servers got redundant in terms of power, networking and storage. With virtualization most companies even moved away from local storage to some high end storage which is also redundant and provides the capacity for their needs.

Sadly virtualization also had an effect that people used P2V for their applications. This has lead to the fact that applications are outdated and aren’t ready for the new Always-On Business. Over time things have changed luckily and things like loadbalancers, clustering,… improved making it easy to achieve the Always-On business.

The biggest problem I find today is that people have the need for (near-)continuous data protection but they are still stuck with a legacy application and this is the biggest challenge: convincing them to move forward. While they moved on from physical to virtual to enjoy the benefits such as High Availability, DRS, vMotion,… the application within the virtual machine stood still.

I always ask them if there are plans for a short term migration since this will help them even better in the long run. If an application is high available (ready) and all the rest as well achieving the Always-On business becomes a breeze!

The idea I always propose is:
– You have high availability on the datacenter level thanks to multiple power feeds.
– You have high availability on the network level thanks to multiple switches.
– You have high availability on the virtualization level thanks to VMware, Hyper-V, KVM,…
– Change your legacy application to a new platform so that you have high availability thanks to clustering, loadbalancing,…

If you are working on the above scenario and manage to achieve this (or already achieved it) think about the next step! Add backups for fast recovery in case of data loss AND replication for fast recovery in case of a real disaster: you’re on the way to achieve the 24/7 Always-On Business.

I received a question from a customer last week if it was possible to send “Prowl” notifications or text messages using Veeam One by default. Now by default there is no Prowl or text message option but we support 3 things you can do with an alarm:

  • Send email notification
  • Send SNMP trap
  • Run script

It is with the last option “Run script” that we will push the Veeam One alarms using Prowl!

What do you need?

  1. Veeam One server
  2. PHP deployed on the server (explained below)
  3. Prowl script (provided below)
  4. Prowl API key configured
  5. Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 Update 4

PHP installation

First you will need to install PHP 5.3 (or higher) on your Veeam One server.
There are 2 options:

  1. You can download the setup file for PHP 5.3 using PHP.net. Make sure you download the “Installer” version. The install is mostly hitting next.
    Make sure you remember the installation directory!
  2. Download PHP 5.4 (or higher) and extract the zip somewhere (eg: c:\PHP).
    Make sure you rename the default php.ini-production to php.ini. Also make sure that you enable SSL support by adding “extension=ext/php_openssl.dll” in the configuration.

Prowl PHP script

Create a file called “prowl.php” under the PHP installation directory (eg: c:\PHP) with the following code.

<?php
/* 
 * Prowl script for calling Prowl API
 */

// Change this to your API key
$apikey = "CHANGEME";

// Variabeles
$app = "Veeam One";
$title = strtoupper($argv[1]);
$priority = "2";

// Generate the event 
for ($i = 2; $i <= count($argv); $i++) {
	$event = $event . ' ' . $argv[$i];
}

$event = $title . " " . strip_tags(str_replace("'", "", trim($event)));

fopen("https://prowl.weks.net/publicapi/add?apikey=".$apikey."&application=".str_replace(" ", "%20", $app)."&title=".$title."&priority=".$priority."&event=".str_replace(" ", "%20", $event), "r");
?>

In the above code/file you will have to change 1 thing to your API key:

  • $apikey = “CHANGEME”;

You can also download the file in zip format.

If you don’t have an API key yet, go to prowlapp.com website and configure it.

Next step configuring the alarms!

Veeam One Alarm Configuration

Now open up a Veeam ONE Monitor client and head to the alarm management. Select the alarm you want to push and Edit it (double-click or right-click -> Edit) it.
Veeam ONE alarm

In this example I have used the default “VM CPU ready” alarm. Navigate to the “Actions” tab and select “Run script” underneath action. Configure it with the following configuration value:

"c:\PHP\php.exe" "c:\PHP\prowl.php" %5 %4 %2 %3

As you can see there are a few parameters defined:

  • %1 — alarm name
  • %2 — fired node name
  • %3 — triggering summary
  • %4 — time
  • %5 — alarm status
  • %6 — old alarm status

More information about this can be found in our helpcenter.

KEEP IN MIND THAT THE PHP SCRIPT USES %5 – alarm status BY DEFAULT AS TITLE!

Whenever the alarm/trigger is hit you will get an announcement via Prowl from your Veeam One server.

Prowl alerts

And that is it, you are done for this alarm. You can configure more alarms with the same action or use Powershell and configure more alarms at once. 🙂

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