Last year at VeeamON Veeam announced Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE. This free solution is a great success because it is easy to use and it just works.

At VeeamON, Ratmir announced Veeam Backup for Linux that can be used to backup both your Linux servers on-premises as in the public cloud.

Veeam Backup for Linux is an agent-based solution running inside the guest OS. It will support incremental backups with proprietary CBT driver. Fully compatible with LVM (Logical Volume Manager) but we do not leverage LVM snapshots. Our own volume snapshot provider (which doesn’t have the limitations of LVM snapshots) will be included. This solution will be able to take a consistent snapshot of the server’s storage by only using our built-in functionality.

Things which are already known about v1:

  • Agent based
  • Restore from on-premises to the cloud or the other way around
    Veeam Backup for Linux
  • Will support most Debian and Red-Hat based distro’s
  • Backup options: entire server, volume-level and file-level
    Veeam Backup for Linux
  • Support for pre-freeze and post-freeze scripts will be supported to ensure application consistency
  • Management wide there will be a web-based GUI, command line interface (CLI) and the option to work with configuration files (perfect for automation)
  • Integration with Veeam Backup & Replication v9 is coming
    Veeam Backup for Linux

The following is a screenshot from the command line interface GUI (subject to change):
Veeam Backup for Linux

If you ask me this is something a lot of people were asking and waiting for and the best thing is that this solution is free!

Veeam Availability Suite v8

Update 3 for Veeam Backup & Replication v8 is now available and brings some improvements to the product.

Most important is the support for Windows 10 (as guest VM and supported operating system for installing Veeam Backup & Replication) and the support for vSphere 6.0 Update 1 (this resolves the SSL issue).

New Features and Enhancements

Microsoft

  • Support for Windows 10 as guest virtual machines (VMs), including application-aware processing.
  • Support for installation of Veeam Backup & Replication and all of its components on Windows 10.

VMware

  • Support for vSphere 6.0 Update 1.
  • Added ability to convert “VMware Tools not found” job warning to informational event. To enable this behavior, set DisableVMwareToolsNotFoundWarning (REG_DWORD) registry value to 1.

Linux

  • Support for the following additional SSH ciphers: aes128-ctr, aes192-ctr, aes256-ctr, aes192-cbc and aes256-cbc.

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

  • Log truncation is automatically skipped for stopped and unsupported SQL Server instances to prevent errors from being logged.
  • Preferred network settings will now also apply to transaction log backup jobs.
  • Support for SQL Servers using non-standard port number.

Veeam Explorer for SharePoint

  • Support for ADFS authentication.
  • Support for UPN credentials.

SureBackup

  • Proxy appliance will now respond to ping from within Virtual Lab to prevent firewalls automatically blocking its network as public.

Other

  • Removed weakly encrypted username and password logging from guest processing components using networkless (VIX) guest interaction mode. Veeam thanks Pasquale Fiorillo and Francesco Ongaro of ISGroup for vulnerability discovery.
  • Improved performance of certain user interface operations, such as opening Backups node in large environments.
  • Reduced load on SQL Server hosting product configuration database, while improving SQL interaction reliability in large environments.
  • Improved performance of configuration backup in large environments.
  • Minor enhancements and bug fixes in various product areas.

Again a nice and important update.

Veeam Availability Suite v8

Today Veeam announced Update 2 (notice the name change from patch to update) for the Veeam Avaiability Suite v8.

This means updates are available for both products in the Availability Suite:

vSphere 6 FULL support

The most important new feature is the FULL vSphere 6 support. This includes all new additional features such as backing up VVols, VSAN 2.0, Fault Tolerant VM’s and cross-vCenter vMotion awareness (this is really cool, no more problems with moRef id’s changing).

Currently there is a known SAN transport issue in VDDK 6.0.0 but Veeam created a fix for it so you don’t have to worry about it. It just works!

Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE integration

This was already announced a while ago and it is now possible to send Endpoint backups to a Veeam backup repository and it’s now fully available!

Using a Veeam backup repository as the target for your Endpoint backup jobs enables the following additional functionality:

  • Centralized monitoring. Perform basic monitoring and management for all incoming endpoint backup jobs, including email notifications about endpoint backup status.
  • Offsite protection. Get your endpoint backups off site to disk-based storage, tape or your Veeam Cloud Connect service provider with Backup Copy and Backup to Tape jobs.
  • Backup encryption. You can choose to optionally encrypt your endpoint backups stored in Veeam backup repositories. All standard Veeam encryption features are supported for endpoint backups, including password loss protection.
  • Application item-level recovery. Restore application items from backups of server machines with Veeam Explorers™ for Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server.
  • Disk export. Export physical disk content from backup into VMDK/VHD/VHDX virtual disk files.

I already blogged about this feature in the preview stage which got covered in a small demo video.

Other cool changes

Besides these important changes there are some other interesting things to be found in the release notes.

SNMP traps. Both Windows and Multi-OS File-Level Recovery can now trigger SNMP notifications. To enable such notifications, create the EnableRestoreSNMPTraps (DWORD) registry value under HKLM\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Backup and Replication, and set it to 1.

I really did not see this coming but I can see lot’s of use for this. Sending traps for every recovery can for example help assisting in troubleshooting wrong restores even faster.

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL ServerDatabase restore performance has been improved by up to 3x.

While the Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL already is an amazing tool to perform perfect restores it got improved even more. Hooray for faster restores!

Again an amazing update by Veeam and another proof why Veeam is the #1 Availability product for your environment.

VMCE logo

Ever since the release of the VMCE certificate I have been receiving questions related to Veeam products. More often I received questions if Veeam has a full practice exam and besides the VMCE 7 to VMCE 8 practice exam there is no official practice exam.

However there is a practice exam created by Rasmus Haslund. He is a Veeam Certified Engineer trainer who created 50 questions when VMCE 7 came out and this has recently been updated to version 8. Make sure you try these as well as this is a perfect example compared to the real exam. This practice exam is also devided into categories just like the VMCE course.

As explained in my personal experience post I also passed the VMCE exam. After completing it I had a discussion with my colleague Timothy Dewin about creating an additional practice exam as more and more people ask for it.

This practice exam will grow as we receive more specific questions which may be interesting to add.

The practice exam is now published and can be started here.

Best of luck!

This blogpost is a bit overdue but I still wanted to share my experience with the Veeam Certified Engineer exam.

VMCE logoThe Veeam Certified Engineer (VMCE) course is a technical deep-dive that provides extensive information on Veeam solutions. This 3 day course will go further then the Veeam Sales Technical Professional as this course also adds lab time with an overview on Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam One. Currently there is no Management Pack module but I am sure this will be added soon as it is part of the Veeam portfolio.

In short (taken from the VMCE page): The VMCE certification gives Veeam experts knowledge that’s highly sought-after for implementing Veeam solutions.

As a VMCE, you can:

  • Identify and resolve issues more efficiently
  • Distinguish yourself from your peers
  • Get more functionality out of Veeam solutions

After following the course you are allowed to book an exam via Pearson VUE. After passing you will be granted the certificate and you can call yourself a VMCE. The exam itself currently holds 50 questions which should be answered within 1 hour. The exam is in the same style as for example the VMware Certified Professional exam meaning you can go back and forth between questions and mark a question for review if you aren’t sure about your answer.

Preparing for the exam

The best way to be prepared for the exam is to have a lab where you can test all features discussed in the course. Veeam offers free NFR licenses (1 year, 2 sockets) or you can also request these if you are a Veeam partner (in case you require more then 2 sockets).

My advise here is that even if you did all the labs during the course, redo them again. Take a look at all the extra buttons and see which are the advanced options. If you follow the coursebook from A to Z you will know everything you need to know to pass the exam but hands on will be needed.

An additional way of resources is the Veeam helpcenter. Is something unclear on how it works? Look it up using the helpcenter. You can also use the user guide but personally I prefer the helpcenter as it is easier to bookmark things then searching a full PDF again.

Keep in mind that Veeam offers multiple technical resources which are nicely listed on the resources page. And if you don’t like to read things you can always search for a specific video in the recorded webinars.

If you want to do a VMCE 7 to VMCE 8 test exam make sure to check the Veeam University as there is a small test exam.

Finally use your contacts if you want to know more about a certain feature. This can be a local Veeam contact or you can even use social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Taking the exam

The exam is straightforward as mentioned: 50 questions, 60 minutes. To pass the exam you will need to score 70%.

I scored 82% the first time and I realised after the exam that if I would have spent some more time on specific course elements I could have scored higher. In my case I didn’t look into the full Veeam One details and even though I know the product there are some questions which really put your knowledge to the test. If you are like me and there is a question where you think all answers might be correct then go for your first impulse.

Don’t overthink the questions as this will cost you time, it’s better to mark a question for a review and come back to it later. By the time I was finished going through the exam I marked 4 questions but I was already sure that I passed. I did review those 4 questions but didn’t change my answer.

The VMCE course is split into modules but I found that the questions are totally random. It’s not made in that way that you will get 3-4 questions about a specific module. For example I had 6 questions related to specific product features where in terms of licensing questions I only had 2. Another important side note; even though Veeam support both VMware and Hyper-V none of the questions are really specific. Everything is quite general with the exception on “Backup from Storage Snapshots” as this is a VMware feature only.

Important things you should know before starting:

  • Don’t overthink questions to long, mark them and come back
  • Write down things you found hard to remember as soon as you enter, you might need them and this way you have them on paper
  • 60 minutes is plenty of time
  • Certain questions are straightforward and easy, use these to reclaim lost time
  • You will only know if you passed once you leave the room, finishing the exam will not tell your score directly

Best of luck to everyone going for VMCE and as mentioned feel free to contact me or Veeam via social media. Do keep in mind that we don’t have the questions nor will we ever give them to anyone ;-).