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 ;-).

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!

Getting the best availability for Microsoft Exchange with VeeamAs a follow-up to a series of webinars based on Exchange 2013 (Get started with Microsoft Exchange 2013), Veeam now published the whitepaper. This whitepaper has a bit more focus on the Veeam part and how to get the best availability for your Exchange infrastructure.

This whitepaper is written by my Veeam colleague Johan Huttenga and myself. You can get it here. Any feedback is appreciated!

Enjoy!