Book Image

Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication - Second Edition

By : Chris Childerhose
Book Image

Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication - Second Edition

By: Chris Childerhose

Overview of this book

Veeam is one of the leading modern data protection solutions, making it a necessary skill for anyone responsible for securing virtual environments. This revised second edition of Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication is updated to cover Veeam version 11. The book guides you through implementing modern data protection solutions for your cloud and virtual infrastructure with Veeam, all while helping you master advanced concepts such as Continuous Data Protection (CDP), extended object storage support, Veeam ONE enhancements, and Orchestrator. Starting with Veeam essentials, including installation, best practices, and optimizations for Veeam Backup & Replication, you'll get to grips with the 3-2-1-1-0 rule to safeguard data. You'll understand how to set up a backup server, proxies, repositories, and more and then advance to cover a powerful feature of Veeam 11 – CDP. As you progress, you'll learn about immutability (also known as hardened repositories) and discover the best practices for creating them. Finally, you'll explore the new proxy option available in Linux and become well-versed with advanced topics such as extended object storage support, Veeam ONE enhancements, and Orchestrator. By the end of this Veeam book, you'll be able to implement Veeam Backup & Replication for securing your environment and enabling disaster recovery.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)
1
Section 1: Installation – Best Practices and Optimizations
4
Section 2: CDP and Immutability – Hardened Repositories, Backups, and Object Storage
9
Section 3: Linux Proxy Enhancements, Instant Recovery, Veeam ONE, and Orchestrator

Understanding the best practices and optimizations for Veeam installation

The installation of Veeam Backup & Replication v11a is a straightforward process. Setting up Veeam, if not done right, can lead to components not working correctly and poor performance, among other things. However, if you set up Veeam correctly, it will protect your data and environment with minimal configuration. This section will go through the installation process and touch on the best practices and optimizations for your environment.

Installing Veeam Backup & Replication v11a

Before installing Veeam, you need to ensure that you have a server deployed, either Windows 2019 or 2022, with enough disk space for the installation.

Note

Veeam will configure the default backup repository on the drive with the most available disk space, whether that is the OS drive, Application drive, or Catalog drive.

The disk layout should be similar to the following:

  • OS drive: This is where your operating system resides and should be used only for this.
  • Application drive: This will be your application installation drive for Veeam and all its components.
  • Catalog drive: Veeam uses a catalog that can generate around 10 GB of data per 100 VMs backed up with file indexes. If this will be a significant storage requirement for your deployment, it may be advisable to allocate the Catalog folder to a separate drive.

Once your server is ready and you have downloaded the ISO file and mounted it, follow these steps to install Veeam:

  1. Run the setup.exe file on the mounted ISO drive:

Figure 1.1 - Main installation screen

  1. Click on the Install button under the Veeam Backup & Replication 11a section on the left or the Install link on the right-hand side under Standalone components.
  2. You will be prompted to install the Microsoft Visual C++ runtime. Click OK to proceed. Once you've installed it, you may be prompted to reboot your server. Click YES to proceed:

Figure 1.2 – Installing Microsoft Visual C++

The preceding screenshot shows the Visual C++ Redistributable installation request. The following screenshot shows the Reboot option once Visual C++ Redistributable has been installed:

Figure 1.3 – Reboot prompt after installing Microsoft Visual C++

Note

You may need to mount the ISO again after rebooting the server before proceeding.

  1. At this point, you will see the License Agreement window, so you will need to select the two checkboxes to place a checkmark and then click Next to continue.
  2. You will now need to provide a valid license file, whether it's been purchased or a trial; if you do not have this at this stage of the installation, you can click Next to continue, and Veeam will operate in the Community (Free) Edition. When you obtain the license file, you can install that within the application under the menu and license:

Figure 1.4 – License dialogue window

  1. The next screen is where you choose which components you want to install and in which directory. Veeam recommends that all of them are selected:
    • Veeam Backup & Replication: The main application.
    • Veeam Backup Catalog: Used when you turn on guest OS indexing within your jobs.
    • Veeam Backup & Replication Console: This is where you go to view, create, and edit jobs and manage the environment.
  2. After clicking Next, the installer will then do a system check for any pre-requisites required. Should something be missing, you will be prompted and have the option to install the missing components:

Figure 1.5 – System Configuration Check – missing components

  1. Click the Install button to install the missing components.
  2. Once all the components have passed, you can click Next to move to the following screen. Unlike in previous versions of Veeam Backup & Replication, the following screen does not give you the option to input a user account to run the services. Instead, with Version 11a of Veeam, you need to select the checkbox next to Let me specify different settings and then click Next.
  3. You will now have the opportunity to enter a user account for the Veeam services, better known as a Service Account. There are some recommended settings for this service account:
    • You must have Local Administrator rights on the Veeam server.
    • If you are using a separate SQL Server and not the Express edition (Microsoft SQL Server 2016 SP2 Express edition) that comes with Veeam's Install, you will require permissions to create the database.
    • You will need full NTFS permissions to the folder that will contain the catalog.

For more details about these permissions, please visit

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/vsphere/required_permissions.html?ver=110:

Figure 1.6 – Server user account

For this setup, I am using an account that I have created on my lab server. In contrast, in a production scenario, you would already have a service account set up in Active Directory to enter at this stage.

  1. The next screen lets you select the type of SQL installation you will be using. For a lab scenario, using SQL Express is good enough. If you are in an enterprise environment, the recommended best practice is to use an external SQL Server for the best performance. Also, take note that you can use Windows authentication or SQL Server authentication:

Figure 1.7 – SQL Server instance for Veeam

  1. After selecting the appropriate options, click Next once again.
  2. The following window is for TCP/IP port configuration; you can adjust these settings if you use different ports, but the default ports should suffice:

Figure 1.8 – Port Configuration defaults

  1. Then, click Next to go the Data Locations screen:

Figure 1.9 – Data Locations – directory selection

  1. Here, you must specify the Application drive under Instant recovery write cache, which mounts restore points during recovery. Please use the dedicated drive you set up for Guest file system Catalog.

The installer is now ready to complete by installing the local SQL Express instance and then the application. Veeam will also set the user account you selected to start all the services:

Figure 1.10 – Ready to Install – checking for updates

Figure 1.10 – Ready to Install – checking for updates

  1. After reviewing the setup, click Install to proceed with the installation and start setting up the components that work together with the backup server.

Now, let's start configuring the required settings for Veeam to work with VMware:

  • Repository server: The server that's used to store the backup files.
  • Proxy servers: The servers that perform all the backup tasks.
  • VMware vCenter Credentials: This is used to connect and see your clusters, hosts, vApps, and virtual machines. vCenter Server is not required as standalone ESXi hosts are also supported if they're licensed in VMware.
  1. When you first launch the Veeam Backup & Replication console, you will be taken directly to the INVENTORY tab, and Virtual Infrastructure will be in focus:
Figure 1.11 – Initial console screen

Figure 1.11 – Initial console screen

  1. This screen is where we will begin adding the Virtual Center so that you can start backing up your virtual machines. Click on the ADD SERVER option to start this process. You will then be prompted to select what kind of server to add. Choose VMware vSphere and then either vSphere or vCloud Director:
Figure 1.12 – vSphere or vCloud Director selection

Figure 1.12 – vSphere or vCloud Director selection

You would typically select vSphere here; however, if you have vCloud Director in your environment, you may also want to choose this option. When you choose vSphere, you will be prompted for two things to complete the connection:

  • The DNS or IP address of your vCenter server (DNS is the preferred method).
  • Credentials – this can either be a vsphere.local user or a domain account that's been set up for access.
  1. Enter the required credentials, click Next, and then click Apply to complete the VMware vSphere setup. You will now see your vCenter server listed under the Virtual Infrastructure section of the console and will be able to browse the hosts and virtual machines.

Now, let's look at the next piece that's required for the infrastructure, which is the proxy server. By default, the Veeam Backup & Replication server is your VMware Backup Proxy and File Backup Proxy. Due to the limitations of my lab, I am going to use this server as an example, but in the real world, you would add multiple proxy servers to your environment for better performance and as per best practices. Also, based on best practices, you would typically disable the Veeam Backup & Replication server from being a proxy server to allow the other proxy servers to handle the workload.

The next component you will require is a repository server, which is the location where Veeam Backup & Replication will store your backup files. By default, Veeam Backup & Replication creates a Default Backup Repository, typically on the biggest drive attached to your backup server. This location will be where the Configuration Backups usually get backed up. There are multiple options for adding a repository:

Figure 1.13 – Add Backup Repository selection

Figure 1.13 – Add Backup Repository selection

The first three selections are for block storage, while the last one is Object storage, which is used as part of a scale-out backup repository as the capacity tier for offloading data.

You have now installed and done the basic configuration that's required for Veeam Backup & Replication. We will now look at how to optimize proxy servers and repository servers.