Last chance to nominate for Veeam Innovation Awards

Source: Veeam

When the inaugural Veeam Innovation Awards (VIA) were launched, we as a company were excited to see what may come as a result. We will announce the winners at VeeamON in Chicago, but there is something bigger going on here.

One of the things that makes Veeam different is its partners. So much so, that I like to say that partnerships are in Veeam’s DNA. And it’s true. Everything we do revolves around partners. Whether the partner is in the sales channel, a service provider, an alliance partner, a distributor, or a services or integration partner; it’s clear: Veeam is all-in with partners. When you look at it this way, it’s pretty clear to see what I mean by Veeam has partnership in its DNA! That’s why partners and solutions from our partners made available by Veeam are candidates for the award.

What will the Veeam Innovation Awards bring in 2018? That’s actually part of the mystique — we don’t know! We’ve seen some incredible entries, nominations from customers and partners, as well as some keen observations from the Veeam team on what is being done in the field.

If you haven’t submitted your nominations yet, do so now. Nominations are open only until April 30, and the winners will be announced at VeeamON. Who knows, you may win, nominate a winner, or even discover a new use case that solves an Availability need you may have!

The post Last chance to nominate for Veeam Innovation Awards appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Last chance to nominate for Veeam Innovation Awards

The sessions you don’t want to miss at VeeamON 2018

Source: Veeam

VeeamON 2018 is only three weeks away and I think it’s time to decide which sessions to add to your agenda. If you haven’t registered yet, you can still grab your ticket!

In my last post, I mentioned that the breakout sessions are a major source of learning. Now, with VeeamON just around the corner, I want to highlight several sessions that might be of interest to you.

Backup and disaster recovery for AWS — Native, free and enterprise-level options

At the beginning of this year, we announced the acquisition of N2WS, a leading provider of cloud-native enterprise backup and disaster recovery for AWS. Through this move, we’ll be able to provide world class data protection and management for the AWS workloads.

N2WS VP of Marketing Ezra Charm will be on the VeeamON stage Monday, May 14 and will showcase the N2WS offering for the AWS public cloud.

Ask me anything: Veeam R&D and Support

Anton Gostev’s sessions at VeeamON conferences are a big success, and this year will be even better. The engagement and questions from the attendees that usually occurs after Anton’s sessions will now be an official session during VeeamON 2018!

If you have questions about anything Veeam-products related, this is the session for you! It will take place Monday, May 14 at 4:30 p.m. And that’s not all from Gostev. If you haven’t registered yet, you can use GOSTEV-100 discount code for a $100 discount. See you there!

Understanding the Availability Gap in 2018

In this session, Senior Director of Product Strategy Jason Buffington will be exploring the gap organizations are facing between user demand and IT’s capacity to deliver services. Join this session to learn more on the Availability trends of 2018 and how organizations should implement them to meet their users’ expectations.              

18 tips to prevent ransomware attacks in 2018

Unfortunately, ransomware is still a hot topic and there are no signs of retreating. These cyberattacks are spreading to organizations of any size and verticals and preparedness is the key to fighting it. It started just as a malware scam, but ransomware is now a very profitable business that generated more than $5 billion in 2017 from taking data hostage.

Director of Technical Product Marketing and Evangelism Rick Vanover will cover this session and will provide important best practices to help you stay out of trouble. I know I’ll put this on my list!

Top 10 most popular questions about Veeam Availability Console

Veeam Availability Console is a comprehensive tool for centralized data management and monitoring, entirely designed for service providers that offer Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to their customers.

Join this session, hosted by Director of Product Management Vitaliy Safarov and Cloud Solution Architect Timothy Hudson, for a technical deep dive into the features and functionalities of Veeam Availability Console.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 2.0: What’s new

While Microsoft Office 365 is a great Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that allows users to work from anywhere at any time, the data it generates is yours and it’s your responsibility, as a user, to protect it. Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 does just that by backing up Office 365 email data, with the possibility of fast recover of individual mailbox items.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 2.0 will bring many requested features and improvements, and if your organization already migrated or is looking to migrate to Office 365, that’s a session you shouldn’t miss!

**

There will be two and a half days of breakout sessions, split on different tracks so you can choose what’s the most important for you. I hope my post will help you to choose wisely!

PS: There is a mobile app that will help to build your schedule at VeeamON 2018, available for iOS and Android.

See you in Chicago!

Also read:

The post The sessions you don’t want to miss at VeeamON 2018 appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

The sessions you don’t want to miss at VeeamON 2018

How to protect both Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange mailboxes

Source: Veeam

One of the things I really like about new technologies today is when big transitions are truly seamless. Arguably the most common example is what is happening with Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office 365. A few years ago, Microsoft Office 365 became an attractive option for a new platform for one of the most critical sets of applications for effectively every organization. It is also a relatively seamless transition as many of the same consumption mechanisms are maintained: Outlook, Web Access, Mobile, etc.

However, one interesting characteristic is unique to this Software as a Service (SaaS) use case: Organizations take some time to do it. I can recount many conversations around this as Veeam announced, then launched and then enhanced our product in this space: Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. The conversations span many years — along with the migrations. When I visit a customer at first, they’ll say they are “piloting” Microsoft Office 365 with a few users such as the IT staff. Then next year, I visit and they’ll report they are “about 50% complete” with migrations. On the third year, I’d get information from the same organization that they are “90% migrated.” While every implementation and experience is different — it is possible that many stories are similar.

One thing that I personally love about Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is that Veeam can support you through this process. This is due to one specific capability that Veeam provides: The ability to add an on-premises Exchange organization to Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. Even if you are just starting your Office 365 journey, with all data on-premises, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 can be leveraged immediately. This is very powerful as it can completely support the organization through the migration. The figure below shows a Hybrid organization using both on-premises Exchange and Microsoft Office 365:

One of the key benefits presented by this configuration is that the organization can have the same configuration and backup solution for effectively a hybrid SaaS deployment. Hybrid in that the result is that this business application (mail and calendaring service) is both on-premises and in the SaaS space. Having the consistent approach with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is a good practice in a backup policy to ensure that no mailboxes are omitted from backup between many products during an organization’s migration process. This unified approach also permits migration capabilities between Office 365 and on-premises Exchange.

Likely, the most telling benefit of the unified approach is the restore. Restores with Veeam have always been easy, and Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 is no exception. The restores are driven with Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, which is the same engine used for on-premises Exchange backups and is shown below:

This restore wizard starts the intuitive process to restore data back to either Office 365 or on-premises Exchange with ease. Exports are also supported — so building a PST file or a list of objects can also be done.

Just like having the right restore for any situation, having the right backup for any configuration is a strong capability of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. This is the type of approach that is needed today for the demands on critical systems and data.  If you haven’t played with Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, download a trial now — or our NFR program that permits up to 10 user mailboxes to be backed up for free. Are you operating a hybrid Exchange and Office 365 deployment? Does Veeam’s ability to protect both in a consistent manner appeal to you? Share your comments below.

See more

The post How to protect both Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange mailboxes appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

How to protect both Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange mailboxes

Simplified remote access for home labs and offices with Veeam PN

Source: Veeam

On January 2018, Veeam publicly announced the release of Veeam PN (powered network) version 1, a lightweight SDN appliance that was released completely FREE to use. And while Veeam PN was released as part of a greater solution focused on extending network Availability for Microsoft Azure, Veeam PN can also be deployed as a standalone tool via a downloadable OVA. Veeam PN has some key standalone use cases we’ll explore in this blog series.

While testing the tool through it’s early dev cycles, it was clear there was an opportunity to allow access with home labs and other home devices, all without having to setup and configure relatively complex VPN or remote access solutions.

There are plenty of existing solutions that do what Veeam PN can, however, the biggest difference with comparing the VPN functionality with other VPN solutions, is that Veeam PN is purpose-built and easy-to-use, and setup is only within a couple clicks. Veeam PN’s underlying technology is built on OpenVPN, so that in itself provides users with a certain level of familiarity and trust. The other great thing about leveraging OpenVPN is that any Windows, MacOS or Linux client will work with the configuration files generated for point-to-site connectivity.

Home lab remote connectivity overview

While on the road, users need to easily access home lab/office machines. In my own case, I’m on the road quite a bit and need access without having to rely on published services externally via my entry-level Belkin router, I also didn’t have a static IP which always proved problematic for remote services while on the road. At home, I run a desktop that acts as my primary Windows workstation which also has VMware Workstation installed. I then have my SuperMicro 5028D-TNT4 server that has ESXi installed and runs my nested ESXi lab. I need access to at least RDP into that Windows workstation, but also get access to the management vCenter, SuperMicro IPMI and other systems running on the 192.168.1.0/24 subnet.

 

 

In the above diagram, you can see I also wanted to directly access workloads in the nested ESXi environment, specifically on the 172.17.0.1/24 and 172.17.1.1/24 networks. With the use of the Tunnelblick OpenVPN Client on my MBP, I am able to create a point-to-site connection to the Veeam PN Hub which is in turn connected via site-to-site to each of the subnets I want to connect into.

Deploying and configuring Veeam PN

As mentioned above, to get stared, you will need to download the Veeam PN OVA from Veeam.com. This Veeam KB describes where to get the OVA and how to deploy and configure the appliance for first use. If you don’t have a DHCP enabled subnet to deploy the appliance into, you can configure the network as a static by accessing the VM console, logging in with the default credentials and modifying the/etc/networking/interface file.

Components:

  • Veeam PN Hub Appliance x 1
  • Veeam PN Site Gateway x number of sites/subnets required
  • OpenVPN Client

The OVA is 1.5 GB, and when deployed, the virtual machine has the base specifications of 1 vCPU, 1 GB of vRAM and a 16 GB of storage, which if thin provisioned, consumes just over 5 GB initially.

Networking requirements:

  • Veeam PN Hub Appliance – Incoming Ports TCP/UDP 1194, 6179 and TCP 443
  • Veeam PN Site Gateway – Outgoing access to at least TCP/UDP 1194
  • OpenVPN Client – Outgoing access to at least TCP/UDP 6179

Note that as part of the initial configuration, you can configure the site-to-site and point-to-site protocol and ports which is handy if you are deploying into a locked-down environment and want to have Veeam PN listen on different port numbers.

 

 

In my setup, the Veeam PN Hub Appliance has been deployed into Azure, mainly because that’s where I was able to test out the product initially, and in theory it provides a centralized, highly available location for all the site-to-site connections to terminate into. This central hub can be deployed anywhere and as long as it’s got HTTPS connectivity configured correctly, you can access the web interface and start to configure your site and standalone clients.

Configuring site clients (site-to-site)

To complete the configuration of the Veeam PN Site Gateway, you need to register the sites from the Veeam PN Hub Appliance. When you register a client, Veeam PN generates a configuration file that contains VPN connection settings for the client. You must use the configuration file (downloadable as an XML) to set up the Site Gateways. Referencing the diagram at the beginning of the post, I needed to register three separate client configurations as shown below.

 


 

Once this was completed, I deployed three Veeam PN Site Gateways on my home office infrastructure as shown in the diagram — one for each site or subnet I wanted to have extended through the central hub. I deployed one to my Windows VMware Workstation instance on the 192.168.1.0/24 subnet and, as shown below, I deployed two Site Gateways into my nested ESXi lab on the 172.17.0.0/24 and 172.17.0.1/24 subnets respectively.

 

 

From there I imported the site configuration file into each corresponding Site Gateway that was generated from the central Hub Appliance and in as little as three clicks on each one, all three networks where joined using site-to-site connectivity to the central hub.

Configuring remote clients (point-to-site)

To be able to connect into my home office and home lab when on the road, the final step is to register a standalone client from the central Hub Appliance. Again, because Veeam PN is leveraging OpenVPN, what we are producing here is an OVPN configuration file that has all the details required to create the point-to-site connection — noting that there isn’t any requirement to enter in a username and password as Veeam PN is authenticating using SSL authentication.

 

 

For my MBP, I’m using the Tunnelblick OpenVPN Client. I’ve found it to be an excellent client, but it obviously being OpenVPN, there are a bunch of other clients for pretty much any platform you might be running. Once I imported the OVPN configuration file into the client, I was able to authenticate against the Hub Appliance endpoint as the site-to-site routing was injected into the network settings.

 

 

You can see above that the 192.168.1.0, 172.17.0.0 and 172.17.0.1 static routes have been added and set to use the tunnel interfaces default gateway which is on the central Hub Appliance. This means that from my MBP, I can now get to any device on any of those three subnets no matter where I am in the world — in this case I can RDP to my Windows workstation, connect to vCenter or ssh into my ESXi hosts.

Conclusion

To summarize, here are the steps that were taken in order to setup and configure the extension of a home office network using Veeam PN through its site-to-site connectivity feature to allow access to systems and services via a point-to-site VPN:

  1. Deploy and configure Veeam PN Hub Appliance
  2. Register sites
  3. Register endpoints
  4. Deploy and configure Veeam PN Site Gateway
  5. Setup endpoint and connect to Hub Appliance

Those five steps can take less than 15 minutes, which also takes into consideration the OVA deployments as well. This is a very streamlined, efficient process compared to other processes, which can take hours and would involve a more complex set of commands and configuration steps. The simplicity of the solution is what makes it very useful for home lab users wanting a quick and easy way to access their systems. It just works!

Again, Veeam PN is completely FREE, and downloadable in OVA format. And this use case I described, I have been using it without issues for a number of months, and it adds to the flexibility of the Veeam PN solution.

The post Simplified remote access for home labs and offices with Veeam PN appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Simplified remote access for home labs and offices with Veeam PN

How to avoid typical misconfigurations when setting up Veeam

Source: Veeam

This article is aimed at giving you a smooth start with Veeam Backup & Replication. It includes some basic advice on the initial setup, and outlines the most common misconfigurations that we, at Veeam Support, find in clients’ infrastructures during our investigations.

Recommendations on backup modes

In most cases, forward incremental or forever forward incremental backup modes are recommended as the fastest ones. Forever forward incremental (no periodic full backup) requires less space and offers decent performance. Forward incremental requires more space, but is also more robust (because a backup chain is further divided in subchains by periodic full backup).

Reverse incremental backup method is our oldest backup method and consequently the slowest. Depending on the type of storage in use, it can be three or more times slower than other modes. With the reverse incremental backup, you get a full backup as the last point in the chain. This allows for faster restores in case the most recent point is used, but the difference is often negligible in comparison to a forward incremental chain (if its length is not unreasonably long, we usually suggest it to be around 30 days).

Insights on the full backup

Synthetic full operation builds a full backup file from the restore points already residing in your repository. However, not every storage type provides a good performance with synthetic operations, so we advise to use active full backup as an alternative.

When you set up a synthetic full backup mode, there is an additional “Transform previous backup chains into rollbacks” option available. Keep in mind though that this option starts a task of transforming incremental backups (.VIB) into rollbacks (.VRB), which is very laborious for your target backup repository. For example, it will help you transform your current chain into the reverse incremental one for archival purposes. However, if you use it as a main backup method, it would produce a very specific backup chain consisting of a full backup file and a mix of forward and reverse incremental restore points.

 


Figure 1. A forward incremental backup job with periodic synthetic full.

Guest processing tips

Guest processing is used to create consistent backups of your VMs. And if they run instances of Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, SharePoint, SQL Server and Oracle applications, you will be able to leverage granular restores using Veeam Explorers. Please note that guest processing relies on a VSS framework (a Windows feature), which should be functioning correctly, otherwise your backup jobs will fail.

To enable guest processing, go to Guest Processing of backup job properties. You should enable “Application-aware processing” option and you should provide an administrative account under guest OS credentials.

 


Figure 2. Guest processing step controls application-aware processing and indexing.

 

If some of VMs in the job require specific credentials, you can set them by clicking on the “Credentials” button. This brings up the Credentials menu. Click on “Set User…” to specify the credentials that should be used with the VM.

 


Figure 3. Credentials menu allows to set up users for each VM in the job.

 

Clicking on the “Applications…” button brings up a menu where you can specify options for supported applications and disable the guest processing for certain VMs, if needed.

 


Figure 4. In Applications menu, you can specify options for various application or disable guest processing completely for a VM.

VM guest file system indexing

With “VM Guest File System Indexing” enabled, Veeam Backup & Replication creates a catalog of files inside the VM, allowing you to use guest file search and perform 1-click restores through our Veeam Backup Enterprise Manager.

In case you don’t use the Enterprise Manager, then you can cut some (sometimes significant) time off your backup window and save space on the C: drive of a Veeam server by disabling this option. It doesn’t affect your ability to perform file level restores from your Veeam Backup & Replication console.

Secondary backup destination

No storage vendor can guarantee an absolute data integrity. Veeam checks a backup file once it’s written to a disk, but, with millions of operations happening on the datastore, occasional bits may get swapped causing silent corruption. Veeam Backup & Replication provides features like SureBackup and health checks that help detect an early corruption. However, sometimes it may be already too late, so it’s absolutely necessary to follow the 3-2-1 rule and use different sets of media in several locations to guarantee data Availability.

To maintain the 3-2-1 rule, right after creating a primary backup job, it’s advised to set up a secondary copy job. This can be a Backup Copy Job to a secondary storage, Backup Copy Job to a cloud repository or a copy to tape.

Instant VM recovery as it should be

Instant VM Recovery allows you to start a VM in minimal time right from a backup file. However, you need to keep in mind that a recovered VM still sits in your backup repository and consumes its resources. To finalize the restore process, the VM must be migrated back to the production. Too often we at Veeam Support see critical VMs working for weeks in the Instant VM Recovery mode until a datastore fills up and data is lost.

For those of you looking for a deep dive on the topic, I recommend the recent blog post on Instant VM Recovery by Veeam Vanguard Didier Van Hoye.

 


Figure 5. Soon after VM is started in the Instant VM Recovery mode you should initiate its migration back to the production.

Mind the CIFS as a main target repository

Veeam is storage agnostic and supports several types of backup repositories. Over the years, it was proven that a Windows or Linux physical server with internal storage gives the best performance in most cases. You can check Veeam Forums for more details — years later, these words still stay true.

Backup repository on a CIFS share still remains a popular choice, yet it generally offers the poorest performance of all options. Many modern NAS devices support iSCSI, so a better choice would be to create an iSCSI disk and present it to a Veeam server/proxy. Note though, that it’s also not recommended to use reverse incremental backup mode for repositories on NAS because it puts heavy IO load on the target.

Target proxy for replication

When replicating over the WAN, it is advised to deploy a backup proxy on the target site and configure it as a target proxy in replication job settings. This will create a robust channel between the two sites. We recommend setting a target proxy to NBD/Network mode, as using hot-add for replica can cause stuck and orphaned snapshots.

Note that when using WAN accelerators, a target proxy should still be deployed. Target WAN accelerator and target proxy can be installed on different or on a single machine, given it has enough resources.

 


Figure 6. For replication over WAN, you should specify source and target proxy.

 


Figure 7. Set the target proxy mode to Network.

A must-do for a tape server

Tape server is a component responsible for communication with a tape device. It is installed on a physical machine to which a tape device is connected (“pass through” connections via ESXi host to a virtual machine are not supported!).

Veeam Backup & Replication gets the information about the library from the OS, so you should make sure that the latest drivers are installed and the tape device is visible correctly in the device manager.

You can find more info on using tapes with Veeam Backup & Replication in my previous blog post.

Final advice on opening tickets with Veeam support

We encourage you to carefully check the Severity criteria and set an appropriate level when opening your support request. We understand that each issue, no matter the scale, is important and it is our duty to handle it in the quickest way possible, but if you set the Severity to 1 and it doesn’t meet its criteria, you will lose valuable time since your ticket will be inspected and re-directed to an appropriate queue.

 


Figure 8. When creating a case be sure to set the severity level correctly and upload the logs bundle.

 

To help our support agents get to the root of the issue straight away, make sure to compile the backbone of every successful case investigation: a log bundle. Follow our guide to retrieve them in a correct way. In some occasions, we might require logs from additional components of your infrastructure, but those would be requested by your support engineer directly.

And that’s it for today’s episode! I hope this would help you optimize your backup environment and evade the most common mistakes during a setup.

 

The post How to avoid typical misconfigurations when setting up Veeam appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

How to avoid typical misconfigurations when setting up Veeam

Accelerate recovery with NetApp snapshots and Veeam

Source: Veeam

If you are responsible for meeting strict Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) for your business, snapshots are the technology you need. Snapshots are appealing because you can make quick, point-in-time copies of your data, with little-to-no impact on production storage. This allows you to take multiple snapshots throughout the day.

One of the key players in snapshot technology is NetApp, which gives storage snapshots added functionality through its SnapMirror and SnapVault. When you add Veeam into the mix, you gain a comprehensive Availability strategy that meets, not only RPOs, but also Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs). Data Availability today is more critical than ever before and being able to leverage storage snapshots is a real game-changer when it comes to meeting the demands of your business. Veeam and NetApp integration provides you with the ability to create faster backups, quicker restores and improved protection. Veeam integrates with NetApp FAS and AFF, FlexArray (V-Series), Data ONTAP Select and IBM N Series (NetApp FAS OEM).

Faster backups

The Veeam and NetApp combination gives you useful tools such as Backup from Storage Snapshots, Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots and On-demand Sandbox for Storage Snapshots. Backup from Storage Snapshots lets you use a snapshot — which can be taken every 15 minutes — to create a backup without affecting production. What takes this functionality even further is the added benefit of SnapMirror and SnapVault, from which you can also use to take backups.

I know I mentioned SnapMirror and SnapVault before, but to be clear, SnapMirror is a NetApp technology that allows users to create a mirror of a snapshot on a different NetApp storage array. This could almost be termed as replicating a snapshot to a different array. SnapVault allows you to create a read-only copy of your data. Both technologies can help deliver the #1 Data Availability guideline users follow today: the 3-2-1 Rule.

I hope by now that everyone knows about the 3-2-1 Rule. If you don’t (shame!), the definition is as follows:

  • 3 copies of data, on
  • 2 different media
  • 1 of which is off site

By combining NetApp and Veeam technologies, you can easily achieve the 3-2-1 Rule with Veeam Backup from Storage Snapshots.

Quick recovery

It’s true that a backup is only as good as its recovery. In other words, the worst thing that can happen is when you go to restore and find you are unable to utilize your backup due to an unforeseen circumstance. This situation could easily ruin your day or even your career!

Veeam delivers Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots, utilizing snapshots to perform quick restores so you can meet RTO requirements easily. Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots also has the functionality to utilize SnapMirror and SnapVault as a source for restores.

 

 

Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots provides Instant VM Recovery, VM Guest file restores and the ability to restore from Microsoft applications like SharePoint, Active Directory or Exchange. The technology can also perform restores for SQL databases and Oracle. What makes this offering even more perfect is that you can utilize the Explorer for FREE!

One step further with Veeam DataLabs

Veeam now wants to give you a way to maximize your storage investments to the fullest. This leads us to the next capability, Veeam DataLabs for Storage Snapshots, which allows you to utilize a storage snapshot to create a lab environment, so you can troubleshoot problems, test software patches and install new software. This lab is fully fenced off from the production environment, so it allows you to do your testing for processes before implementing into your production environment. This Veeam feature requires NetApp FlexClone and is an added value to your NetApp investment.

To conclude

Veeam combined with NetApp Storage solutions can give you a Data Availability strategy that will help you meet the increasing demands of your business today. Backup from Storage Snapshots gives you fast backups. Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots provides quick restores. The ability to create a virtual lab through a storage snapshot takes your business to the next level when it comes to leveraging storage investments. Don’t forget that Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots is FREE, giving you world-class restore capabilities from a storage snapshot with no additional cost!

The post Accelerate recovery with NetApp snapshots and Veeam appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Accelerate recovery with NetApp snapshots and Veeam