Centralized managed backup with Veeam Availability Console v3

Source: Veeam

Existing challenges of delivering managed backup solutions

Having worked in the cloud and managed services space before joining Veeam, and now working directly with our own VCSP partners, I understand the challenges that come with providing a managed backup service to customers.  Having one platform that encompasses the ability to provide visibility, management and automation as well as self-service is something that most service providers, whether they offer a full managed offering or provide IaaS desire.

When it comes to customers using Veeam Backup & Replication for business-critical backup and data availability services whether it be a single site or across multiple sites, having a centralized system to log into and get an overview of the current state of their backups while being able to action jobs and report on is something also desired.  For cloud and managed service providers that operate a channel or reseller program, allocating access and allowing granular control to their own partners who in turn can manage their own customers is something that is invaluable and also something that has been requested for a long time.

Evolving the managed backup portal

When Veeam first released the Managed Backup Portal as a hosted offering on Azure for our partners back in 2016, the problem that was being solved was around the management and visibility of on-premises customer Veeam Backup & Replication installations. As mentioned above, one of the biggest issues any managed service provider has is the ability to have a single console to gather information and manage client services. The Managed Backup Portal was Veeam’s way to dip our toes in the water and begin to understand what our VCSP partners really wanted from a central management and monitoring platform.

When Veeam Availability Console v2 was released as the successor to the Managed Backup Portal Veeam added core functionality around Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows deployment and management as well as enhancing the monitoring of remote customer Backup & Replication servers. When Update 1 for v2 was released last year the platform had evolved further with added features and enhancements around visibility for Linux Agents and new granular user roles… however there were still key features that our VCSP partners were after.

Introducing Veeam Availability Console v3

With the release of Veeam Availability Console v3, we have taken huge strides in delivering to VCSP partners a console that acts as the central place to manage all aspects of their backup offerings. Not only does it build on the previous releases, but also looks to place VAC as a critical component of any Veeam-powered service provider offering.

Key new features and enhancements:

  • Reseller Role for more granular access and control
  • Enhanced licensing management and rental usage reporting
  • Support for Veeam Instance Licensing
  • Multiple Cloud Connect server support
  • Enhanced RESTful APIs

This release also delivers full support for all recently shipping Veeam products including Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5 Update 4 (Including Cloud Connect enhancements and vCloud Director support and integration) as well as Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 3.0 and the new ability to create multiple jobs. There are also enhancements to support, Windows Event Logging and notifications while also increasing security.

Reseller role

The new reseller role allows providers that have partners or that are running channel programs to offer their partners access to an out-of-the-box console. This console, that can be rebranded for each reseller, has pre-built functionality that allows the reseller to manage customers as well as taking advantage of the new features shipped with v3.

Resellers maintain full visibility of their customers while still being able to control backup and replication jobs, deploy agents and perform aggregated license management and reporting. Granular roles and permissions allow for greater flexibility of customer management with the ability to now map resellers to Site Scopes, which is a new feature in v3 that sets the level of access and ties it to one or more Cloud Connect server installations.

License management and rental usage reporting

The new Usage Reports section provides enhanced reporting for on-premises Veeam Backup & Replication servers, Veeam Agents and for Veeam Cloud Connect services. Important for VCSP partners is the new Cloud Connect usage reporting which provides a detailed report of all Cloud Connect licenses and breaks it down on a per tenant level as well allowing for easier end of month billing and license reporting.

License usage can be managed from the console (or via the RESTful API) which now offers the ability to install, delete or update the license key of the remote Backup & Replication servers, Cloud Connect servers, as well as force Auto Update of the license key for the selected server. Another significant enhancement is that VCSPs no longer require customers to enable the “Allow Remote Management” checkbox while configuring a service provider at the remote site to enable license reporting. Something which is significant for those cloud service providers who may not offer managed services.

Scalability and automation enhancements

Previously, Veeam Availability Console had the ability to connect to only one Cloud Connect Server instance. This meant that VCSPs were required to pair one VAC instance to a Cloud Connect instance. Larger providers that have multiple zones had to deploy the Veeam Availability Console plus Cloud Connect paring in each zone. Based on internal lab testing, VAC v3 has the ability to add up to 50 Cloud Connect servers (number can vary depending on the infrastructure setup) under the one VAC server.

This adds the ability to see the entire Cloud Connect infrastructure from a single console while supporting the ability to scale-out a single instance of VAC to cover all tenants and services under management. Not only does it add the ability to expand locally, but now VCSP partners can have GEO locations as sites all managed under the same portal login.

Automation through the RESTful API continues to be enhanced with a number of added API calls, expanding the existing set with greater ability around configuration, billing and backup management, while adding requests for customer and reseller management, license management, alarms and more. As with previous released of Veeam Availability Console , this is all easily consumable via the Swagger UI.

Conclusion

Combining all this in a managed services platform ticks all the boxes for service providers offering managed backup services of all types and allows complete control, manageability, reporting as well as offering scalability of service. With the release of Veeam Availability Console v3, all Veeam Cloud & Service Providers should have this installed into their environments to act as the central mechanism for visibility, management and control as well as the source of truth for license management and reporting.

The post Centralized managed backup with Veeam Availability Console v3 appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.


Centralized managed backup with Veeam Availability Console v3

New features of the redesigned Veeam ONE: Business View

Source: Veeam

Veeam ONE Business View has been redesigned to improve usability, making it easier to create categories and groups. This allows you to gain business insight across your entire IT environment. One of the many benefits of using Business View is that it allows your environment to become simple to manage and digest from a non-technical perspective. With its recent update, Business View is now accessible within the Veeam ONE Monitor. This enhances Veeam ONE Monitor to be the single tool for performance monitoring, alarms and categorization.

New categorization methods

In previous versions, creating Business View categories and groups could be confusing and complicated. This has all changed with the newest update, allowing you to engage your infrastructure fully to gather insight into how business investments are being leveraged. If you were using Business View before, the categorization that was defined previously will remain after the update and so will all main Business View features. The main difference is really *how* categorization and grouping is achieved and where it is done. You will notice there is no longer a separate component that needs to be opened to start using Business View, you can now do it right through the Veeam ONE Monitor. This is where you find a dedicated tab for Business View that allows you to start creating groups and categories. In previous versions, this tab was available but lacked the functionality Business View 2.0 brings to the table.


Figure 1: Business View categorization

 

With just a right click on Business View you can add categories to your environment. You can choose the category type, whether by VM, Host, Cluster, Storage or Computer. If you are new to Veeam ONE Business View, think of a category as a logical unit consisting of one or more groups. Business View categories can be seen as an overarching business unit that contains multiple, separate departments using different IT resources.

Once you have chosen a type, you will be able to select a Categorization Method. The methods available are:

  • Single parameter
  • Multiple conditions
  • Grouping expression


Figure 2: Choosing the Categorization Method

 

Single parameter allows you to choose a single property on which to base the group. This method is the easiest and fastest way to categorize objects to groups. When creating a Single parameter category, depending on the property you choose, Business View will create different groups based on the defined parameter. For example, if you choose to categorize by network, Business View will automatically sort your VMs by the network they reside on, creating multiple groups based on their network and all under the same category you just created.

In the example, we defined the business view groups only by the network the machines reside on, but what if we want the groups in the category to be defined by multiple conditions? The Multiple conditions method allows you to create multiple groups based on several conditions under the same category. This method allows you to not only base your groups on network, but we can add multiple conditions to the group to define it even further to fit our needs.


Figure 3: Multiple Conditions Method

 

In this example, the category we want to create needs to include groups that are defined by the network the machine resides on and by name of the machine. In the figure above, you can see in one of the groups we want it to include only machines running in the production environment. The other group we want to define to only include lab or test VMs.


Figure 4: Grouping Conditions

 

Business View gives you many different properties on which to base your groups. Figure 4 shows some of the properties available in Business View. In this example, we have decided to base the grouping criteria on network and name of machine. Once you have defined one group, you can add the next group and define it by different conditions. Business View also now supports multiple cardinality. This means one machine can be a part of multiple Business View groups within one category.

The third and last categorization method you can use is Grouping expression. Grouping expressions find objects that share common properties. When using this method, Veeam ONE will create a set of groups and include objects that are defined in the expression. This was available in previous versions of Business View, so if you feel comfortable with this and have used it before, it remains an option in this update.

Before you exit the wizard, you can decide if you want to set the Group Owner to receive email alerts based on the specific business group that was created. This allows you to assign an owner to each group of categorized objects. Group owners receive customized notifications based on their assigned Business View groups. To finish setting up this feature, you will also need to configure alarm notifications so Veeam ONE knows where to deliver messages. This is set under the “Notifications” tab of the alarm settings. For instance, you can set the alarms to notify the Business View group owner that a VM was not protected for the last 12 hours, and if the alarm is not resolved, notify the global admin that the VM still wasn’t protected for the last 24 hours.


Figure 5: Setting Group Admin

 

Business View 2.0 allows you to categorize computers protected by the Veeam Agents as well. Within the Business View tab, there is a new section, Computers. Just follow the same prompts that were discussed previously in this post, and under Category, select Computers. When you get to the point where you need to define grouping criteria, it will automatically filter in agent-based properties as criteria, such as, for example, Protection groups, Backup server, Cluster, and more. If you want to learn more about the new agent monitoring and reporting features, be sure to read this blog post.

A great tool for service providers!

If you are a service provider and using Veeam ONE, Business View 2.0 allows you to improve your client management and allow for better visibility through Business View groups. Service providers can categorize their environment to align to tiered capacity plans and chargeback. Service providers can utilize Business View to synchronize Business View groups with vSphere and Hyper-V tags. This can also synchronize the creation of tags based on Veeam ONE categorization. This allows service providers to improve client management and visibility. To extend this functionality, Veeam ONE can also assign the group owner role to the groups you create to allow for notifications to be sent to designated admins, which are based on the groups you created.


Figure 6: Setting up the Notifications

A simplified, easier Business View

Business View has always been one of the three main components of Veeam ONE, but often under-utilized due to its perceived complexities. With Update 4, Business View is embedded within Veeam ONE Monitor, so you no longer need to open a different user interface to start categorizing and grouping your environment. The restructured Business View has made categorizing as simple as a few clicks of a wizard, whether by single or multiple parameters. It also has the power to assign Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere tags based on categories users create to enhance the manageability of virtual environments. Take advantage of Business View categorization today with the improved performance and visibility of Veeam ONE Business View 2.0.

The post New features of the redesigned Veeam ONE: Business View appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.


New features of the redesigned Veeam ONE: Business View

Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition: Our latest gift to the community

Source: Veeam

TL;DR

The NEW Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition is the must-have, FREE solution that provides host-based backup and replication for VMware, Hyper-V and AHV; as well as an agent-based backup solution for Windows and Linux workstations and servers – whether they are physical computers or running in the public cloud. It offers a tremendous set of capabilities and is significantly more powerful than its predecessor (Veeam Backup Free Edition) or any other free backup product on the market. In fact, it is even more powerful than several paid backup solutions offered by other vendors. This is our gift to you and there are no strings attached — you are free to utilize the Community Edition any way you want — be it for your home lab, or for your critical line of business applications in case of IT budget constraints. Download your FREE copy and get started today!

What’s all the fuss about?

If you’re familiar with the history of Veeam, you know that we have always been committed to providing high-quality, functional technology to the tech community for free. It all started with Veeam FastSCP back in 2006 and continues today with many of our products offered for free to tech community members, IT professionals, and home lab users.

One product, that has been downloaded more times than any other, is the free version of Veeam’s flagship product, Veeam Backup Free Edition. To challenge the status quo, Veeam has decided to enhance this free edition with a SERIOUS upgrade. Welcome our latest free offering and gift to IT Pros — NEW Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition. What is Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition? Simply put, it provides users access to Veeam Backup & Replication Standard edition functionality for FREE for up to 10 VMs or a combination of VMs, physical servers or workstations. How cool is that?!

What is NEW in Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition?

Simply put, Community Edition is the next generation of Veeam Backup Free Edition (which has now been discontinued).

Veeam Backup Free Edition was quite limited and only included 13 features. While basic functionality was available, users still lacked the ability to schedule backup jobs, utilize replication, and were only able to perform ad-hoc full backups of their VMs. Veeam Backup Free Edition also lacked support for physical computer backup.

The good news is, these days are over! Community Edition now provides ALL the features offered in our paid Standard edition (see feature list here) at no cost, with the most significant added capability being able to perform incremental backups and scheduling backup jobs without needing to use PowerShell, which historically has been seen as the biggest drawback for our Free Edition users. Next, as the difference in the name implies, Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition provides VM replication functionality for those few, most important VMs that require the fastest restore in case of a disaster. Finally, the biggest game changer is protection for physical servers and workstations, enabling you to protect all your workloads from a single console. And best of all — it’s completely free, including for production use!

Let’s discuss some of the features that are now available for free in more detail.

Significant features for free!

The ability to schedule backups without using a PowerShell script is a great feature addition that was not available in the previous free offering. Users can now easily use the wizard to schedule their jobs to run automatically based on a defined schedule.

To achieve low recovery time objectives (RTOs) for your most critical VMs, Community Edition users gain the ability to utilize VM replication. Replication allows you to have an exact copy of the VM in a ready-to-start state. In fact, you don’t even need the backup server to be available to get those replicas going, which can be important in a site-wide disaster! Just power them on using hypervisor’s native management console.

For workloads with less strict RTO requirements, the new ability to utilize backup copy jobs is useful in helping achieve the 3-2-1 rule. The 3-2-1 rule states you should have 3 copies of backups, on 2 different media, one of which should be offsite. By being able to copy your backups locally, or to a remote site, you can be sure you’re prepared for the worst.

Application awareness is yet another key Veeam functionality included in Community Edition, offering an important technology for proper backup of enterprise applications. An application-aware backup ensures that your data is consistent and performs application-specific steps at the time of backup to ensure that the entire computer restore is performed according to the application vendor’s guidelines. In addition, Veeam Explorers for Microsoft applications (Active Directory, Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint) offer users the ability to quickly find and recover individual application items, thus helping you avoid having to roll back the entire computer image to the latest restore point.

Community Edition also provides users the additional ability to centrally deploy and manage Veeam Agents for Microsoft Windows and Linux on any computer running in your environment, whether they are physical or cloud machines. This eliminates the need to install, set up, update and manage individual Veeam Agents on every machine. You can simply deploy the agents from the Community Edition backup console to the physical machines in your environment that you want to protect (with limits for protecting up to 10 instances – where workstations consume 1 instance and servers 3 instances each).

Free forever – unlimited VMs

So, once you exceed 10 instances, what can you do to protect the remaining VMs? While you gain Standard edition functionality with Community Edition for up to 10 VMs, you will still be able to utilize VeeamZIP for those extra VMs that don’t quite make the 10 instances ceiling. Yes, just like before, we still allow you to protect an unlimited number of VMs with VeeamZIP for free. You’re probably wondering how does this work? Once 10 instances have been consumed, you will no longer be able to utilize the extended functionality included in Standard edition and when you try to run additional backup jobs, they will fail stating that the license has been exceeded. So, be mindful and selective of the VMs you are protecting with fully featured backup jobs — make sure you use the first 10 instances for your most important VMs, which actually do require strict RPO.

And for the rest of less important VMs, you can still use VeeamZIP! If you are not familiar with VeeamZIP, it’s a simple way to take an ad-hoc backup of a VM. VeeamZIP will retrieve the VM image, compress it and store it as a full backup file (.VBK), acting as a single restore point. Note that when using this option, you don’t have an option to perform incremental backups. Also, keep in mind that at this time, VeeamZIP is supported for VMs only.

But my environment is too small for that…

We recognize that it is hard to justify installing a Community Edition backup server when you only have one or two computers to protect. Because of that, we also provide Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows and Veeam Agent for Linux as standalone offerings – and of course, we offer completely FREE versions of these as well.

You can install these products directly on the machines you need to protect and start performing backups to any storage you have in less than 5 minutes! The only thing you lose in this case is centralized management, but if you only need to protect a couple of machines, centralized management may not be all that necessary.

Wait, there’s more FREE software!

NEW Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition isn’t the only free product being upgraded for our community of loyal followers. Veeam ONE, our monitoring and reporting solution, also has a new Community Edition that you can download and use for free in your environment.

NEW Veeam ONE Community Edition is the next generation of the former Veeam ONE Free Edition with some major additions to its feature list. The biggest enhancement is the ability to monitor and report on your Veeam Backup & Replication infrastructure and Veeam Agents (with similar quantity limitations as New Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition). Here’s some of the capabilities provided:

Veeam Backup & Replication monitoring & reporting

If you want to know which VMs are protected, and which are not, then our Protected VMs report from the Veeam Backup & Replication report pack is here to help. Not only does this report list all VMs that have backups within a defined recovery point objective (RPO), but it also shows which VMs lack backups. You can even review the reason why some VMs are unprotected. For example, if you provisioned a new VM and forgot to add it to the backup job, Veeam ONE will spot this and will immediately inform you about this via the Protected VMs report.


Virtual infrastructure monitoring

NEW Veeam ONE Community Edition does not have any limitations on the number of VMs you can monitor in the virtual infrastructure. This has been true with Veeam ONE Free Edition and remains the same for Community Edition, but now we give you even more features! In addition to the ability to identify performance bottlenecks in your virtual infrastructure, you can now make decisions right in the Veeam ONE UI to resolve these issues via our NEW Remediation Actions that are available to ALL Veeam ONE users. These actions can do things like automatically remove an orphaned VM snapshot or add an unprotected VM to a backup job with a single click!

As you can see, NEW Veeam ONE Community Edition together with NEW Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition are like peanut butter and jelly!

Before you go… even more free software!

Another FREE product we recently released for production use is Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 Community Edition.

If you are utilizing Office 365 and looking for a solution to protect your data, this is a must have. This FREE offering allows you to back up Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business data for 10 users, as well as 1 TB of SharePoint Online data. This is enough to protect the data for yourself and your entire executive management team — which will levitate you to hero status when they experience data loss (which is not a question of IF it will happen, but WHEN). It’s a great opportunity to protect your most important data in Office 365 from accidental deletion, security threats and retention policy gaps. Learn more here.

 

The post Veeam Backup & Replication <em>Community Edition</em>: Our latest gift to the community appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.


Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition: Our latest gift to the community

Enhanced agent monitoring and reporting in Veeam ONE

Source: Veeam

Veeam ONE has many capabilities that can benefit your business, one of which is the ability to run reports that compile information about your entire IT environment. Veeam One Reporter is a tool you can use to document and report on your environment to support analysis, decision making, optimization and resource utilization. For those who have used Veeam ONE in the past, it’s the go-to tool for reporting on your Veeam Backup & Replication infrastructure, VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments. But one thing was missing from Veeam ONE, and that was the depth of visibility it provided for the Veeam Agents for Microsoft Windows and Linux. With the latest update, Veeam ONE Reporter gains three new reports that assess your Veeam Agent Backup Jobs. In addition to these predefined reports, the update brings information about computers to the “Backup Infrastructure Custom Data” report. It provides agent monitoring by being able to categorize any machine that is being protected by the Veeam Agent within Veeam ONE Business View, allowing you to monitor activity from a business perspective. Ultimately, this update aligns Veeam ONE to provide substantial reporting and monitoring for any physical machines that are protected by the Veeam Agent.

Which reports are new?

Veeam ONE Update 4 adds more predefined reports to analyze Veeam Agent Backup Job activity. These include, Computers with no Archive Copy, Computer Backup Status and Agent Backup Job and Policy History.

  • The “Computer with no Archive Copy” report will highlight all the computers that do not have an archive copy.
  • The “Computer Backup Status” report provides the daily backup status information for all protected agents.
  • The “Agent Backup Job and Policy History” report provides historical information for all Veeam Agent policies and jobs.

All these reports provide visibility into evaluating your data-protection strategies for any workload that is running a Veeam agent in your environment. In this post, I want to highlight the Agent Backup Job and Policy History Report as well as discuss the addition to the “Backup Infrastructure Custom Data” report because both provide a great amount of information on Agent Backup Jobs.


Figure 1: Veeam Backup Agent reports

Agent Backup Job and Policy History report

For Veeam Agents, this report provides great information on the status of the Backup Job, along with data on the job run itself. To access the report:

  1. Open Veeam ONE Reporter, switch to Workspace view, and find the Veeam Backup Agent Reports folder, this is where you will see all the pre-built reports available for Veeam Backup Agents.
  2. Select the report, choose Scope and select the time interval you want the report to contain. (You can build the report to be more specific by selecting an individual backup server, several job/policies to be reported on or drill down further to the exact Agent Backup Job.)
  3. Once you have made your decision, click Preview Report and the report will be created.


Figure 2: Report Scope options

 

The report contains historical information for your Veeam Agent Backup Jobs. How you defined the report in the first step will determine how specific or general the data will be. Either way, the report provides great depth of data.


Figure 3: Agent Backup Job and Policy History Report

 

The first page shows an overview of the Agent Backup Job and policies, the date the jobs were run, and if it is in the Success, Failed or Warning category. On the second page of the report, you can see a bit more details like the Total Backup size and the amount of Restore Points Created.


Figure 4: Backup Job and Policy History details

 

If you select a specific date when the job was run it gives even more analysis on the specific run of the backup job.


Figure 5: Detailed Description of Agent Backup Job results

 

This tells you when the job started, how long it took and backup size. You can even tell if the run was full or incremental. The report provides visibility into your IT environment by being able to gather real-time data on your protected agent backups.

Backup infrastructure custom data report

This report allows you to customize and add data protection elements that are not covered together in the predefined reports included in Veeam ONE. The report can define and display data points about Veeam Backup & Replication objects, including backup server, backup job, agent job and VMs.  This is useful because it allows you to create a report that includes aspects of the backup infrastructure of your choosing to be displayed for easy analysis and visibility. To run this report, much is the same that was discussed previously in this blog post. You will need to locate the custom report pack in the workspace view, once found you will be able to choose between the different objects you want to show and what aspects of the backup infrastructure you want the report to analyze.


Figure 6: Custom reporting

 

When creating the report, you have the option to choose between different aspects of the backup infrastructure you want to be shown. In addition, you can apply custom filters to have the report filter the data to show only what you want it to. This allows you to create custom filter for the selected objects you want to show. Here is an example of a report that was run using the custom report pack.


Figure 7: Backup Infrastructure Custom Data Report

 

The ability to create custom reports  allows you to define your own configuration parameters, performance metrics, and filters when utmost flexibility is required. How cool is that?

Agent monitoring in Business View

To assist with monitoring Veeam Agent Backup activity, you can utilize Veeam ONE Business View. Veeam ONE Business View has added the ability to categorize agents in business terms. If you have your backup server(s) connected into Veeam ONE, you can start categorizing any machine that is being protected by the Veeam Agent.


Figure 8: Agent Monitoring in Business View

 

Veeam ONE Business View allows you to group any computers running the Veeam Backup Agent managed by your backup server. This gives you another layer of monitoring for the Veeam Agents that was not available in previous versions of Veeam ONE.

Bringing visibility to the Veeam Agents

Veeam ONE gives you the tools needed to accurately monitor and report on your entire IT environment. Actively monitoring and reporting on your IT environment allows you to be proactive when addressing issues occurring in your environment, helps plan for future business IT operation needs, and provides understanding on how your data center works. By being able to add Veeam Agent Reporting to your physical environment, you can gather data points on the Veeam Agent backup jobs and document the results. The latest update brings to Veeam ONE many enhancements and functionality making it imperative to start using in your data center today.

The post Enhanced agent monitoring and reporting in Veeam ONE appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.


Enhanced agent monitoring and reporting in Veeam ONE

Application-level monitoring for your workloads

Source: Veeam

If you haven’t noticed, Veeam ONE has really taken on an incredible amount of capabilities with the 9.5 Update 4 release.

One capability that can be a difference-maker is application-level monitoring. This is a big deal for keeping applications available and is part of a bigger Availability story. Putting this together with incredible backup capabilities from Veeam Backup & Replication, application-level monitoring can extend your Availability to the applications on the workloads where you need the most Availability. What’s more, you can combine this with actions in Veeam ONE Monitor to put in the handling you want when applications don’t behave as expected.

Let’s take a look at application-level monitoring in Veeam ONE. This capability is inside of Veeam ONE Monitor, which is my personal favorite “part” of Veeam ONE. I’ve always said with Veeam ONE, “I guarantee that Veeam ONE will tell you something about your environment that you didn’t know, but need to fix.” And with application-level monitoring, the story is stronger than ever. Let’s start with both the processes and services inside of a running virtual machine in Veeam ONE Monitor:

 

I’ve selected the SQL Server service, which for any system with this service, is likely important. Veeam ONE Monitor can use a number of handling options for this service. The first are simple start, stop and restart service options that can be passed to the service control manager. But we also can set up some alarms based on the service:

 

The alarm capability for the services being monitored will allow a very explicit handling you can provide. Additionally, you can make it match the SLA or expectation that your stakeholders have. Take how this alarm is configured, if the service is not running for 5 minutes, the alarm will be triggered as an error. I’ll get to what happens next in a moment, but this 5-minute window (which is configurable) can be what you set as a reasonable amount of time for something to go through most routine maintenance. But if this time exceeds 5 minutes, something may not be operating as expected, and chances are the service should be restarted. This is especially true if you have a fiddlesome application that constantly or even occasionally requires manual intervention. This 5-minute threshold example may even be quick enough to avoid being paged in the middle of the night! The alarm rules are shown below:

 

The alarm by itself is good, but we need more sometimes. That’s where a different Veeam ONE capability can help out with remediation actions. I frequently equate, and it’s natural to do so, the remediation actions with the base capability. So, the base capability is the application-level monitoring, but the means to the end of how to fully leverage this capability comes from the remediation actions.

With the remediation actions, the proper handling can be applied for this application. In the screenshot below, I’ve put in a specific PowerShell script that can be automatically run when the alarm is triggered. Let your ideas go crazy here, it can be as simple as restarting the service — but you also may want to notify application owners that the application was remediated if they are not using Veeam ONE. This alone may be the motivation needed to setup read-only access to the application team for their applications. The configuration to run the script to automatically resolve that alarm is shown below:

 

Another piece of intelligence regarding services, application-level monitoring in Veeam ONE will also allow you to set an alarm based on the number of services changing. For example, if one or more services are added; an alarm would be triggered. This would be a possible indicator of an unauthorized software install or possibly a ransomware service.

Don’t let your creativity stop simply at service state, that’s one example, but application-level monitoring can be used for so many other use cases. Processes for example, can have alarms built on many criteria (including resource utilization) as shown below:

 

If we look closer at the process CPU, we can see that alarms can be built on if a process CPU usage (as well as other metrics) go beyond specified thresholds. As in the previous example, we can also put in handling with remediation actions to sort the situation based on pre-defined conditions. These warning and error thresholds are shown below:

 

As you can see, application-level monitoring used in conjunction with other new Veeam ONE capabilities can really set the bar high for MORE Availability. The backup, the application and more can be looked after with the exact amount of care you want to provide. Have you seen this new capability in Veeam ONE? If you haven’t, check it out!

You can find more information on Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4 here.

More on new Veeam ONE capabilities:

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Application-level monitoring for your workloads

Backup infrastructure at your fingertips with Heatmaps

Source: Veeam

One of the best things an organization can do is have a well-performing backup infrastructure. This is usually done by fine-tuning backup proxies, sizing repositories, having specific conversations with business stakeholders about backup windows and more. Getting that set up and running is a great milestone, but there is a problem. Things change. Workloads grow, new workloads are introduced, storage consumption increases and more challenges come into the mix every day.

Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4 introduced a new capability that can help organizations adjust to the changes:

Heatmaps!

Heatmaps are part of Veeam ONE Reporter and do an outstanding job of giving an at-a-glance view of the backup infrastructure that can help you quickly view if the environment is performing both as expected AND as you designed it. Let’s dig into the new heatmaps.

The heatmaps are available on Veeam ONE Reporter in the web user interface and are very easy to get started. In the course of showing heatmaps, I’m going to show you two different environments. One that I’ve intentionally set to be performing in a non-optimized fashion and one that is in good shape and balanced so that the visual element of the heatmap can be seen easily.

Let’s first look at the heatmap of the environment that is well balanced:

Here you can see a number of things, the repositories are getting a bit low on free space, including one that is rather small. The proxies carry a nice green color scheme and do not show too much variation in their work during their backup windows. Conversely if we see a backup proxy is dark green, that indicates it is not in use, which is not a good thing.

We can click on the backup proxies to get a much more detailed view, and you can see that the proxy has a small amount of work during the backup window in this environment in the mid-day timeframe and carries a 50% busy load:

When we look at the environment that is not so balanced, the proxies tell a different story:

You can see that first of all there are three proxies, but one of them seems to be doing much more work than the rest due to the color changes. This clearly tells me the proxies are not balanced, and this proxy selected is doing a lot more work than the others during the overnight backup window — which stretches out the backup window.

One of the coolest parts of the heatmap capability is that we can drill into a timeframe in the grid (this timeline can have a set observation window) that will tell us which backup jobs are causing the proxies to be so busy during this time, shown below:

In the details of the proxy usage, you can see the specific jobs that are set which are taking the CPU cycles are shown.

How can this help me tune my environment?

This is very useful as it may indicate a number of things, such as backup jobs being configured to not use the correct proxies, proxies not having the connectivity they need to perform the correct type of backup job. An example of this would be if one or more proxies are configured for only Hot-Add mode and they are physical machines, which makes that impossible. The proxy would never be selected for a job and the remaining proxies would be in charge of doing the backup job. This is all visible in the heatmap yet the backup jobs would complete successfully, but this type of situation would extend the backup window. How cool is that?

Beyond proxy usage, repositories are also very well reported with the heatmaps. This includes the Scale-Out Backup Repositories as well. This will allow you to view the underlying storage free space. The following animation will show this in action:

Show me the heatmaps!

As you can see, the heatmaps add an incredible visibility element to your backup infrastructure. You can see how it is performing, including if things are successful yet not as expected. You can find more information on Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 Update 4 here.

 

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Backup infrastructure at your fingertips with Heatmaps