Tips to backup & restore your SQL Server

Source: Veeam

Microsoft SQL Server is often one of the most critical applications in an organization, with too many uses to count. Due to its criticality, your SQL Server and its data should be thoroughly protected. Business operations rely on a core component like Microsoft SQL Server to manage databases and data. The importance of backing up this server and ensuring you have a recovery plan in place is tangible. People want consistent Availability of data. Any loss of critical application Availability can result in decreased productivity, lost sales, lost customer confidence and potentially loss of customers. Does your company have a recovery plan in place to protect its Microsoft SQL Server application Availability? Has this plan been thoroughly tested?

Microsoft SQL Server works on the backend of your critical applications, making it imperative to have a strategy set in place in case something happens to your server. Veeam specifically has tools to back up your SQL Server and restore it when needed. Veeam’s intuitive tool, Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server, is easy to use and doesn’t require you to be a database expert to quickly restore the database. This blog post aims to discuss using these tools and what Veeam can offer to help ensure your SQL Server databases are well protected and always available to your business.

The Basics

There are some things you should take note of when using Veeam to back up your Microsoft SQL Server. An important aspect and easy way to ensure your backup is consistent is to check that application-aware processing is enabled for the backup job. Application aware processing is Veeam’s proprietary technology based on Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service. This technology quiescences the applications running on the virtual machine to create a consistent view of data. This is done so there are no unfinished database transactions when a backup is performed. This technology creates a transactionally consistent backup of a running VM minimizing the potential for data loss.

Enabling Application Aware processing is just the first step, you must also consider how you want to handle the transaction logs. Veeam has different options available to help process the transaction logs. The options available are truncate logs, do not truncate logs, or backup logs periodically.


Figure 1: SQL Server Transaction logs Options

Figure 1 shows the Backup logs periodically option is selected in this scenario. This option supports any database restore operation offered through Veeam Backup & Replication. In this case, Veeam periodically will transfer transaction logs to the backup repository and store them with the SQL server VM backup, truncating logs on the original VM. Make sure you have set the recovery model for the required SQL Server database to full or bulk-logged.

If you decide you do not want to truncate logs, Veeam will preserve the logs. This option puts the control into the database administrator’s hands, allowing them to take care of the database logs. The other alternative is to truncate logs, this selection allows Veeam to perform a database restore to the state of the latest restore point. To read more about backing up transaction logs check out this blog post.

Data recovery

Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server delivers consistent application Availability through the different restore options it offers to you. These include the ability to restore a database to a specific point in time, restore a database to the same or different server, restore it back to its original location or export to a specified location. Other options include performing restores of multiple databases at once, the ability to perform a table-level recovery or running transaction log replay to perform quick point-in-time restores.


Figure 2: Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server

Recovery is the most important aspect of data Availability. SQL Transaction log backup allows you to back up your transaction logs on a regular basis meeting recovery point objectives (RPOs). This provides not only database recovery options, but also point-in-time database recovery. Transaction-level recovery saves you from a bad transaction such as a table drop, or a mass delete of records. This functionality allows you to do a restore to a point in time right before the bad transaction had occurred, for minimal data loss.

And it is available for FREE!

Veeam offers a variety of free products and Veeam Explorer for Microsoft SQL Server is one that is included in that bunch. If you are using Veeam Backup Free Edition already, you currently have this Explorer available to you. The free version allows you to view database information, export a database and export a database schema or data. If you’re interested in learning more about what you get with Veeam Backup Free Edition, be sure to download this HitchHikers Guide.

Read more

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Tips to backup & restore your SQL Server

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

Veeam & HPE take recovery to the next level with storage snapshots!

Source: Veeam

Back up is the first step along the journey toward data Availability and backing up data is a day to day task many of us do without knowing it. The real value in those backups is achieving efficient and fast recovery to meet the crucial demands of the business. Over the years Veeam has become synonymous with data Availability and with the integration with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) storage, users gain industry-leading recovery capabilities to minimize data loss. This integration allows storage snapshots to become more purposeful through Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots, Backup from Storage Snapshots and On-Demand Sandbox for Storage Snapshots. Veeam Backup & Replication integrates with HPE 3PAR, Nimble and StoreVirtual snapshot capabilities to create a highly-available, cost effective, efficient environment for storing, protecting and recovering data.

Going one step further by leveraging data

I mentioned that backup was the first step in the journey of data Availability; automation is another step on that journey. The automation part comes here in the form of being able to take those storage-efficient snapshots and put them to use by way of offering them out to development teams in an isolated sandbox environment. The use of the On-Demand Sandbox for Storage Snapshots allows users to test VMs, troubleshoot issues, and perform testing scenarios. If you are already familiar with the On-Demand Sandbox feature, the set-up to utilize the snapshot integration will be similar. You will need to configure a virtual lab, Application group and a SureBackup job.

Leveraging storage snapshots through the On-Demand Sandbox is not the only way you can utilize this snapshot technology. Backup from Storage Snapshots is a way to optimize and enhance VM backups in an easy way. This technology reduces the impact on production data and allows for non-disruptive backups of VMs. With HPE 3PAR and with Nimble Secondary Flash Arrays, Veeam can provide backup from a secondary storage array to reduce impact on the production environment even further.

For Nimble environments, the introduction of the HPE Nimble Secondary Flash Array allows users to utilize this array to be used as a source for backup jobs, eliminating any performance hit on the production infrastructure during the backup window. The backup from the Nimble Secondary storage array is asynchronous, meaning the snapshot is first triggered on the primary array then copied or replicated to the secondary storage array. Snapshots and their replication between the primary array to the secondary array can be orchestrated through Veeam Backup & Replication. Should you want to learn more about Veeam’s integration with Nimble, this blog post is a great source to start. For HPE 3PAR StoreServ, the technology is a little different but can achieve the same outcome. To achieve this with an HPE 3PAR StoreServ array, you need to configure a peer persistence relationship between the two.

Peer Persistence

It’s one thing to be able to offer backup from storage snapshots but to be able to leverage synchronous storage replication technology allowing you to choose to take the backup from one site to another is an additional differentiator that the Veeam and HPE partnership brings to the table. Peer Persistence software allows HPE 3PAR StoreServ systems to act as peers to each other, with both arrays being active, holding primary production volumes and secondary volumes. When Veeam Backup & Replication is configured to use snapshots of secondary volumes, the storage snapshot is triggered directly on the secondary volume, meaning the primary one remains untouched from a backup activity perspective. This technology is not done by Veeam by default but needs to be configured correctly by the user. If you want to learn more about this Veeam configuration, this blog post is a great place to start.

Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots

Restoring from a storage snapshot can be a difficult, multi-task process taking quite some time, especially if you wanted to restore specific individual or application objects. The Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots takes this manual process and makes it much simpler. Through the Veeam Explorer, IT administrators can browse the storage snapshot to perform fast granular recovery of files and application items, even if these snapshots were not created by Veeam itself. Being able to recover from snapshots allows users to benefit from reduced recovery point objectives for application items.

Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots

How it works

Veeam Explorer allows users to perform Instant VM Recovery, file-level restore, application items restore including objects from Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, along with Oracle databases. Visit our Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots tool page to learn more!

… and it’s FREE!

It’s important to note that Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots is available in Veeam Backup Free Edition. This allows you to maximize your storage investments, making storage snapshots more useful in your environment with the recovery features the free edition has to offer. The functionality in the free edition allows you to utilize Instant VM Recovery, which once prompted can get machines up and running in minutes. Additionally, you can restore files and most application items through Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots. If you want to learn more about what the free edition has to offer, check out Hitchhiker’s Guide to Veeam Backup Free Edition.

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Veeam & HPE take recovery to the next level with storage snapshots!

Get the most of your VMware alarms with Veeam ONE

Source: Veeam

Monitoring data center performance is an essential part of every IT administrator’s job that shouldn’t be overlooked. There are many avenues you can go down when looking at a tool to help monitor performance, but with Veeam, you can do this with Veeam ONE. Veeam ONE has many capabilities, but one of the most important features is the alarm it triggers when part of your virtual environment isn’t working as it should. Pre-built alarms included in Veeam ONE keep IT administrators up-to-date on the operations and issues occurring in their environment in real-time. With over 200 pre-built alarms included in Veeam ONE, users can identify, troubleshoot and react to any issue that may affect critical applications and business operations. Predefined alarms monitor VMware vSphere and vCloud Director, Microsoft Hyper-V, Veeam Cloud Connect and any internal Veeam ONE issues.

Data collection in Veeam ONE occurs immediately after connecting to your virtual center, ESXi hosts, Hyper-V hosts or Veeam Backup & Replication servers. Alarms are based on a set of best practices used to benchmark in comparison with your environment and trigger an alarm when metrics are not aligned. Once an alarm is triggered, users will see details and information in the Veeam ONE console. Some alarms can be resolved manually when triggered and others can be resolved automatically. It is important to note you can modify alarms to fit your business. This includes editing rules, assigning alarms to different objects or creating actions for when certain alarms fire off. Actions created include receiving an email alert on the issue or instructing Veeam ONE to run a script once an alarm is triggered. Within the alarm settings, users can change thresholds or aggregation allowing you to tailor the alarms to fit your business.

Veeam ONE Alarm Settings

Fig. 1: Alarm settings

The Alarm settings wizard is shown above. This wizard allows you to adjust the alarm, add different rules to the alarm, enable actions to happen once the alarm has been triggered and allow users to add custom notes on how to resolve the alarm in the knowledge base section. With simple changes, you can set the alarm criteria to be customized for certain servers without affecting other counters in Veeam ONE.

VMware vSphere alarms

There are many Veeam ONE built-in alarms that detect issues in VMware vSphere infrastructure components. The alarms included alert on everything from the vCenter Server, to clusters and hosts, and all the way down to datastores and virtual machines. Veeam ONE will also look at vCloud Director vApps, organization and more.

Veeam ONE Monitor View of Alarms

Fig. 2: Monitor view of alarms

An important alarm that Veeam ONE will trigger is Host connection failure. As the name states, this alarm monitors VMware vCenter Server API for events indicating that a host is disconnected. Similarly, alarms such as Host available memory will inform you when the host is low on memory or Host CPU usage when CPU usage has exceeded the defined threshold. As mentioned previously, there are alarms to detect issues with virtual machines. Some of these include Orphaned VM backup snapshot, High Memory Usage and Heartbeat missing. Along with an alarm to detect high memory usage on the host, there is a High balloon memory utilization alarm notifying you if there is an increased consumption of the VMware Tools memory controller, also known as the “balloon driver,” within a VM.

Alarms also detect if there are VMs in your environment that have no backups/replicas. This can help ensure that you are meeting SLAs and will be notified if your backup/replica are not meeting defined recovery point objectives (RPOs).

A notable alarm included in Veeam ONE is the Possible ransomware activity alarm, which detects if there is any suspicious activity occurring on the VM. These alarms — plus much more — will provide visibility into your data center to ensure Availability for your business.

Veeam ONE Ransomware Alarm

Fig. 3: Ransomware alarm details

Veeam Backup & Replication alarms

There are many alarms to help detect issues within your virtual infrastructure, but there are also alarms for your data protection operations. Alarms are configured to warn about events or issues that can cause data loss or prevent Veeam Backup & Replication from working properly. Alarms detect connectivity issues, state of Veeam Backup & Replication components, failing jobs or jobs finishing with warnings, any configuration issues, long running jobs plus much more. Veeam ONE can even detect if your backup repository is running out of free space, which is shown with the Backup Repository Free Space alarm.

Veeam Backup & Replication Monitoring

Fig. 4: Veeam Backup & Replication monitoring

Conclusion

Alarms identify if something isn’t working properly in your environment, allowing you to quickly resolve and troubleshoot the issue. Veeam ONE provides visibility into the data center to ensure healthy operations for your business. This blog post describes just some of the alarms included in Veeam ONE, but there are many more to help ensure your data center is operating as it should. Veeam ONE is a great tool to utilize in your business, not only for the alarms, but also provides monitoring, reporting and business view categorization.

If you want to learn more about Veeam ONE and how it provides visibility to the Always-On Business, check out some of the following resources:

The post Get the most of your VMware alarms with Veeam ONE appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Get the most of your VMware alarms with Veeam ONE

How to benefit from Veeam ONE: Monitoring, performance optimization, reporting and more!

Source: Veeam

Complete visibility within the data center is essential to keeping businesses available 24.7.365. Visibility into the data center allows IT administrators to properly utilize resources, be proactive in troubleshooting issues and run reports on their environment. Veeam allows businesses to remain proactive in monitoring and managing their environment through Veeam ONE. If you haven’t heard about it, you are truly missing out, as it works not only for your Veeam-powered data protection operations, but for entire VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments as well. Veeam ONE helps to optimize the performance, configuration and utilization of virtual resources while providing visibility to fix issues before any operational impact. This blog post will highlight some of the amazing features included in Veeam ONE and how you can utilize them for your business.

Health state monitoring

Veeam ONE gives you the tools to monitor your environment from every view with any level of detail. From the Summary tab to the Top Load and Lowest Load dashboards, users gain visibility down to the VM to see, which parts of the infrastructure are handling or consuming the most resources. To start, the VM tab gives you a brief overview of the VMs in your environment and what you have assigned to them in terms of provisioned space, used space, CPU and memory usage, along with how many vCPUs have been assigned to a machine. If you then move onto the Top VMs/Hosts of the Lowest Load tabs you can see the VMs/Hosts that have been using the most or least resources in your environment. These stats come in handy when reassigning resources, as you can assign more resources to the machines that need them and then also check over-provisioned VMs. These stats are also included in some of the reports that Veeam ONE provides, which will be described in detail later in this post.

The alarms that Veeam ONE fires off are a different aspect of monitoring. The pre-built alarms included in the tool allow users to proactively manage environments. Data protection alarms detect the state of the backup jobs and show how many jobs have failed, finished with warning or were successful. Alarms can also detect if jobs exceed backup windows, if the backup repository is running out of free space or notify administrators of connection failures between proxies or WAN accelerators in your environment. Not only does Veeam ONE have alarms specifically for data protection operations, alarms can notify you of errors occurring in vCenter, vCloud Director or Hyper-V.

How to benefit from Veeam ONE

Figure 1. The Veeam ONE monitor.

Performance charts

Performance charts within Veeam ONE allow you to analyze aspects of the environment to detect any issues and find the root cause. Consumed resources including CPU, memory, network, datastores and virtual disk performance can easily be seen over days, weeks, months or years. The charts show active, peak and average usage, helping determine how and when resources are being utilized the most. These charts are available for your virtual environment whether you are running VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V, but you can even utilize these charts for your backup infrastructure components. Under the data protection view you can switch between the different charts, allowing you to identify bottlenecks within the backup data flow. You can track performance metrics for physical and virtual backup servers, proxies, repositories, WAN accelerators or Enterprise Manager servers.

How to benefit from Veeam ONE

Figure 2. The CPU performance chart included in Veeam ONE.

You can see the minimum, average and maximum CPU per object within your virtual environment in the graph above. In this instance, the chart displays the usage from the past week and is highlighting one of the objects where CPU had increased for a short period and then leveled out. This analyzes CPU performance and allows users to monitor usage and take note of peak times.

Gain at-a-glance dashboards and reports

With all the monitoring capabilities included in Veeam ONE, it is also imperative to recognize the reporting capabilities, because this provides quantifiable data to your business. Veeam ONE doesn’t just provide reports, but also includes dashboards to provide at-a-glance views of the managed Veeam Backup & Replication infrastructure, VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments. Each dashboard contains charts, graphs and tables allowing you to focus on critical areas of your managed environment showing alarms, trends and resource utilization. The Veeam Backup & Replication Dashboard is shown below:

How to benefit from Veeam ONE

Figure 3. The Veeam Backup & Replication dashboard.

These dashboards can also be customized, which allows users to present the most important aspects of the virtual environment.

Along with the numerous dashboards available, Veeam ONE provides reports to analyze virtual environments before backup software is installed or new strategies are implemented. These reports can estimate VM storage usage and daily change rates of VMs, ensure your virtual infrastructure is configured correctly and help estimate future needs for capacity space, among much more. Reports can identify and detect issues before they can affect off-site backup or disaster recovery (DR) for your business. Infrastructure reports are available for both hypervisors that Veeam supports, allowing users to look at their infrastructure before proceeding with backup operations.

Reporter can also help identify the costs of provisioned VMs for application owners and business units. This can be helpful to see which units are using the most resources and costing your business the most amount of money. With this information, you can use the optimization reports to reassign resources where needed to get the most of what you have. The Oversized & Undersized VMs report will identify VMs that don’t have sufficient CPU, Memory or RAM assigned to them, allowing you to correctly assign and reconfigure VMs to get the best performance. Let’s look at the Oversized VMs report below.

How to benefit from Veeam ONE
How to benefit from Veeam ONE
How to benefit from Veeam ONE

Figure 4. The Oversized VMs report.

The report shows the total amount of VMs that are oversized, including if they are oversized by CPU or memory. Reading through the report, you can see the average usage and the peak usage including recommendations on resources you can reclaim. The same information is available for memory usage as well.

Along with these reports — to help better utilize resources in your environment — Veeam ONE has Veeam Backup & Replication capacity planning reports to help estimate the amount of space required to store backup files on repositories and help forecast when the amount of space reached its limit. The Capacity Planning for Backup Repositories report helps ensure that there is enough space for your backup data at any point in time, while also calculating the amount of additional space that needs to be provisioned to accommodate necessary restore points. The report estimates this data by looking at historical performance and analyzing performance utilization trends to allow you to rationally plan your resources.

Conclusion

There are many capabilities within Veeam ONE to benefit your business and ensure you remain available 24.7.365. With all the reports, monitoring capabilities and pre-defined alarms, you can stay active in your environment and troubleshoot issues before a problem occurs. The tools included can help estimate and determine storage needs through change rate estimation reports along with capacity planning reports. If you haven’t tried this power in action yet — you should, and you can download a FREE Veeam ONE trial here.

The post How to benefit from Veeam ONE: Monitoring, performance optimization, reporting and more! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

How to benefit from Veeam ONE: Monitoring, performance optimization, reporting and more!