Veeam Backup & Replication has a Content Pack!

Source: Veeam

If you use VMware vRealize Log Insight in your environment for log consolidation and analysis, you will be pleased to know that you can now obtain a Content Pack from Veeam to empower your backup admins. This means your admins can stay in the Log Insight and see even more useful information. This will also help your backup admins more easily confirm if a backup issue is in fact a network issue or a storage issue. It is nice to note that I believe we are the first data protection company with a Content Pack in the Log Insight Marketplace.

I think it might be worth understanding a little more about Log Insight. It is a log consolidation tool — meaning it can configure vCenter Events and all your ESXi hosts to forward their logs to it. Plus, you can configure your storage and network to forward to it their logs so everything is in one place. That is all done via syslog. You can also use agents to forward Windows event logs to Log Insight. This means you are looking at all the logs on the same time scale.  So, you can type the word timeout and potentially see an SCSI timeout error and not just see when/where it occurred but also what it may have impacted. Content Packs are what vendors can create to help you look at all that information and see value in it like backup job failures. Once you know that you can search and see what else occurred at that same time, that might help you solve the issue much faster.

It is also important to note you can use Log Insight for alerting. Very powerful alerting in that you can generate alerts based on queries based on what is import to you regardless of source.

Let’s see what the Content Pack can show you. Here are some of the screens in the Content Pack.

vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for Veeam Backup & Replication

Figure 1. Overview Screen

vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for Veeam Backup & Replication

Figure 2. Backup jobs — shows you state of your specific backup jobs

vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for Veeam Backup & Replication

Figure 3. System screen — shows you Veeam related system info

As you can see from these sample screens from my lab there is a lot of very good info available in the different dashboards and widgets. Hopefully in your lab the failed jobs widget is blank!

Let’s look at something specific I think is useful. If you check out Figure 3 you can see that my lab has experienced some dropped connections in my Veeam infrastructure. That might help me provide answers to backup issues since now I know that the Veeam infrastructure had issues that could and would in this case impact backups.

vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for Veeam Backup & Replication

Figure 4. Dropped Connections widget

Notice the I for more information — in Figure 4 — and see what it does in Figure 5? See the arrow that will open up the Interactive Analytics? Depending on your access in Log Insight you may or may not see the COG (gear wheel) as seen above in Figure 4. When you click on the arrow you will see something like below in Figure 6.

vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for Veeam Backup & Replication

Figure 5. More Information on a widget

vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for Veeam Backup & Replication

Figure 6. Interactive Analytics

As mentioned above, the Content Pack provides alerts and there are quite a few of them. Here is a list of some of the interesting ones:

  • Backup job failed
  • Backup Copy job failed
  • Deleted job
  • License expiring
  • ReFS events seen
  • Replication job failed

So, on any of these (or any of the many others) you can configure the alert to fire and email you whenever the specific condition occurs.

To make this work for you, you would need to install the Veeam Content Pack from the Marketplace. The information below will help you get it going.

vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for Veeam Backup & Replication

Figure 7. Admin menu, then Content Packs

Once you select Content Packs you will see the content packs you have already installed and you need to change to the Marketplace. Look above in the top left of the screen and you will see some as seen below in Figure 7.

vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for Veeam Backup & Replication

Figure 8. Selecting Marketplace to see other Content Packs

Now you scroll down to locate the Veeam Backup & Replication Content Pack.

vRealize Log Insight Content Pack for Veeam Backup & Replication

Figure 9. Online marketplace, look at Veeam!

You only need to push on the tile and it will be installed. Once installed it was will be shown as we see it above in Figure 8.

By the way, if you are behind a firewall and do not have a way to access the Internet or the Log Insight Marketplace you can also find the CP in the VMware Solution Exchange.

When the CP is installed there is a link (for general help and agent configuration help) that will help you install and configure the agents (along with other info on the Content Pack). You only need to have the agent installed on your main backup server and not any of the other servers — so not on repository or proxy servers.

Once the agent is installed and configured you will have information in your Log Insight Veeam dashboard. But as backups, restores, SureBackups, replication and backup copy jobs occur you will see more information.

Let me know below what else you might like to see in the Content Pack as it is a 1.0 and we really want your help growing it. In addition, let us know what other Veeam applications I should do a Content Pack for next.

The post Veeam Backup & Replication has a Content Pack! appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Backup & Replication has a Content Pack!

Veeam Backup & Replication is now certified on vSAN

Source: Veeam

Someone asked me, “What does this mean?” I thought that might be a good place to start this off. VMware vSAN is one of the very exciting features of VMware vSphere in that it provides software defined storage. The power of this is you can install ESXi and vCenter, and if your hosts have a mix of SSD and HD disks or just SSD, you can enable vSAN with only a few clicks and you then have shared storage among all your hosts. Very different than the traditional process of provisioning storage. Add another host and you get more processor, RAM and storage, too. There is a reason that vSAN is one of the fastest selling products at VMware and that ease of provisioning and managing storage is a big part of it.

Veeam released support for vSAN in June of 2014. Before that, Veeam customers could, in fact, back up virtual machines (VMs), and more importantly, restore VMs that were hosted on vSAN with no problem, but that support added some important smart logic. This logic means that if you have a Veeam proxy on the same host as a VM, the smart logic will make sure that proxy will do the backup and not a different proxy on a different host. This means a faster backup since there is less network traffic. If a VM was on host A but a proxy on host C did the backup, there is more traffic over the network.

Veeam also supports backing up and restoring the storage policy that is associated with the virtual machine. At restore, the same policy is connected by default, but you can choose a different policy if that is appropriate. You can see this in the image below.

Veeam Backup & Replication is now certified on vSAN

Figure 1. Restore of a VM backed up on vSAN

This is very important since the power of storage policy is to deliver the right storage performance and other requirements that your VMs need. Veeam needs to make sure that at the restore, the very same policy is applied to the VM — and it does. And the choice to change it is useful, too.

At Veeam, we saw that vSAN was growing and being seen in more of our customers, and as a result, we added in vSAN support to the Veeam Management Pack for Microsoft System Center v8. This support includes approximately 70+ monitors and each of those come with a Knowledge Base article that can help explain when the monitor displays an alert. It provides real-time visualization into critical cluster states and is even part of the very useful Veeam Morning Coffee Dashboard. See below for an example of the vSAN related alarms.

Veeam Backup & Replication is now certified on vSAN

Figure 2. Partial list of vSAN alarms from Veeam SCOM MP

Recently, Veeam was invited to participate in the VMware Ready for vSAN program, new with the launch of VMware vSAN 6.5. Veeam Backup & Replication was tested extensively and we are pleased to say it is certified as VMware Ready for vSAN within the Data Protection category. To learn more about this recent development, please see this KB article as well as Veeam’s listing in the vSAN HCL.

So, the question is, what does this mean? It means if you use Veeam software on vSAN, the Veeam software knows what vSAN is and can work with it the way you need to work with it. This way, you will always be able to restore your VMs!

The post Veeam Backup & Replication is now certified on vSAN appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Veeam Backup & Replication is now certified on vSAN

The Zen of data center maintenance

Source: Veeam

Data centers have been around for a long time and are very important. Especially for me, as I sit here listening to Apple Music — which is streaming from an Apple data center. The backups, applications and widgets you use every day are all made possible because there is a data center somewhere that supports them. We have learned which processes and procedures work based on what does or doesn’t go well. We’re going to look at some different maintenance activities today, but we’ll also discuss data center outages to see what we can learn.

Planned maintenance

In the past, you had to make an appointment (usually late at night or on a weekend) to update things like firmware or operating systems. It’s important to note that this was a scheduled process and passed change control and change configuration. I prefer to avoid doing things the old way if possible!

Preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a proactive activity. It could be installing more memory on a server or adding a server to a cluster. These tasks are often completed as a part of a planned data center maintenance period.

Planned outage

A planned outage is very much like planned maintenance, but you are utilizing an outage to perform preventative maintenance. Sometimes this is due to changes related to hardware —like HBA adapter firmware upgrades or maybe a router OS upgrade.

Unplanned outage

Unplanned outages occur when your applications or services stop working because you failed to perform preventive data center maintenance. It usually has a very negative impact on your company and is difficult to deal with.

Suggestions

What has changed in data centers over the years? We now have tools and processes in place to perform planned maintenance without an outage, which is important. It means you can complete data center maintenance during a weekday to eliminate overtime. You can avoid planned outages and do more preventative maintenance without that outage.

VMware has the VMware Update Manager (VUM) that allows you to trigger maintenance mode in an ESXi host to do VMware patching of hosts without any outage to the VMs and applications. It is a semi-automated activity, which can proactively let you know when there are pending updates.

VMware vSphere Clusters are important constructs because they support interesting patching, like VUM, but they also make it easy to add a host to grow scalability without an outage.

Dell EMC has an amazing utility called OpenManage Integration for vCenter, which means you can do hardware level updates of firmware and drivers using maintenance mode in the servers, so there is no impact to users or VMs. Other vendors have similar tools.

At this point, you can patch your VM hosts without an outage. You can complete hardware firmware updates without an outage. So, this means more preventative data center maintenance is done without planned outages.

And, after what I heard recently, I will also suggest that clean power — filtered and balanced —  is very important too!

What about unplanned outages?

This is the most important. When you have something go wrong, you need to manage that too. Even if your whole data center is gone, or just a big part it. You need an orchestration type tool like Veeam Availability Orchestrator that can help you power up replicas on your recovery site and get all of your services working again. The important thing here is to have the shortest possible outage.

If you have any questions or comments, just let me know.

The post The Zen of data center maintenance appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

The Zen of data center maintenance