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Optimize your restores to Microsoft Azure with PowerShell – Part 2

Source: Veeam

We’ve covered how using a PowerShell script might come in handy for certain use cases. Now, let’s take the PowerShell script and show how it can be backed into your day-to-day Veeam Backup & Replication jobs.

In this post, we will cover how these scripts can be run before and after the backup job. This would allow us to take the most recent backup and convert it straight into an Azure Virtual Machine after the backup job is done. This means we can schedule the backup job to start within a certain window and get this machine (or a group of machines) converted before your test/development team is even in the building.

The use case

This specific use case I keep mentioning is around test and development. There are no hard rules on this, anything that could take advantage of cloud computing within Azure is a valid use case. For example, taking advantage of an isolated environment to perform modern analytics against the most current backup data or for training and development to certain areas of the business. The possibilities are endless.

You saw in the last post the creation of the raw PowerShell script, by taking that script and adding that to a backup job as pre- and post-job scripts which give us the ability to schedule a conversion task. The time it takes to convert to that Azure VM or that group of Azure VMs depends on the backup file placement.

Adding the script to the job

We want to firstly run through creating a new backup job or using an existing backup job. On the “Storage” step of the settings you have an “Advanced” button, by selecting it and going to the “Scripts” tab, you can specify your pre- and post-job scripts. Another interesting concept here is an ability to pick either a number of times you want to run these scripts or certain days to run them on.

Pre-job script

The concept of the pre-script is the clean-up script mentioned in the first post. The idea here is that we may not want to duplicate multiple instances within our Azure environment. If we do then maybe we just remove this script completely. What this script is going to do is power down and remove any of our provisioned resources from the last run of the job. If this is the first run and there are no provisioned resources, then you will receive an exit code 1 meaning there is nothing to be removed.

Post-job script

This script is going to take place after the backup operation has completed. In our case, the job will take the most recent restore point and send it for conversion in our test and development environment in Azure. Once the backup job is complete, you will see a new job for conversion start within the Veeam Backup & Replication tasks.

The post Optimize your restores to Microsoft Azure with PowerShell – Part 2 appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Optimize your restores to Microsoft Azure with PowerShell – Part 2

Optimize your restores to Microsoft Azure with PowerShell

Source: Veeam

I firstly wanted to highlight a series that is being written by Jorge on Microsoft Azure and Veeam. He touches on connectivity, deployment, configuration and then restore options. This is where I want to jump in with the topic of my at least two-part series. I will be touching on a feature within Veeam Backup & Replication called Veeam Restore to Microsoft Azure. Though before it was baked into Veeam Backup & Replication, it was a standalone free product available in the Microsoft Azure marketplace. Veeam Backup & Replication 9.5, with this included feature, was launched at the back end of 2016, but the standalone has been around since around April 2016.

There are lots of resources out there running through the process and lots of demo videos on YouTube, but I wanted to show some more options that we can use this feature for.

A PowerShell script use case

The reason I wanted to put this concept out there was to highlight some of the additional functionality you could bring to your environment using this feature. The real use case that stands out today is the ability to migrate your workloads to Azure away from the on-premises configuration. This is achievable, but this is a one-way conversion. Very much like the physical to virtual (P2V) process we all know and went through a few years back. Another use case would be around leveraging Azure for an isolated test and development environment. Again, completely doable, but the issue within the interface is that you must be reactive to when you want to set this lab up and the wait time to transfer the image to Azure is the biggest piece to contend with.

What this PowerShell script concept will allow you to do is create a scheduled task to run proactively and give you the test bed without having to manually configure and wait for this to be set up. By using PowerShell script we can completely automate this process and have this run before you arrive in the office.

Pre-requisites and Azure requirements

There are a few things you need to have in place for us to start using this script that I will cover later on.

  • Microsoft Azure Account — preferably the Azure Resource Manager and not Classic Mode
  • A Veeam Backup & Replication server with the Veeam PowerShell SnapIn (This instance can be running anywhere including Azure)
  • A Veeam backup chain, as with the Veeam Backup & Replication server this can be stored anywhere. If it was stored in Azure, it would save that conversion time
  • Ability to add your Azure account to Veeam Backup & Replication via either interface or PowerShell. For the purposes of this blog post I will not cover this step

The other posts have already covered the process that Veeam Restore to Microsoft Azure takes, but the process involves the conversion of the VM’s backup file to a VM running in Microsoft Azure. By having the backup chain already in Microsoft Azure, you can expect that transfer time or the conversion time to be much faster than sending them from an on-premises location.

The Variables

“A variable is a value that can change, depending on conditions or on information passed to the program. Typically, a program consists of instructions that tell the computer what to do and data that the program uses when it is running.”

I will place the actual script to discover the variables that we require. There is one variable here that will determine the Veeam Backup restore point. In the script example you are able to determine the latest restore point of a VM in the backup. All this additional information will become clear with the second part of the series:

  • Backup job name, virtual machine name(s)
  • Azure Subscription
  • Azure Storage Account
  • Azure VM configuration
  • Azure Virtual Network
  • Azure Resource Group

More resources can be found within the Veeam user guide.

Variable Script

$restorepoint = Get-VBRBackup -Name "TPM04-SQL-02" | Get-VBRRestorePoint -Name "TPM04-SQL-02" | Sort-Object $_.creationtime -Descending | Select -First 1
$account = Get-VBRAzureAccount -Type ResourceManager -Name "username@domain.com"
$subscription = Get-VBRAzureSubscription -Account $account -name "SubscriptionName"
$storageaccount = Get-VBRAzureStorageAccount -Subscription $subscription -Name "vdr2ma"
$location = Get-VBRAzureLocation -Subscription $subscription -Name "eastus"
$vmsize = Get-VBRAzureVMSize -Subscription $subscription -Location $location -Name Standard_A1
$network = Get-VBRAzureVirtualNetwork -Subscription $subscription -Name "vdr2ma"
$subnet = Get-VBRAzureVirtualNetworkSubnet -Network $network -Name "default"
$resourcegroup = Get-VBRAzureResourceGroup -Subscription $subscription -Name "vdr2ma"

Running the script

Now for the fun part, lets run the job to start sending our latest restore point up into our pre-defined Azure environment.
 
Start-VBRVMRestoreToAzure -RestorePoint $restorepoint -Subscription $subscription -StorageAccount $storageaccount -VmSize $vmsize -VirtualNetwork $network -VirtualSubnet $subnet -ResourceGroup $resourcegroup -VmName TPM04SQL02restored2Azure -Reason "Test and Development"

Clean-up script

We also want to be able to stop this job or to clean up the Azure VMs we have provisioned. For this purpose, which is for a test and development use case, we want to completely remove the machine from our Azure environment.
 
Login-AzureRmAccount
Select-AzureSubscription -SubscriptionName $subscription -Current
Get-AzureRmVM -Name "TPM04SQL02restored2Azure" -ResourceGroupName $resourcegroup>
Stop-AzureRmVM -Name "TPM04SQL02restored2Azure" -ResourceGroupName $resourcegroup -force
Remove-AzureRmVM -ResourceGroupName $resourcegroup -Name "TPM04SQL02restored2Azure" -force

 
In the next post we will be covering how we can extend the use case even further and do more with this feature.

The post Optimize your restores to Microsoft Azure with PowerShell appeared first on Veeam Software Official Blog.

Optimize your restores to Microsoft Azure with PowerShell

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