Here we are at a follow up article with regards to the initial installation steps for the Veeam Backup Server overview. At the time of writing, this article series uses the Veeam VBR 9.5 update 2 which has been recently released. This version addresses lots of improvements not to mention the support for the ever growing list of the latest platforms when it comes down to Storage, Operating Systems and Hypervisors.
In this article we will explore the initial configuration. The good news is that a default installation of Veeam Backup Server already covers the majority of scenarios. Of course it is possible to customise the standard configuration to fit different needs. These are global settings. It is also possible to create specific settings for different Veaam Backup Jobs
We can easily operate all the major settings from the very first drop-down menu button. From this button we can access the menus to setup:
- Credentials used to connect and manage VMs
- Management of Passwords to encrypt Backups
- Ability to setup Azure Accounts connecting to respective cloud instances
- General Options panel to control global settings like I/O control, Notifications and History retention
- Role Based Administration access
- Network Traffic Rules
- Veeam Configuration settings backup
and last but least additional settings like the license rather than a colour theme. The latter adding a nice finishing touch!
All these settings can be changed at any time. It is a good idea to revisit them on a scheduled basis making the setup more effective.
The Credentials Manager in Veeam Backup Server stores the details for usernames and passwords. These will be used to interact at different levels. For example to authenticate and access a machine for which we are taking a backup. If we also want the application awareness enabled during the Backup Jobs the details created here apply as well. The credentials can be created for both windows and Linux based machines. But we can do more. Another scenario covers the credentials that need to be provided for CIFS or SMB shares. These type of shares can be configured to store our Backups. More is included in a later article about the creation of CIFS Backup Repositories.
Generally speaking we tend to operate within environments configured with Active Directory. The Credential Manager supports entries also for “non-active directory scenarios”. For example when taking the Backup of a machine outside the Domain. In another case it could be when installing Veeam Backup components on machines outside the Domain.
Last but not least the ability to store credential also for the licensed VMware Hosts, vCenters and Cloud Director environments. Hyper-V of course is in as well!
it is also possible to use the Password Manager to create and manage a list of passwords that we plan to use for data encryption. Password management is helpful in the following situations:
- We want to create new passwords. We can use one password per job or share the same password between different ones.
- We want to manage an existing password, for example change its hint, or delete completely.
Still with regards to credentials from the same drop-down menu it is possible to access the wizard for the Azure accounts. As per screenshot below the wizard is very easy to follow. Veeam supports both Classic and Azure Resource Manager modes. When restoring Backups directly to Azure Veeam will use the details related to the subscription associated with the Azure Account. For example when registering a new VM
Manage Veeam Backup Server Configuration
When it comes down to global settings the Options window is organised with different tabs. The first about I/O controls surely is interesting. It simply gives the ability to enable parallel processing. It applies to the number of virtual disks irrespective of the number of VMs. In some cases or in specific condition it is also possible to disable this settings in order to not to compete with poor performing storage when compared to required workload from virtual machines.
Eventually we can turn it off during “Production” hours avoiding impact on the same storage during Backup Jobs. Should this be case I would recommend to take a look at the Storage Read and Write Latency to have a better idea. Veeam ONE is the perfect companion. Also for additional information.
Talking about storage latency when we have a better idea of the critical thresholds for our storage we can definitely control these with custom values. Upon reaching them, Veeam can automatically stop and even throttle I/O by slowing down the Backup Job. If we have an Enterprise Plus license we are also able to specify custom thresholds per Datastore
Email and other Notification settings
The next three tabs are about notification settings with regards to Email, SNMP and general information. In the case of email settings it is also possible to format emails using built-in variables like:
- %Time% – returns completion time
- %JobName% – returns the Backup Job Name
- %JobResult% – Returns the Job Status
- %VmCount% – returns the number of VMs in the job
- %Issues% – returns the number of VMs in the job that have been processed with some failures
Individual Backup Jobs can also have their individual Email configuration settings
Other monitoring systems like CA UniCenter, BMC Patrol, IBM Tivoli and HPE OpenView can leverage the SNMP traps from Veeam Backup Jobs
Last Notification tab is pertinent to general settings like free disk space below a certain threshold on both Backup and Production storage. Again notifications are also available in case of reaching support expiration or new updates
In the History tab we can determine how many session information we want to show in the logs and how many we want to retain. Data automatically aggregates in into weeks
Role Based Administration Access
For large organisations we can assign one of the following roles to users or groups of users who plan to work with Veeam Backup & Replication:
- Veeam Restore Operator
- Can perform restore operations using existing backups and replicas
- Veeam Backup Viewer
- Has “Read-Only” access to Veeam VBR. Can view existing jobs and review the job session details
- Veeam Backup Operator
- Can start and stop existing jobs
- Veeam Backup Administrator
- Has “Full Control” of Veeam VBR
Veeam Network Traffic Rules
In order to reduce the impact on the Network Veeam can also throttle the network traffic. these are global settings that all Veeam Backup components are using. When performing offsite backups or replicate VMs to a DR Data Center over slow WAN links these settings are very helpful. Of course it is also possible to include the Veeam WAN Accelerators that greatly help by optimising the network traffic between distant geographical locations
In addition Veeam Backup Server offers the capability of setting preferred networks where to route all the VM Data Traffic during Backups. Very useful when non-production networks are available
Veeam Configuration Backup
Last but not least is Configuration Backup Settings window. From here we can specify where and when Veeam database Backup is stored. It is a good practice to store this on a separate location from the Backup Server itself in case of major disasters. In addition also the option to encrypt the backup copy
We have now concluded the second part of the Veeam Backup & Replication overview. In the next article we’ll go into more details about adding Windows Backup Proxies. The general settings for Veeam Backup are really easy to configure as we have seen here. Hopefully this article is informative with regards to mentioned settings. I’m ready to go for the next articles on the series and to receive feedback on the next topics to cover