Stand-alone console in Veeam Backup and Replication v9

Stand-alone console in Veeam Backup and Replication v9

One of the smallish, but significant improvements to Veeam Backup and Replication in version v9 is the introduction of the stand-alone console. That means the GUI is no longer tied to the Veeam Backup & Replication server itself. This is a very welcome improvement.

The default install in a green field scenario does not add the console. That requires a separate install. So if you prefer to do so, you can still mimic your installations to be as they used to be and install the console on the server still. This might be desirable just to have the console in place on the server just in case you need it.

You can specify to use the local host, an IP address or the sever name (FQDN) and choose to either use Windows session authentication when applicable for single sign on or specify the domain & username with a password. It’s pretty flexible.

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The benefits

What’s the big fuss about this stand-alone console in Veeam Backup and Replication v9Let’s look at what having this stand-alone console enables. Even when you chose to still have the console installed on the Veeam Backup & Replication v9 server itself you’ll enjoy the following new capabilities.

You can install the console on your workstation, laptop, dedicated management server and connect to any Veeam Backup & Replication v9 installation. That could be the one on premises for your company. It could be the ones at your customers. You get the idea. Each admin can have their own console for use with their account or accounts.

An admin can now also easy use multiple accounts or the same account within the same or different environments as long as there is connectivity.

The standalone console allows you to use PowerShell against backup server
remotely, without relying on PowerShell Remoting … A big thank you to Timothy Dewin for pointing this out to me!

You can run multiple instances of the console simultaneously. That  means we can have multiple connections to the same or different VEEAM environments.

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Normally when every admin is using his or her own account to RDP into the server this is not an issue. But his has actually also been fixed when you do run the console on the Veeam Backup & Replication server itself! You can actually even run multiple instances under the same account or a different account within the same RDP server session to the same or different deployments.

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In any case you can now administer VEEAM Backup & Replication without having to remote in to the server over RDP. The console will work over the LAN, WAN, or a VPN. Just make sure you have about 1Mbps bandwidth available to get the job done. Less than that and you might not find the experience very good. I suggest you test this to see how this works for you as your mileage may vary.

No more RDP ever?

Will I throw away my remote and secured RDP Gateway setup now I have a console? No. For one not every environment will let me connect over VPN. A locked down well secured RDS Gateway setup can provide for very save remote access with basically just keyboard, video, mouse and sound. Add two factor authentication for a more secure solution.. The ability to block the mapping of drives, printers, clipboard etc. secures against dropping content or files form a remote machine into your business environment.

Also, RDP has UDP available since Windows Server 2012 and that is an exceptionally marvelous tools to have when connecting over bad, low quality connections. It is amazing how good it works under such conditions. Even if do not want to RDP to the VEEAM Backup & Replication server I could RDP into a remote management workstation or server and use the console from there to connect to the Veeam Backup & Replication v9 server(s).

Hyper-V Amigos Chat at the Grand Canyon

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Last year, during the last week of October and the first week of November in 2015 my friend Carsten Rachfahl (@hypervserver) and I were in in the USA for Veeam’s VEEAMON 2015 and the Microsoft Global MVP Summit. In between those two events, we – two of the legendary Hyper-V Amigos – had to telecommute. No problems for us, we’re masters at remote working. We’re agile, flexible, dynamic, resourceful and mobile so we drove to the Grand Canyon to muse on our thoughts and recorded some videos on our experience at VEEAMON 2015 and our first experiences with the Windows server 2016 Technical Previews so far.

The results are nothing but amazing footage of a Hyper-V Amigos chat at the Grand Canyon. Both Hyper-V MVPs, Veeam Vanguards and Dell Tech Center Rockstars discuss what they know best and love to do whilst on their way to the Microsoft MVP Summit in a roundabout kind of way Smileimage

Enjoy people, have a great 2016. Click on the image above or follow this link:Hyper-V Amigos Chat at the Grand Canyon. More info on these technologies can also be found at http://hyper-v-amigos.net and http://hyper-v-server.de.

KB3063283 Updates the Hyper-V Integration Components for Windows Server 2012 R2 to 6.3.9600.17831

While investigating a backup issue with some VMs I noticed an entry in the VEEAM Backup & Replication logs that the Hyper-V integration components were out of date.

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This was the case on all the guests on that particular cluster actually. A quick look at the IC version on the host showed them to be at 6.3.9600.17831.

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Comparing that to the ones in the guest made clear very quickly that those were at 6.3.9600.16384. So lower.

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A web search for Hyper-V Integration components led us to KB3063283 “Update to improve the backup of Hyper-V Integration components in Hyper-V Server 2012 R2”on their Hyper-V hosts. They keep a tight ship but due to regulations they are normally 3 to 4 months behind in patches and updates. So in their case they only recently installed that update. KB3063283 Updates the Hyper-V Integration Components for Windows Server 2012 R2 to 6.3.9600.17831

So a little word of warning while you are keeping your Hyper-V environment up to date (you should), don’t forget to update the integration components of your virtual machines. A good backup product like Veeam Back & Replication will log this during backups. It might not make the backups fail per se but they have been updated for a good reason. This upgrade  was even specifically for backup related issues so it’s wise to upgrade the virtual machines to this version a.s.a.p..

BitLooker In Veeam Backup and Replication v9

When your backup size is bigger than the amount of disk space used in the virtual machine you might wonder why that is. Well it’s deleted data who’s blocks have not been released for reuse by the OS yet. BitLooker in Veeam Backup and Replication v9 as announced at VeeamOn 2015 offers a solution for this situation. BitLooker analyses the NFTS MFT to identify deleted data. It uses this information to reduce the size of an imaged based backup file and helps reduce bandwidth needed for replication. It just makes sense!

I really like these additions that help out to optimize the consumption of backup storage. Now I immediately wondered f this would make any difference on the recent versions of Hyper-V that support UNMAP. Well, probably not. My take on this is that the Hyper-V virtual Machine is aware of the deleted blocks via UNMAP this way so they will not get backed up. This is one of the examples of the excellent storage optimization capabilities of Hyper-V.

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It’s a great new addition to Veeam Backup & Replication v9. Especially when you’re running legacy hypervisors like like Windows 2 or older, or VMware. When you’ve been rocking Windows Server 212 R2 for the last three years Hyper-V already had your back with truly excellent UNMAP support in the virtual layer.