Veeam Live 2020

Attend Veeam Live 2020

I am attending Veeam Live 2020 from the comfort of my home this year. I can stay safe and still learn, connect, and investigate new technologies and options.

This works for me 🙂

Allow me to invite you Veeam Live 2020. This year the content focus area is on “Cloud Data Best Practices”. The online event takes place on October the 20th 2020 for a full day.
Veeam is gathering its global talent pool to present at this event. That talent is both internal to Veeam as well as external. Some of my fellow Veeam Vanguards are presenting and sharing their expertise.

With names like Anton Gostev, Danny Allen, Rick Vanover, Michael Cade, Anthony Spiteri, Dave Kawula, Andrew Zhelezko, Dmitry Kniazez, David Hill, Karinne Bessette, Kirsten Stoner, Dave Russel Melissa Palmer, Sander Berkouwer, Drew J. Como and so many others, the experience and expertise to share are second to none. Many industry and customer experts are also joining in to share their insights.

As Veeam states

At Veeam Live, you’ll gain data management guidance you can activate today. You’ll learn how to up your data protection game across your enterprise, connect with like-minded professionals, set the strategy right for your organization, and be part of the future of Cloud Data Management™.”

Veeam Live 2020 October 2020 – Join for free

So no matter what level you are at or what part you play in managing and safeguarding the data of your organization there are things to explore and learn.

Topics

Topics to be discussed are Multi-Cloud Data Management, AWS- and Azure-Native Backup, Office 365 Backup, Ransomware Best Practices, Kubernetes Backup and App Mobility. Check out the full agenda to find the topics and sessions that are of most interest to you.

On all those subjects Veeam is actively developing and releasing new capabilities. Just think about their recent acquisition of Kasten. They are also sharing information about Veeam Backup & Replication V11 which is currently in Beta.

Get your questions answerd

Do you want to find out how you can make your solutions more efficient? Need to figure out the biggest threats and opportunities there are in today’s technical, business, and security landscape? Want to learn what new technologies you need to keep an eye on and learn about? Is the evergrowing ransomware threat keeping you awake at night?

 Free for all

The event is free for all. You can register here.

Join Veeam Live 2020 for free

Join us from the comfort of your own (home) office or couch. It all works. Just bring an open mind, a willingness to listen and learn. The interesting thing about Veeam is that they sell solutions that cater to real, existing, and emerging needs of their (potential) customers. They keep it real and have a tradition of explaining why they develop and bring their solutions and offerings to the market. It makes for educational and insightful sessions and events.

So now you know the secret of how I stay on top of things in the data protection and management world. I listen. Not the sound of crickets (that’s for vacations) but to people that are smart, experienced, and have a proven track record of delivering value in a very competitive and ever-changing landscape. So, now you also know how to stay up to speed, all that is left to do is register today. You are very welcome.

Veeam Community Editions and the EULA

Veeam Community Editions and the EULA

Boring as it might be, reading your End User License Agreements can be useful. That is no different for the Veeam Community Editions and the Veeam EULA. The EULA came up recently when discussing Veeam services an IT Service business can offer to its clients.

For example, take a look at the Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition. See the Hitchhikers Guide to Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition for more information. It is a great resource and was written by Kirsten Stoner.

Veeam Community Editions and the EULA
The Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition

It includes support for up to 10 Instance licenses and allows you to protect any combination of physical machines, virtual machines, and cloud workloads for free. You get the standard edition backup functionality. Veeam also offers community editions of Veeam ONE™ and Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365. Cool!

The value for you

This is an awesome offering. It helps people with small environments and small budgets out big time. They get top-notch data protection for free, Not just that, they get all the goodness of the well known Veeam data portability, ease of recovery, reliability, and support. Then there are the forums, where you’ll find many helpful and skilled eyes. It is a very active community.

The value for Veeam

First of all, Veeam is smart. They put their products into as many hands as possible. When that happens people get to use, learn, know, and love the products. That leads to sales when 10 instances just don’t cut it anymore. It also leads to a lot of feedback and insights. A lot of the people using it are early adopters and IT professionals. This means that they use the products and if they find issues Veeam gets telemetry and early insights to potential bugs. This helps them deal with then proactively before the big enterprises upgrade as that usually takes a bit longer.

Secondly, Veeam is community-minded. And that is not just lip service, they act on it. I know this first hand and you will to when you experience it. The community editions of their products are just one example of that.

As mentioned, you get support. Within reason, just like with paid support the Veeam support engineers will not do implementations for you. So just doing “click, click next” like a baffling buffoon won’t get you far. Support is not meant to replace your own skills or provide free IT designs and implementations. That work is for you. The support with the community editions is about finding and fixing issues with the product. That’s very valuable for Veeam as early adopters who run into issues help surface those in time to address for the slower moving customers.

Do It Yourself

The Veeam Community Editions EULA boils down to the fact that it is a Do It Yourself (DIY) arrangement.

As a hobbyist, student, enthusiast, employee who wants to learn more about Veeam products or leverage them to protect a company or non-profit workloads you can do that up to the 10 free licenses. It is perfectly legal to do so. But as it is DIY, you cannot hire someone to do this for you. Likewise as an IT consultant. contractor or freelancer, solo or with a company, you cannot offer paid services around Community Edition. For that, they have different licensing options. You can read up on this in the EULA.

Conclusion

The rules around Veeam Backup & Replication Community Edition are simple. As an end-user (hobbyist, employee, business) you get most of the famous Veeam capabilities and benefits for free up to 10 instances. Yes, you can use this in production and you get free basic support from Veeam. Then there are the forums, which offer a wealth of insights and where many helpful eyes can assist you. For this to be legal you have to implement and maintain the community editions yourself. You cannot hire people to do it for you. As an IT service company, no matter what the size or nature, you cannot offer commercial services and build a business model around the Veeam Community Editions. That’s what the commercial versions and partnerships are for. As far as EULA’s go, that is crystal clear.

Set Max Concurrent Tasks in Veeam with Powershell

Set Max Concurrent Tasks in Veeam with PowerShell

In this blog post, I’ll look at how to set the Max Concurrent Tasks in Veeam with PowerShell. When configuring your Veeam backup environment for the best possible backup performance there are a lot of settings to tweak. The defaults do a good job to get you going fast and well. But when you have more resources it pays to optimize. One of the things to optimize is Max Concurrent Tasks.

NOTE: all PowerShell here was tested against VBR v10a

Where to set max concurrent tasks or task limits

There are actually 4 places (2 specific for Hyper-V) where you can set the this in Veeam for a Hyper-V environment.

  1. Off-host proxy
  2. On-host proxy
  3. File Share Proxy (NEW in V10)
  4. Repository or SOBR extent

Also see https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/hyperv/limiting_tasks.html?ver=100

Use PowerShell to set the Max Concurrent Tasks in Veeam
Max Concurrent Tasks on an off-host proxy
Use PowerShell to set the Max Concurrent Tasks in Veeam
Task limit on the on-host Hyper-V proxy
Use PowerShell to set the Max Concurrent Tasks in Veeam
Max Concurrent tasks on a file proxy (V10)
Use PowerShell to set the Max Concurrent Tasks in Veeam
Limit maximum concurrent tasks on a repository or SOBR extent

Now, let’s dive into those a bit and show the PowerShell to get it configured.

Configuring the proxies

When configuring the on-host or off-host proxies, the max concurrent tasks are based on virtual disks. Let’s look at some examples. 4 virtual machines with a single virtual disk consume 4 concurrent tasks. A single virtual machine with 4 virtual disks also consumes 4 concurrent tasks. 2 virtual machines with 2 virtual disks each consumes, you guessed it, 4 concurrent tasks.

Note that it doesn’t matter if these VMs are in a single job or multiple jobs. The limits are set at the proxy level. So it is the sum of all virtual disks in the VMs of all concurrently running backup jobs. Once you hit the limit, as a result, the remainder of virtual disks (which might translate into complete VMs) will be pending.

set the max concurrent tasks for on-host proxies

#We grab the Hyper-V on-host backup proxies. Note this code does not grab
#any other type of proxies. We set the MaxTasksCount and report back
$MaxTaskCountValueToSet = 12
$HvProxies = [Veeam.Backup.Core.CHvProxy]::GetAll()
$HvProxies.Count
Foreach ($Proxy in $HvProxies) {
    $HyperVOnHostProxy = $proxy.Host.Name
    $MaxTaskCount = $proxy.MaxTasksCount
    Write-Host "The on-host Hyper-V proxy $HyperVOnHostProxy has a concurrent task limit of $MaxTaskCount" -ForegroundColor Yellow
    $options = $Proxy.Options
    $options.MaxTasksCount = $MaxTaskCountValueToSet 
    $Proxy.SetOptions($options)
}

#Report the changes
$HvProxies = [Veeam.Backup.Core.CHvProxy]::GetAll()
Foreach ($Proxy in $HvProxies) {
    $HyperVOnHostProxy = $proxy.Host.Name
    $MaxTaskCount = $proxy.MaxTasksCount
    Write-Host "The on-host Hyper-V proxy $HyperVOnHostProxy has a concurrent task limit of $MaxTaskCount" -ForegroundColor Green
}

set THE MAX CONCURRENT TASKS for off-host proxies

#We grab the Hyper-V off-host backup proxies. Note this code does not grab
#any other type of proxies. We set the MaxTasksCount and report back
$MaxTaskCountValueToSet = 6
$HvOffHostProxies = Get-VBRHvProxy
foreach ($OffhostProxy in $HvOffHostProxies) {
    $HvOffHostProxyName = $OffhostProxy.Name
    $MaxTaskCount = $OffhostProxy.MaxTasksCount
    Write-Host "The on-host Hyper-V proxy $HvOffHostProxyName has a concurrent task limit of $MaxTaskCount" -ForegroundColor Yellow
    $Options = $OffhostProxy.Options
    $Options.MaxTasksCount = $MaxTaskCountValueToSet
    $OffhostProxy.SetOptions($Options)
}

#Report the changes
foreach ($OffhostProxy in $HvOffHostProxies) {
    $HvOffHostProxyName = $OffhostProxy.Name
    $MaxTaskCount = $OffhostProxy.MaxTasksCount
    Write-Host "The on-host Hyper-V proxy $HvOffHostProxyName has a concurrent task limit of $MaxTaskCount" -ForegroundColor Green
}

PowerShell code to set THE MAX CONCURRENT TASKS for file proxies

#We grab the file proxies. Note this code does not grab
#any other type of proxies. We set the MaxTasksCount and report back
$MaxTaskCountValueToSet = 12
$FileProxies = [Veeam.Backup.Core.CFileProxy]::GetAll()
Foreach ($FileProxy in $FileProxies) {
    $FileProxyName = $FileProxy.Name
    $MaxTaskCount = $FileProxy.MaxTasksCount
    Write-Host "The file proxy $FileProxyName has a concurrent task limit of $MaxTaskCount" -ForegroundColor Yellow
    $options = $FileProxy.Options
    $options.MaxTasksCount = $MaxTaskCountValueToSet 
    $FileProxy.SetOptions($options)
}

#Report the changes
$FileProxies = [Veeam.Backup.Core.CFileProxy]::GetAll()
Foreach ($FileProxy in $FileProxies) {
    $FileProxyName = $FileProxy.Name
    $MaxTaskCount = $FileProxy.MaxTaskCount
    Write-Host "The file proxy $FileProxyName has a concurrent task limit of $MaxTaskCount" -ForegroundColor Green
}

Last but not least, note that VBR v10 PowerShell also has the Get-VBRNASProxyServer and Set-VBRNASProxyServer commands to work with. However, initially, it seemed not to be reporting the name of the proxies which is annoying. But after asking around I learned it can be found as a property of the Server object it returns. While I was expecting $FileProxy. to exist (based on other Veeam proxy commands) I need to use Name$FileProxy.Server.Name

$MaxTaskCountValueToSet = 4
$FileProxies = Get-VBRNASProxyServer
foreach ($FileProxy in $FileProxies) {
    $FileProxyName = $FileProxy.Server.Name
    $MaxTaskCount = $FileProxy.ConcurrentTaskNumber
    Write-Host "The file proxy $FileProxyName has a concurrent task limit of $MaxTaskCount" -ForegroundColor Yellow
    Set-VBRNASProxyServer -ProxyServer $FileProxy -ConcurrentTaskNumber $MaxTaskCountValueToSet
}

#Report the changes
$FileProxies = Get-VBRNASProxyServer
foreach ($FileProxy in $FileProxies) {
    $FileProxyName = $FileProxy.Server.Name
    $MaxTaskCount = $FileProxy.ConcurrentTaskNumber
    Write-Host "The file proxy $FileProxyName has a concurrent task limit of $MaxTaskCount" -ForegroundColor Green
}

Configuring the repositories/SOBR extents

First of all, for Backup Repositories, the max concurrent tasks are not based on virtual disks but on backup files (.vbk, .vib & .vrb).

Secondly, you can use either per VM backup files or non-per VM backup files. In the per VM backup files every VM in the job will have its own backup file. So this consumes more concurrent talks in a single job than the non-per VM backup files mode where a single job will have a single file. Let’s again look at some examples to help clarify this. A single backup job in non-per VM mode will use a single backup file and as such one concurrent task regardless of the number of VMs in the job. A single backup job using per VM backup mode will use a single backup file per VM in the job.

What you need to consider with repositories is that synthetic tasks (merges, transformations, synthetic fulls) also consume tasks and count towards the concurrent task limit on a repository/etxent. So when setting it, don’t think is only related to running active backups.

Finally, when you combine roles, please beware the same resources (cores, memory) will have to be used towards those task limits. That also means you have to consider other subsystems like the storage. If that can’t keep up, your performance will suffer.

PowerShell code to set the task limit for a repository/extent

For a standard backup repositories this will do the job

Get-VBRBackupRepository | Set-VBRBackupRepository -LimitConcurrentJobs -MaxConcurrentJobs 24

For the extends of a SOBR you need to use something like this

Get-VBRBackupRepository -ScaleOut | Get-VBRRepositoryExtent | Set-VBRBackupRepository -LimitConcurrentJobs -MaxConcurrentJobs 24

I you put the output of Get-VBRBackupRepository in a foreach next you can also configuret/report on individual Backup repositories when requiered.

#We grab the repositories. Note: use -autoscale if you need to grab SOBR extents.
#We set the MaxTasksCount and report back
$MaxTaskCountValueToSet = 6
$Repositories = Get-VBRBackupRepository
foreach ($Repository in $Repositories) {
    $RepositoryName = $Repository.Name
    $MaxTaskCount = $Repository.Options.MaxTaskCount
    Write-Host "The on-host Hyper-V proxy $RepositoryName has a concurrent task limit of $MaxTaskCount" -ForegroundColor Yellow

    Set-VBRBackupRepository -Repository $Repository  -LimitConcurrentJobs -MaxConcurrentJob $MaxTaskCountValueToSet
}

#Report the changes
$Repositories = Get-VBRBackupRepository
foreach ($Repository in $Repositories) {
    $RepositoryName = $Repository.Name
    $MaxTaskCount = $Repository.Options.MaxTaskCount
    Write-Host "The on-host Hyper-V proxy $RepositoryName has a concurrent task limit of $MaxTaskCount" -ForegroundColor Green
}

Conclusion

So I have shown you ways to automate. Similar settings for different purposes. The way off automating differs a bit depending on the type of proxy or if it is a repository. I hope it helps some of you out there.

Set the Hyper-V volume-specific settings in Veeam with PowerShell

Set the Hyper-V volume-specific settings in Veeam with PowerShell

When adding and configuring Hyper-V servers to Veeam you can set the Hyper-V volume-specific settings in Veeam with PowerShell or in the GUI.

  1. Select what VSS provider to use (Windows native VSS or a Hardware VSS provider)
  2. Configure the maximum number of concurrent snapshots to allow for the volume

I will show how to Set the Hyper-V volume-specific settings in Veeam with PowerShell. But first, let’s remind our selves of what it is used for.

The first one is easy. You will use the Windows native VSS unless you have a hardware VSS provider installed and configured. These come from your storage array vendor. Hardware VSS providers are only available for volumes that are provided by that storage array. If you don’t set them manual Veeams scans your host en picks the best option. It does so based on the type of volume and the availability of a hardware VSS provider or not.

The second option’s meaning depends on the version of Windows and also on whether you leverage a hardware VSS provider or not. You see the value of the maximum number of concurrent snapshots doesn’t always result in the same behavior you might expect.

Lets look at the documentation

I invite you to read the Veeam documentation on this subject. below you will find an excerpt with my annotations.

Follow the link for each option to learn more in the on line Veeam documentation.

  1. For Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 and earlier, the default is set to simultaneously store 4 snapshots of one volume. To change this number, specify the Max snapshots value. It is not recommended that you increase the number of snapshots for slow storage. Many snapshots existing at the same time may cause VM processing failures.
  2. For Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2016 and later. You can simultaneously store 4 VM checkpoints on one volume. To change this number, specify the Max snapshots value. Note that this limitation works only for (recovery) checkpoints created during Veeam Backup & Replication data protection tasks. When you still use host VSS provider in your backup process (with a SAN hardware VSS provider, combined with off-host Hyper-V proxies) this acts like before. It will not limit the number of concurrent VM backup jobs. That only happens when the Hyper-V recovery checkpoints are the only thing in play. This means that for an S2D or Azure Stack HCI solution for example you will need to increase this value if you want to have more than 4 VM backed up simultaneously on that volume. No matter how many concurrent tasks you set on your Hyper-Hosts and repositories. By the way, remember that a task does not equal a VM but a disk per VM / backup file per VM. In a simple example with nothing else in play, this means that 16 tasks can be 4 VMs if those VMs all happen to have 4 disks, etc.
Set the Hyper-V volume-specific settings in Veeam with PowerShell
The default setting for maximum concurrent snapshots is 4

Now we have that out of the way. I find it tedious to do all this in the GUI. Especially so in larger environments and during testing in the lab or prior to taking a solution into production. There can be many hosts and even more volumes to configure. This is why I Set the Hyper-V volume-specific settings (and other configurations) in Veeam with PowerShell.

How to set the Hyper-V volume-specific settings in Veeam with PowerShell

So here I will share how to do this in PowerShell. It is not very difficult. Below snippet is the crux of what you need to integrate into your own scripts. Below I grab all the volumes on all the nodes of a cluster and set the MaxSnapShot value to 8. Tun a Hyper-V backup job against those CSV’s with 10 single disks VMs. You’ll see we can no have up to 8 VMs being backed up concurrently instead of 4.

I am also showing how to set the VSS provider. Warning, PowerShell will let you set a wrong provider. The GUI protects against that, So pay attention here.

#Grab the Cluster whose nodes volumes we want to configure
$Cluster = Get-Vbrserver -Name W2K19-LAB.datawisetech.corp -type HvCluster

#Grab the correct Hyper-V hosts based on the parentid (cluster they belong to)
$ClusterNodes = Get-VBRServer -Type HvServer | Where ParentID -eq $Cluster.Id 

Foreach ($ClusterNode in $ClusterNodes) {
    $ServerVolumes = Get-VBRHvServerVolume -Server $ClusterNode.Name
    $Provider = Get-VBRHvVssProvider -Server $ClusterNode.Name -Name "Microsoft CSV Shadow Copy Provider"
    Foreach ($Volume in $ServerVolumes) {
        if ($Volume.Type -eq "CSV") {

            Set-VBRHvServerVolume -Volume $Volume -MaxSnapshots 8 -VSSProvider $Provider
        }
    }
}
Set the Hyper-V volume-specific settings in Veeam with PowerShell
Only the CSV volumes have had their Max concurrent snapshot increased to 8.

Conclusion

I have shown you how to set the Hyper-V volume-specific settings in Veeam with PowerShell (VSSProvider/max concurrent snapshots

The max concurrent snapshots value is not the only setting determining how many VMs you can backup concurrently in one job. But it is an important one to know about when leveraging recovery checkpoints. You also need to mind max concurrent tasks.

Every virtual disk being backed up counts as a task. So a virtual machine with 3 disks will consume 3 tasks out of the max concurrent tasks you have set on the backup proxy. Don’t go overboard. Count cores when determining how to set these values. Also, remember that taking it easy to speed things up is a rule in backups. There is no speed gained by trying to do more than your cores can handle. Or, when you have plenty of cores by, depleting IOPS on your storage.

I will show you how to configure those with PowerShell in future blog posts.