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.
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.
So you migrate over 200 VMs from a previous version of Hyper-V to Windows Server 2012 R2 fully patched and life looks great, full of possibilities etc. However one thing get’s back to your e-mail inbox consistently: a couple of Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 (x64) and Windows XP SP3 (x86) virtual machines. The VEEAM backups consistently fail. Digging into that the cause is pretty obvious … it tells you where to problem lies.
Ah they forgot the upgrade the IS components you might conclude. Let’s see if we try an upgrade. Yes they are offered and you run them … looks to be going well too. But then you’re greeted by "An error has occurred: One of the update processes returned error code 1603”.
Darn! Now you can go and do all kinds of stuff to find out what part of the integrations services are messed up as most day to day operations work fine (registry, explore, versions, security settings …) or be smart a leverage the power of PowerShell. It’s easy to find out what is not right via a simple commandlet Get-VMIntegrationService
We’ll that’s obvious. So how to fix this. I uninstalled the IS components, rebooted the VM, reinstalled the IS components … which requires another reboot. While the VM is rebooting you can take a peak at the integration services status with Get-VMIntegrationService
That’s it, all is well again and backups run just fine. Lessons learned here are that SCOM was completely happy with the bad situation … that isn’t good .
So there’s the solution for you but it’s kind of “omen” like that it happened to three Windows 2003 virtual machines (both x64 and x86). You really need to get off these obsolete operating systems. Staying will never improve things but I guarantee you they will get worse.
VEEAM Endpoint backup has gone RTM and that’s great news. I’ve been using it since the beta version with great results. I moved to the release candidate when that became available and now I’m running RTM. The version number of the RTM bits is 126.96.36.1994.
You can download it here and put it into action straight away!
Quick Tips & Findings
There is no supported upgrade path form the beta release. As a matter of fact the RTM version cannot read the backup files. When trying to upgrade from beta to RTM you’ll be greeted with this message:
Now that’s OK. You should have been on the RC already and there things are better . Mind you, there’s no way to do an in place upgrade either but it can read the backups made by the RC version!
With a clean install (green field or after uninstalling the beta or RC version) the installation will kick off.
Now in the case of or RC backups we tested 2 things:
Can we restore the existing backups? Yes we can!
How are the backs made by the RTM version handled in regards to the already present ones. We just reconfigured the backups to the same repository and kicked of a backup. A new backup job folder was created and the backup was made there. So our DBA’s great self service SQL Server backup offloading repository made with the RC candidate is still available for restores while RTM backups to it’s own new folder.
Well there you go, VEEAM Endpoint Backup just got launched in production. We still have to wait for the production ready update for integration with VEEAM Backup & Replication v8 but that will arrive soon enough. The future looks bright.
VEEAM Back & Replication is currently under and extensive test before we make the decision. So far it is going (very) well. And no, VEEAM or DELL did not sponsor this. It’s sharing with the community. A prosperous, successful community makes my professional live better to!
I have to applaud VEEAM for allowing such easy access to their software for trials, to their engineers for assistance and to their support forum and resources even without yet being a paying customer. This is how it should be: vendors having faith in their products both in quality and ease of use. It’s a refreshing experience as some vendors don’t want you to get your hands on new versions of their products even as a existing paying customer “because due to its complexity we might get the wrong impression”. It’s even near impossible with some to get a test license for the lab of the version you currently use with some of them. Not so with VEEAM and that’s great.
I hope you enjoy it. As you might realize I don’t have this kind of infrastructure in my home lab so some of the screenshots have been edited / blurred. I’m sure you can live with that. Otherwise feel free to provide me with the gear in a paid for data center.