Discussions specific to managed agent-based backups
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catcancun
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Centralized Workstation management

Post by catcancun » May 16, 2018 7:29 pm

Hello,
TL;DR How is the license counted for a VAW workstation managed by VB&R with a Server Backup Job? As a Server or a Workstation?

Here is my setup:
-VB&R 9.5 Update 3 Enterprise license
-VAW 2.1.0.423 with both Server and Workstation licenses added to VB&R.

I need to centrally manage the backups of dozens of Windows workstations in VB&R. So, I created a protection group with all of the workstations. The problem is that for Workstations VB&R only allows the creation of Backup Policies, not Backup Jobs. The result is that the backup is managed by the Agent and that is not an option.
If I want to have the backup job managed by VB&R I need to select Server Type in the Job mode, which I would not mind if the license is counted as it should: Workstation. How is the licensing in this case?
Am I missing something? In the end, what I want is a centralized management place for workstation backups.

P.S. I find the documentation confusing:
https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backu ... tml?ver=95

Code: Select all

Veeam Backup & Replication lets you create Veeam Agent backup jobs of both types (the backup job itself and backup policy) for the following types of protected computers:
•Microsoft Windows computers — computers protected with Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows
It does not mention Servers or Workstations, so is easy to assume both.

Thank you

martin_zidu
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Re: Centralized Workstation management

Post by martin_zidu » May 17, 2018 6:08 am

Actually IMHO situation is, that server license is consuming 3 workstation licenses out of overall purchased licenses.

Thats my understanding, but not really sure, if you need to have server licences bought separately.

But I am pretty sure that whole concept is set like that (3 workstation liceses = 1 server license)

catcancun
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Re: Centralized Workstation management

Post by catcancun » May 17, 2018 6:15 am

Martin,

I understand that a server license basically equals to 3 workstation licenses.
After your reply I guess my question is: Can I manage workstations with VB&R without consuming a server license? I mean, I want to manage workstations, not servers; I don' t need the VAW server features like application aware processing. I just want centralized management for workstations (Windows 7 & 10). Paying a server license for every workstation is too much.

Thank you for your answer and time.

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Centralized Workstation management

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jun 06, 2018 3:56 pm

David,

If you are running Veeam B&R and would like to manage Agents using backup server, then you should have license key that specifies how many Workstations and Servers you can manage. The mode when Veeam B&R is hosting the config (DB) of the Agent and managing the Agent is available for servers only, since these computers always have a connection to the backup server to get the required parameters. For workstations and laptops it is not usually the case.
catcancun wrote:The result is that the backup is managed by the Agent and that is not an option.
Can you please clarify why this does not work in your scenario? Why do you want to select the "managed by server" mode for workstations?
catcancun wrote:If I want to have the backup job managed by VB&R I need to select Server Type in the Job mode, which I would not mind if the license is counted as it should: Workstation. How is the licensing in this case?
This would consume a server license count.
catcancun wrote:After your reply I guess my question is: Can I manage workstations with VB&R without consuming a server license?
You can manage by using "the managed by Agent" option. This would still allow you to push the config to the Agent, and consume the workstation license. If you select the server mode, then it will consume the server license key regardless of the OS where backup agent is installed to.
catcancun wrote:I mean, I want to manage workstations, not servers; I don' t need the VAW server features like application aware processing. I just want centralized management for workstations (Windows 7 & 10). Paying a server license for every workstation is too much.
I see that you're a service provider, so you can centrally manage these workstations either using Veeam Availability Console or Veeam B&R server. For the later option, you can centrally set any configuration to the Agent and consume just the workstation license.

Thanks!

catcancun
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Re: Centralized Workstation management

Post by catcancun » Jun 06, 2018 4:46 pm

Vitaly,
Vitaliy S. wrote:the Agent and managing the Agent is available for servers only, since these computers always have a connection to the backup server to get the required parameters. For workstations and laptops it is not usually the case.
I have installed the licenses for both servers and workstations. I want to protect non mobile workstations that are permanently connected to the LAN and never leave; I am not talking about laptops. I don't think I am the only one with that use case. What I don't want is to force the client to pay for a server license when a workstation is being protected. Budget is always a concern.

Vitaliy S. wrote: Can you please clarify why this does not work in your scenario? Why do you want to select the "managed by server" mode for workstations?
Because as a Service provider I need to control the backup process: Start/Stop a backup, restore, etc. from a centralized (remote) place; login to each computer to manage the backup is not an option. The client's IT manager also needs access and said: "Do I really need to manage backups from the workstations? really?"
VB&R "should" be that centralized console.
Vitaliy S. wrote: This would consume a server license count.
Understood, and unfortunate
Vitaliy S. wrote: I see that you're a service provider, so you can centrally manage these workstations either using Veeam Availability Console or Veeam B&R server. For the later option, you can centrally set any configuration to the Agent and consume just the workstation license.
I have VAC, and it is too limited. Actually, it seems like the whole Agent backup is too limited, perhaps I just need to give it a few more years until it is really polished. Don't get me wrong, that backups and restores work and I love them (that's why I have been looking for workarounds) but inferior products have better management.

What surprises me is that either I am the only one with this use case or Veeam is not interested in that use case. Anyway, thank you for your help.

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Centralized Workstation management

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jun 06, 2018 5:11 pm

catcancun wrote:Because as a Service provider I need to control the backup process: Start/Stop a backup, restore, etc. from a centralized (remote) place; login to each computer to manage the backup is not an option. The client's IT manager also needs access and said: "Do I really need to manage backups from the workstations? really?"
VB&R "should" be that centralized console.
Yes, job configuration as well as job management (stop, start, enable, disable) is available in a multi-tenant web UI of VAC, so that every local IT manager sees only his infrastructure while you as a service provider can control all the Agents in your UI, including license management and license reporting. Speaking about Veeam B&R, then local IT manager can also do it in the backup console, apart from the job start, stop options for policies.

Just out of curiosity, why does the local IT guy want to start the job on demand rather than waiting for the job schedule to kick in for backup policies (workstations)?
catcancun wrote:I have VAC, and it is too limited. Actually, it seems like the whole Agent backup is too limited,
Can you please share your feedback on what features you're missing in VAC? This would be extremely helpful for us in planning our next updates.

catcancun
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Re: Centralized Workstation management

Post by catcancun » Jun 06, 2018 7:14 pm

Vitaliy S. wrote: Just out of curiosity, why does the local IT guy want to start the job on demand rather than waiting for the job schedule to kick in for backup policies (workstations)?
As it seems like I am weird and nobody else has my use cases I will give you one example that happened to me less than 24 hours ago with a client. The network where VB&R is installed had a failure for few hours so there were missed backups; we had to manually start the missed jobs once the network was up and running again as the period to wait for the next scheduled backup was too long for some critical workstations. You may say: "Tune the retry options so the agent eventually catches up" or "change the backup frequency" and I will say "Yes, I will continue to workaround the problems, just because I love the your product. But a more polished management would make my work more efficient".

I will be happy to give feedback but I fear that the answer I will get will be:
  • That's the way it should work
    Work around it
    Yes we now
    No ETA
    No plan
It seems to me that allowing a workstation license to be managed by VB&R would solve all the problems I have with VAW but most likely I'm trying to use VAW for something different that its intended purpose and I get it: No more rants.
Thank you for you help and time; Veeam is awesome and I know that Agent backup is kind of new.

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Centralized Workstation management

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jun 07, 2018 5:17 pm

catcancun wrote:we had to manually start the missed jobs once the network was up and running again as the period to wait for the next scheduled backup was too long for some critical workstations.
Yes, I see your point. This situation totally makes sense, that's why we're planning to have remediation actions in Veeam ONE alarms, including the alarms for the missed RPO for VMs. This alarm would automatically start the backup job for a VM in question. The same logic might be applied to alarms monitoring Veeam Agents. I will discuss it with our dev team.
catcancun wrote:You may say: "Tune the retry options so the agent eventually catches up" or "change the backup frequency" and I will say "Yes, I will continue to workaround the problems, just because I love the your product. But a more polished management would make my work more efficient".
I wouldn't say that ;)
catcancun wrote:I will be happy to give feedback but I fear that the answer I will get will be:
That's the way it should work
Work around it
Yes we now
No ETA
No plan
You've almost guessed my answers ;). Yes, you'r right we do not share any ETAs, because we don't want to set false expectations or give you hopes for the feature, that will never be delivered. That's why we operate with "Long-term", "short-term" and "never" terms when discussing any feature. These tree buckets should at least give you our honest view on the feature you expect to be delivered. Please also note, that if you don't share you feedback we will never know about it. A perfect example of that feedback was this topic (where we discussed the Agents managed by Veeam B&R and VAC). As you see someone shared the feedback and other people started to jump in, which resulted in delivering this feature in Update 1 of VAC.
catcancun wrote:It seems to me that allowing a workstation license to be managed by VB&R would solve all the problems I have with VAW but most likely I'm trying to use VAW for something different that its intended purpose and I get it: No more rants.
Thank you for you help and time; Veeam is awesome and I know that Agent backup is kind of new.
Yes, that might solve some problems indeed. As for now, you may want to give VAC another try if you really need this functionality, while sharing other feedback/ideas that would help us make Veeam B&R and VAC a better fit for you.

catcancun
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Re: Centralized Workstation management

Post by catcancun » Jun 07, 2018 5:43 pm

Vitaliy,

Of course I will give feedback, on the Service Provider's forum, eventually. Just for this particular and urgent item I see there is no reason; I already have the answer: Want to have server managed VAW? Use a server license.

*Edit* By the way, I understand your updates policy and I do prefer stability over just "new features". Something I like about Veeam software is that it works.

Vitaliy S.
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Re: Centralized Workstation management

Post by Vitaliy S. » Jun 07, 2018 7:21 pm

Yes, it seems like we've figured the "workstation" piece out. With my post above about the feedback I was referring to your statement that "VAC is also too limited", so I will wait for your feedback!

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