Discussions specific to managed agent-based backups
Driehl
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Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Driehl » Jun 20, 2017 9:05 pm

I'm a little confused as to why the all or nothing licensing model for VAW was taken by Veeam, but I really wish you would reconsider it. We have no need for the Workstation version the our desktop/laptop installs but would like to use Server on our few remaining Physical servers. This unfortunately means Veeam will be losing out on additional revenue from us as this license model forces us to stay on the free version.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Gostev » Jun 21, 2017 7:04 am

Paid versions of the agent are primarily targeted at those businesses who needs technical support for agents. If you don't need technical support, then indeed you can just stay on the free version. We have no plans to discontinue free agents, and will only keep enhancing those.

Mixing free and paid agents is not allowed because this would enable customers to potentially roll hundreds of free agents into B&R and still get full support for the overall solution due to the presence of a few paid agents. And of course, supporting a B&R server that is teared apart by hundreds of free agents has substantially higher cost for Veeam than supporting a B&R server targeted by just a few paid agents... so the price of those few paid agents simply won't cover our support costs for such a deployment. Hope it makes sense.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Driehl » Jun 21, 2017 7:41 pm

Not really, technically if I had an issue I could buy a single license for Workstation or Server and apply it to the problem agent and get support, once the issue was solved I could remove the license and carry on. So going with this model really does nothing to stop the "Bad Apples" from cheating on paying for support. It does stop customers like myself from paying Veeam money on a yearly basis to support our few remaining physical servers though.

Is there another outlet I can use to make this kind of suggestion?

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Gostev » Jun 30, 2017 11:23 am

Driehl wrote:Not really, technically if I had an issue I could buy a single license for Workstation or Server and apply it to the problem agent and get support, once the issue was solved I could remove the license and carry on.
No, this approach of "cheating" support won't work, as they will require debug logs from the moment when the issue occurred, and those logs would reflect the presence of free agents.

One valid approach that is not considered cheating would be to use separate Veeam Backup & Replication instance for free agents. We have no problems with that, as long as there is clear separation between "supported" and "unsupported" parts of your backup environment.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by ChrisRoad » Jul 05, 2017 2:02 pm

Gostev wrote:And of course, supporting a B&R server that is teared apart by hundreds of free agents has substantially higher cost for Veeam than supporting a B&R server targeted by just a few paid agents... so the price of those few paid agents simply won't cover our support costs for such a deployment. Hope it makes sense.
As this policy bugs us as well....
I see what you try to avoid, but that's only one half of the story.

We would use some workstation/server editions along the free agents, for the added features (like multiple backup jobs) and not cause we need/want support.
You could still deny official support for such "mixed" environments, so what's to lose for you?

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[MERGED] Mixing Free and licensed agent backups to a Reposit

Post by DaveWatkins » Aug 30, 2017 7:08 am

From the FAQ
Can I back up to a Veeam repository when using the FREE edition of Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows?

Yes, with the FREE edition of Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows, you can back up to a Veeam repository backed by a licensed Veeam Backup & Replication server. However, you cannot have both FREE and paid editions of Veeam Agents backing up to a Veeam repository at the same time — you must choose to use either all free or all paid agents.
This seems to punish you for buying licenses if you have no need to buy licenses for all your systems.

For us we have some server licenses to backup some physical SQL servers but would like to get some basic backups of other systems. There is no way we'd buy licenses for all these other systems but if we didn't have those server licenses we could quite happily back them all up to our B&R repository, however since we do we can't do that at all.

Is this going to change at all? If not, what other options are there? The only one I can see is to weaken the security of my repository server and enable a file share on it for the unlicensed clients to backup too, but I'd _really_ rather not do that.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Vitaliy S. » Aug 30, 2017 12:36 pm

Hi Dave, as far as I know this is not going to change in the short-term future. As a workaround you can spin up a Veeam backup server on the separate repository and point free backup agents there.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Driehl » Aug 30, 2017 2:22 pm

Based on the replies from Veeam here it's pretty clear the decision to not allow mixing of licenses was more an accounting/profit driven decision than any kind of technical reason as was first pointed out. If tech support has tech ability to tell if some one is "cheating" on support by applying a license just before calling in for support then they have the ability to tell which clients would be supported in a mixed environment of paid and free.

Also the rational that Veeam for some reason needs to keep paid and free separated is ridiculous. We already have a mix of free and paid product running the free agent to a paid for version of B&R.

I think Veeam is missing out on a lot of revenue by taking this stance. I have money budgeted for Veeam Agent licenses for this year, but i won't be spending it because of this policy.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by aceit » Aug 30, 2017 4:51 pm

Luckily I've found this info here, I didn't know you can't mix free and paid editions and I was going to ask my sales for a quote for some rare physical systems and buy some licenses (and I don't need the full VAW for a couple of file dirs on some systems).
I completely agree with all the complains here from customers for this artificial lack of flexibility.

I have a veeam full ent. plus edition, and I've always considered veeam quite well designed license-wise (and that is a real competitive advantage, besides technology) for the B&R main product but I'm convinced "they dropped the ball" a little on this... pls allow mixing or leave VAW free full operational without licensing tiering for the people that have a paid B&R edition (VAW free is a good and well designed product, and I can assure you that it can lead many customer to buy the full B&R )suite and other veeam products).... or just build a single VAW and then transfer the license overhead to the central B&R for advanced functionalities (I like semplicity... and not micromanaging endpoint licensing... for those who use VAW against B&R repos, just activate any differentiation in feature there (allowing mixing))

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by mkelerikh » Aug 30, 2017 6:08 pm

I would like to agree with OP.
I support small environments where there is a need to backup servers.
I have purchased server licenses
I have then build myself a dedicated backup server on Windows 7 guest, installed Veeam B&R and configured a dedicated NAS repository (VM also contains some other free IT infrastructure management tools).
Technically I don't care about the backup server VM enough to purchase a full license, but I certainly don't want to spend hours on re-installing the OS and software if that VM was to break. So the next logical step is to install Veeam Free license for workstation.
I did that only to find out that I can't mix free and paid licenses.
According to the previous posts I would need to build another Windows VM with B&R to backup my backup server, seems kind of silly.

In any case, Veeam, Thank you build the free backup tool!

Driehl
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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Driehl » Aug 31, 2017 7:53 pm

I encourage everyone that agrees that Veeam has made a mistake with their licensing model for VAW to post here and say so. The longer we keep this post on the first page the more likely someone with the power to change things will notice it and make good on it.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by randy16randy » Sep 28, 2017 5:22 pm

Definitely add my vote for allowing the B&R assignment of VAW licences on a per-machine basis.

We have B&R for handling all of our VM's, plus a single VAW-Server licence for the only physical box in our environment (acts as backup repository and alternate domain controller in case of major disaster). I also use VAW-Free for laptops and various desktops as a convenience for me but don't need support for that.

I too ran into the issue when trying to add that VAW license to my B&R console whereby it would then convert ALL instances of VAW to licenced mode. I opened case 02320415 and was advised the same as others here that you can't mix Free and Paid within the same B&R instance.

Rather than spin up an entire new B&R instance for that single agent, my workaround was to delete that job from the B&R console and point that single backup to the same folder location as the repository. I added the server licence to VAW and set up email notification. It means that job doesn't appear in B&R along with all of my other free agents but it does work.
As a side note, if I had more machines, I would spin up another B&R to handle all of the free agents, and leave the existing instance for the paid items.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Driehl » Oct 17, 2017 2:55 pm

It looks like Veeam maybe listening, but not in the way I had hoped. With B&R and VeeamOne V10 they are really upping the features provided with paid VAW licensing. This at least will provide some sort of justification for spending money on backing up client computers as you will have increased control and visibility from the B&R and VeeamOne consoles.

Still hope with v10 they also allow mixing of paid and free.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Dima P. » Oct 20, 2017 2:03 pm 1 person likes this post

Hello Dave,
With B&R and VeeamOne V10 they are really upping the features provided with paid VAW licensing.
We continue to follow our main ‘ease of use’ principle and do not want to complicate the license distribution across all connected agents (basically, we want to automate the process). With such automation, it's not required to manually assign a license to every agent connected to backup server but as a side effect free agent always gets a license.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by corbitech » Nov 24, 2017 5:09 am

I'm glad I found this post because it's relevant to my current purchasing decision. I agree with OP's request that Veeam consider changing its position to allow free/paid Windows (and Linux) agents to share the same repository. As aceit noted above, Veeam's overall licensing model is quite well-designed with this case being the rare exception.

I'm currently in the process of selecting a backup solution for my Hyper-V and physical workstation/server infrastructure, and Veeam is on my short list of solutions that fit my needs and budget. However, this forced limitation in licensing precludes me from buying any paid agents now or in the future for backing up physical machines. In my situation, I'd be willing to purchase the paid agent for only a small percentage of the total physical machines in my environment because only a few of them are critical enough to justify the additional recurring expense. While a couple of work-around solutions are mentioned above, none of them are ideal.

I completely understand that Veeam must prioritize the allocation of its limited technical support resources in favor of paying customers. However, as Gostev mentions above, Veeam support can check the logs to identify situations in which a user attempts to "cheat" by requesting support for a machine covered by a free agent which doesn't qualify for elevated support. Therefore, unless additional issues exist which haven't been disclosed in this thread, it appears that neither a technical nor support constraint would prevent Veeam from allowing free/paid agents to share the same repository.

I hope there is some chance that Veeam might reconsider in the future because I suspect there could be other customers and prospects who are deciding against purchasing VAW/L under this "all or nothing" licensing model.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by corbitech » Nov 24, 2017 5:25 am

Dima P. wrote:Hello Dave,

We continue to follow our main ‘ease of use’ principle and do not want to complicate the license distribution across all connected agents (basically, we want to automate the process). With such automation, it's not required to manually assign a license to every agent connected to backup server but as a side effect free agent always gets a license.

That said, we are recognize the demand of this feature request and will definitely discuss it with the team.
It might be possible to maintain simplified license distribution without enforcing a rigid 'all or nothing ' licensing model. For example, there could be a default global configuration setting that assumes the current 'all or nothing' licensing model. If left in the default state, everything would continue to work as it does now. If the setting is unselected, administrators could be presented with the option to selectively apply licenses for paid VAW/L instances. In this case, only the customers who wish to mix free/paid VAW/L licenses would be impacted by the change.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by the_mentor » Nov 28, 2017 8:29 pm

I agree with everyone on this post there needs to be a way to mix paid and free agents.
The existing licencing model punishes you for buying the higher tier licences.
We would hold off on buying any VAW until this is fixed.

Thank you!
-DeMentor

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[MERGED] Mix of free agents and licensed agents not possible

Post by hoFFy » Dec 21, 2017 1:38 pm

We have about 25 clients and are testing the product with a NFR license for 5 clients. I made a protection group, only containing 5 clients. Since then the other agents are no longer able to backup using the VBR server as their target. They keep complaining about a missing license.
I was hoping that all clients which are not managed via the VBR are running in free mode and are able to be backed up together with the ones managed by the server.

Think about the case where you have really important clients in your network, which should be backed up / managed by the VBR server. And then you have other clients, too. Not very important, or managed by the user himself, you don't need a central management by the VBR server, you just want to use him as a the backup target.... is such an mixed environment not possible?
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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Vitaliy S. » Dec 21, 2017 1:46 pm

Hello, the answer that was provided in the beginning of this topic is still the official position. Mixing free and paid backup agents under a single backup server is not allowed, however you can always use separate backup servers for free and paid agents to target. Thanks!

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by wayne7215 » Apr 13, 2018 9:22 am

Sorry, but this statement is ridiculous in my opinion. I fully agree with all the other complains, we also had a budget for 200 Agents, but realized we would loose the possibility of backup all the other clients with the free version, so we decided to go ahead with the free version or even going back to Acronis, because their solution is providing the full features we need compared with the half done VAW and all it's missing function. Veeam is loosing a lot of money this way because many customers would be willing to pay for maybe 1/3 of their clients, but not for all of them.
And just telling always "it's still our official position" after so many feedback's of the customers is just ignorant in my humble opinion. There are enough technical solutions around to avoid customers cheating with the support, so it would be much more customer friendly to use your brain and offer your customers something they need instead of just telling us "no way".

I would also like to see a roadmap of Veeam products and what will be included in future releases instead of always getting surprised when the next build is going productive.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Dima P. » Apr 16, 2018 5:01 pm

Hello wayne7215,
their solution is providing the full features we need compared with the half done VAW and all it's missing function
Is it possible to share the missing features you were looking for in Veeam Agent for Windows? Thank you in advance.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by thomas.biesmans » May 03, 2018 3:19 pm

I agree that not being able to mix paid & free agents is silly. You already make a clear distinction between paid & free agents in B&R while deploying them (through the console vs manual installation) and managing them (aggregated through the console vs local management & Recovery Media creation on every single host). Paid agents are treated like regular jobs and free agents through separate 'Windows Agent' entities, including their own Backup Copy jobs. Doesn't this make it hard enough already?

Plus you didn't say that clearly in advance, which made me quite annoyed when I could no longer offload my physical Backup Server to tape through its own free AfW (targeted itself as a Backup Repo) after I deployed the single other (paid) AfW... Now I need to use 'File to Tape' jobs with additional on-GFS Media Pools to push this to tape -.-

The support cost argument for troubleshooting large deployments just seems so thin. Deploying managed agents is sooo easy that you should be able to convince those large-deployment customers, rendering the argument void. One of the few times you actively boycot your own free functionality, such an unexpected shame!

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Regnor » May 28, 2018 9:33 am

+1 for Mixing Free and Paid Versions
If VBR or the agents stamped their license into the backup files, it would prevent license violations.

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[MERGED] backup free agent for windows to VBR repository

Post by peter.cheng » Jul 02, 2018 2:42 pm

After installing veeam agent for windows free, and trying to specify agent's backup destination to Veeam backup repository, it always shows "Unable to obtain a veeam agent for windows license from the backup server. Not enough licenses on Veeam backup and replication server"
I have 1 paid agent for windows server license, but I want to use the free agent on some workstation, and it seems that the free agent tried to use the paid license, and I 'd like to know how to tell the agent not to occupy the license?
Thanks.

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Re: backup free agent for windows to VBR repository

Post by peter.cheng » Jul 02, 2018 3:16 pm

My VBR is 9.5 update 3 and agent is 2.1, when I have 1 agent for windows server installed, what is the standard procedure to install a free agent for windows to backup it to the Veeam backup repository ? Thanks.

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Re: backup free agent for windows to VBR repository

Post by gorka » Jul 02, 2018 3:18 pm

Hi Peter

You can not mix veeam agent's payment and free licenses in the veeam backup console. or you use all of payment, or all free

regards

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Re: backup free agent for windows to VBR repository

Post by peter.cheng » Jul 02, 2018 3:31 pm

So the agent for paid and free cannot be mixed? Is there any document which includes this information, thanks.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by peter.cheng » Jul 02, 2018 3:59 pm

+1 for Mixing Free and Paid Versions, it's a real punishment for customers who order paid VBR. Veeam should consider from the customer management point of view, not just from Veeam itself. Users always want to use a simple and concentrated management system, especially they have paid for VBR.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Regnor » Jul 02, 2018 7:18 pm 1 person likes this post

If one or more Veeam Agents operating in the free mode are already connected to the backup server, they will start consuming the license immediately after the license is installed in Veeam Backup & Replication. Veeam Agents that exceed the license limit will not be able to back up data to the Veeam backup repository.
https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/agent ... tml?ver=21

You can still point your free Agents to a share on your backup server and import the backups.

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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Post by Dima P. » Jul 02, 2018 9:52 pm

Сorrect. You can use shared folder (it could be the same VBR repository with CISF access), then you will get all restore functionality for free while importing backup to VBR console.

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