Moving from Backup Exec to Veeam

Everything about backing up to tape

Moving from Backup Exec to Veeam

Veeam Logoby dfehse » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:53 pm

Hello,
I’m a frustreted Backup Exec User that recently have switched to Veeam because Veeam now supports Tape. By all the nice features Veeam might have I just want to have more or less back what I had with Backup Exec. I read now a few times throught the manuals but I can’t find the solution to get back what I had!?

What I did with Backup Exec:
I had a Job and selection list. I defined what to backup (selection list) with which properties (job properties). So I had basically 3 Jobs to have this GFS Grandfather, father, son schema with 20 Tapes (Monday, Thusday, …, and Friday 1 to 4, January, February etc.) Users changed tapes and I checked that with a status mail.

Situation:
Most of my customers are all SMBs with one Server, in this case a Windows 2012 with Hyper-V. The productive VMs are running on this host. Veeam is installed on the Hyper-V server itself. I made now to repositories, one for the hourly Backup during weekdays (I keep 8 Restore Point so that I can cover a full day) and another one as archive. Both on my Backup Disk that is in the server (separate RAID). With a Backupjob Job that has this GFS enabled I want to copy over only one Daily Full Backup and for the rest (last weekdays, every Friday (as Weekbackup) and 1 Friday (Monthly Backup) only incrementals. But this Disk is also in the same physical server so it I want to use the tape to bring it to different location. And that’s where my questions starts!

Questions:

1. What to copy to tape and how?
As far as I can see I have 2 option to copy something to tape. First a simple selection of File, but only Files, no Exchange, SQL-Server etc. So this I can’t use. Second Copy a repository. But which one of my two? (see above) And what exactly is on my tape if I use reversed incremental and only Full backups? The last full backup that might be a few hours or days old or will this tape back job create a synthetic full backup with the latest incrementals?
2.Media Sets
In Backup Exec I never needed to first manually put that’s to a media set, this was done by the corresponding job. How can I do this with Veeam? I want that when a tape is over writable (scratched media) the job should put it to the corresponding media set
3.Restore of a single file
If I copy this repository to tape I think on the tape are huge vmdk files. So this means to recover a file 20KB Word file from tape it means first copy hundreds of gigabyte backup to disk, catatolg them in a way and restore it. And by the way how can I find such a file? Will keep Veeam an Index somewhere?
4.Archiv with GFS
What is Best Practice here? How should I build such a repository so that I doesn’t need endless space and has still solid reliable restore points? I mean I already made bad experiences with broken backup chains. How shall this be protected?

Thx for every interesting help, tip or hint!
Rds Daniel
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Re: Moving from Backup Exec to Veeam

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:53 pm

Hello Daniel,
1. What to copy to tape and how?
Yes, we have two separate tape jobs – one Backup to tape another is file to tape. You are referring to backup to tape job which could be either “linked” to backup to disk job or to the whole repository – in both cases it would wait until new backup’s appear and then fire them to tape media. By the way in the backup to tape job schedule you can set this job to run as soon as this backup files are created (or use classic schedule)

Please note that backup to tape job processes only VBK (full backups) and VIB files (forward increments). Reversed increments (VRB) are skipped from processing.

2.Media Sets
Media set in VBR is a portion of tapes taken from media pool to allocate backup files. Media set creation and retention should be specified in media pool options, and once done - will be processed automatically.

3.Restore of a single file
Item level restore is currently not supported, so you would have to restore complete vmdk and then use Veeam item level restore.

4.Archive with GFS
The GFS retention option currently is not supported, however please take a look at workaround described in this thread

I would also recommend to take a look at our user guide – working with tape part (p.447) as all settings for media pools and tape jobs are perfectly described there. Please let me know if you have any questions or need any further assistance. Thank you.
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Re: Moving from Backup Exec to Veeam

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:38 am

But which one of my two? (see above) And what exactly is on my tape if I use reversed incremental and only Full backups? The last full backup that might be a few hours or days old or will this tape back job create a synthetic full backup with the latest incrementals?

In case of reversed incremental mode, the latest restore point is always a full backup. So, it’s not clear with what this latest full backup should be merged.

Archive with GFS

As to GFS rotation scheme, apart from workaround proposed in the referenced topic, you might want to think about following scenario:

1) Create a media pool called “Daily” with retention period equal to 7 days.
2) Create a backup to tape job called “Daily” and point to the “Daily” media pool and schedule it to run on daily basis.
3) Create a media pool called “Weekly” with retention period equal to 4 weeks.
4) Create a backup to tape job called “Weekly” and point to the “Weekly” media pool and schedule it to run on weekly basis.
5) Create a media pool called “Monthly” with retention period equal to 12 months.
6) Create a backup to tape job called “Monthly” and point to the “Monthly” media pool and schedule it to run on monthly basis.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Moving from Backup Exec to Veeam

Veeam Logoby dfehse » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:46 pm

To GFS rotation scheme:
.. how do you handle that the monthly job should superseed the weekly job? I shedeuld the weekly job to run on friday 21h and the monthly job on the first friday of the month. How the system decide which job has priority?

To this copy jobs:
.. what exactly is copyed into this repository if you have copy job of a backup job that should keep backup in GFS scheme. Full backups (vib-files) or incrementals?

To Tape handling
.. if people forget to but in the right tape, how can I cancel the tape copy job after eg. 10min?
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Re: Moving from Backup Exec to Veeam

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:37 am

Hi, Daniel,

.. how do you handle that the monthly job should superseed the weekly job? I shedeuld the weekly job to run on friday 21h and the monthly job on the first friday of the month. How the system decide which job has priority?

Since we're talking here about using creative workarounds, there won't be any superseding coming from VB&R management server. So, not until the GFS for tape jobs is introduced, will there be any "superseding" orchestration performed by backup management server.

.. what exactly is copyed into this repository if you have copy job of a backup job that should keep backup in GFS scheme. Full backups (vib-files) or incrementals?

Are you're talking about workaround proposed in the adjacent thread (usage of backup copy job in conjunction with file to tape job)? If so, it is mentioned there that you should specify a certain file exclusions (.vib), so that, only full backups (.vbk) are copied to tape medias.

.. if people forget to but in the right tape, how can I cancel the tape copy job after eg. 10min?

Manually stopping the job should do the trick (right-click -> stop).

Thanks.
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Re: Moving from Backup Exec to Veeam

Veeam Logoby dfehse » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:30 am

Hi,

ok I see .. Veeam is still far away from a solution that really supports tapes. This are elementary functions using tapes that I had in Backup Exec for years! If you have to manualy stoping jobs that's simply not practical. I think you agree that this should be realized very soon or better write in your product description "elementary tape functions" instead of fully support tape! And onther annyoing thing is, that you can send mails for all Jobs but tapes, don't know why.

And what I'm also missing is the Option in the Job to append or overwrite. How is this handeled? For example if I put in the monday tape one week later will the tape be overwritten or appended? What happens when tape is full? There is no option that says how long a media is allowed to append and also not what has to be done when a medias retention period is over. Shall it be overwritten or appended?

Thx Daniel
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Re: Moving from Backup Exec to Veeam

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:25 pm

Daniel,
If you have to manually stopping jobs that's simply not practical… other annoying thing is, that you can send mails for all Jobs but tapes

We are planning to add both features as a part of tape job functionality in the upcoming releases for sure.

And what I'm also missing is the Option in the Job to append or overwrite. How is this handeled? For example if I put in the monday tape one week later will the tape be overwritten or appended? What happens when tape is full? There is no option that says how long a media is allowed to append and also not what has to be done when a medias retention period is over. Shall it be overwritten or appended?

Once you set up media pool, you include tape(s) media to this pool. In the next steps you would need to specify retention for this tape(s) (currently there are three options “Do not overwrite/Protect for XX days/Do not protect). Tape(s) handing relies on the retention specified in the options of the media pool this tape(s) was linked to.

Once the tape is expired and is loaded into media library it would be marked as free. (However, there is an option to remove such tape from catalogue and then import it back. In such case tape will reside in the imported media pool with all the data saved.)
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Re: Moving from Backup Exec to Veeam

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:21 am

Also, the so-called "append" options can be controlled via Media set settings. When a new media set is created, the previous media set gets closed and cannot be used any longer, till the retention period is exceeded.

Thanks.
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