Any way to Validate a Backup?

Backup agent for Microsoft Windows servers and workstations (formerly Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE)

Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby James99 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:54 pm 1 person likes this post

Is there really no way to validate an volume-level Agent backup without performing a restore to a spare drive?

My Win10 PC decided not to boot today and so I really needed to perform a bare metal restore. I do a volume backup each night and I already had created a Veeam Recovery Media so thought I would be ok. But after just a few seconds of trying to perform the volume restore, Veeam Agent declared an error - failed to decompress LZ4 block - and stopped. I have it set to keep 22 days so I tried various restore points and they all failed the same way, including the oldest backup dated 22 days ago. Yet the backups never indicated any error when they ran.

Is the only way I can validate the backups is to get another drive big enough to perform a restore to (3TB including my other drive''s backup), and do that every few days? And if it goes wrong then I need to delete the backup chain and start the volume backup from scratch? I was a True Image user for a few years till it stopped being reliable. I moved across to Veeam last year and it seems superb, but my first restore attempt when I actually needed it has not left a good impression, I'm afraid. FWIW I would gladly pay a reasonable amount software that (a) allowed multiple backups (another topic I realise), and (b) had a validation option for the backup.

Or is there already a convenient way to validate a Veeam Agent backup? I see there is a backup validator for another Veeam product https://www.veeam.com/kb2086 but I don't see mention of it for Agent. Thanks.

--
James
James99
Influencer
 
Posts: 18
Liked: 2 times
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:40 pm
Full Name: James Alston

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby Technogod » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:36 pm

Can you open the .vbk file and perform a FLR (File Level Restore)? If not, keep working your way backwards through the restore points. Do any of the restore points open? FLR is the 2nd best way to verify your backup. I perform a bare metal restore using a VM to test my backups. I don't perform bare metal restores to test my backups on a regular basis. The disk where your backups are stored. Does it have any smart disk errors? I would also scan the backup drive using chkdsk x: /f /r When backup drives start showing smart errors I replace them. I use stablebit scanner to check my drives.
Technogod
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 79
Liked: 13 times
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:52 am

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby Mike Resseler » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:52 am

Any change you have somewhere a Hyper-V server lying around and you are pushing your backups to a Veeam B&R repository?. This is something I use often: https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/agent ... tml?ver=20

Second: Did you contact support? Even if you are using the free version, please create a support case through the UI (and don't forget to post the support case # here and the follow-up after that)

Thanks
Mike
Mike Resseler
Veeam Software
 
Posts: 3346
Liked: 380 times
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:08 pm
Location: Belgium, the land of the fries, the beer, the chocolate and the diamonds...
Full Name: Mike Resseler

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby James99 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:21 am

Hi Technogod and hi Mike.

Thanks for your replies. I'm a software dev working from home so no server software unfortunately.

It was Saturday morning and I needed the PC working so I could do some work, so in my haste and assuming support would not be around much that day to assist, I did not contact them. Thanks for letting me know they assist even with the free edition.

I expect file-level restore of specific files would have worked - I have now deleted the backup chain and started another one as I got around the boot problems in the end by manually reverting to an older copy of the registry.

I really do question the need to perform a restore to verify a backup. OK, that is the ultimate test but it's far from practical to use on a daily or regular basis. So if we are honest with ourselves then each time Veeam Agent performs a volume backup (full or incremental) we have no idea if it would actually work for a volume restore. I hope Veeam is looking into offering a verify-after-backup option, as exists on most other backup software. Such a validation may never be able to provide 100% guarantee that a restore would work. However, if validation did find an issue then we would know about it and could do something, before the backup is actually needed.

I'm going to continue using Veeam Agent for file-level backups. It's the best designed backup software I have used, fast to backup (when used in volume mode), and I've never had any crashes/weird behaviour ever with it. Kudos to the developers for that. But the ability to validate a backup in a practical, regular way is a fundamental requirement, I would suggest. I'm going to use something else for volume backups for the moment.
James99
Influencer
 
Posts: 18
Liked: 2 times
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:40 pm
Full Name: James Alston

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby Mike Resseler » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:48 am 1 person likes this post

Our engineers are reading these forums also. So they will consider this a vote for a feature request. We do get a lot of requests though so I cannot make any promises when this functionality will arrive
Mike Resseler
Veeam Software
 
Posts: 3346
Liked: 380 times
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:08 pm
Location: Belgium, the land of the fries, the beer, the chocolate and the diamonds...
Full Name: Mike Resseler

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby James99 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:56 am

Thanks Mike. It's appreciated.
James99
Influencer
 
Posts: 18
Liked: 2 times
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:40 pm
Full Name: James Alston

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby chaycock » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:05 pm 1 person likes this post

I had the exact same thing happen. It really shakes my confidence in the product. You would think that at least the merge process would notice the problem and throw an alert.

Perhaps something could be added to the merge process so it can certify the integrity of the backup if there is not going to be a separate process made available that can check it.

I assume Merge has to read the base backup anyhow, so why not add some integrity checking.
chaycock
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 66
Liked: 13 times
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:51 pm
Full Name: Carlton Haycock

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby Technogod » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:40 pm

When you had the problem did you try an FLR? If so, did the volume open and let you browse files? If so, were you able to restore any files?
Technogod
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 79
Liked: 13 times
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:52 am

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby chaycock » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:02 pm

>When you had the problem did you try an FLR? If so, did the volume open and let you browse files? If so, were you able to restore any files?

I did not for several reasons:

1) I was not aware that you could do that
2) I needed a bare metal restore to bring the machine up, so doing FLR would not have done me any good
3) The base backup file was corrupt so even if I had known about FLR, I would have assumed it would not work since the base file was corrupt.

In my situation, I had no individual restore points, just the base, which is how I know it was the base that was corrupt.

This really should not be that difficult for them to implement as I suspect they could work it in with the Merge routine that runs after every 'incremental' backup. However, doing it at merge time would only help if you are doing additional backups, it would not help to certify 'stand-alone' backups.
chaycock
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 66
Liked: 13 times
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:51 pm
Full Name: Carlton Haycock

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby James99 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 12:44 pm

I've now got myself an external USB drive so I can do a test restore to check if my current backup chain is ok. But I cannot work out how to restore to this drive - Veeam Agent wants to restore to the original disk drives. Any clues how to do a volume restore to a different drive please? (I only have Veeam Agent for Windows, no other Veeam software.) Thank you.
James99
Influencer
 
Posts: 18
Liked: 2 times
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:40 pm
Full Name: James Alston

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby Technogod » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:07 pm

You would need an internal drive you could restore to.
Technogod
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 79
Liked: 13 times
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:52 am

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby James99 » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:03 pm

Hmm really? If that is the case then I'm quite quickly losing my enthusiasm for Veeam Agent as my backup software. Such a shame as it is great to use. But there is no way to validate a backup, and no way to even do a test restore unless I fit another drive inside my PC. I don't understand why it would differentiate between restoring to an internal or external drive.
James99
Influencer
 
Posts: 18
Liked: 2 times
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:40 pm
Full Name: James Alston

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby Technogod » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:23 pm

It won't restore to a USB drive. It will only backup to a USB drive.
Technogod
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 79
Liked: 13 times
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:52 am

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby chaycock » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:58 am

I keep beating this dead-horse, but there is really no reason we should have to do an actual restore to anything. There should be a process that reads the backup file as though it is going to restore but just does not actually write any data. This should be dead-simple to do, after all, the code to read the backup file is already written as part of the current restore code.
chaycock
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 66
Liked: 13 times
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:51 pm
Full Name: Carlton Haycock

Re: Any way to Validate a Backup?

Veeam Logoby James99 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:28 am 1 person likes this post

I totally agree. It could be argued that an unvalidated backup is not a backup at all. We are simply trusting to luck if the backup works.

I've seen requests/suggestions for validation of Veeam Endpoint dating back till Jan 2015 (veeam-agent-for-windows-f33/feature-request-backup-validation-t25320.html) so two and half years on I have to assume Veeam do not see validation as a fundamental requirement of backup software. That does astound me. Veeam have a validator already - https://www.veeam.com/kb2086 - but it is not supplied with Veeam Agent and it not available via download AFAICS. (Is the backup file format different for Veeam Agent meaning this would not work? Or if not, I wonder what the reason is for excluding Veeam Agent users.)

For me, until validation is possible, I am intending to switch back to True Image. True Image is a horrible bit of software to use in some ways and troublesome when it comes to dealing with removable media such as USB drives that I use for storing backups, but at least it validates.
James99
Influencer
 
Posts: 18
Liked: 2 times
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:40 pm
Full Name: James Alston

Next

Return to Veeam Agent for Windows



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests