Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

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

Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Veeam Logoby Driehl » Tue 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

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Wed 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

Veeam Logoby Driehl » Wed 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

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Fri 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 environment.
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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Veeam Logoby ChrisRoad » Wed 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

Veeam Logoby DaveWatkins » Wed 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

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Wed 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

Veeam Logoby Driehl » Wed 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

Veeam Logoby aceit » Wed 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

Veeam Logoby mkelerikh » Wed 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!
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Re: Feature Request: Allow mixing of Free and Paid versions

Veeam Logoby Driehl » Thu 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

Veeam Logoby randy16randy » Thu 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

Veeam Logoby Driehl » Tue 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

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:03 pm

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.

That said, we are recognize the demand of this feature request and will definitely discuss it with the team.
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