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pizang
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If I where Veeam...

Post by pizang »

We have implemented Veeam several moths ago and we are pleased with this product. We will be much more pleased with 4.0 version because of it's new, very useful, features. I would like however to share my thought about implementation process. I can assume that setting up Veeam is not an easy task because of interaction with VCB. You can read a lot of posts about jobs failing because for example VCB proxy has no connection to certain virtual disk. Of course it is usually a administrator error, but this errors can move people away from your software.

What I would do if I where Veem is a better reporting and error explanation. I know that Veeam support is great and very eager to help you but what is your experience with a software failing with a very strange error?

To give you a good example. First backup I have created was a w2k3 server so I have enabled VSS. Job failed with an error: Retrieving file list Failed to perform Veeam VSS freeze: VMware tools status is "toolsNotRunning". Hmmmm. Very helpful. Why not: "you cannot use VmWare Tools and VSS simultaneously - disable one of them"?

I would also like to see more information about job status. Now we have only percentage of completion that is not correlative with time remaining. I can see my jobs 'completed' as it is 100% but still working (it is due to slow storage). I would prefer to have more information about current activity (connecting to disk, reading data, cleaning up, or something like this).

It would be nice to have also a status of backup in case of failure: your backup is usable till previous one or your backup is broken - create a new job.

And the last one: I would like to be able to test backups. Of course I can try to recover one file but to be sure I have to recover all. It would be nice to have a Test Backup ability (like in ZIP).

Gostev
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Re: If I where Veeam...

Post by Gostev »

Hello, thanks a lot for taking your time to write this, great feedback. Please see my responses below.
pizang wrote:We have implemented Veeam several moths ago and we are pleased with this product. We will be much more pleased with 4.0 version because of it's new, very useful, features. I would like however to share my thought about implementation process. I can assume that setting up Veeam is not an easy task because of interaction with VCB. You can read a lot of posts about jobs failing because for example VCB proxy has no connection to certain virtual disk. Of course it is usually a administrator error, but this errors can move people away from your software.
Hopefully this will become less of an issue with 4.0 which can perform direct-from-SAN backups without VCB, so you will no longer have to babysit and troubleshoot VCB.
pizang wrote:What I would do if I where Veem is a better reporting and error explanation. I know that Veeam support is great and very eager to help you but what is your experience with a software failing with a very strange error?

To give you a good example. First backup I have created was a w2k3 server so I have enabled VSS. Job failed with an error: Retrieving file list Failed to perform Veeam VSS freeze: VMware tools status is "toolsNotRunning". Hmmmm. Very helpful. Why not: "you cannot use VmWare Tools and VSS simultaneously - disable one of them"?
I agree. Generally we try to improve error descriptions for common errors based on feedback.
pizang wrote:I would also like to see more information about job status. Now we have only percentage of completion that is not correlative with time remaining. I can see my jobs 'completed' as it is 100% but still working (it is due to slow storage). I would prefer to have more information about current activity (connecting to disk, reading data, cleaning up, or something like this).
This is actually available in job's realtime statistics (right-click the running job and select Realtime Statistics) - there is a status line in VM section which constantly changes as the job progresses. In v4, there is even more steps/statuses displayed.
pizang wrote:It would be nice to have also a status of backup in case of failure: your backup is usable till previous one or your backup is broken - create a new job.
Automated backup integrity check is part of v4. It does exactly this - if it finds some unrecoverable issue, the job will error out with suggestion to initiate Full Backup.
pizang wrote:And the last one: I would like to be able to test backups. Of course I can try to recover one file but to be sure I have to recover all. It would be nice to have a Test Backup ability (like in ZIP).
This feature in our plans - good to see that it is needed.

MichelleU
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Re: If I where Veeam...

Post by MichelleU »

You wrote:

Hopefully this will become less of an issue with 4.0 which can perform direct-from-SAN backups without VCB, so you will no longer have to babysit and troubleshoot VCB.

can you give us more details on this topic: direct-from-san backups? Are you just saying the vdk files or are you saying down to the file level?
I was still under the impression that the VCB wuold still be needed.

Thanks for your help with this

Gostev
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Re: If I where Veeam...

Post by Gostev »

I am talking about VMDK files and image-level backups. VMware vStorage API for Data Protection is VCB successor technology that allows for performing backups directly from target storage without the need of VCB framework.

To make it easier to understand the difference between the two, think about vStorage API as a VMFS "file system driver" that allows to access data on VMFS volume directly from any Windows application. In contrary to that, VCB framework is a stand-alone application that is able to connect to VMFS volume and retrieve the specified file locally to Windows box (so you can potentially script it and use it as simplistic backup application).

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Re: If I where Veeam...

Post by MichelleU »

Thanks for the clarification.

Am I still correct that none of these optoins will work with backing up ESXi (free)? I know Backup and Replication can do this, but it is no longer supported per VMware's request

Gostev
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Re: If I where Veeam...

Post by Gostev »

Correct, vStorage API is only available for licensed hosts (whether ESX or ESXi).

pizang
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Re: If I where Veeam...

Post by pizang »

We will have no more problems with VCB but we will have with vStorage API :)

Or maybe vStorage API is a holy grail of VM Backup?

Gostev
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Re: If I where Veeam...

Post by Gostev »

Can I just reply to you with this:
"There's no software without bugs"

:mrgreen:

Gostev
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Re: If I where Veeam...

Post by Gostev »

^ that was my post number 2222 ^

And it pretty much summarizes my previous 2221 posts. :D

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