Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite backups

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Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite backups

Veeam Logoby mjgreen81 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:38 am

Hi all,

Currently we have our Veeam backup jobs backing up our VM's which we then backup onto tape (using Backup Exec 2012) so we can get them off site.

The trouble is, because of the size of the Veeam backup files, we cannot store as many veeam restore points as we would like to as we simply would not have time to complete the overnight tape backup.

I am looking into different ways where each night I can backup to tape ONLY the most recent version of each job. I have looked into the possibility of setting the dates on BE2012, but I just dont think it will work how I want it to.

Then I wondered about specifying file type.

We are using reverse incremental for our veeam jobs, which leaves us with the following file type:

1 large VBK file
a few smaller VRB files
one very small VBM file

Now as I understand it, everything is rolled up into the large VBK file and the smaller VRB files are just the daily (reverse) incremental changes. Not sure what the VBM file does, but I presume it does something important!

My question is..... if I was to backup ONLY the VBK and VBM file to tape, would this be enough to recover the VM in the event of a disaster? Is it necessary to have the VRB files as well?
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:03 am

Not sure what the VBM file does.

VBM-file is backup metadata file which is responsible for providing information on the backup job, VMs that are stored in the backup, number of backup files/restore points, and so on. It’s also being used during importing backups or mapping of backup jobs to existing backups.

Note: Even without .vbm-file import functionality will work fine, though, this process might take a little bit longer.

If I was to backup ONLY the VBK and VBM file to tape, would this be enough to recover the VM in the event of a disaster? Is it necessary to have the VRB files as well?

No, .vbk file will be enough for recovering VM from it, should any disaster happen.

Nevertheless, please be aware that reversed incremental mode isn’t considered as the best practice in case of you copying file to tape, since each job run will produce a new .vbk-file, which is then transferred as whole to the tape. So, it's forward incremental that should be used instead. Furthermore, it might be worth reviewing this topic regarding tapes and everything which is related to it.

I am looking into different ways where each night I can backup to tape ONLY the most recent version of each job.

It can be done by the means of PowerShell. Recently I’ve done something similar to one of our customers. He was particularly interested in copying only latest .vbk file to remote location in the end of the month, using Robocopy utility to achieve his goals. If need be, I can share it.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby mjgreen81 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:22 am

Thanks very much Vladimir,

Scripting sounds like a possibility. I do get some backup exec quirks/failures on occasion backing up directly from our Veeambackup server which I think caused by Veeam/BE clashing.

Perhaps I could script to: copy the .vbk files to another server > backup to tape > then delete.

Something to think about maybe.

Seeing as you have confirmed that .vbk is enough to recover the VM in case of disaster, I think I will look at just backing this up first and see how I get on. in case of problems I could try the script method.

I would just like to confirm something though. Our .vbk files contain more than one VM. That wont cause any issues will it? Just the .vbk file will be enough to recover all the relevant VM's contained within it?

Many thanks
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:38 am

I would just like to confirm something though. Our .vbk files contain more than one VM. That wont cause any issues will it? Just the .vbk file will be enough to recover all the relevant VM's contained within it?

There are no issues related to it. In fact, you can restore any VMs that are stored in the given .vbk-file.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby mjgreen81 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:40 am

it does - thank you :)
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby mjgreen81 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:55 am

Oh, and is it worth backing up the .vbm as well as its so tiny? Or is it pointless without the whole chain of .vrb's?
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:19 am

You can follow either way.

The only benefit you’ll have in case of .vbm-file being copied, as well, is that import process will take a little shorter period of time, since .vbm-file is responsible for indexing task.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby mjgreen81 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:46 am

Ok, think I will leave it out then as this is purely for disaster recovery.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby techdm » Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:54 pm

Hi, we are also interested in copying the vbk files offsite (probably on a NAS or something like that).
I am just wondering, how do you restore files from this offsite VBK? If i'm not mistaken, the file will no longer be in the available restore points.
Any help on this will be greatly appreciated.
Chris
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:45 pm

You just need to import this file to the backup console or use our standalsone utulity - extract.exe to to restore VMs contained in the VBK file.
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby denis.celeghin » Mon Sep 02, 2013 4:08 pm

(veem vers. 6.5)
Hi to everybody.
I have a incremental backup of a vm that creates a list of file:
one .vbk, one .vbm and other .vbi.
For me it's the first time that I use veem.
I'm trying a possible scenario:
    veem backup & replication performs a backup incremental of a VM.
    On a phisical PC I have vmware workstation vers. 8.

    The host ESXi is going to broke.
    On the phisical machine I perform "extract.exe" of the vm backuped before.
    During the repair of the host ESXI, I need to start the VM, so the users can work.

When I use the extract.exe on the .vbk file, does it perform the restore of the last incremental backup, or only the full backup?
If the extract process restores only the full backup, how should I do to perform a restore of the last state of the machine (using the incremental file)?
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby Vitaliy S. » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:49 pm

Hello Denis,

1. Extract.exe restores VMs state contained in the VBK file. In the forward incremental backup mode, the mode you're using, you will be able to restore full VM backups.
2. If you want to restore the latest state of the VMs, then you should either install Veeam B&R console and import backup files there or switch to reversed incremental mode. In this mode VBK file always contains the latest VM state.

Thank you!
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby denis.celeghin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:24 am

Hello Vitaliy
Thank's a lot for your answer.
Just a question.
Is it possible to restore with the veeam B&R console directly on a machine where vmware workstation is installed?
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:14 am

It’s not possible to restore a given VM to VMware workstation, since this platform isn’t supported. VMs can be restored either to a standalone ESX(i) host or to a cluster. Thanks.
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Re: Question about .VBK, . VRB & .VBM file's and offsite bac

Veeam Logoby screenpixuk » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:07 am 1 person likes this post

Just thought I'd share with you a simple and very useful product:

We use Forward Incremental mode on Veeam for backups which creates daily vib files in addition to the vbk base file and vrm.
Therefore each day we need only backup/synchronise changed files.

Many ways to do this including running backup copies within Veam etc but we use GoodSync to replicate/synchronise changes to target devices.
In our case, The backup repository is a NAS and that has a NAS utility that syncs to a USB3 attached disk
Goodsync runs on schedule every few hrs/daily as you want to synchronise a target USB3 disk, NAS, tape drive etc

It's amazingly powerful, will run many threads concurrently so you can copy 10+ files at a time when synchronising etc. It can also be paused and restarted as it saves a sync file on each device which it uses as a method of knowing what to sync.

It's been running really well for many months now and also synchronising with target devices on other sites overnight ; as only the changes are written ( the forward incremental vib's) it's very do-able even for large amounts of initial data. We have tested extensively and all backups are good.

For a remote sync, Seed the target device first, ie sync up all the files locally over a fast connection and then deploy eg a USB3 card and Dock etc to a remote site, and sync changes (Backup ode) Right to Left.
This then takes a small amount of time each synch and runs nicely in the background, will send an email at end of process etc.

Goodsync will synch any two file folders/sets whether the source is a phone, a PC a server or a abackup. Targets include Azure, Amazon etc cloud destinations for those wanting to sync to teh cloud.

The smallest Goodsync costs about £25 gBP (personal edition) whilst Goodsync Enterprise is also available.
the FREE one to try is limited to 100 files and 3 definable sync tasks but would give a feel for how it works.

I'm not associated with Goodsync except as a happy user, buts like it a lot- other uses include syncing fiules from mobiles to PC's or PC-PC for offsite backups.
works well with Veeam created files, as well as additional file-sync jobs.
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