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Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by MelanieTanaka » 2 people like this post

Hello,
I am wondering if there is any roadmap at all for Veeam B&R to be able to run on linux. We have noticed increasing linux support especially with V10 quite a lot was done to improve operations with linux systems, so hoping something is in the works even if it is far off.

We are asking because an increasing number of our customers (we do general IT consulting) who opted for veeam "back in the day" are gradually switching to be 100% linux and eliminating anything related to Windows from their environments. In several cases the process is already complete except for the server running Veeam B&R.

I want to know what I can tell these customers. If we can give them some kind of timeline, or if they will have to look for another solution. I think most of them are open to keep running the one windows server until EoL on the condition that they can later switch to a linux-compatible instance of Veeam B&R, but if there are no plans for it at all I don't want them to remain non-compliant on the pretense of false hopes either.

Thanks,

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Gostev »

Hello!

There are no plans in the foreseeable future, as this basically means re-writing the entire backup server, while the value of this massive undertaking is questionable for most of our customers. So, if this capability is critical to your clients, then indeed they should look for another solution.

Thanks!

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by nitramd »

@MelanieTanaka,

Is there any way to convince your customers to try Veeam? It's really easy to use.

Otherwise, follow this link if you need suggestions for Linux backup software: https://www.ubuntupit.com/free-open-sou ... for-linux/

Hope this helps.

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by MelanieTanaka »

In most cases they already have veeam and really like it, but they value not having windows more than veeam. As mentioned a lot of these cases are organizations moving away from windows entirely, mostly data centers that were mixed to begin with and over the years have had less and less need of microsoft. In many cases the only windows systems left are those required to run veeam and they find that unacceptable, so they will be moving on to other solutions.

Also none of those solutions are really worth using on a large scale. They can't connect to vmware vcenter and backup VMs at the hypervisor level. If we were willing to individually manage backup solutions on every VM we would just deploy veeam linux agents and be done with it, but that isn't practical without a centralized interface, which would be again the Veeam B&R server, which requires windows.

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by ferrus »

Whilst I haven't seen the kind of Linux adoption the original poster is referring to, there definitely seems to be a much greater adoption in corporate environments, over the last few years.

Our organisation was a typical true-blue dyed in the wool MS shop just a few years ago, where the slightest suggestion of installing anything but Windows was met with suspicion. They even bought up thousands of Windows phones, at a time nobody thought they'd be a success.
Now we have Linux servers, VMs and Appliances everywhere.

This change seems to be driven more by the vendors than customers strangely. Many software firms big and small (VMware, Citrix etc) seem to be removing their MS dependencies, mainly Windows and SQL. I can only think they're anticipating something on the roadmap to do with MS cloud/licensing, which requires these changes - but I've never seen such a quick shift away from MS.

With regards to Veeam, with v10 we have Linux Proxies (HotAdd), Linux Repositories (FastClone) and Linux Agents - with MySQL/Postgresql support.
As they said - rewriting the Backup server would take a lot of time and expense, but you can still build up a near-native Linux experience using only one Windows server license - if you wanted.

In our infrastructure - the Veeam servers at the production site are native Windows, but I've been trialling Linux proxies and an XFS+RefLink repo at the second DR site. So far it's been 100% solid, and the performance has been good. We'll be growing it with much more data over the coming weeks, so will watch carefully to see if it remains that way.

Also - did I read that adding Direct and NDB transport modes, were in development - for Linux proxies?

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Gostev »

Yes, we're adding more transport modes to Linux proxies in v11.

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[MERGED] Feature Request: Veeam server running on Linux instead of Windows

Post by mikeely »

I know it's a total refactor but... ARGH! Windows is such a pain to maintain. Why have all this .NET nonsense plus thousands of dollars in licensing fees to Microsoft when we can run Linux and have a web console instead?

Someday? Please?
'If you truly love Veeam, then you should not let us do this :D' --Gostev, in a particularly Blazing Saddles moment

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Gostev » 1 person likes this post

Hello!

I've merged your post into the existing discussion, kindly use search before creating new topics in future. Please see my answer above.

Please note that you don't have to spend "thousands of dollars in licensing fees to Microsoft", as we fully support Windows 10 as a backup server.

Vast majority of our customers find Windows much easier to maintain, so you're definitely more of an exception here if you think otherwise. Not to say that you're alone though, as I have a couple of closest colleagues who are totally like you ;) but then again, these guys don't run a real IT infrastructure - just their home lab.

Having "all this .NET nonsense" allowed us to implement functionality that makes difference to our customers much faster, and become the market leaders. I actually highly doubt we would be having this conversation today with you, if not thanks to .NET :D

Thanks!

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by mikeely » 1 person likes this post

Thanks. I urge you to at least consider it. Windows is just such an ugly duckling in our environment - I love Veeam but having to manage Windows in order to use it is frequently maddening (especially when Patch Tuesday goes pear-shaped two months in a row).
'If you truly love Veeam, then you should not let us do this :D' --Gostev, in a particularly Blazing Saddles moment

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Gostev » 4 people like this post

While I can promise you lots and lots of Linux love in Veeam Backup & Replication, I just don't see the Linux backup server happening in the foreseeable future. We simply can take this "vacation" from other pressing features to perform the complete re-write, as this will destroy our company. So if you truly love Veeam, then you should not let us do this :D

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by mikeely » 3 people like this post

Gostev, that was hilarious. I'm afraid we're at a standoff here. I can't stand Windows and you can't quit Windows :)
'If you truly love Veeam, then you should not let us do this :D' --Gostev, in a particularly Blazing Saddles moment

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by soncscy »

Since the topic is already a bit off-topic in general :D

Has anyone gotten Veeam going through WINE?

Like this is of course in 2000% unsupported territory, but I'm just curious with putting the Backup Server through this. MSSQL on Linux is a thing, Linux proxies exists, I'm just curious if it's doable for smaller shops.

(I wouldn't dare run this in big environments of course :D)

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Regnor »

I don't think that even the installation will complete with Wine. And even if, there are too many missing dependencies, Wine is not capable of running services and so on...but give it a try and report back ;)

If we get a Linux tape server and some enhancements for the Enterprise Manager, you could let a service provider host the windows backup server part and see/utilize only Linux components in your environment.

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by albrow »

Well, last week I discovered that StarWind VSAN for vSphere actually runs on WINE over CentOS rather than as native code (just run htop in the terminal), so I guess it's theoretically doable. Must admit, though, I'm really not sure how I feel about it.
ferrus wrote: May 21, 2020 3:24 pm you can still build up a near-native Linux experience using only one Windows server license - if you wanted.
Has anyone here actually done this? I've been wondering about separating our primary repo from the backup server and running the repo on Linux (we already have a secondary repo running Ubuntu Server 20.04). There's a high chance we'll be replacing our Windows proxies when Direct SAN is added.
Gostev wrote: Nov 13, 2020 1:14 am I actually highly doubt we would be having this conversation today with you, if not thanks to .NET :D
Well, there's always .NET Core. ;-)

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by nbarry »

Agreed- .NET Core, and even SQL server runs on Linux now. Honestly, I would prefer a move AWAY from SQL rather than Linux however, as SQL licensing is the single largest limiting factor in my B&R & Veeam ONE deployments' scalability. We also have a mandate to minimize Windows use, so the v11 improvements will likely see us converting our proxy/repository nodes over.

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Gostev » 4 people like this post

I totally agree with you here @nbarry. Removing the dependency on SQL Server is something we're seriously looking at, and it is much more realistic than complete move to Linux.

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by nitramd » 1 person likes this post

Our senior DBAs described the Linux version of MS SQL as unacceptable; I cleaned/edited the actual comments :shock: :lol:

If you're interested in unsupported SQL features follow this link: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/li ... nsupported

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by SmokinJoe »

Hi Gostev,

Back in the MS-DOS/UNIX days I had many requests to our vendors that supplied us applications. The number 1 request was to support "Windows NT" and move away from UNIX or MS-DOS. Every vendor gave me the same reply as yours.... look where we are today. Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? Should you have a R&D team that is looking seriously at Linux, ChromeOS and MacOS as the next OS? The Linux bet is safe, if you have to make an app for the market in India and China do you think they have the coin for MS Windows licenses? Next do you value potential customers in India and China? Can you survive only selling software to US companies and multinational companies or do you also need the SBM shops? The grab bag today is low hanging fruit and that is delivering apps using MS Windows.

Many home users are finding chrome books and MacOS to be the choice after moving away from Windows. With the iPad/Android and smartphone use going up I am sure this is going to change software apps forever.

Thanks,
Joe
aka The Average Joe

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Gostev »

SmokinJoe wrote: Nov 25, 2020 2:11 pmThe Linux bet is safe, if you have to make an app for the market in India and China do you think they have the coin for MS Windows licenses? Next do you value potential customers in India and China?
Hi Joe, in fact YES! Those vSMB shops who can't afford a Windows 10 license are up for grabs indeed no matter of their location, as our focus is on totally different market segments: Enterprise, MSP, Commercial and high-end SMB (including in India and China). So perhaps you just found yourself a great opportunity to start a backup company and "do it right" for the markets we don't target ;) as there will be zero competition from Veeam.

Meanwhile, we're prioritizing the functionality that is critical to our core customer, including deep Linux integrations where necessary. It is just that backup server running on Linux is not high on the list for the vast majority of them right now. May be it will change in 5-10 years from now, may be it will not - at this point all we can do is speculate. And in any case, even 3 years is the eternity for R&D organizations like ours, and is certainly more than enough to port the backup server to Linux IF the need for this rises above all other pending features our customers desire to have.

Thanks!

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by mikeely »

albrow wrote: Nov 16, 2020 9:49 am Has anyone here actually done this? I've been wondering about separating our primary repo from the backup server and running the repo on Linux (we already have a secondary repo running Ubuntu Server 20.04). There's a high chance we'll be replacing our Windows proxies when Direct SAN is added.
Right now we're down to two Windows servers: the main backup server (which also hosts the MSSQL database) and a proxy at our remote site. Our VBRs have been Linux since day one, and even those are just headends to FreeBSD-based backup arrays - we don't actually need them now thanks to direct SAN access but changing over hasn't been a priority for us.
'If you truly love Veeam, then you should not let us do this :D' --Gostev, in a particularly Blazing Saddles moment

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by SmokinJoe »

Gostev,

All I am saying is that when I was a customer and asked in the past that was the same response. I know the tail wags the dog and there are changes. You mention 3 years so I just guess we will wait those three years. I am sure the software industry will deliver products and features the customers are asking for.

Thanks,
Joe

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Ibeme »

@Gostev:

You spoke about a Windows 10 License.

Challenges we face that it is not allowed to install Windows 10 in a virtual maschine, without further licensing.

Or am I wrong here? I through that VDA or similar Licensing is required if you install Windows 10 on a virtual maschine instead of physical.

Could you please clarify?

Thank you.

Bjoern

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Gostev »

I cannot comment on Windows licensing aspects because I don't know their rules.

I will say that the best practice is to run your backup server on a standalone physical server outside of your virtual infrastructure and domain, otherwise it will go down along with the production environment it is designed to protect and restore. The golden rule for any data protection solution is that it should not rely in any way on the production systems it is designed to protect (so not only virtualization stack but also domain, DNS, primary storage etc.)

Another way to look at it is this: you will need a physical backup storage regardless. But then, why not have all-in-one Veeam backup appliance machine which is both the backup server and backup storage? This is truly the best and most cost-effective solution for SMB, you can't beat it - no other solution will check all the boxes. By the way, this is what most Veeam MSPs are doing today for their clients (such drop-in all-in-one DR appliances).

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Ibeme » 1 person likes this post

Thank you for clarification, Gostev.

We are working on developing a solution for our really low SMB Customer Base.
We are talking about customers that may have only a HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus with internal Storage as Production Server with Hyper-V and 2 - 4 VMs.

Currently our plan that we are evaluating is, what you mentioned.
We are testing another HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus as All in One Backup Appliance for those customers with Windows 10 Pro for Workstations installed.

Problem is that those customers are really price sensitive. We are not talking about normal SMB Customers but really the low end of SMB (Maybe only about 5 Employees)

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Gostev » 1 person likes this post

With so little data to protect, you could probably do backup direct to your Cloud Connect installation... this way, you won't need anything on their premises at all.

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by jbullock_bit » 1 person likes this post

My 2cents on this;

We're a small(only 6 staff) MSP and we're exploring every option to rid ourselves of the cancer that is Windows but, asking Gostev to rewrite the whole software for linux isn't realistic. Whether or not it's supported I'm not sure but so far Veeam support has had no issues with how we deploy Veeam for our customers.

Hardware:
Intel NUC
Quadcore i5 (dualcore i5 for smaller environments)
8GB-16GB ram
250GB NVMe
(small environments get a 2TB SSD)
(larger environments backup to a NAS)

We run B&R enterprise on Windows 10 Pro. We configure the NUC to always boot up if there is power and the B&R connects to the clients vCenter or HyperV host(s).

So far, we've got clients with 4vms backing up to the smaller sized NUC and 10 vms to the quadcore wtihout issue.

We're planning on building microservers running windows 10 Pro(I throw up in my mouth as well, but I'm not dropping 1300 in licensing just to install veeam) for the larger environments we're starting to move into.

My point is, as annoying as it is to need windows to run Veeam, I value Veeam more than I hate windows.

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Gostev »

Thanks for sharing, good stuff!

I understand why people who have been IT for a long time tend to cringe about using "desktop" OS for servers, because I'm the same: we come from the times when desktop versions of Windows were using their own kernel, and then there were server versions running the "real stuff": the NT kernel. But since Windows 10 and Windows Server share the same kernel, these days it's really the same OS. So when you're buying a Windows Server license, you're purchasing a bunch of extra roles you never want to be running on the backup server anyway. Other than that, at least from the technical support perspective, we don't see any differences between these two OS.

As far as re-writing the whole software to Linux: not that it isn't realistic (nothing is impossible), but it will take a couple of years during which we won't be able to add too many new backup & restore features, because the majority of the team will be on porting the backup server to Linux. And even more importantly, another year or two on top of that to go through the teething issues, because it is quite a massive re-write - and there's no miracles. So, how will this period be perceived by customers who don't really mind Windows, which is currently the vast majority? "Veeam has really slowed down their innovation, and now they lost their reliability too - time to move on"... plus, many will probably blame our recent acquisition for these changes among the lines, as it usually happens :D

Also, we don't even consider the reaction to this change from customers without Linux expertise, or for whom Windows is the actual requirement/policy. We may easily end up with 10x bigger topic than this one, with customers demanding the return to Windows. While maintaining both versions is too expensive from R&D perspective. As you can see, all in all it is a really risky endeavor that may easily ruin this company. And maybe the time for this change will come eventually, but it's certainly not now in my opinion.

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by jbullock_bit » 2 people like this post

Biggest complaint I have is Windows 10 just blatently ignores our patching schedule and patches whenever the hell it wants which is sometimes in the middle of a backup or in the middle of an offsite transfer. That I would say is the biggest reason for using the server OS and really is the main reason I'd like to see linux.

I'd much rather see hypervisor expansion on the roadmap than linux though. Supporting Proxmox and the other open source hypervisors would be far more valuable to me than linux.

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Gostev » 1 person likes this post

That's exactly my thinking too! I assume you're talking about KVM support.

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Re: Roadmap for Veeam B&R on linux?

Post by Regnor » 2 people like this post

Gostev wrote: Dec 20, 2020 9:33 pm Also, we don't even consider the reaction to this change from customers without Linux expertise, or for whom Windows is the actual requirement/policy. We may easily end up with 10x bigger topic than this one, with customers demanding the return to Windows.
Exactly.
I would love to run Veeam on Linux, but currently don't have the knowledge/experience to run anything important in production on Linux (at least in my opinion).
So I could setup a Linux distribution and install Veeam or any other software without problems, but I wouldn't be able to manage/master it. And many other admins will probably face the same issue. At the end this results in a huge amount of tickets for Veeam support for basics, OS-related issues.

It will be interesting to see more and more Linux-based repositories after v11, and what impact those will have on the support.
Would be great to see some numbers (Windows vs Linux; ReFS vs XFS) in a future community digest ;))

Edit: But still it's great to see more and more components on Linux; this gives me more chances to build some knowledge.

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