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jcwuerfl
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Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by jcwuerfl »

After looking at v5.02.230 I was thinking of some various enhancements or ideas that might be good to look at.

1a) Ability to create a Full Custom Calendar for Scheduling Backups.
Aka. Goto a "Calendar View" Create Calendar Named: Calander1. The look/feel sort of like an Outlook based Calendar view of Daily/Weekly/Monthly View where you could select the scheduled days that you want a backup to happen on. vs. now you have to specify the day or week or month etc. and its seems rather cumbersome vs just clicking on the day when you want say a VM to perform these full copies, or backups etc.

1b) Go go w/#1a When you pick the Backup Mode (Reversed incremental, Incremental, Incremental w/ synthetic fulls (transforms full backup chains into rollbacks, active fulls. Show that in more of a visual way on the calendar for each type so its easier to understand what kind of backup is being done on what days.

2) Veeam Backup Appliance. Meaning a Linux based install with mysql and all products already pre-installed.

3) Option to Backup to SQL Server with mix mode auth, or sql logins. W/o Requiring Active Directory or support LDAP. I understand SQL Express is an option, but please don't assume people have Active Directory.

4) When setting up Copy Jobs, ability to get/send email notifications with the Enterprise/Standard Versions. Understand why this might not be in the Free Utility to copy VMs.

5) An additional option with Replication to a Remote Site w/o Requiring ESX Hosts/Datastores on the other side. Meaning include integration with Rsync and perhaps #2 and the Destination appliance perhaps to deploy at the DR or Remote site.

6) Better way in the product that if you are going to do a specific backup type through vCenter, to identify/add to the user that they need to create a Role/User in vCenter and what the appropriate rights that need to be added in the Role. I had to go hunting through the documentation to find this, vs through when you are connecting to vCenter there could have been information in that wizard on how to create the write rights in vCenter. Also, perhaps the ability to create different accounts instead of just one account with all of the security rights needed to do everything?

7) Ability to save/export everything you did through the GUI to a powershell script. This would show you everything the wizard did via a script to allow people to modify and extend?

8) SCP, SFTP, FTP? I was trying to add a Linux Server as that supports SCP / NFS / CIFS to copy to, but was unable to add that as a server? I saw that I could connect via SSH, but then the Data Transfer part was greyed out, and wasn't able to populate anything. Trying to connect to it via SSH didn't work through Veeam Backup, but works fine through putty or really WinSCP you could even add as a Tool as well since you already have putty there.

9) Sharepoint Application Level Restore? Sharepoint plugin for users to do file level restores??

10) vCenter Optional Plugin? Nice to be able to access everything through 1 interface at times.

11) Wizards: Please change them so you don't have to click next all the way through them when trying to Edit something. Have a place hold on the left that you 1) you can see all the steps for each wizards. 2) clickable to go right to the right area you want to edit vs. next / next / next...
Example: Edit Backup Job:
Name and Description :
Processing Mode:
Virtual Machines:
Backup Destination:
Guest Processing:
Job Schedule:
Complete:

All the above would be on the left, and clickable to goto each menu.

12) Why could I create a Backup Job? but it wasn't listed under Backups? only under Jobs? Sessions? looks more like Job History ?

13) Is there a report to show me when all the backups are happening? Looks like I could sort of a do a printscreen but...

14) 64 bit NFS Service ?

15) Why is the SQL Express x32 bit if I installed the Veeam x64 bit version? isn't there a SQL Express x64 bit version?

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by Gostev »

Thanks for taking your time to write this feedback James, let me comment these points briefly just to honestly set some expectations.

1. OK this makes sense of course, but more of bells&whistles type of thing so don't expect this to be added soon.
2. Not going to happen in this life.
3. OK, will note and track this request (this is the first in 4 years).
4. In short-term plans.
5. Replication w/out ESX on target is backup :) efficient backups to remote site are available since v1 (when backing up to Linux target), and are widely used by our customers today. Same will be supported for Windows targets in v6 as well. And we have short-term plans on further increasing efficiency of this process.
6. I believe you are essentially asking about some sort of wizard that would automatically create vCenter user with minimal privileges required. Makes sense, sounds like this may be a good simple task for some new trainee to start with.
7. I agree this may be useful for a few advanced users. But clearly, vast majority of users do not need this, so this would be low priority feature.
8. Sounds like the Linux server was missing Perl, so our agent could not install. Generally speaking, our main direction is agent-enabled backup targets (for performance and reliability reasons, both being absolutely critical for backup). So, there are no plans to add support for non-agent enabled targets that you mentioned above.
9. There were a few request before, so this is definitely on my radar.
10. Unlikely to happen in this life because of multiple hypervisors support. Speaking of such integration, SCVMM 2012 might make more sense to integrate with. But we are not considering any integrations in short-term plans.
11. Already in v6.
12. By design. Jobs are listed under Jobs. Backups are listed under backups (once it is actually created).
13. Yes, you can create such report with the Enterprise Manager today.
14. There is no point to do this.
15. Correct, there is no 64-bit version for SQL 2005 Express, which is what we are using from size and footprint standpoint. You can definitely deploy and use SQL Server 2008 R2 Express which does have 64-bit edition, and moreover has database size limit increased from 4 GB to 10 GB for free version.

Thanks again!

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by lorengordon »

We've created a role with all of the vCenter permissions necessary for the Veeam login to backup and restore VMs using all the different backup modes. PM me and I can send it to you.

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by jcwuerfl »

1) Thanks, I would expect that to take some time.
2) That's unfortunate. Gets you free from Requiring Windows licenses, faster initial deployment with the appliances, and of course all the linux repositories (aka rsync for one). Just think web based.
3) thanks, or at least that you've heard of I'm sure.
4) thanks
5) Good to know.
6) Or at a minimum in the Add new host for vcenter wizard put up some sort of information there when adding the vCenter user what vCenter Rights it needs for what Veeam features. Or how get the imput for the vCenter hostname/userid/password then export a powershell script for us to run. I guess there's options there on what could be done to make that a bit easier, more straight forward.
7) Good enough. It would help people get going with powershell scripting...but understandable.
8 ) Ah, gotcha. Can you pre-install this agent yourself?
9) Nice.
10> That's unfortunate, but thanks for the information.
11) Sweet
12) Right, I see after it "Ran" it put the objects under backups now vs just in jobs which makes sense now. But "sessions" why is it called that vs. Job History?
13) ok, I'll look at Enterprise Manager more, but I would think it would be an easy thing to add to the main product though?
14) Would have to disagree with you there, think Memory limits with x32 bit. And I downloaded a x64 bit version, but I"m getting x32 versions of things.
15) Great, I hope to see sql server 2008 R2 Express will be in 6.x then =)

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by Gostev »

8. No, not for Linux target (for historical reasons). And Perl would be required anyway for other functionality, even if the agent was pre-installable. The agent is very small, and it is auto-deployed as needed (and auto-removed immediately after data transfer process finishes). This does provide some benefits (frees you from managing the persistent agent). The only benefit of pre-installing the agent would be small reduction of traffic. In fact, similar agents for Windows that we are introducing in v6 will be pre-installable for the purpose of saving time and bandwidth (they are larger than Linux agent).
12. Also for historical reasons. Do you think "Session history" or "Job history" would be more clear for new user? Obviously I can easily rename this in v6.
13. Anything is possible, but our direction was to have all reporting web-based. Generally speaking, you can expect to see our web UI getting more and more functionality with each release.
14. You are correct, but our NFS service uses so very little memory, it can never get even nearly close to this 2 GB memory limit per 32-bit process (by an order of magnitude). Which is why making it 64-bit does not bring any benefits whatsoever.
15. Actually, we plan to stick with SQL Server 2005 Express while it is supported, because of distribution package size and footprint. Replacing it with SQL Server 2008 means totally immense increase in the Veeam Backup package size because of all additional components SQL Server 2008 requires. And also more CPU/RAM load from SQL on Veeam Backup server. Again, if you wish, you can install SQL Server 2008 manually before installing Veeam Backup, and point the Veeam Backup setup to this instance instead of having it to install SQL Server 2005.

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by virtualwatts »

That's a great list. And we're excited to see v6...

I'd like to augment #11
11) Provide a GUI page to quickly see matrix style the jobs and key properties
For example, of the 30-odd Veeam jobs we have, if I need to see which of these are using local accounts and which use domain accounts I have to select each job then navigate to the property. Requiring Enterprise licensing or Powershell programming to do this should not be the solution design, a basic report or page with table/matrix that summarizes all jobs with parms would be easy and value-add.

And I'd like to add one to your list...
16a) Allow for job dependencies in the scheduling, that is, when JOB X1 completes begin JOB Y1.
we use multi-job in parallel to maximize CPU & I/O during backup
since there is a one-to-one between job and VBK we use multi-job to separate out VBK and Backup Storage directories
in some cases we use multi-job per VM to minimize VBK size or isolate vmdk only backups
given the variable nature of the run times it is really hard to keep from too many or too few jobs running at once because each is scheduled independently
-or-
16b) Allow a single Job to manage multiple VBK files :)

Rick

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by Gostev »

virtualwatts wrote:given the variable nature of the run times it is really hard to keep from too many or too few jobs running at once because each is scheduled independently
We 100% agree with this statement. This is not just hard, but simply impossible to do manually, because you need to adapt to specific environmental conditions every day (and every day is going to be different). Which is why v6 takes care of this automatically for you :wink: I cannot provide extensive details publicly at this time, but stay tuned for more info towards the end of summer.

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by virtualwatts »

Yippeee!!! :D :D

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by J1mbo »

Whilst we on nice-to-haves, it would be good to be able to configure jobs to run only once some other job has completed, in case that were long running. In effect, the second job could start no early than, whatever time was set.

However I'd add my support for different schedules per day - especially with my experiences of Exchange. So I would want to replicate that at night during the week, then do a replica in the day on a Sunday since it would take much longer due to DB maintenance run on the Saturday.

It's great to see that Veeam has such an open and active interest in user feedback - can't imagine a discussion like this with any of the old-school backup software companies!

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by vmbackupuser »

In v6 will there be the option disable/enable an individual VM backup in the multi-VM job?
re: Temporarily Skip a specified VM during the running of a multi-vm job, or run only 1 specified VM backup in a multi-VM job?

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by Gostev »

No, this feature was not planned for v6. While skip functionality seems not very useful, I agree with the usefulness of the second part (there is a dedicated topic on this feature request that was created just recently and there was a good discussion with some nice use cases).

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by jeffwilkinson »

I had an additional feature request:

17. Ability to flag a synthetic full backup with a longer term retention period outside of the 'Restore Points to keep on disk' setting. I need to keep monthly backups for a year or more on some servers and it would be more beneficial to use the synthetic full that I am already creating on a weekly basis than to use the Active Full Backup option. The Active Full Backup option can be scheduled for weekly/monthly and these backups are retained indefinatly which fits our requirements, but the window to do a full (non-incremental) backup once a month is quite large. I would like to see this option on the Enable Synthetic Full's (forever - incremental) to be able to do a weekly synthetic full backup but be able to flag monthly synthetic full backup for longer term retention.

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by jcwuerfl »

8) Ok, I was just thinking if for some reason you didn't have perl and/or didn't want perl installed. Then at least you would be able to install the agent if available.

12) Yes, Session history or Job History would be more clear I think.

13) True, and I get the web based reporting. I just thought after seeing the Backup Job History report which is in HTML after a backup job runs. Or you can right click on the Finished backup job in "Sessions" as it is, and click HTML report. That it would be an easy thing to add just to show quick all of the currently scheduled jobs. The other reason is what if you don't want to install the Enterprise Manager just to get the reporting for one small thing that could be done in the main gui. Obviously this would be different if it was an all web based application and all in enterprise manager but since its mainly in the gui it would still be nice to have there as well.

14) True, for now it might not be an issue. Have you done any sort of testing when its not idle? meaning its being used and shared back to the ESX(i) hosts? does memory go up? Is it that much more to compile it with x64? vs x32? Just saying at some point just keep in mind this may need to be an x64 app.

15) Ok. Understood I can install the new version that's great. but FYI re: 2005 express:

http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/ ... r=FilterNO

Products Released General Availability Date Mainstream Support End Date Extended Support End Date Service Pack Support End Date Notes
SQL Server 2005 Express Edition 6/1/2006 4/12/2011 4/12/2016 7/10/2007
SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Advanced Services 7/16/2006 4/12/2011 4/12/2016 7/10/2007
Gostev wrote:8. No, not for Linux target (for historical reasons). And Perl would be required anyway for other functionality, even if the agent was pre-installable. The agent is very small, and it is auto-deployed as needed (and auto-removed immediately after data transfer process finishes). This does provide some benefits (frees you from managing the persistent agent). The only benefit of pre-installing the agent would be small reduction of traffic. In fact, similar agents for Windows that we are introducing in v6 will be pre-installable for the purpose of saving time and bandwidth (they are larger than Linux agent).
12. Also for historical reasons. Do you think "Session history" or "Job history" would be more clear for new user? Obviously I can easily rename this in v6.
13. Anything is possible, but our direction was to have all reporting web-based. Generally speaking, you can expect to see our web UI getting more and more functionality with each release.
14. You are correct, but our NFS service uses so very little memory, it can never get even nearly close to this 2 GB memory limit per 32-bit process (by an order of magnitude). Which is why making it 64-bit does not bring any benefits whatsoever.
15. Actually, we plan to stick with SQL Server 2005 Express while it is supported, because of distribution package size and footprint. Replacing it with SQL Server 2008 means totally immense increase in the Veeam Backup package size because of all additional components SQL Server 2008 requires. And also more CPU/RAM load from SQL on Veeam Backup server. Again, if you wish, you can install SQL Server 2008 manually before installing Veeam Backup, and point the Veeam Backup setup to this instance instead of having it to install SQL Server 2005.

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by rowdy »

Can I add some more suggestions?

  • When making a backup, I can select Network access, direct San access etc. When restoring, I cannot select this and direct SAN restore from Veeam could be useful - I don't know how to do this otherwise because Windows can't write to iSCSI VMFS3 filesystems
  • Backing up large, mostly empty, disks is very fast. When I have a 140 GB thick disk with just Windows installed (4 GB) the (first/full) backup is done in several minutes because the last empty 136 GB go really fast. However, when restoring, the restore operation takes several hours. You then also see the VMDK increasing in size if you keep refreshing DS Browser. Furthermore, and this is more of a bug, when this is going on, the restore state is IN PROGRESS 100%, Time Remaining 0:00:00 and I have no clue as to when it will really be done (so I keep refreshing DS Browser to see if the VMDK is almost 140 GB again)

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by jcwuerfl »

Having X job start Y job will be great! looking foward to this as well =) +1
Gostev wrote: We 100% agree with this statement. This is not just hard, but simply impossible to do manually, because you need to adapt to specific environmental conditions every day (and every day is going to be different). Which is why v6 takes care of this automatically for you :wink: I cannot provide extensive details publicly at this time, but stay tuned for more info towards the end of summer.

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by averylarry »

In the Jobs list, you have "last result" and "next run". I would very much like to add "last run time". You can find it in the "sessions" list, but it would be nice to see at a glance when the last run was. Especially useful for those of us who don't have most of our jobs scheduled via Veeam.

Also -- the Enterprise Manager either needs to go away or it needs to include all the functionality of the Veeam Backup and Replication console. I find it very annoying when there are some things that have to be done in the Enterpise Manager, and other things that have to be done in the console. Give me 1 place to go for everything Veeam related.

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by Gostev »

averylarry wrote:the Enterprise Manager either needs to go away
Ouch. Well, I guess you can always make it go away by simply uninstalling :D but I don't see it going away from the product. I know for the fact that some of our customers cannot imagine living without it with their few dozens of backup servers. And that its presence was deciding factors for many big wins.

Of course, I can certainly see how it may seems useless if you only have 1 or 2 backup servers.

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by averylarry »

My point is that there are things that can ONLY be done in Enterprise Manager, and there are things that can ONLY be done in Veeam Backup software. If there's going to be an "Enterprise Manager", it should do everything that Veeam Backup software does, and then more. Much like using vSphere with vCenter gives you all the functionality of connecting directly to a VMware host, plus all the extra stuff.

I won't regularly use the Enterprise Manager until it's able to create/modify backup jobs. Unless, of course, I just don't know where to do that stuff in Enterpise Manager.

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Re: Veeam Backup Enhancements .. various ideas/questions

Post by Gostev »

We will certainly get there - one step at a time... first iteration of Enterprise Manager was all about addressing a very specific pain: centralized monitoring, reporting and job control. May looks like quite minimal functionality, but it was truly essential for customers with multiple backup servers. Of course, it was obvious for us from the start that "it would be nice to have ALL functionality there". But if we try to put all the possible features into a single release, we never release... so instead we are going in small steps, addressing specific and biggest pains while maintaining reasonable release cycle length. For example, in v5 we added guest file search there. And in v6, there are much more of the good stuff coming.

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