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cschweigert
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Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by cschweigert »

I have Veeam Backup Essentials Enterprise Plus 6 socket license + 6 free instance licenses. The sockets cover the 3 VMware hosts with 2xCPUs each. I have a separate standalone VMware host with a few VMs I would like to backup including the VM that is our Veeam B&R console Server. There are multiple reasons for the Veeam server to be there don't get hung up on this. I can no longer run backup jobs to target the Veeam Server because its not covered by the socket licenses. Personally I think an Veeam, as an enterprise backup product, should inherently license what ever server the main console is on but that's my opinion. Opinions aside, I have 6 free instance licenses and I would like to use 1 to backup my Veeam server, but for unexplained reasons I am not able to do this and I get an error saying that the license has been exceeded. my license panel tells me i am using 1/6 instances so I have not exceeded any limits. I contacted support who passed me to sales and they told me I would have to upgrade out of essentials and pay for 2 additional sockets to cover this. This is a incredibly not cost effective solution especially when I already have the licenses that should cover what I need. I was able to get the windows agent based instance license to work on some of our Virtual Workstations so I know its not impossible to use the free instances on VMs, even ones covered by the socket licenses. I tried to get the windows agent to work on the Veeam server but it still always tells me the license is exceeded. I also cannot use the File Share backup tasks to backup any shares attached to the server. I could go get the Free 10 license B&R suite and do meet my needs. If they work as advertised the free instances through this package do not have limitations and can be used for physical, virtual and cloud targets. This could work but that is a lot of extra work to setup and manage again considering I already have licenses that should cover my needs.

So the question is; Why as a paying customer cannot I not use my "free" instance licenses to run a normal console managed VM backup my Veeam server?
Or if I have missed something or misunderstood something, then could someone please explain how I make this work?

Thank you for your time.

foggy
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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by foggy »

Hi Chris, as far as I understand, you already have 3 protected hosts covered by the 6 sockets you have. Essentials package is limited to these sockets, you cannot cover the 4th host even using those free instances left.

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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by Regnor »

The problem is, you cannot mix sockets and instances when protecting virtual machines. If you have a Socket based license then Veeam will ignore the instances when you try to backup a VM (regardless if it's VM- or agent-based). This has the advantage that you don't need to double license sockets+agents, but also a disadvantage, which you're experiencing.
You can check that in the licensing policy:
https://www.veeam.com/licensing-policy.html?ad=faq

Instances, when in the presence of sockets, will protect NAS, Agents, Plug-Ins, AHV and Cloud VMs, and any workload excluding VMware and Hyper-V VMs.

cschweigert
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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by cschweigert »

foggy wrote: May 05, 2021 5:35 pm Hi Chris, as far as I understand, you already have 3 protected hosts covered by the 6 sockets you have. Essentials package is limited to these sockets, you cannot cover the 4th host even using those free instances left.
That is correct as far as i understand as well. The sales rep said that 3 hosts is the max that essentials will cover for socket licenses so that part is correct either way. However, Im not trying to license the entire VMware host just a VM there in. Also, we have Essentials Enterprise Plus which does have additional features compared to plain essentials, not sure if it matters in this case.

The Mixing sockets and instances confuses me as to why it poses a problem in my case. It makes perfect sense that the socket license would override the instance license.
I read the FAQ you linked and the part you quoted about "Instances, when in the presence of sockets," but I don't understand how it applies to my situation. The VM I would like to use the instance license on is running on a stand alone VMware host not covered by any socket licenses, so there is no mix.

Gostev
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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by Gostev »

Please note that it is against our licensing policy to protect VMware and Hyper-V VMs with Instances in presence of a Socket license in principle. You need to make a choice and use either one or another license for your VM protection needs, as our pricing and packaging were simply not designed with "mix and match" ability in mind.

Moreover, those gifted "6 free instance licenses" you're trying to leverage here were granted with the very specific purpose, and that is to let our Socket license users more easily try out protection of other, non-VM workloads with Veeam. Obviously we did not give away a bunch of licenses just so that everyone could protect more VMs without paying us anything, this would make no business sense. So regardless of everything else, it is against the letter and the spirit of gifted instances to use them for protecting more VMs.

cschweigert
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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by cschweigert »

Let be honest “free” is not really a good term for these licenses. They may be a new feature or functionality but they are part of a product we purchased. We paid for the licenses and continue to gladly pay for the support/upgrades package. The product is wonderful and Veeam tech support is probably my favorite support team to work with. The letter and the spirit you’re talking about seem to be much different from the image Veeam normally portrays. In my experience, the Veeam spirit is about great products and taking care of its customers. The 6 license feature was added/gifted to show how much Veeam cares about helping its socket customers better protect our environments. The released of the B&R Community Edition was a gift to everyone. 10 instance licenses for free “that provides host-based backup and replication for VMware, Hyper-V and AHV; as well as an agent-based backup solution for Windows and Linux workstations and servers – whether they are physical computers or running in the public cloud.” So, in fact Veeam has and continues to give away a bunch of licenses so that everyone can protect their various environments. https://www.veeam.com/blog/backup-repli ... ption.html
In terms of business dollars and sense the VUL is a point based system so it makes no difference what is being backed up. If a customer does a backup of a VM server is the same point value as a physical server so Veeam isn’t going to get ripped off by letting customers use what they paid for. VUL come in 5 instances per pack for Backup Essentials minimum of 1 pack. We get 6, 1 more than the 5 instance pack, but still 4 less than the free Community Edition. Again, paying customers are not losing Veeam any money. I’m not asking for free or extra, I just want to be able to use the product I purchased with all the features and capabilities I was told it has.

I read the FAQ link you provided. I see it specifically says that license can be mixed. I also see the line you quoted but do not see a reasonable answer as to why this limitation is applied.
Is there a technical reason that prohibits the licensing client from recognizing instances correctly?
How is it different from the way the standard VUL license system works?

Gostev
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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by Gostev »

cschweigert wrote: May 06, 2021 10:22 pmThe 6 license feature was added/gifted to show how much Veeam cares about helping its socket customers better protect our environments.
I'm curious what makes you say this so confidently, when you can't possibly know the reason? :D

Anyway, please keep in mind you're talking to the very person who came up with the gifted instances concept and specced its implementation for the developers, so there's really no point to argue with me why Veeam did this. So kindly read my previous response carefully again with that in mind as it already answers all possible questions at the highest level. For example, there's no sense to ask about "technical reasons" when it all starts from the licensing policy that the product simply follows and enforces.
cschweigert wrote: May 06, 2021 10:22 pmI’m not asking for free or extra, I just want to be able to use the product I purchased with all the features and capabilities I was told it has.
What I explained is the reality and how the product and its licensing works today. Perhaps you were simply misinformed by someone on this topic? In case it was a Veeam sales person and your whole purchase decision was based on those free gifted licenses which you're unable to use the way you were explicitly told you can, then I suggest you simply talk to them about a moneyback (so long you're still within your software warranty period, of course).
cschweigert wrote: May 06, 2021 10:22 pmHow is it different from the way the standard VUL license system works?
It's no different: standard VUL license works in exactly the same way when used in conjunction with a Socket license. Further, we recommend against mixed license environments and encourage all customers to migrate their Socket licenses to VUL. By doing so, effectively you won't even lose your gifted instances, because a VUL license instead includes the ability to exceed its usage by approximately the same number of instances. So, you will actually be able to achieve what you're trying to do here!

cschweigert
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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by cschweigert »

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not here to argue. I just want to voice an issue that is worthy of mention and seemed pretty simple to solve. As has been pointed out this is the result of a license policy that affects all customers. Im here to get information and talk tech with the people that actually know what they are talking about.
One of the support engineers mentioned you by name, so Im aware of who you are and I appreciate your involvement. Its wonderful that the people who actually work on the product take the time to be involved in the forums. As interesting as I think it would be, you are correct I can’t read you mind. :D All I can know is what I’m told. Your Marketing/Sales team uses a lot of flowery words that lead to my impression. Lines like “If you’re familiar with the history of Veeam, you know that we have always been committed to providing high-quality, functional technology to the tech community for free”, “We love our socket customers”, or “They are forever yours, no strings attached. We want you to have your cake and eat it too.” Also, from the mouth of multiple sales reps, support techs, and product response emails, “we want to make sure Veeam is meeting your backup needs.” I guess it’s naïve to think that a company like Veeam means what they say in there public posting, but can you see where I’m coming from?

Converting to full VUL subscription structure has been recommended multiple times and that’s where I can definitely talk dollars. I had our rep quote 3 options to cover our needs with VUL sub, upgraded socket perpetual, and renewal for our current perpetual. Prices for 5 year contract come in respectively at ~$11300/5year, ~$27100 relicense with eventual service renwal, and ~$6600/5years. Considering the difference in coverage is 1 VM but the cost difference being nearly double, I hope you can see why its not in our best interest to make such a change.

Maybe a different approach then. I propose having the Veeam console server to be covered by default. This coverage would be inherent regardless of license type, machine type, OS, or otherwise. It would still count toward workload count for any backups, replications or other jobs performed. As far as I understand the Veeam console controls the licensing so I would think it would be an easy implementation. Would something like that be possible?

Gostev
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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by Gostev »

Perhaps push them for a better deal, so that your current renewal does not change as much following the migration. I don't know when you did the quoting, but the VUL Migration Policy v3 that has just been launched allows existing perpetual Socket customers to maintain a discount on ALL VMs they have covered by the Socket license in perpetuity, so you never pay the full subscription price on those VMs in future. The goal here was specifically to reduce a jump from paying a yearly maintenance (some percent of MSRP) to paying a yearly subscription (100% of MSRP).

The Veeam server has actually always been covered, as the Configuration Backup functionality that protects it does not consume a license.

cschweigert
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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by cschweigert »

I got these quotes in March 29, 2021. We have little under 2 years left on our current contract so we are not in a hurry to

We have the Config backup setup and I think its a good light weight option but personally I see that as more of a last ditch option. Having to rebuild the entire VM, reinstall the software, and load a config seems rather inefficient. It would be nice to have the ability to perform a recovery boot and restore like the windows agent offers.

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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by Gostev »

OK, then you definitely want to reach out to them again and have them make you an offer based on the "Migration Policy v3". Just stress that your goal is to minimize the price difference between what you pay now and what you will pay after the migration, as perhaps they can tweak some migration parameters based on that. I would be very interested to learn the results!

cschweigert
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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by cschweigert »

The Free agent works right now but there are some issues with it working on the Veeam server. When I initially setup the agent I tried to license it with the instance not knowing that wouldn't work. I uninstalled the agent and removed the server from the inventory list in the Veeam console. Unfortunately, every time I install the windows agent it will work for a few times and then the console tries to claim it and it gives me the license exceeded error. I managed to get around this temporarily because our v10 Veeam console won't try to license the new V5 windows agent. This fix should hold until we update to v11.

There are a few other reasons. It would be simpler if the console could manage it as a standard VM backup. There are a some iSCI file shares that are linked to that server that I would like to use the new File Share backup jobs on. Replication to a cloud server might be nice in the future.

I think I may have found my best option for now. The main reason we moved the backup VM to the new Backup Host was resources. We wanted to be able to give the VM plenty of power and since it exists there on its own with no competition we could do just that. I recently made a Proxy server to test the NFS backup repository feature but that led me to the conclusion that I can have it handle all the job processing. I can keep it on the backup server with all the spare power and shrink the Veeam server and move it back to cluster covered by the socket licenses and replicate it to the backup host for that quick boot copy. Let me know what you think of this idea. Im new to the proxy server but so far I wish I would have built one a long time ago.

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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by Gostev »

It's against the best practice to have Veeam server running in a VM on the protected ESXi host, as it will seriously complicate (to say the least) the restore should you lose the ESXi host. As a rule of thumb, the backup system must not rely on any production system it is designed to protect in any way.

Why can you not run all Veeam components on that "proxy server" you made? I assume it is a standalone physical machine. This would be a best practice deployment.

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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by cschweigert »

True, that one of the reasons we moved Veeam originally after our offbrand VSAN died a while back. Its not ideal but with it will be covered by the Config backups, nightly backups, and replication to the standalone backup host.

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Re: Backup Veeam B&R VM with free socket Instance Licenses

Post by Regnor »

I would rather put the Veeam backup server on the standalone host and completely rebuild it if the host fails. In case of a DR, like a loss of your production storage, do you really want to recover the backup server in the first step and then start restoring your systems?

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