Veeam – Get a chance to win FREE VMworld 2017 tickets

VMworld

This event is a fixed point in the tech agenda every year. VMworld 2017 is at the door. This event is one of the biggest tech events and a must-attend if you’d like to know more news about virtualization, hardware and software.

At VMworld you can see so many different hardware  and software vendors, all related to VMware, see their solutions and get more insights about them. But it’s not only limited to just see stuff. There are various breakout sessions with interesting topics, keynote sessions with announcements. You can attend the Virtual Hands-on Labs onsite to try VMware products or do challanges. If you’re a blogger then you’re invited to hang around in the blogger area to meet other bloggers and write your stories. There are also other places to hangout, take a breake and talk with people. That’s also a reason to attend this event. Meeting people and talking to them. When i attended that event 2016 in Barcelona i met many people that became good friends.

Win FREE tickets to VMworld 2017

Veeam gives away 10 full conference passes to lucky winners until Friday, August 4!

Yes that’s right. You’ve got the chance to win a FREE ticket to this event in 2017, either US or Europe. With registering at Veeam’s website you’ll enter the raffle and get the chance to win a FREE ticket.

But how?

  • Go to the Veeam website
  • Register to become one of the lucky winners

Each winner will have the choice to redeem their ticket at VMworld US or VMworld Europe.

That’s all. Easy.

VMworld 2017 information

VMworld US

To access the agenda click here.

To plan your trip you can access the Attendee Ressources website. There you’ll find information about the venue, hotels, travel and transportation.

Location: Mandalay Bay Hotel & Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada

VMworld Europe

To plan your trip you can access the Attendee Ressources website. There you’ll find information about the venue, hotels, travel and transportation.

To access the agenda click here.

Location: Fira Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain

Veeam – Using Starwind VTL with AWS S3 in Veeam

StarWind Cloud VTL

I wanted to test this use case for a long time. Now it’s finally done and i’m happy that everything worked at the first try. Or should i be worried? Well, as Veeam always says „It just works (TM)“. So it did also during the write up of this guide.

Most of you will know this kind of backup media type. And some of you will not only have good memories of them. I’m talking about tapes. Tapes we’re once used for backups. Daily incremental and weekly full backups. It took ages the more data you had. You’ve been happy if a full backup fitted in a 8 hour window throughout the night. You know that. But tapes are coming up more and more again. If you heard about the recent ransomware WannaCry then you know what it means to airgap your backups. Even Google has it’s tape backup system. Yes, Google. And there are reasons why some companies still invent and develop new tape technologies like new LTO standards, new drives and libraries.

To be honest, most of us homelabbers don’t have a tape drive nor a tape library neither. And that’s the point where a Virtual Tape Library comes in very handy! You can emulate a complete tape library with software and even use this emulation in a availability software like Veeam Backup & Replication or Veeam Availability Suite! But that isn’t awesome enough. We want more awesome and that’s the reason we go to the next level.

To make it clear, i’m not only talking about homelabbers. This software is not a beta or alpha or something other. It’s a rocksolid production version which is available on the market. This guide will show you how to install and configure StarWind VTL for AWS and Veeam.

With StarWind Cloud VTL for AWS and Veeam you can leverage your backup data for the usage with a virtual tape library to archive your backups to Amazon S3 storage in the cloud. If you want you can even go further and archive your archived data from the Amazon S3 buckets to Amazon Glacier. Isn’t that awesome?

So let’s do this now! I’ll show you how to install and configure this solution, and how to make it work.

Read more…

Veeam – Backup Copy „Block is not initialized. Failed to download disk.“

Recently a customer reported an issue with a backup copy job. At this customer we implemented a new leased line with synchronous 1Gbit/s bandwidth from the main site to a secondary site. That gave us completely new possibilities regarding the backup of data and making it available. There is no need for a WAN Accelerator anymore, we can replicate VM’s with Veeam directly to the secondary site. And also backup copy jobs to this site go now A) directly and B) in a regular manner (what wasn’t possible before because of lack of bandwidth).

By the beginning of the last week, around the 30th of May, one backup copy job started to fail. This job contains all VM’s and should backup copy the data once a day to the secondary location. But one server, the main fileserver, failed with this error message:

Error: Block is not initialized. Failed to download disk. Reconnectable protocol device was closed. Failed to upload disk. Agent failed to process method {DataTransfer.SyncDisk}.

First i thought, ok, that can happen. No worries. After the second failure i did some checks and also opened a support case at Veeam support. If you don’t know how to collect log files for a Veeam support case, please have a look here.

First checks

Veeam support asked me to do some checks if the normal restore points of the failing VM are fine and with status „OK“ in the repository.

To do so in Veeam, on the left hand side click „Backups > Disk > [Job / repo name]“ and then right click this entry and choose „Properties“.

In my case all was fine, all restore points of this VM are with status „OK“.

Veeam asked me too if the regular backup to disk job for this VM runs successfully, and I could confirm that. I started also an Active Full backup for this source VM to make sure that all blocks are fine in the backup chain. After this Active Full i started the backup copy job too for this VM. But the error remained and this particular file server failed again.

Next steps

So basic VM backup runs fine, but backup copy of this VM still fails. The next step was to check the restore point for the copy, if they are „OK“ or „incomplete“.

To do so in Veeam, on the left hand side click „Backups > Disk (copy)“ and then right click this entry and choose „Properties“.

There i saw that the incremental restore points were incomplete. I’m not sure why, but they were. Probably the job screwed up at some point and nobody cared about it. Anyway. I had to fix that.

This was the first time i had to use the Veeam Backup Validator. With this CLI tool you can check and validate your backup files. My check failed or didn’t complete respectively, because the validator recognized that the files were incomplete.

I had to delete the restore points of this VM from the backup copy repository because they were incomplete. In Veeam Helpcenter you’ll find a good article about how to do that, about how to remove missing restore points.

Final steps

Now after all the restore points of this VM in the backup copy repository were deleted, the backup copy job runs and copies a complete full restore point from source to target repository.

Problem solved.

Personal thoughts

In my personal opinion, if there is an error or a warning, you don’t have to worry to much about that. It can happen. A service not started or crashed, a connection timed out, wrong credentials, or what ever reason. You can investigate and try to fix it. But if you know your customers infrastructure, so as i do, then you know also their specialities. If a Veeam job fails or brings a warning, i check the logs and then i know why it happened (at least most of the time). Probably it was my fault when i forget to set the correct credentials, or it’s one of the above reasons. Mostly i’ll give it a second try. When there is everything fine, then i’m fine too. If not, then i’ll dig into it and start with troubleshooting.

But as i said, that’s my personal opinion. You can truly switch to panic mode and start immediate actions with research and troubleshooting. But i don’t. Because i often don’t have time for such immediate quick shot actions, but i take my time to plan the necessary steps.

If this article helped you with troubleshooting, please let me know and drop a comment! Thanks!

Veeam – Prepare yourself and your infrastructure against Ransomware

A little more than a week ago a new ransomware called WannaCry hit various computers and IT systems, private persons and businesses, all around the world. More than 200’000 computers in up to 150 countries, experts say. That’s a lot. It happend fast. And this ransomware created also some serious damage.

ransomware

Yes, the red marked countries are those affected by WannaCry…

(Image by Wikimedia Commons)

Ransomware preparedness and recovery

Not only firewall, even hardware appliances or software firewalls on your computers, should be installed, but also a decent antivirus and anti-malware scanner should be in place. Obviously with daily updates and new signatures at least.

But when desaster strikes, it’s probably to late to update your security systems. The digital pest is on your system, somehow it made it’s way through various security barriers. Probably through security flaws, undetected by any antivirus or firewall, via mail, drive-by downloads or what not. What can you make then? Glad you have a backup of your systems and your data! Oh, did i mention to air-gap your backups? It doesn’t help when you’ve got ransomware-encrypted backup. The air-gap becomes more and more popular, not only for private users but also for big companies.

To have a 1TB external USB drive with your data, which is safely ejected after successful backup (Veeam Agent for Windows FREE does that), is ideal for your home computer, or your laptop. And absolutely recommended to do so. But imagine your 20 or more terabytes in your office? All your virtual (and physical) servers? Mail data? SharePoint and so on?

Veeam recently released some blog posts and white papers about ransomware topics. I’d like to share those valuable bits and bytes and ressources with you.

White paper

Rick Vanouver, Director of Technical Product Marketing at Veeam, created a white paper with the name „Designing Veeam Availability Suite to Protect Against Ransomware Threats“. Get your copy here:

https://www.veeam.com/wp-veeam-availability-suite-protection-against-ransomware-threats.html

…and learn more about:

  • Offline storage, the most effective ransomware resiliency technique
  • Using different credentials for backup repositories
  • The need to have more types of restore points that are more frequent

Blog post

But Rick created not only the white paper but also a comprehensive blog post about „Ransomware resiliency & Availability: The endpoint is a great place to start“ which is available here.

This blog posts shows you how you can use both Veeam Agent for Linux and Veeam Agent for Windows in your environment. It doesn’t matter whether it’s installed on a server or a computer, Veeam Agent for Linux and Windows are two pieces of software which are tightly integrated into the Veeam Availability Suite yet, and will be even tighter integrated into the next version 10 of Veeam Availability Suite.

At this point I would also like to refer to the early tipps for some of the early attacks and some practical tipps when using Veeam Backup & Replication.

E-Book

Last but not least, Veeam and Conversational Geek are offering a free e-book about the above topic. This e-book not only gives you an insight into the ransomware threat, but also reviews the fundamentals of top notch ransomware preparedness and recovery, in order to help you protect yourself and your organization.

Download it here:

https://go.veeam.com/ransomware-awareness-education

Learn more about:

  • Ransomware milestones, key capabilities and impact
  • Key layers of ransomware protection and preparedness against attacks
  • Quick and painless recovery from backups
  • And much more!

 

VeeamON 2017 – General Session Wednesday – a review

veeamon

Thanks to the live stream there wasn’t an NDA on the announcements today made at the General Session. People announced stuff and did live demos of new features awaiting us in the next version of Veeam, the Veeam Availability Suite v10. Let’s now dive into it.

Kicking off the General Session

Peter McKay, COO and President, was on the stage. He’s greeted all attending people, even those who were streaming the general session event to their computers at home or at the office.

Peter McKay introduced himself and showed us about his career. He showed us the example of his children, they’re living a real digital life already. And we all are doing so. It’s all about digital transformation. It’s our digital future.

the past and the future

Whatever we need, where we need it, when we need it. Users confidence comes only with business availability and continuity. It has to be instant, embedded, personalized, everywhere. Poor experience is like no experience.

Data in this century is what oil was in the last century. Data is getting mission critical. The need of being available, all apps and data instantly available, is business critical today, and a key for companies in the future.

Veeam showed us a video of the Denver Broncos football team and how they did IT in their company. Veeam got their back, the Denver Broncos data is available 24.7.365. Some other customers like Volvo were also highlighted.

Upcoming announcements for the next two days:

  • Veeam version 10 and new features
  • Cloud plans and partnerships with Microsoft and AWS
  • Ecosystem which means strategic partnerships

Ratmir Timashev, Co-Founder of Veeam, was introduced by Peter McKay. He was pleased and happy that the last few years were so successful. And he loves the new Veeam logo and colors.

Ratmir explained how the developed the name „Veeam“. Veeam just means VM (virtual machine), so Vee Am. A blogger stated that it could also be the time when they designed the logo, at 5:33am in the morning (v = 5, 33, am).

Now the Veeam Evangelist team came on stage. Clint Wyckoff, Michael White, Rick Vanouver and Michael Cade.

Live Demo by Clint Wyckoff

Clint Wykoff showed us some real live demo about native agent management for Veeam Agent for Windows and Linux. You can set a master account for the installation of the agent, or set any individual credential if needed. By selecting organizational units you can repeatedly scan those sections to add new computers automatically to your protection group. You install a real lightwheigt agent on the endpoint. There is only a small gui and all the configuration is stored in the Veeam Backup & Replication configuration database.

As a side note, Veeam version 10 is fully supporting Windows Failover Clusters.

Live Demo by Rick Vanouver

Rick showed us the Starwind VTL on cloud. Customers can keep their retention of „tape“ but it’s all virtual, based on disk and in the cloud.

He went also through the new Veeam Availability for AWS. More and more customers move to the cloud, or using it at least for some workloads.

Live Demo by Michael White

Michael showed us the new Veeam CDP (Continous Data Protection) feature. You create a CDP policy very easy, because the handling is like creating a normal backup job.

You can have RPO’s like 15 seconds! That’s close to live streaming the data from your critical virtual machines to your backup storage. Snapshots aren’t used in this policy. This is realized through leveraging the vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering (VAIO).

Michael shared also some infos about the new Veeam content pack for VMware vRealize Log Insight. Customers already using vRealize Log Insight to monitor their infrastructure are now also able to integrate Veeam into it and monitor it within Log Insight.

Live Demo by Michael Cade

Michael showed us some of the updated storage integration in Veeam v10. He went also through the SureBackup with the integration of those storage vendors. New integrations of IBM, Lenovo and Infinidat are coming with Veeam v10.

VMware

Sanjay Poonen, VMware COO, was introduced on the stage. Veeam and VMware have strong partnerships, and they are also presenting things and topics here at VeeamON. He was talking about the VMware Cloud Foundation and other cloud related topics. It’s all about cloud, even public, private or on-premises clouds.

Cisco

Frank Palumbo, Senior Vice President, Global Data Center/Virtualization Sales, was introduced on stage. He was talking about the digital transformation. The network touches everything in this transformation. 500 Billion of devices will be connected in the next few months. That will be challenge to companies, keeping data available everytime, everywhere and secured.

VeeamON live stream available!

If you’d like to watch the live stream, even if you’re at work, at home, or have another reason to miss this premier availability event, go to the Veeam website:

https://www.veeam.com/veeamon/live

VeeamON General Session will be live streamed on Wednesday, May 17th and Thursday, May 18th from 9AM – 11AM CST.