Saturday, April 4, 2020

Veeam Backup and Replication v10 - General Options

I finally got v10 up and running in my lab. I started randomly clicking around the interface and noticed a couple of changes in the General Options menu. I think it's one of the most ignored part of Veeam Backup & Replication while it has a lot of important settings. So I decided to pay it the proper respect and write a post about it. Just a heads up: if you are interested in VBR notifications, alerts, audits, reports, then this it where you should look.

I/O Control
By default it is disabled. However, if you are running in a production environment and backups may overlap with any business hours, this should be enabled. It ensure backups are not going to impact the production datastores by imposing latency threshold and throttling down backup jobs. The thresholds should be set accordingly with the underlying physical storage and current production latency.

This tab is enabled by default. Besides license and update related notifications, there are 3 settings regarding notifications on space usage:

  • warn when backup storage space is less than 10% 
  • warn when production storage is less than 10% - this will cause your backup jobs to finish with a warning 
  • skip VM processing when free disk space is below 5% - in this case a backup job will fail for the VMs on those datastores 

As you can see these notifications are not only simple notifications, but also determine the result of backup jobs. You can tweak the default settings, but it is highly recommended to leave enough free space on datastores for snapshots to grow during a backup.Otherwise you may run into an out of space situation.

This is used to change VBR SSL certificate (default is self signed), set up trust for Linux discovered hosts and it also has a new setting that appeared in v10: audit logs location. 

The audit logs are used to track file level restore activities. By changing the location to a centralized repository or even a WORM (write once read many) device, you can ensure a proper audit trail and archival. In case you run a file level restore, the following information will be logged in a CSV format file: Time, User, SID, Operation, Result, Object.

29.03.2020 18:35:51Z, MYLAB\Administrator, S-1-5-21-AAAAAAA-XXXXXXX-NNNNNNN-500, Restore, Success, C:\Users\Administrator.MYLAB\Desktop\order_form_7393 VMUG Feb 2019.pdf

However there is a workaround - you can open a file directly from backup in explorer and read its content. This activity will not be logged. 

E-mail Settings and SMNP Settings
These two tabs are dedicated to reporting over e-mail and alerting over SNMP. When enabling e-mail reporting you may choose the level of granularity. By default you will receive e-mails for any job status: success, warning or fail.

For SNMP you may configure up to 5 different receivers, as well as their community string and listening port.

Session history
Session history configure the number of session to display and the retention period. Up to 9.5U4 the default retention period was 53 weeks. With v10 this changed to 13 weeks. 

From an operational point of view, the most important settings are related to I/O control, notifications and e-mail/SNMP while from auditing point of view, the audit log and the history retention period. 

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