As a VMware vExpert we are kindly provided free licenses for Veeam Backup & Replication and Veeam One. I have been using Veeam B&R for the last year and have successfully used it to protect half a dozen of my key lab machines and do one or two restores over that time.
The licenses we are provided with by Veeam are based on a 365 day evaluation, so my backup server was reaching its expiry date this week. I was running Veeam B&R version 7.x, so as part of the upgrade license I also needed to update the Veeam software from version 7 to 8.
This turned out to be an incredibly easy process with only a couple of minor tweaks at the end to get things up and running. As you can see from the screenshots below the installation and update of Veeam is pretty much a next, next, finish type of installation.
It’s also with mentioning that I have documented the process for upgrading Veeam B&R, but the process for upgrading Veeam One is pretty much the same.
As with any standard upgrade to software running in a virtual machine, I started by taking a snapshot of that machine.
Next step was to mount the ISO file Veeam into a virtual machine operating system and start the install wizard.
Of course I read every single word of the license agreement.
The installer recognised the previous version of the software and offered to upgrade to latest automatically.
I then pointed the install wizard to the evaluation license key provided to me by the folks at Veeam.
A number of basic checks are completed to ensure that the appropriate pre-requisites are in place.
Next you would enter the service account for Veeam. Obviously being a home lab and me being incredibly lazy, this is the local machine administrator in this case. In any production environment this should of course be a dedicated account.
The existing SQL express database instance is selected.
Veeam recognises this has an instance on it which can be upgraded.
The installer is now ready to run.
After about five minutes installation is complete.
After a quick reboot, the server is back up and running and I log back in. When I launch Veeam B&R 8 for the first time, it recognises that some server components still need to be upgraded.
Again this is just a next, next, finish setup.
The only issues I have seen after the upgrade were a couple of VMs which failed their backups. After a reboot of said machines, everything was right as rain and backups are running as normal.
Once I was sure everything was working properly, and had run a couple of successful backups, I committed and deleted the snapshots taken at the start of the process.
Overall the process was very simple and very slick, exactly what you want from a software upgrade. Particularly impressive considering this was a full version upgrade, not just a point release. You can see why their marketing department came up with the tagline “It Just Works”!
Although most organisations I have worked for in the past have generally used more traditional backup vendors, Veeam is definitely enterprise ready and well worth considering. The only drawback, is that if you run a mixed environment of physical and virtual machines, you may require multiple backup platforms. Even then, Veeam Endpoint can do this in some scenarios AFAIK.