Tag Archives: veeam

Veeam ONE Monitor Free Edition Review

VeeamONEFree

As 2014 is about to start, December is always a time to have internal IT meetings on how to improve processes, workflows and responsiveness. This year our IT department experienced positives and negatives in those categories from power outages to unexpected server down times. The big takeaway from 2013 was being a more proactive team when it comes to our virtual system and resolving problems before they become downtime scenarios.

So as I set out to do research (read: Google) on proactive monitoring solutions for our virtual infrastructure I came across several good candidates like SolarWinds, Xangati, vCOPS and Veeam. I think money grows on trees, my bosses think otherwise so I decided to deploy VeeamONE Free Edition to see if it cut the mustard for what we wanted and if the free version is an actual solution or just a digital carrot dangling in front of the budget waiting to be purchased.

There are a few differences/limitations to the free version, I have highlighted them below, now that we have that covered let’s find out if VeeamONE is really free and usable.

Veeam ONE Monitor Free vs Paid

Installation

Installation was quite easy to stand up. Built out a VM with the necessary “hardware” requirements on a Windows 2008 R2 x64 box. Everything was pretty much next, next, next, except for a restriction we have on SQL creations, that was an easy fix. We simply ran the CREATE script that came packaged with the installer, ran it in SSMS and the database was created. Verified the default ports and linked VeeamONE to our primary vCenter server and assigned some users to the Users and Admin groups. Reboot once and everything came back up just fine.

Configuration

Configuration was a breeze, there are two types of roles, Admins and Users, biggest difference I can see is Users are limited to what changes can be altered to events where as Admins have higher control. Email notifications are limited to the canned responses in the Free edition but is sufficient for what we wanted. Setup your SMTP settings and go!  With notifications you can include known KB articles with a specific issue, this is a helpful step for your lower tier Help Desk guys if they don’t live on VMware’s KB site like I do! If you have a broader SNMP capture system, VeeamONE links up nicely. On to views and the dashboard.

Views and Dashboard

This is where I personally think VeeamONE shines, you have 3 views to choose from: Infrastructure, Business and Data Protection.  In the Free Edition, Data Protection is unavailable as it relates to Veeam Backup & Replication and Enterprise Manager for a higher level view of your environment as it relates to your data integrity, this is a view we would like, but completely understand why Veeam left it out of the free edition. The Infrastructure View is where I live, it gives me a complete breakdown of my vCenter environment separated by Datacenter, Clusters, Hosts, VM’s, Resources and Datastores. As referenced in the free vs. paid chart, some notifications are limited but it is still a ton of information to get you closer to resolution.

My favorite is the Dashboard view, we are a VDI shop at so I built out a Kiosk Mode VM that auto loads the VeeamONE Client in full screen mode (pictured above) that gives me a dedicated station in my office to turn around and focus on a specific problem or event. Lately we have been testing some VDI users on a certain Synology DS3612XS with SSD’s (article coming soon!), it’s been nice to see statistics on performance and be alerted if the datastore spikes with latency.

Conclusions

VeeamONE Free Edition is a great compliment to your vCenter environment and has helped up isolate issues that we weren’t even looking for. Veeam has done a great job giving a lot of functionality in a free edition, there are some limitations that will make us seriously consider the paid version (Management likes reports!). But with some knowledge in PowerShell and PowerCLI vCheck can help with this! We have only had it up and running for 2 weeks and I obsessively knock out all the events that come across my inbox from the notification system. It has made us think twice about issues before diving in. I would highly recommend standing up the free version in your environment, what do you have to lose but a little more pro-activeness and maybe a different view on your vCenter environment!

VeeamONE Monitor Free Edition Link

Top vBlog 2014 – Starts Soon

If you are not familiar with Eric Siebert’s Blog and vBlog awards please check out his site. Eric hosts an annual Top vBlog Awards to those dedicated several that blog about Virtualization and Storage. For 2014, Eric has got some very special news, Veeam is sponsoring it so not only can you brag about being one of the best vBlogs (think – Highlander) but you could also win some cool prizes like a Mac Mini, iPad Mini, HP MicroServer, Beats by Dre Headphones, Roku 3 and a Wii U.

Call for nominations  for blogger categories will start in December with official voting beginning in January. For more information about vBlog 2014, check out Coming Soon: Top vBlog 2014 Edition on vsphere-land.com

Veeam B&R v7 Support for vSphere 5.5 is here!

Veeam_v7

Veeam has released Update 2 for Backup & Replication v7 today with full support for vSphere 5.5 and Hyper-V 2012 R2 (the first backup company to support both!), here is a breakdown of all the new and exciting features:

VMware

  • vSphere 5.5 support, including support for 62TB virtual disks and virtual hardware v10 virtual machines.
  • vCloud Director 5.5 support.
  • Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 as guest virtual machines (VMs).
  • Added ability to limit maximum amount of active VM snapshots per datastore to prevent it from being overfilled with snapshot deltas. The default value of 4 active snapshots can be controlled with MaxSnapshotsPerDatastore (REG_DWORD) registry key.

Microsoft

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and free Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 support, including support for Generation 2 virtual machines.
  • Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 as guest virtual machines (VMs)
  • Support for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
  • Support for the installation of Veeam Backup & Replication and its components on Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1.

Built-in WAN acceleration

  • Increased data processing performance up to 50% with hard drive based cache, and up to 3 times with SSD based cache. Multi-core CPU on source WAN accelerator is recommended to take full advantage of the enhanced data processing engine.

Replication

  • Added ability for source and target proxy servers to reconnect and resume replication when network connection between source and target site drops for a short period of time.

Tape

  • Added support for a number of enterprise-class tape libraries with partitioning functionality that allows presenting multiple tape library partitions to the same host.
  • Import/export slot interaction has been redesigned to add support for a number of IBM and Oracle tape libraries.

Application-aware processing

  • Added ability for application-aware processing logic to detect passive Microsoft Exchange DAG database present on the VM, and process it accordingly.
  • Added support for Exchange CCR clusters.

User interface

  • User interface should now remember size and positions off the main window, as well as all panels and columns.

I am proud to say that we upgraded our Backup Environment this morning and everything is running great. Big thanks to Veeam and their Engineering Team for releasing this so fast!

Here is a link to the KB article for this Update.

Free Virtual Tools for the SMB’s

I was catching up with my good friend Scott, an IT integrator for Law Firms and CPA’s in the Chicago area, about whats new in our lives. He’s been busy for the last 2 years migrating most of his clients from Windows XP to 7. I was telling him about some of the fun things I’ve been learning about in Virtualization. I told him about Horizon View and how we virtualized our entire production server environment (24 servers) on just 2 Hosts.  His first reaction was “That all sounds great, but most Small Businesses can’t afford that kind of stuff like SAN’s, Hosts or VDI”. I tend to agree with him, some companies just can’t see the value in virtualizing their servers or workstations because of the high upfront costs.

But it got me thinking that there are free and low cost options that Small Businesses can take to make things easier, consolidate aging hardware and prepare for the next big wave of upgrades. So I decided to throw together a list of free software that “could” help SMB’s that just can’t afford the latest and greatest but still benefit from virtualization.

ESXi

ESXi

ESXi is the foundation of any virtual server environment. VMware has been releasing ESXi as a free hypervisor for the last few years. It is a great way to start the journey into virtualization. A typical SMB company has a few servers that just sits there idle 50-70% of the time. Why not reduce the amount of wasted server resources (chassis) and consolidate those server instances onto one or two hosts (existing physical servers).

Now of course there are some downsides to just running a bare metal hypervisor, there is no redundancy, manual interaction on a per host basis, as well as no intelligence because of a vital piece = vCenter! But that shouldn’t stop people from starting down that road!

Get started with virtualization by downloading and trying it for yourself!

Veeam Backup

veeamfree

Veeam is an industry leader in virtualization backup software. They have a free version to use forever and it works great! Although many would say it shouldn’t be used as a primary backup, it is a great ad-hoc utility to backup Full Virtual Machines. Again if you are just getting started this is a great way to test, evaluate and use in small production environments.

Veeam One

veeamone

Veeam One is a management suite for the VM’s on your hosts. There are no limitations to the number of VM’s, Hosts or Clusters. Being a free software and complimenting ESXi virtual machines is a great way to be proactive as opposed to reactive to problems that come up in your job. Veeam One comes with over 200 pre-defined alarms and notifications to help you understand problems before they happen. There are some logging and archival limitations to the system. But free is free and you can’t beat that!

Syslog Server

syslog

Syslog’s are becoming a necessity in determining problems or submitting support cases with hardware/software vendors. It would be awesome to collect all of those logs into one place right? What’sUpGold has a free syslog server that you can use in your environment. It is very easy to setup and reduces the time to collect system logs when trying to resolve a problem.

WebHelpDesk

SW_WHD_logo

Web Help Desk is a Solarwinds product that we have used for our Help Desk ticketing system. As a systems integrator in the past I had my clients use this very simple software so I could log and track tickets, knowledge base articles, assets and more. They have a free edition limited to one technician but if you are a one man shop this is great! Did I mention they have a virtual appliance…

Virtual Appliances

Virtual appliances are servers that run on Linux flavors that are free alternatives to some Windows only software sets. You can run a file and print servers, LDAP, AD PDC host, Torrent, Help Desk and many more applications like them on free self contained virtual machines. TurnkeyLinux.org is a great place to start. VMware has some great vApps that you can demo as well on the Solutions Exchange site too. We run several virtual appliances that don’t take up much space and resources that do the job well.

There are many free and great products out there that I haven’t mentioned. Kendrick Coleman has a massive list of free vSphere related tools that you can check out. I have just scratched the surface!  If there are others that I didn’t include, please feel free to mention them in the comments section below.