Remove VM objects from Veeam backup-chain

Leverage Powershell to selectively eliminate VMs from backup archives

GDPR / DSGVO casts its shadow onto IT. On Friday 25th of May European privacy regulations will become effective and violations can result in very harmful penalties for enterprises.

In that context an unusual task was addressed to me today by a customer: “Delete all backups of VM KillMe (yes, all)!”

There are several strategies to fulfill the task: Continue reading “Remove VM objects from Veeam backup-chain”

Veeam ReFS Repository on iSCSI Targets

Troubleshooting Repository Deadlocks

With Resilient Filesystem (ReFS) integration into Veeam Availability Suite 9.5 a whole bunch of features was integrated. One of the biggest advantages is ‘Fast Cloning Technology’ which enables synthetic full backups by merely creating pointers to already existing datablocks on the repository.

In a small scale environment I had a hardware repository server (Win 2016) with an iSCSI Volume as repository (ReFS, 64k) as primary backup target. This constellation worked like a Swiss watch. Daily backups ran for months without any trouble. Fast cloning technology enabled weekly synthetic full backups with minimal consumption of extra space.

Recently I’ve added another iSCSI Volume (ReFS, 64k) to be used as repository for backup copies. That’s when the fun began… Continue reading “Veeam ReFS Repository on iSCSI Targets”

Using VM tags to manage backup SLAs

Agile backup job assignment with VM-tags and Veeam Backup

Organizing VMs in backup jobs can be a tedious task. Especially when there is a larger number of VMs and multiple jobs. It might happen that you miss out a VM for a job, or have it doubled.

To check whether a VM is backed up by the corresponding jobs, you either have to go through the settings of every single job or use smart tools like Veeam-One.

There are a couple of ways to add VMs to a backup job. You can choose single VMs by name, or select an entire VM folder, resource-pool or datastore. But one of the most sophisticated and versatile methods is to leverage VM-tags for selection.

What are tags?

A tag behaves like a label or a sticker that you put on a VM. It defines a property or a membership of a given VM. Think of a tag that marks a VM for daily backup. A second tag might mark a VM for hourly or weekly backup. You don’t have to adjust your backup jobs twice a week to remove or add new virtual machines. With VM-tags you don’t have to touch backup jobs at all. Just tell the job once to select all VMs with a specific tag and you’re done.

Even checking job membership for a VM is easier with tags. Just have a look at its tags.


I will now show a simple example how to use tagged VMs in combination with Veeam Backup & Replication.

Continue reading “Using VM tags to manage backup SLAs”

Backup vCenter Server High Availability nodes

Using Veeam Backup to protect VCHA

The vCenterServer Appliance (VCSA) is becoming more and more important. Many vSphere-related services rely deeply on the availability of vCenter. So it was a logic move to make vCenter more available by having an active, a passive and a witness node of vCenter in your cluster. In case the active appliance breaks, the passive appliance will take over.

I’ve been experimenting with VCHA for a while. Although I’m not yet satisfied with the failover time (5-10 minutes), I think it is a move into the right direction. I wouldn’t call it “high” availability right now – maybe “elevated” availability. But nevertheless the failover time might be alright for many environments today and it is used for production. That raises an important question:

How to backup a vCenter High Availability node?

If you have a standalone VC you’ll just make a backup or replica and you’re finished. But VCHA consists of 3 components and before backing up you’ll need to find out which one is the active node, because VMware only supports VADP-based backups (VMware vStorage API for Data Protection) of the active node. There’s no point in backing up the passive node or the witness. Keep in mind that active and passive node may have switched roles since last backup! Continue reading “Backup vCenter Server High Availability nodes”