I have a confession to make! 6 months ago I knew almost nothing about Veeam. I knew they were a very popular VMware partner who did backup and recovery software. That was where my knowledge stopped. When Veeam announced that they would provide support for Hyper-V in version 6 of Backup & Replication I started to take an interest. When I saw the product in operation at some of my client sites and heard them talk about how much they loved the innovation and ease of use associated with Veeam's products I knew I was on to something. 6 months later I am on the Veeam Team.
I wanted to share my first experience working with Veeam Backup & Replication v6. I have traditionally learned about software through trial editions, and that’s exactly where I started with Veeam. I went to www.veeam.com/downloads .
I clicked the link to download……
Veeam Backup & Replication v6 for VMware and Hyper-V
Then I was presented with the screen that we all love to hate. Site Registration!
Now you have to know that I am not really big on registering for trial software and especially not the kind of detail that this particular form was asking for, UNTIL I realized that they were asking for all this information because Veeam was going to provide full customer support for this evaluation. That was something I did not expect, and I love it!
I downloaded the software which was 463MB in size. While the download was running I went to find out more details on the products. The release notes are pretty sparse in terms of end to end technical details. I found the user guide by scrolling to the bottom of the download page to a section called Documentation and then clicked the link for the Resources section. This is where things really started getting good. All of the documentation is available for trial users or full version users. I Really Love this! These kinds of benefits make that registration process seem like a good idea! I downloaded and started reading through the User Guide for Hyper-V. This document is 144 pages in length and is very well written. I wanted to find out about the recommendations and prerequisites for installation. I can sum up what I learned in 2 sentences.
1. Install the product on a physical host or on a virtual machine of your choosing.
2. Connect to your chosen Hyper V host/hosts.
Veeam Backup & Replication does make use of SQL Server and you can either refer to an existing instance in your environment or you can have SQL express installed as part of the initial installation.
I started the installation thinking that I would spend a couple of hours learning the ins and outs of the installation and configuration process. Boy was I Wrong!
My first hurdle came up right away.
There is a license file that must be associated with the install. I vaguely remember seeing something about that during the process of registration and download. I checked out my email box and sure enough there was an email from Veeam with my trial license file. I copied the file to my local machine and then referred the installation program to the location for the license file and I was off and running.
I decided to install the application on one of my running virtual machines and to let the install routine install SQL Express. Then I watched and waited. I didn’t have to wait long. 9 minutes to be exact. Surely something must have gone wrong. NOPE! I opened Veeam Backup & Replication from the desktop shortcut and was presented with the option to add a new host server. I chose a standalone Hyper-V host and provided the credentials for the machine. Done! The VM’s associated with the host appeared in user interface.
At this point I had put aside the user guide in favor of hands on learning. My first impression of the user interface was one of elegant simplicity. I understood every button just by looking at them. There were no complex menu systems to learn. I clicked the backup icon and set up my first VM backup job. I kicked it off when the wizard was complete.
I really liked the level of detail reported by the tool even during the backup process. Impressive!
I started exploring the concept of Replicas and added an additional Hyper-V host to act as a destination server to house VM replicas. I walked through the wizard and made my first replica.
I told you I had planned on spending several hours getting this evaluation installed and configured, and then learning the basics. At the end of 60 minutes I had
1. Installed Veeam Backup & Replication
2. Configured 2 Hyper-V hosts
3. Configured and completed my first VM backup
4. Configured and kicked off the production of my first replica.
To say that this was way beyond my expectations would be a huge understatement.
At about this time I received an incoming phone call from a Veeam Rep. who wanted to know how my experience with the trial was going? Was there anything I needed help with? They verified I had the number for customer support and asked about future follow up? Some of you may not like this. I personally didn’t mind. I know this is how you make sales, however while the caller was interested in sales it was clear that they were more interested in providing me with the technical resources and support I needed, and I have to tell you that from a customer perspective this kind of attention is impressive! I felt like Veeam honestly cared about what I thought of the product, and honestly wanted to help me love it! I do!
When you are ready to try Veeam Backup & Replication v6 I hope your experience is as great as mine was! I know a few things for sure.
Veeam Backup & Replication v6 is a great product!
It is simple to install and configure.
It just seems to work without unnecessary complication.
The user guide is an excellent resource that I would highly recommend.
There is a support staff of real people who care what you think of their products and will bend over backwards to help you.
Download your copy today and get started on the installation. If your experience is anything like mine you should be happily backing up and replicating VM’s in under an hour.
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