Nowadays data lays at the core of every company. Every day tons of new data are generated and leveraged for various reasons. At Veeam, we have been taking care of data protection for years, but something we are even more proud of is the ability to re-use that data.
Where it all started
When Veeam first came to the market with a free product called Veeam FastSCP, it had one main goal: move files to and from ESX(i) servers. But even back then, people got creative and leveraged it to create copies of their data. They would download files and use it to re-create virtual machines by re-using the existing data.
Fast forward a few years to Veeam Backup & Replication v5 and we saw the introduction of industry-first features like SureBackup and Virtual Labs. These features allow you to re-use your backup data (as well as your investment in Veeam as your backup storage) and use it for testing your backups or running a virtual lab for testing and troubleshooting. Virtual labs are perfect for new hires as well — just spin up some virtual machines and let them learn your applications before giving them access to the production infrastructure.
With the release of version 8, Virtual Labs got improved by adding the possibility to use a storage snapshot as source. Leveraging a storage snapshots opens the capability of data re-use onto your (existing) production storage snapshots.
With the release of version 9.5 update 4, we rebranded these features under the term “DataLabs” and even extended it by adding secure restore and staged restore to more effectively use data for security and compliance purposes.
If it wasn’t clear by now, we like to re-use data in as many ways as possible.
Hello Data Integration API
In the NEW Veeam Backup & Replication v10, we are adding a valuable new feature to enable effective re-use of your data called the Data Integration API. This new feature allows third-party integration into your backups and opens an expanding list of possibilities including the following:
- Data mining
- Data classification
- Security analysis
- Data forensics
As a business, you generate data at an alarming rate. Put that information to work by re-using it to garner key insights and become smarter and more informed on YOUR business.
Instead of impacting your production environment, why not leverage your backups to scan for malware, ransomware and other security threats? This takes the burden off your environment and enables you to test your backups for harmful actors which may not trigger until a later event.
Enable third-party experts to access your data to mine for patterns, increase sales, or discover anomalies that can solve the latest mystery or medical ailment.
How it works
By leveraging PowerShell, you can work with the API and mount ANY virtual disk from ANY virtual machine. If you want, you can even use all your backups and present all disks at once! There is no limitation on the amount of data you mount and want to re-use.
Once the disks are mounted, you can see them in the well-known VeeamFLR folder, however, they will also be available via Windows Disk Management.
You can even provide access to these disks via iSCSI to another server for the perfect integration with your third-party software of choice. This can be done with an extra layer of security as such as only allowing access from certain IPs.
How to do it
Let’s take a closer look on how to do this. In the example below, we will present 1 disk to an external server via iSCSI.
# Add the Veeam PowerShell snapin - if it already is loaded continue silently with no error
Add-PSSnapin VeeamPSSnapin -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
# The backup variable $backup is populated by the cmdlet Get-VBRBackup which will return info regarding the backup data
$backup = Get-VBRBackup -Name "MyBackup"
# Provide the IP or hostname of the target server
$targetServerName = “192.168.1.5”
# Provide the credentials to access the remote server example: lab\administrator
# These must be stored within the Credentials manager in Veeam Backup & Replication
$targetAdminCredentials = Get-VBRCredentials -name "LAB\Administrator"
# Get-VBRRestorePoint is where you find the restore point you wish to use, -Last can be used for the amount of objects you wish to go back
$restorepoint = Get-VBRRestorePoint -Backup $backup | Sort-Object –Property CreationTime | Select -Last 1
# Publish the disk(s) for the restore point
$session = Publish-VBRBackupContent -RestorePoint $restorepoint -TargetServerName $targetServerName -TargetServerCredentials $targetAdminCredentials
There are a few important things within this script which you need to update.
The first one is within the $backup variable, this variable will hold the reference to the actual backup data.
The second one is the $targetServerName variable. With this we define to which server we want to present the data.
The final one is the $targetAdminCredentials variable which contains the credentials to access the remote server. These need to be stored within the Veeam Backup & Replication credentials manager.
By running the script, we will present the disk to the provided target server and they will show up in Windows Disk Management.
Take advantage of the Data Integration API feature to make smarter and more informed business decisions with your data, all while not impacting the performance of your production environment. Whether it be evaluating security breaches, enhancing security protections or garnering critical insights from your data, this solution is a great tool to get started now. For more information on this great feature and different use cases, check out this video.
Download the NEW Veeam Availability Suite v10 or Veeam Backup & Replication v10 to take advantage of this and many more features that will give you Better Backups: Faster, Stronger and Smarter. The Data Integration API is just one of many features that we’re excited to offer.