Veeam Backup & Replication lets you deploy and manage Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows on computers in your infrastructure. Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows adds full support for mission-critical Microsoft Failover Clusters, SQL Server-based Microsoft Failover Clusters, SQL Always On Availability Groups and Exchange Database Availability Groups. Starting from version 9.5 Update 3, Veeam Backup & Replication lets you deploy and manage Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows on computers in your infrastructure. Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.1 adds full support for mission-critical Microsoft Failover Clusters, SQL Server-based Microsoft Failover Clusters, SQL Always On Availability Groups and Exchange Database Availability Groups.
This is a “how to” step-by-step guide on backing up your Windows Failover Cluster.
Before you begin
Сonsider the following:
- Backup of failover clusters is supported in Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows managed by Veeam Backup & Replication only. You cannot process a failover cluster by Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows operating in the standalone mode.
- Agent license with a server counter must be installed in Veeam Backup & Replication to enable Agent Management features including failover cluster support.
- Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows supports Windows Server Failover Clusters running Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 and later.
- Workgroup clusters, multi-domain clusters, and mixed OS version clusters are not supported.
- Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV) are skipped automatically during the backup.
- The following Microsoft Failover Cluster applications are supported: Microsoft SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances (Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP4 or newer), Microsoft SQL AlwaysOn Availability Groups, Microsoft Exchange Database Availability Groups (Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or newer).
- When using Basic Availability Groups on Microsoft SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition, consider that secondary replica node cannot be backed up because the secondary node is not readable. See the following article for more information.
- AlwaysOn Clusterless Availability Groups are not supported.
- Managed by backup server job with failover cluster type does not support the file-level backup mode.
- Recovery must be performed via Veeam Backup & Replication console.
Microsoft Windows Server Failover Clusters, Microsoft SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances, SQL Always On Availability Groups
1. Create an Active Directory protection group
Protection Group is a container or folder to organize hosts you are willing to protect
To create a protection group navigate to Inventory, select Physical & Cloud Infrastructure node and hit Add Group button at the ribbon. Select Microsoft Active Directly objects as a type for this Protection Group.
At the Active Directory step specify the domain name and account (if required) and select the Active Directory cluster name object.
The AD cluster name account can be found in Active Directory Users and Computers or Failover Cluster Manager.
Make sure that you didn’t exclude any required host at the Exclusion step of the wizard.
Specify the common master account and set custom credentials for particular hosts if needed.
Check the box to Install backup agent at the Options step of the wizard to install backup agents automatically during the rescan (installation can be performed manually if required).
Rescan the protection group to discover the newly added cluster account, all its nodes and install backup agent to every node. Once the rescan is completed you should see the cluster and all child nodes under the protection group
NOTE To avoid installation issues, make sure that all required network and DNS requirements are fulfilled.
2. Configure the backup job
Once you install the backup agent on every node, you can create a cluster job. Navigate to Home node, click the Backup Job button at the ribbon and select Backup > Windows computer.
Failover Clusters must be processed by backup server jobs with the Failover cluster type.
At the Computers step of the wizard hit Add and select cluster account or the parent protection group for this cluster.
NOTE: each cluster node will consume a Server License host counter:
Select the backup mode. Only volume-level backup and entire system backup modes are available for the failover cluster job.
Define the appropriate application-aware processing options at the Guest Processing step of the wizard. For example, SQL log backup/truncation settings would be applicable to a SQL cluster.
Start the job. The cluster job will track node changes and perform log backup respectively.
Microsoft Exchange Database Availability Group
Starting Veeam Backup & Replication Update 4 Microsoft Exchange database availability groups (DAG) nodes are now automatically processed in a sequential manner, so it is possible to use Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows to process Microsoft Exchange Database Availability Groups (DAGs).
The procedure of adding a DAG to a Veeam Agent backup job differs depending on the type of the DAG that you want to process:
- For a regular DAG, the backup job configuration procedure is the same as for any failover cluster mentioned above, so all the steps above are relevant
- For an IP Less DAG (a DAG without an Administrative Access Point), the backup job configuration procedure is similar to the same procedure for standalone servers (the steps below show it in detail)
Create a protection group with the DAG nodes:
Then just add servers that act as DAG nodes to a Veeam Agent backup job for servers configured in Veeam Backup & Replication.
During the backup process, Veeam Backup & Replication detects that servers in the backup job are part of a DAG, and creates a transactionally consistent backup of Microsoft Exchange databases running on these servers (Veeam Agent process only passive database copies, active ones are excluded from VSS freeze operations).
Application-aware processing should be enabled for a consistent backup, log truncation and application-item restore possibility.
For Veeam Backup & Replication released before 9.5 Update 4, it is not possible to process a DAG as a regular failover cluster. It is recommended to process each server that acts as a DAG cluster node in a separate Veeam Agent backup job configured in Veeam Backup & Replication. In the backup job settings, specify a backup schedule in a way that these backup jobs start at a different time and do not overlap.