In a Nutshell Webinar Series: Automate Your DR Testing with Veeam

Speaker: Russell Nolan
Published : April, 2017
In a Nutshell Webinar Series: Automate Your DR Testing with Veeam

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Welcome to our 15-minute webinar series. I'm Russell Nolan, senior systems engineer for Veeam® Software, and I'm excited to show you how automated recovery verification provided by SureBackup® works in Veeam Backup & Replication™.

Creating backups is only one side of the medal and good backup administrator knows that there’s always a possibility that even the slightest inconsistency will affect your ability to do an immediate production restore. So, besides the backups themselves, you always ought to ensure the data inside your backups is healthy and ready to save the day. And for that we’ve created a SureBackup job.

In this demonstration, you'll see how SureBackup can be used to automate disaster recovery (DR) testing in your environment to ensure your backups are Hyper-Available. We’ll explore the vPower technology that makes the whole disaster recovery testing possible. And we’ll go into details of all the important intricacies of the process (Application Groups, Virtual Labs and network isolation) that makes a SureBackup job so beneficial for any backup admin to have around.

Join in and learn how to automate your disaster recovery testing in a pinch!

Video Transcript 


Thank you for taking the time to join us here at Veeam® towers this morning. My name is Russell Nolan. I'm a senior system engineer working here in the UK for Veeam and today I'll be running the latest in our 15 minute webinar series, In a Nutshell series, and today we're going to focus on our SureBackup feature, how that can enable you to automate your DR testing with Veeam Backup & Replication™. Just to do a little bit of housekeeping before we get started today, you'll have noticed you've got to go to webinar R probably over on the right-hand side of your screen there. There is a little questions a window in there, so if as I'm running through the presentation today, you have any questions on anything I'm, I'm talking around, please do feel free to just type the questions into the question box there and I'll deal with those when we get to the end of today's session. But without further ado, let's get started. So, I guess first off, I should really introduce Veeam to you as a company. So, I appreciate some of you on the call today might not be familiar with us. And so, we're a global software company founded back in 2006 today we have over two and a half thousand employees all over the globe. And in fact, I think this number on customers is already out of date and is over the 250,000 mark.

In fact, we've been growing over 4,000 net new customers each and every month, quite consistently for 18 months now. So. So yeah, the growth has been rapid, and it shows no sign of slowing down. And that's thanks in no small part to the fact that here at Veeam we talk about availability rather than backup because the product does a lot more than just back up. So, it's able to replicate and fail over and automate your DR testing for example, which is one of the features that we'll be zoning in on today. So yeah, we're very modern look at data protection here at Veeam. Now one of the core pieces of technology that really enables us to, to be a bit different, it's one of the patents we hold. So, we have a patient on something called vPower®. This is an exclusive to us and basically what vPower does is it enables you to run a virtual machine that we've taken a backup of directly from the backup file and that's on regular backup storage.

Veeam backup


So, you know, 7.2 K drives, the sort of cheap and deep disgrace that you would typically consider using on a backup server. But we also don't make any backup. Any changes to the backup file is worth making that point because obviously the backup represents a point in time. So, you know, it's a, it's absolutely imperative that we don't actually write changes into that. For example, if you're running a VM, you know when you boot a windows machine, it writes to the event log, right? So, we'll handle the right redirection in the to ensure that that light gets scored at somewhere else. It doesn't have to be from file. And the backup file remains compression. It remains duplicated. And if it was incremental, it would remain incremental too. So, we don't hydrate the data. There's no need for massive amounts of extra working space on the backup server to enable you to make use of vPower.



So, it just basically vPower enables you to get a lot more value back out of that copy of data that you've got sitting there on your backup server. After all, you know, if you've got a complete copy of your production environment it would make sense to do something with it, now wouldn't it? So that's the power. That's really, it's worth just explaining that. That's one of the cool things that we can do with a backup once we've landed it on the backup server because that really feeds into this ability, we have to automate your DR tests. So, it's all about a feature called SureBackup® and SureBackup is all about verifying your restore points, making sure they're as good as we say they are. So if you look at sort of backup verification in the sort of wider market and what that means to other vendors, typically verification is a process they'll run through where they'll look at the data that they read or look at the data they won't, and they'll compare the two of them bit by bit comparison on that data.

Then they'll say, you're certified. Now that's very fine that you wrote what you read, but it doesn't verify if what you read was any good in the first place. And this is really where SureBackup differentiates itself because it's a much more exhaustive approach to recovery point verification. So, what we can do is basically using that vPower technology, we have the ability to run virtual machines directly from the backup, right? So SureBackup is designed to be an automated job. So, let's say for example your backup jobs when overnight last night, he may very well have said this morning, okay, I'm going to run some SureBackup jobs on my most mission critical servers just to make sure that they are fully recoverable. So, you're SureBackup job micro example will be scheduled in the morning. When that happens, what we'll do is using vPower, we'll create an NFS mount between the hypervisor that we're going to be testing these VMs on and the backup server will then present those VMs to it and then we'll put them into a little isolated network segment.

Now this is important because obviously if we're going to be going through the processes of bringing service online to test the applications, typos and what have you, we need to make sure that they're not on the network because obviously you'd get IP address conflict. Otherwise, and this is one of the kinds of things about short backup is we actually deploy a little Lynox machine, which we call the virtual lab proxy appliance. So I'll show you how we can configure this in just a moment, but the virtual proxy is able to do network address translation between your production network environment and the isolated network environment where we want to do the test so that ravine server can still communicate with those VMs in that bubble. Okay. That's basically what we do. We tell the virtual issue now we watched the operating system boot and then we'll even go so far as to actually look at applications inside of virtual machine.

And there's a number of sort, of prebuilt that we can run through for the most popular mainstream applications. So SQL, Exchange even DNS and DHCP, those, those kinds of lower level applications that are so critical to the functioning of your network. But the idea, is this a set at the top, it's an automated job, yes? So it just runs through on its own, basically boosts those machines up and then it'll email your report at the end or maybe send us an MP messages around somewhere, but basically inform you of how that test went at the end. So. this approach is much, much more effective when it comes to trying to catch things like viruses, maybe corruption, even stuff that is as benign as an incomplete windows installation. And this is, this is actually a real-world support case that we had come in. So, I basically run a SureBackup job and then it had failed to, to, to boot one of the virtual machines in that field.

Now of course that's a valid output. You know, it may be that there is a problem with the image, so you'll back up just kind of done its job in that regard, but what our support guys found when they looked at it was just basically there was a windows update install. It hadn't done the reboot on the server at the end of the windows update installed in this particular instance, which just meant that when the backup, anytime the DLLs that had been updated as part of that windows update hadn't actually been reregistered on the machine because that process doesn't happen these days until the server actually does. The reboot just meant he could recover files from it, but it wouldn't necessarily, he wouldn't necessarily be able to recover in the login prompting just in minutes as we are able to do using the power with another one of our features, Instant VM Recovery®.

And that's really where sure backup pays for itself is because it's booting the thing in context because it's actually going through the process of bringing this service online exactly as you would do if you were doing an actual DR test. It patches those things, but other backup software's miss. So that's how SureBackup does what it does. Conceptually speaking. So, let's just, let's just jump into the lab.

Running the lab


We've got a few minutes left here today and I'll show you how you can go about configuring these in your own environment. So, this is the Veeam interface that we're looking at here. I'm, I'm locked into our demo lab and if we, when you log into Veeam you'll be presented with this screen. So, we've got a ribbon along the top, which is context sensitive, and then the left-hand pane and or by hand pane basically, and then tucked away in the bottom left you've got different pages you can look at within the interface.

So, for example, here we're looking at backup and replication and this is where we can configure our backup jobs, our replication jobs, and also our SureBackup jobs. So, for example, if I just double click, there's a SureBackup job selected here in the left. You can see that on the last run, but this one was completely successful. It tested a number of exchange boxes and an Oracle box as well. And yeah, they all came back as successful. So how do we get to the point where we can configure a short backup job and test those points? Well, to do that we need to just jump onto the backup infrastructure page. Now the backup infrastructure page is the page in the interface where you'll spend most of your time configuring the Veeam infrastructure as at work.

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Duration: 20:15

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