Veeam Agent for Windows Workstation – Backup Direct to Cloud Connect

Veeam Agent for Windows 2.0 is currently available for public beta, with general release just round the corner. If you have been using Veeam, you will be familiar with the strategy change Veeam have been working on in the last 18 months; providing the ability to backup physical devices. Starting with Endpoint Backup, Veeam have been working on delivering agent based backups for both Windows and Linux devices.

Today i am going to be talking about the Veeam Agent for Windows(VAW), more specifically the ability to backup direct to Veeam Cloud Connect. Veeam Cloud Connect is a great feature which allows customer backup direct to service providers over the net. (For more information take a look at:THIS)

Veeam Agent for Windows will come in three license editions, for the purpose of this exercise i will be working with the ‘Workstation’ variant. For reference, here’s is the edition matrix alongside the respective features.

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Installing VAW is pretty simple, after some Next > Next > Finish we have the product installed, and the control panel available.

If you’ve been using Veeam Endpoint Backup, the VAW control panel will look familiar. Here we will ‘Configure Backup’

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From the Configure Backup pane, we have three options. Entire computer will take a bare-metal backup the machine entirely. Volume level backup will allow you to take block based back up individual volumes, and finally file level backup will give you an explorer view of your machine.

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For the purpose of this article, we will go ahead and use file level backup and identify a folder structure to backup. In this case my downloads folder within my profile (for reference i’m not using roaming profiles and carting around 42GB of downloads within my profile)

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Next up we choose a destination. Local storage will allow you to backup to a locally attached device, for example external USB drive. Shared folder will allow you to connect to a remote share. Veeam backup repository will connect to your internal VBR and store backups in the same locations as your production virtual machines. Veeam Cloud Connect Repository will connect direct to our service provider

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We’re going to go ahead and chose the Veeam Cloud Connect Repository. Now insert the URL and port to connect to your preferred service provider. In this instance I am using our own Cloud Connect infrastructure

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Next verify this will verify the service providers SSL certificate, and now we can insert credentials that have been provided

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Your repository name, quota and free space will now populate. We also have the ability to choose how many retention points we require

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For the purpose of this article, local backup cache will remain disabled. This feature will create a cache on your local device in case the connection to your service provide fails. Once the connection has been re-established, the contents of the cache will be copied to your service provider.

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Schedule, pretty self explanatory. I will be backing up after I lock my machine

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Confirm, and run now. My backup is now in progress

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Veeam Cloud Connect

Back in 2014, Veeam released the Cloud Connect feature as part of their V8 update to Veeam Backup and Replication. This feature was a catalyst for businesses to extend their data availability strategy to Veeam partners offering Backup-as-a-Service. This model was heavily consumed by large numbers and three years on, the Veeam Cloud Connect possibilities are growing with the current iteration, Veeam Backup and Replication V9.5

If you’re not already familiar, Veeam Cloud Connect allows customers to connect to cloud based repositories to store backup data offsite. This connection is completed over the internet with no requirement for site-to-site VPN’s or any direct comms. This connection is encrypted over the internet to your service provider, and secured via logon credentials.

On the customer side, it couldn’t be easier to connect to your preferred service provider. From your Veeam Backup and Replication Management Console, navigate to ‘Service Providers’ and ‘Add Service Provider’

add service provide

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Once confirmed, a new Cloud Repository will appear allowing you to configure Backup, Backup Copy or replication jobs to the repository.

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Digital Transformation – Microsoft Tech Summit

Over the last couple of days, I have attended the Microsoft Tech Summit in Birmingham, during which, Digital Transformation underpinned a lot of the content delivered by the Microsoft Team. Digital Transformation is going to be a hot topic in the industry, so the main question i had on my mind was ‘What is Digital Transformation?’

In the Keynote, Microsoft provided two use cases that demonstrated the value of Digital Transformation, but the one that really resontated with me was from The British Museum. This was presented by two delegates from The British Museum on how they use data analytics to improve the experience of the millions of annual visitors. They have created a data pipeline from over 200 data sources, and they now have the resources to present tangible information to the key decision makers at the Museum. This data allows The British Museum to tailor elements of their business such as; opening times, exhibits or even audio guides to their consumers.

Let’s look at an example of how they use this data. The British Museum monitor’s visitor WiFi footprint to ascertain how long they spend in each area or exhibit. This data is cross-referenced against social media streams to see what their visitors are posting about. Why is this important? Imagine been able to present to key decision makers with feedback on how well exhibits are been received and how they can trend future displays within the Musuem? Based on the knowledge gained from this data, this will allow the Museum to tailor how long exhibits are shown, what location they are set within the Museum, or even what items should be made available in the gift shop? Take this to the next level, how about been able to understand what the age demographic of visitors are, and then use this to dictate where and what your marketing strategy is for a new exhibit?

The example above is based on two data sources from over 200 possible sources available. Imagine the possibilities. Now a lot of this may seem like common sense, but due to the amount of data that is generated, its extremely difficult to manually piece together and organise this data into presentable information. The British Museum are integrating legacy data sources together and querying the masses of data to provide the information. This is called a ‘Data Pipeline’

Below is the diagram of the Data Pipeline from The British Museum

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Picture Credit: The British Museum @ Microsoft Tech Summit

This is a perfect example of Digital Transformation. The Museum are using the power of data to transform their business processes and customer experience. What do you think you could do with the same level of data analytics for your business or customers? If the British Museum, who essentially collate historic artifacts and make them available to the public for free, can find ways to utilise Digital Transformation to improve their business then anyone can.

For more information how the British Museum have Digitally Transformed here is an article from @Alice_data from her keynote at #IDCC17: https://t.co/91qNN7FoUn