Veeam + ReFS: How much space you save

ReFS is the advanced file system from Microsoft that improves data availability through technologies that can:

  1. Ensuring greater resilience of data stored on the file system.
  2. Increase the performance in reading and writing.
  3. Improve the scalability (we are talking about millions of TB).

One of the most useful and widely used features in backup is the technology of Block-Cloning which allows Veeam Backup & Replication to create full backups equal in size to an incremental.

The operation logic is simple and consists of 3 phases:

  1. TheBackup copies to the target Repository (ReFS), the incremental data of the VM / Instances / Physical Servers/ Clients To be protected.
  2. The File System ReFS will take care of storing the new blocks and creating the metadatarelated to the newly written data.
  3. The option “create a Syntethic-full” actually triggers anoperation at the level of metadata. ReFS adds to the metadata just created, those related to previous backups, thus creating a new full child of the union of all the necessary metadata. To further simplify, a logical full is created without any block being copied/moved.

Note 1: The result is not only a saving in space but also in the time it takes to make the full.

Well, how is it possible to quantify the disk space saved in the repository (ReFS)?

Timothy DeWin has made a tool (blockstat.exe) perfect for this calculation, to which I refer you for all possible options.

In my case, I solved the client’s need through:

  1. Creation through powershell of a text file (Unicode format) that would search all the Backup files generated by Veeam Backup & Replication within the ReFS repository. (See image 1)
  2. Captured the output of the bloclstat command. (see image 2)

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SQL Reporting Server – Self Certificate & Veeam ONE

Veeam One is a splendid Advanced Analysis and Reporting tool for virtual and backup environments.

In an Enterprise architecture, the Veeam One roles are distributed on different Servers.

Let’s talk about the DataBase ( MS-SQL ), the Reporting Server ( SSRS ) and obviously the Veeam ONE Server ( VOS )

In this article, I will illustrate how you can streamline your reporting by creating an encrypted connection between Veeam ONE and the Reporting Server at the same time.

The procedure consists of three macro phases.

  1. The first creates the certificate that enables the HTTPS encrypted connection on the SSRS server.
  2. In the second, you configure SSRS to accept HTTPS connections.
  3. In the third, we configure the Veeam ONE server to use SSRS for reporting.

1- Creation of the certificate

If there is no certificate authority installed in your domain (like mine), you need to create a Self-Signed certificate.

Let’s see how to proceed:

On the SSRS , start a PowerShell console as administrator and run the following commands:

  1. New-SelfSignedCertificate -CertStoreLocation cert: \ LocalMachine \ my -dnsname NAMESERVER -NotAfter (Get-Date) .AddMonths (60) (replace NAMESERVER with your Server name).
  2. $ pwd = ConvertTo-SecureString ” yourpassword ” -asplainText -force (replace your password with a complicated one of your choice).
  3. $ file = ” C: \ MyFolder \ SQLcertificate.pfx ” (this is the location where the certificate will be exported ).
  4. Export-PFXCertificate -cert cert: \ LocalMachine \ My \< Thumbprint created from the output of the first command> -file $ file -Password $ pwd ( Copy the certificate to the file created in step 3 ).
  5. Import-PfxCertificate -FilePath $ file cert: \ LocalMachine \ root -Password $ pwd ( imports the certificate into the SSRS ).

Now it’s time to copy the SQLcertificate.pfx file (point 3) into the VOS and proceed with its installation as indicated in the next lines.

  1. Double click on the file and in the first window choose ” Local Machine “.
  2. When prompted for the password , provide the one set in step 2.
  3. On the next screen select ” Place all certificates in the following store “, and after selecting Browse, select from the ” Trusted Root Certification Authorities ” list.
  4. Ok and after selecting Next, finish the installation.

2- SSRS configuration

Using the SSRS configuration manager it is possible to set the HTTPS connection as shown in images 1,2 and 3.

Picture 1

picture 2

Picture 3

3- Veeam ONE configuration

Images 4 and 5 show how to configure VOS to use SSRS to generate reports.

Picture 4

Picture 5

Note 1: From image 5 we can see that it is possible to test the connection via the Test Connection button.

Note 2: The details on which ports open in the firewalls are documented in the guide. ( helpcenter.veeam.com) ; remember to add port 443 ūüôā

See you soon

MySQL Backup & Veeam Backup & Replication Parte 2

In questo secondo articolo è illustrato dove ricercare gli script per realizzare backup consistenti di DataBase MySQL con Veeam Backup & Replication.

Per scoprire perché sia necessario utilizzare script, vi raccomando di leggere il precedente articolo.

Hot Backup Database Online Dump (Linux)

L’opzione prevede di integrare negli script il comando mysqldump.

Due esempi sono consultabili al seguente sito:

HotBackup Database Freeze (Linux)

L’opzione prevede di effettuare a caldo il flush delle tabelle.

Due esempi sono consultabili al seguente sito:

Cold Backup Database Shutdown (Linux)

L’opzione prevede di fermare il servizion MySQL prima di realizzare il backup.

Due esempi sono consultabili al seguente sito:

Hot Backup Database Online Dump (Windows)

Il seguente esempio in poweshell è puramente dimostrativo. Il mio consiglio è quello di chiedere al vostro esperto in powershell di crearne uno che rispetti le politiche aziendali di gestione e sicurezza.

Pre command (avvia lo script mySQLdump.ps1 sul server YOURMYSQLSERVER)

$password = ConvertTo-SecureString “YOURPWD” -AsPlainText -Force

$Cred = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential (“DOMAIN\USER”, $password)

New-PSSession -ComputerName mySQL-WIN -Credential $Cred

#Enter-PSSession -ComputerName YOURMYSQLSERVER

#Invoke-Command -Session 6 -FilePath “C:\Script\script-7.ps1” -ComputerName mySQL-WIN

Invoke-Command -ComputerName mySQL-WIN -Credential $Cred -ScriptBlock { C:\Script\mySQLdump.ps1}

mySQLdump.ps1 (Crea il file .sql che viene memorizzato in una specifica cartella sul server YOURMYSQLSERVER)

# Declare variables

$path = “/backups”¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† # path of backup folder

$logFile = “automate-mysqldump.log” ¬† ¬† # path of log file

$configFile = “C:\ProgramData\MySQL\MySQL Server 5.6\my.ini” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† # path of my.cnf file

# Navigate to the backups folder

Set-Location $path

# get today’s date to name today backup folder

$date = Get-Date -UFormat “%Y-%m-%d”

# Check for log file

# Create if not found

if (-NOT (Test-Path $logFile)) {

¬† ¬† New-Item -Path . -Name $logFile -ItemType “file”

¬† ¬† Add-Content $logFile “Created on: $date`n”

}

# enter directory

# create today’s backup directory if it does not exist

if (-NOT (Test-Path $date)) {

¬† ¬† New-Item -ItemType “directory” $date

¬† ¬† Add-Content $logFile “[$date]: New $date directory is created”

}

# Set-Location $date

Add-Content $logFile “[$date]: Starting mysqldump”

# invoke mysqldump – insert mysqldump statement

mysqldump –defaults-file=$configFile -r $date/database-backup.sql –all-databases

Add-Content $logFile “[$date]: Backup for databases are completed”

Add-Content $logFile “”

# pause

 Post command (chiude la sessione remota)

Remove-PSSession -ComputerName YOURMYSQLSERVER

Nel prossimo articolo sarà illustrato come integrare gli script in Veeam Backup & Replication.

MySQL Backup and Veeam Backup & Replication – Part 1

This article will show you how to implement a data protection strategy in MySQL environments.

Let’s start with a consideration.

To create consistent backups from an application point of view, it is necessary that before the copy process is started, the application has written all the data in memory to disk ( flush ).

For example, Microsoft¬ģ applications use a technology called Shadow Copy which, through the coordination of VSS drivers , achieves application consistency.

A similar technology is not available on Linux and in addition MySQL does not support it in the Microsoft¬ģ environment.

How to remedy?

Through the creation of scripts that automate application consistency before starting the creation of the Snapshot .

Having understood this aspect, let’s return to the scope of the article, introducing the options available for MySQL .

Note 1 : Application consistency occurs before snapshot creation.

  • 1. Logical Backup : The script creates a file with the .sql extension which in case of restore allows the re-creation of the database and its data.

The file . sql is created through the native MySQL command ” mysqldump “ .

The advantages of logical backup can be summarized in:

  • There are no dependencies on third-party software.
  • Backups can be restored to other servers.
  • 2. Physical / Cold Backup : Cold copies of the DB files are created (for example: ibdata, .ibd, .frm, ib_logfile, my.cnf).

To be sure that the backups are made in ” application consistency ” mode, before taking the snapshot, it is essential to stop the MySQL services.

It is a backup strategy typically implemented in environments that do not require 24×7 operations.

Note 2 : The service is stopped only for the time necessary to create the snapshot and not for the entire duration of the backup.

  • 3. Physical / Hot Backup : If the InnoDB engine is running, the script allows the creation of consistent copies without stopping the services (using for example the command mysqlbackup component of the MySQL Enterprise suite ( MySQL Product) ).

Now that we know the scripting options available, let’s see how Veeam solutions can natively integrate with MySQL environments.

The first available option is the Veeam Agent for Linux ( VAL ) which automates the following four steps:

  1. Flush data from memory to disk (application consistency).
  2. Creation of the snasphot.
  3. Release of tables.
  4. Start the Backup process.

Note 3 : As indicated in the first part of the article, if the DB is of the MyISAM type, it is possible to backup with the blocking of all the tables.

The pre-requisites of the VAL are:

  • MySQL version is greater than or equal to 5.8.
  • The operating system is Linux.

Question: Is it possible to backup in Windows environments where the MySQL version is lower than version 5.8?

The answer is yes and the available scenarios are:

Logical Backup -> Hot-Backup Database Online Dump -> Mysqldump command.

Physical / Cold Backup –> Cold-Backup Database Shutdown -> Temporary stop of the Services.

Physical / Hot Backup –> Hot-Backup Database Freeze -> Native mysql commands.

Note4 : There is also the possibility of making Partial Backups . In this scenario, specific tables and databases are backed up. It is useful when different protection strategies have to be implemented on the same Server.

In the next article, we will find out how to create scripts and how to integrate them into Veeam Backup & Replication.

Veeam & Google Cloud Platform – Part 2

In the previous article, it was shown how to use VBR (Veeam Backup & Replication) as a framework to protect the instances (VMs) present in the Google Cloud Platform ( GCP ).

The integrated component of VBR that automates backup and restore processes is VBGP (Veeam Backup for Google Platform), now in its second version (January 2022).

VBGP allows you to save Google instances at the image level, but to date, it is unable to restore applications in granular mode.

Note 1: The VBGP allows you to create “Application Consistency” backups of the instances through:

  • le VSS (Windows Volume Snapshot Copy Services ) for Microsoft-Windows operating systems.
  • Customizable scripts for Linux operating systems.

In cases where transaction log backup or granular recovery of application objects is required, the Veeam Agent ( VA ) must be used.

Note 2: At www.gable.it you will find many articles detailing how to implement Veeam Agents.

Note 3: The Backup Server VBR can be installed both in the cloud (for example as an instance in GCP ) and on-premises. Correct connectivity between components must be ensured in all scenarios.

Note 4: VBR version 12 (due out in 2022) will add a number of Cloud enhancements. For example, the ability to manage the deployment and Veeam Agent components, without having to create a VPN between the on-premises VBR and the instances to be protected in advance.

Let’s now see the two main phases to perform the Backup of the instance:

The first phase has the purpose of carrying out discovery and deployment of the Agent on the instance (see image 1) (Inventory menu, Create a Protection Group).

Picture 1

In the second phase, the creation of the Backup job by selecting Veeam Agent for Windows (Image 2)

picture 2

During the Wizard, select the Backup Repository (image 4) under Backup Mode, Entire Computer (image 3), and Storage.

Picture 3

Picture 4

The focus of this article is managing application security (in this MS-SQL scenario).

After enabling the application-aware processing (image 5), it is possible to operate at the Transaction Log level, selecting whether to delete them after each Backup operation (Trunking) or whether to backup only the T-Logs. (images 6-8).

Picture 5

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Image 8

After starting the job, we check that at the Disk entry there is at least one restore point (see image 9).

Image 9

We conclude this article by explaining the recovery options of the Veeam Agent for Windows: (image 10)

  • Towards VMware & Hyper-V virtual architectures
    • Instant Recovery
    • Restoring Volumes
    • Exporting Disks (VMDK, VHD, VHDX)
  • Towards Public Cloud architectures
    • AWS
    • Azure
    • GCP
  • The creation of a Recovery Media to perform a Bare Metal Restore
  • File and Folder recovery (image 10, also available with VBGP )
  • Application object recovery (image 11 & 12, available only via VA )

Image 10

Image 11

Image 12

All recovery options using Veeam Explorer for SQL are available at the following site .

Note 5 : In the example, a Scale Out Backup Repository has been chosen which has the advantage of copying data to the Google Object Storage (see image 13). Version 12 of VBR will allow direct writing to the Object Storage

Image 13

See you soon

Veeam & Google Cloud Platform – Part 1

The first article of 2022 is dedicated to how to secure Google instances ( GCPs ).

The flow and protection architecture is shown in image 1 where there are two Veeam components.

  1. The Veeam Backup for Google Platform ( VBGP ) instance is responsible for making backups and restores of GCP instances.
  2. Veeam Backup & Replication ( VBR ) has the responsibility to centrally manage the movement of Backup data to and from the cloud (Data Mobility).

Picture 1

  • Note 1 : VBGP can be installed in stand-alone mode or using the VBR wizard.
  • Note 2: This article will show how to hook a VBGP instance already present in GCP from VBR.

Let’s see the steps in detail:

From the VBR console, we choose the Backup Infrastructure item.

By clicking with the right mouse button, select add server and then Google Cloud Platform (see image 2)

picture 2

The next step is to enter the login credentials to the Google Service Account (image 3)

Picture 3

The wizard continues asking you to enter the name of the VBGP server already created (image 4)

Picture 4

After selecting the type of network present (image 5), the next step is to enter the credentials to access the Repository (image 6).

Remember that the best protection practice is to back up the instance as a snapshot, then pour the snapshot into Google’s Cloud Object Storage.

Thus the 3-2-1 rule is respected, i.e. having 3 copies of data (Production + Snapshot + Object Storage) on two different media (Primary Storage + Object Storage) with an offsite copy (Object storage should belong to another region).

Picture 5

Picture 6

Once the wizard is finished, still from the VBR console we can connect to the console to the VBGP server (image 7) to start creating protection policies.

Picture 7

After entering the login credentials (image 8)

Image 8

it is possible to monitor the environment through an overview of the present instances, of the protected ones (image 9 & 10)

Image 9

Image 10

Manage protection policies through:

The creation of the Backup policies, indicating the name (image 12), selecting the project (image 13), the region (image 14), the resources (image 15), the Backup target (image 16), the schedule, and the type backup (images 17 to 19)

Image 11

Image 12

Image 13

Image 14

Image 15

Image 16

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Image 19

The last two items indicate the estimated monthly costs to implement the backup policy (image 20) and the setting of retries and notifications (image 21)

Image 20

Image 21

Once the configuration is complete and the monitoring has verified that the policy has been completed successfully, it is possible to proceed with the recovery (image 22).

Image 22

The available options are:

  • Entire Instance
  • Files and Folders

The next images (23-24-25) show the key steps to restore the entire instance.

Image 23

Image 24

Image 25

In the next article we will see how to protect and restore a SQL DB present in a GCP instance

See you soon