Backing up Acropolis VMs with Veeam Endpoint Backup Free

  • 1 December 2016
  • 2 replies

Badge +2
As all Nutanix Acropolis users know Veeam Backup and Restore (VBR) does not yet support Acropolis (AHV). I had migrated from Vmware so I lost the ability to make VM backups. I found out about Veeam Endpoint Backup Free (VEBF) so decided to try it. The Free version does not work with the Veeam Backup and Restore Free version (I tried) so I had to build my own repository accessed by a network share. I first built a repository using an old Dell 2950 server with six sata slots. I picked up some refurbished 2TB enterprise drives (the largest the 2950 would take) for $50 each from Amazon. I installed Windows 2008 R2 on an SSD for the boot drive. Even though the server is quite old the dual Xeon processors were still pretty fast and the SSD didn't hurt.

I installed VEB on one of my Win 10 VMs on my Nutanix with AHV. I mapped a drive letter to the repository. I created the Veeam boot ISO and put it on the same repository network share where the backups would go. I added an extra drivers folder from the Nutanix VirtIO ISO for Win 10 to the boot ISO. There are other folders for other OS's. It was easy to configure the backup to use the network share. I did have some problems with backups failing due to some share timeout issue so I found a fix. I added a DWORD to Veeam Backup registry area that said "NetUseShareAccess" and set it to 1. No more failed backups. There is another registry entry for disabling VSS log truncation for Exchange or SQL if needed. I noticed that the backups were very bursty. Bursts of between 50 and 95% of the 1Gb network bandwidth were followed by gaps of no data flowing. Duty cycle was about 25%, not very efficient but only the first backup takes a lot of time. I have no idea if this burst behavior is due to VEB or my repository. Subsequent incremental backups are very fast, usually 10-30 minutes depending on how much changed.

To test the backups once this Win 10 VM backup was complete, I created a new VM in Acropolis and attached the boot ISO to the virtual CD-ROM. It booted into the restore environment. It was simple to install the network drivers and storage drivers and authenticate to the repository share. I selected the latest backup and let it go. It finished quickly. I then booted up the restored server and there were no issues at all. The VM worked as before.

It was time consuming setting all this up and performing the first backups but I only have 15 VMs and physical machines so not too much trouble. All my virtual and physical servers are now being backed up using VBRF. An added bonus is the ability to backup desktop PCs and laptops as well. Once the backups are scheduled (I staggered them but I don’t think that is necessary) they just happen automatically. There is an option to throttle back the backup speed if the server or workstation or laptop is in use. You can set it up to send you an email if backups succeed or fail. This is a very solid product in spite of it being free. An added bonus is that Veeam tech support will respond to email questions unlike Nutanix CE which is forum only.

2 replies

My AHV is not live yet, i try to use windows agent on one of the VMs and my VBR and repository is on physical machine. File restore is OK from the agent.
When i try to restore whole VM, i export as VMDK but cannot put it into the container. Whitelist is already setup, Disable VeeamNFSSvc.exe and installed windows NFS client but still cant access the container from windows too. So, I export the vmdk to local (VBR) and then open prism and then load the image, taking too long and crashed my IE, this is only 20G test server, cant imagine for 300G of server.
How is your setup? Where do you dump your .vmdk?

Userlevel 2
Badge +8
Actually going through this process myself right now, but the sheer numberof manual clicks here is madening. So I've fallen back on Puppet.

This module is a fork of one provided on the veeam site, and lets me configure linux boxes (centos/ubuntu) to download, install, and configure the backup desitnation adn schedule centrally from the puppet manifest. Ill be doing similar for a DSC based module for Windows next, but the shortterm work was more than worth getting centralized control and automatic installation on any box (jsut install the puppet agent on your image and it gets pushed on first run).Hope this helps others.