Here is the second part of the Living the Veeam Dream post and also the 10th post in the #ProjectTomorrow I hope everyone has found at least one post useful or will do in the time to come.

The whole point of the series is really to summarise the last 6-12 months of my home lab and really give some insight on to why I have one and what I use it for on a day to day basis. If you have any burning questions or recommendations please reach out to me on twitter @MichaelCade1 I am always more than happy to have a chat and discuss.

Back on task I wanted this post to touch on another key area of my home lab and also some of the things I have been testing over the last few months in my lab to be able to create some really well hit posts back in the August time frame.

Veeam EndPoint

Every single time I mention either EndPoint or the new Veeam Agent for Windows I have to mention the free tier offering, if you are anything like me and you provide IT support willingly or unwillingly to your family and friends then this is the best form of protection of your time you are going to find. It’s FREE!!!

This tool is going to let you take a full bare metal backup of your Windows laptop or desktop, store on a USB, network share or even a Veeam Backup Repository, you can also run volume and file level backup protection too. There is a short video that outlines the key capabilities of this product on the link above.

How do I use EndPoint? Well way back in the posts I mentioned that I have my MSI laptop that is serving out and hosting my management cluster. This is a Windows 8.1 laptop running VMware Workstation.  But it also has Office including Outlook that has my corporate email coming in, although I don’t use this box as I have my mac for work use that is always docked  and also a smaller mac which I carry round with me, this is probably another story for another time. But the MSI is kind of my jump host and windows option if something doesn’t easily work or open on the mac.

On top of that working for the company I work for it would look very silly if I was to lose any data and I am also really over protective of my data, I don’t want to lose anything! And nor should you for that matter. I use Endpoint to backup and protect this MSI laptop, I send the backup data into my lab Veeam backup repository which is then copied further using a Veeam Backup Copy job to an external cloud connect source for added and longer term protection.

This FREE version is not going away, but Veeam have announced the new v2 of this product which will be named Veeam Agent for Windows and this will contain a Free, Workstation and Server license. I explain more about the new agents that are coming here.

Testing

I have mentioned many a time that I use my lab for a lot of testing and this year is by far the busiest it has ever been.

Veeam announced Veeam Backup & Replication v9.5 this year around the June and July time frame. I cant remember exactly when as an SE we were given access but with that announcement it was also announced that the first feature would be our storage integration with Nimble Storage, this was something I wanted or needed to test to understand the differences and advantages of this new feature for the UK market. Being able to spin this environment up in the home lab meant it was quick and easy for me and not having to rely on other red tape and barriers to achieve this in a shared environment was an advantage.

Then the other features were announced and I already that playground setup so it was just a case of adding new machines or resource to test these new features and really get up to speed.

The above along with other announcements around REFS and how this is game changing from a file system point of view for all backup operations with Veeam. As well as even more scalability and addressing and pushing the scalability of the product even further to reach even bigger environments in a more efficient manner.

My favourite feature though from Veeam has to be the Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure, something that was there as a standalone product pre v9.5 but with a lot of limitation is now fully integrated giving you the ability to send any Veeam backups into Microsoft Azure and run them as a virtual machine, great for testing and troubleshooting or maybe even for migration.

On August 23rd 2016, Veeam held a world wide SuperCast which highlighted not only new features of 9.5 but also some new products which I will touch on below and how I used them in the home lab. But they also announced the Availability Platform more of a vision or strategy and I summarised this here.

Office 365 – by nature of this product its not going to be sat locally in my home lab but the whole function for the newly announced Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 was around bringing a copy of that mail data back to your data centre for protection and availability. I discuss deeper the benefits of this new product from Veeam here.

Veeam Managed Backup Portal  – Or should I say Veeam Availability Console the newly renamed product is really there to enable service providers and enterprise environments to manage and monitor large distributed environments.  More detail here.

Veeam Agent for Linux – I gave the Veeam Agent for Windows a lot of love earlier in the post but I wanted to say that Veeam also have an Agent for Linux that should be released around the same time. The reason I have been really testing and looking at this is to get back into using Linux more than anything. Its something I was involved with a few years back in my PS days but then kind of let it slip and didn’t really need that skill set any more and now its back.

Cloud Connect – the last feature and product I want to quickly touch on is Cloud Connect, this is a Veeam offering that enabled service providers to offer Backup and Disaster Recovery as a service to their Veeam customers. Lots of benefits to this from a backup point of view, the ability to leverage this as an off site copy for long term retention potentially a great tape replacement. As well as the replication and disaster recovery really allowing a customer to send replicated virtual machines into a service provider location removing that requirement for a secondary site. I have this set-up from a cloud connect point of view within my lab allowing workloads to be replicated as well as storage to allow for tenant backups.

I also send several backups out to other cloud providers and also sometimes other colleagues or community members to help them test their environment.

This wraps up the planned ten sessions of the #ProjectTomorrow I do hope they have helped at least someone in some way or another. As always please leave me some feedback on the twitters @MichaelCade1

I am now off to pack for NetApp Insight in Berlin a post to follow tomorrow about this shortly.

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