You know those tools that you all should have close by and accessible as an administrator? The Veeam Extract Utility should be one of these tools, before this week it has always been free to download but it has always been included as part of the Veeam Backup & Replication software download.
Let’s just rewind, what is the Veeam Extract Utility? It is a tool that allows you to extract your Veeam image-based backups (VBK, VIB, VRB) without requiring a full installation of Veeam Backup & Replication, even though Community Edition gives you all the recovery options.
The Extract Utility is a small bit of software that allows for the “Files in backup” to be extracted. Much the same as an application that looks after compressed files and works across multiple operating systems.
Veeam made the Extract Utility available as a standalone download this week so that you could get a copy of this. Anton Gostev blogged about this in this week’s weekly digest.
You can find this new available download here.
Once you are logged in you need to scroll down and select the extract utility that you wish to use, there is a utility available for both Windows and Linux.
I already mentioned in the opening that this is not new, and this has always been shipped with Veeam Backup & Replication. My advice is that now this is available as a separate download you can either on demand download just this utility.
My suggestion is always store a copy of the relevant or both extract utility somewhere accessible on the network and also maybe on the same backup media so that if you find yourself requiring recovery and you do not have your Veeam Backup & Replication installation nor do you have access to the internet to download the media then you have at least this option to get things back up and running.
Next up we are going to walk through both Windows and Linux steps on how to use this tool. I have downloaded both available utilities to a shared location on my network.
First thing to do is extract the zip file you downloaded for windows
You will see two files here if you run the Veeam.Backup.Extractor.exe you will then see the following window.
Simply navigate to your Veeam image-based backups that you wish to extract / export.
You then choose where you wish to extract/ export this to and click extract, it really is that simple.
If you then go and check the extracted backup folder, we will see all of our image-based backup files associated including configuration files and other disks. You can then take this and import those files into in this example back into your VMware datastore and get that machine up and running. In my example I have only used one VM but you could handle many VMs as part of the extract process.
You will have also seen in the Veeam Extractor Utility a .exe called Extract.exe you can also use the command prompt to perform the extraction
It is important to note that this works for both full backups but also incremental backup files.
What if my backup files are encrypted? You can absolutely still use the extract utility you just need the keys to be able to open and extract the files.
Firstly, download your files to your Linux machine. I am using a CentOS machine here.
For the purposes of this I also grabbed a VBK file, but you can point to a mounted file share where your Veeam backup files are located to achieve the same extracted outcome.
Next we can work through the steps to get the image-based backups restored to your location.
Just make sure you have enough space to do that export. Whoops.
Like I have said this is not new but it is important, the amount of times you hear that people have to maintain and pay for support long after you have moved away from a solution, this not only gives you a lot of portability options but it also gives you the freedom to recover YOUR data when you want and need it.