Lifecycle Management of Veeam Components

During the lifecycle management of a Veeam backup infrastructure you will find yourself in the situation where you need to change some components in your environment. The following situation will lead to it:

  • Change of the Operating System
  • Change of the server name(s) (management server, proxy server, Enterprise Manager)
  • Change of the SQL server

Lifecycle Management

Change of the Operating System

Veeam Backup and Replication components are supported on a variety of Windows Server Operating Systems which you can find here. All of these OSes have a general End of Support time line where Microsoft won’t support it anymore. Windows 2008 and 2008 R2 are good examples for that at the moment, because their end of support date is January 14, 2020 (official announcement). Not only an end of support topic could lead to an OS change but also a company wide policy could lead to this change, e.g. an enterprise decided to use always the newest Windows OS 2 years after the initial release.

Change of the server name(s) (management server, proxy server, Enterprise Manager)

If you are not an enterprise company with specific naming conventions you probably install the backup infrastructures with server names which doesn’t look good after a year or 2 or you using DNS hostnames (with underscores) that are not RFC conform (RFC952 and the slight relaxation of RFC1123, RFC5890 introduced the term LDH (Letter-Digital-Hyphen) label for labels used in hostnames).

If you have a naming convention in place it can also happen that two companies are merging together and one of them needs to migrate to the naming convention of the other.

Change of the SQL server

Just like Operating Systems, Veeam Backup and Replication is supported on a variety of SQL Server versions. The same End of Support statement which is true for Windows Operating Systems is also true for SQL Server versions. An overview of SQL Server versions and their corresponding Service Packs can be found here and here. When using the Microsoft Product Lifecycle Search for SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2 you will see that they are already end of support ( July 9th, 2019).

In the following posts I will walk you through the really simple process of accomplishing the mentioned situations.

Environment Overview

In my current Veeam backup environment I’m running the following components:

  • 1x Veeam Management Server incl. Enterprise Manager
    • Servername: VBR-Server
    • OS: Windows Server 2012 R2
    • Database: SQL 2012 SP3 Express
  • 2x Veeam Proxy Servers
    • Servername: VBR-Proxy01 and VBR-Proxy02
    • OS: Windows Server 2012 R2

My target architecture should look like the following:

  • 1x Veeam Management Server incl. Enterprise Manager
    • Servername: VBRMGMT
    • OS: Windows Server 2019 1809
    • Database: SQL Server Express 2017 CU17
  • 2x Veeam Proxy Servers
    • Servername: VBRPRX01 and VBRPRX02
    • OS: Windows Server 2019 1809

As you can see my Veeam environment is not that big because it only backups my homelab.

For all the new Veeam Windows Servers I’m using a Windows Server 2019 1809 template which is updated to the last available patch release.

Veeam Backup Server

The first component you want to move to a new server is the Veeam Backup Server. The Veeam Backup Server is the core component of the Veeam infrastructure and acts as the configuration and control center. More detailed information about the Veeam Backup Server can be found in the official documentation.

Moving the Veeam Backup Server to a new server is really simple. Just perform a configuration backup, install Backup and Replication on the new server and restore the configuration backup.

SQL Server Express 2017 Installation

I want to be in control of everything. That’s the reason why I’m installing the SQL Server Express manually instead of letting it installed by the Veeam Backup and Replication installer. You can find the whole How to install SQL Server 2017 Express for Veeam Backup and Replication here. It’s a complete walkthrough through the initial installation and some explanations why I changed some default settings.

ATTENTION: I’m using in my homelab environment a SQL Server 2017 Express instance because I don’t have so many VMs and/or workstations to backup. In an enterprise environment it is highly recommended to use a full blown SQL Server. Either Standard or Enterprise and clustered or non-clustered which depends on your availability requirement of the backup infrastructure.

Veeam Backup and Replication Installation

After the successful installation of the SQL Server 2017 Express, it’s now time to install a blank Veeam Backup and Replication Backup Server. I’m not showing the walkthrough here because that would make the post much longer and the installation of a Veeam Backup Server is pretty straightforward. If you are interested you can checkout my walkhrough here. 

Restore the Configuration Backup

When taking the final configuration backup of the old Veeam Backup Server make sure that every backup job was disabled. After the backup was made stop all Veeam Backup and Replications services on the old server to make sure that it will not interfere with the new Veeam Backup Server. The configuration backup includes the following information:

  • Backup infrastructure components and objects: hosts, servers, backup proxies, repositories, WAN accelerators and jobs, global settings configured on the backup server and so on.
  • Backups: backups, replicas and backup copies created on the backup server.
  • Sessions: job sessions performed on the backup server.
  • Tapes: tape libraries connected to the backup server.

1. In the Configuration Backup Settings, click Restore…

2. There are now 2 options. Restore and Migrate. Depending on the situation you’re facing select one of them. In my case we use Migrate

3. We are using the configuration backup file which was copied previously to the new server.

4. After analyzing the selected configuration backup file you will see a summary of the included information.

5. Select the newly created Veeam Backup and Replication database where all the information from the configuration backup file will be restored to.

6. There will be also a warning that all information of the selected database will be lost.

7. Select the appropriate options you want to perform.

8. After clicking on Restore the restore process should start. Depending on the configuration backup size it should only take a minute to restore all the information.

9. Because no passwords are stored in the configuration backup file, make sure that you know all passwords of all accounts used in Veeam Backup and Replication.

10. Now the restore is finished and we can check if all backup jobs and history data was restored correctly.

As you can see moving the Veeam Backup Server to a new Server OS and also change the name of the server is as expected not a big deal with Veeam.

Veeam Enterprise Manager

Moving Veeam Enterprise Manager to a new server OS and server name is a little bit trickier. Unfortunately there is nothing like the configuration backup so you need to do some tasks manually. 

Veeam Enterprise Manager Installation

Because I’m running a small homelab environment I have installed the Enterprise Manager alongside with the Backup Server. Depending on your environment it is maybe recommended to run Enterprise Manager on a different VM.

1. As always accept the license agreement and terms of 3rd party components.

2. To install Veeam Enterprise Manager it is mandatory to upload a valid license file.

3. If you are a Service Provider you can also install the Cloud Connect Portal otherwise stay with the default selection.

4. The installer checks your configuration of the used server OS and automatically installs all required missing packages.

5. If you are doing Test environment or PoC enviroments you can use the default configuration. In my case I checked “Let me specify different settings” because I’m using e.g. a custom installed SQL Server.

6. I would leave the Service Account as it is.

7. Because I’m using a preinstalled SQL instance, I browsed here my local instance and named the suggested database name “VeeamBackupReporting1“. The reason for this is that I would need to restore the database used on the old server in the new SQL server instance. I also use SQL server authentication to be independent if something happens with the Active Directory or local Windows account.

8. I could change the ports and the certificate used by Enterprise Manager but because it’s a homelab I will stay with the default.

9. A quick overview will show which changes were made and you can start the installation of the Enterprise Manager 

 

After the Installation was successful you start with an empty Enterprise Manager database. Now you have 2 options how to proceed further:

  1. Add all Veeam Backup Servers back to the Enterprise Manager which where present before
  2. Restore the original database from the old Enterprise Manager server

Now it depends on some factors which method is usable and practical to everyone. If you have only a few Veeam Backup Servers it might be better to add all of them manually back instead of trying backup and restore the old EM database. I also depends if you have moved previous used Backup Server, did a restore with the configuration backup and deselected session history.

In that case all information about previous sessions is lost and you would need to restore the EM database.

Restore Enterprise Manager Database

In this section I will explain how to move the Enterprise Manager database to a new database server as well as move the whole Enterprise Manager to a new server including a local SQL Server Express instance. 

Moving just the Enterprise Manager database to a new database server is an easy task. Follow these steps to achieve this goal:

  1. Backup the Enterprise Manager database on the old SQL Server.
  2. Restore the Enterprise Manager database on the new SQL Server.
  3. Set the correct permissions on the restored database.
  4. Use the Veeam.Backup.DBConfig tool under C:\Program Files\Veeam\Backup and Replication\Enterprise Manager to select the new destination of the Enterprise Manager database.
    Select the application for which you want to change the database connection.

    Enter the new database name as well as enter the new SQL Server instance.

    After a short successful pre-check the tool needs to stop these services in order to change to the new database.
  5. When everything completes successfully you should be able to see your old data in the Enterprise Manager.
  6. When other components, like the Veeam Backup Server has also been change during all these previous steps and section make sure you change the FQDN of these servers also in the Enterprise Manager configuration.

Moving the whole Enterprise Manager to a new server including a SQL Server database the procedure could be little bit more trickier. All steps above remain the same except that it can happen that during steps 4 the following error message could occur:

First I tried to figure out why this happen and my assumption was that there is something in the database with the old Enterprise Manager server name. Unfortunately I didn’t find it on my own so I opened a support case. The support engineer was really great and found the problem really quick.

In the VeeamBackupReporting database there is a table called dbo.Options. There are multiple IDs listed. One of the IDs had a value started with “<CLockInfo”. This value is an XML file where you can find the old server name as well as the username for this server. After removing this ID the whole process completed successfully.

If you are running into a similar situation I would also recommend to open a support case first because you don’t know if you’re facing the same issue. 

Veeam Proxy Server

In this section I will explain how to replace the Operating System of a Veeam Proxy Server. This procedure is really simple. It’s just installing a new Windows Server with the desired Windows version and integrate it into the Veeam Backup Infrastructure.

In the Veeam Backup and Replication Console go under Backup Infrastructure – Managed Servers – Microsoft Windows and add there the newly installed Veeam Proxy Servers. In my case this is VBRPRX01 and VBRPRX02. During this process all required Veeam components will be installed on this Windows VMs.

When adding Windows hosts doesn’t mean that they are automatically Veeam Proxy Servers. For that go to Backup Infrastructure – Backup Proxies and add there either a VMware or Hyper-V Proxy. The previous added Windows Servers will now show up in the drop down list. After that the new Proxies are available in the backup infrastructure.

If there are only backup jobs that have automatic Proxy Server selection configured you can remove all of the old Proxy Servers. If there are jobs with specific Proxy Servers you need to change these jobs to the new Proxy Servers. If your not sure which Proxy Server to remove, I would recommend just to disable the old Proxy Servers and wait for the next few backups to happen. If they are all successful then you can remove the disabled Proxy Servers.

Conclusion

As you can see replacing Veeam components is a really simple task and it just works. If you have any feedback on this post let me know in the comments. I hope I could have helped some of you with this post.

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