With the recent release of Veeam Backup and Replication 9.5 Update 3, the ability to manage and control agent based backups directly from the Veeam B&R console is available. This is a great new feature that brings centralized management for any servers running a Veeam agent. Rather than connecting to every agent server, you can manage backup jobs from the same console that controls the rest of your Veeam environment. That being said, just upgrading from 9.5 U2 to 9.5 U3 doesn’t magically make your existing agent backups utilize the new features. Below are some steps you need go through to be able to take advantage of the features in U3.
NOTE: Veeam agent licenses are required for centralized management functionality. The free version of the agents still need to be managed directly on the agent server itself.
After upgrading to U3, you will notice that in your existing agents now appear under Inventory -> Physical & Cloud Infrastructure -> Unmanaged. The first key is that for a server to be managed by Veeam B&R, it must be running at least version 2.1 of the management agent.
To push the 2.1 version of the agent to existing machines, you must start by creating a new construct under Physical & Cloud Infrastructure called a Protection Group. Clicking on Physical & Cloud Infrastructure will bring up the new options that are available at this level.
Once the New Protection Group window pops up, the settings are fairly straight-forward. You name the group and then have the option to select a group type of Individual computers, AD objects or Computers from a CSV file. In this case I chose Individual computers, since I was dealing with just a few existing agents, but the option is there to point to an AD OU and have some automation for how the agent gets pushed out to clients.
The next step is to add the individual computers. Once those are added, you can define a discovery policy run time, which essentially scans the group to check for connectivity, agent versions, etc. This scan is where Veeam can push out agent updates, or agents to computers that don’t have them at all. You also set a Distribution server, which is more than likely the Veeam B&R server itself, as well as options for how to push the agent from that server.
A couple more “Next” buttons, and Veeam will then create the group and run the first discovery scan. Once the scan is complete and pushes updates for the agent, any computers that finish successfully should now appear within the new Protection Group. They also show the proper version of the agent if you right click the computer and look at the details.
At this point, backup jobs for the Protection Group can be created. A simple right click on the group itself and “Add to backup job (Windows or Linux)” will allow you to create a new job. The initial Job Mode screen is new, and allows you to select the type (based on license) and mode. In this case I kept the default of managing from the backup server.
The next few screens give the job a name and choice of computers included in the job. Then you can choose to backup the entire computer, specific volumes, or individual files and folders. The rest of the options are your standard Veeam backup options: select a repository, number of retention points, schedule, etc.
Once completed, you now have backup jobs for your agent based machines that you can control directly from the B&R console! This is a great addition for those customers who rely on agent based backups for any physical/legacy systems that are still out there. If you have a need for lots of agent backups with Veeam, it certainly is worth a closer look at the licensing so that you can take advantage of this new feature.