Veeam & Rotating Media

Many organizations rely upon tape devices to off-site their backups which upon proper configuration can be very reliable. Well, what about the organizations that aren’t big enough to need a tape library? As always, Veeam has your BACK! Veeam added full support to leverage external hard drives (typically attached by USB) so customers can off-site their backups via USB HDD. Pretty cool!

In order to configure this capability, you will want to upgrade to Veeam v7 as well as install patch #3 (the patch is cumulative). This will enable full support for you to do rotating hard drives and can even choose to do this with both backup or backup copy jobs. If you’re not familiar with backup copy jobs then you should dig in and check this feature out! Here is a link with more details on backup copy jobs!

Some of you may be thinking, “This ability has been around for awhile with Veeam“. While yes, this is true, Veeam has added another piece to the process that will make life easier! So let’s jump into a few of the changes that need to be made to get this up and going.

(Assuming you have Veeam v7 already installed in your environment)

First, you will want to head over to Veeam’s website to grab patch #3 (http://www.veeam.com/kb1854)

If you have version 7.0.0.839 then you’re up to patch #3.

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After getting patch #3 installed into your environment, there are just a couple registry keys that you will want to edit in order for this process to work as advertised. There is a bit of customization available by tweaking these keys which is what I like about it. The following 2 registry keys will need to be created in the location below in order for this to work.

Word of advice, “Always backup your registry before making changes!”

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Backup and Replication]

ForceCreateMissingVBK (DWORD)
Enables support for rotated drives. With this functionality enabled, if any backup file from the latest full backup chain is missing (such as when the existing hard drive is replaced by another one), jobs will start the new backup chain and create the new full backup (instead of failing out).
Set to 1 to enable support for rotated drives.

ForceDeleteBackupFiles (DWORD)   NEW!!!  <– This removes the need for scripting to clean up!
Enables automatic cleanup of the backup repository from ALL existing files if any backup file from the latest full backup chain is missing (such as when the existing hard drive is replaced by the hard drive brought back from offsite location, and containing some older backup files).
Set to 3 to make the job delete the entire contents of the backup job’s folder only.
Set to 5 to make the job delete the entire contents of the root backup repository folder, thus potentially deleting any files belonging to other jobs along. Note that if backup repository points at the volume’s root folder, the entire volume’s contents is erased.

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After configuring those registry values, support for rotated hard drives will be enabled.

There isn’t any special process that you need to follow for creating either backup or backup copy jobs in conjunction with this feature. Simply add the rotating media as a repository within Veeam and have your backup or backup copy job write to this device and voila! Remove and replace for the next round. Upon the next interval of the job, the files will not be found and then a new full backup (VBK) will be created. -AB