VeeamOne, From Discovery to Delivery

fms_.pngIn my opinion, VeeamOne is one of the underestimated products from Veeam Software. If you haven’t heard of VeeamOne, or know a little, but want to know more, then I encourage you to keep reading to find out more about the great features of this product.

First of all, let’s define VeeamOne. It is a Monitoring, Alerting, and Capacity planning tool for Virtual Machines and Backup infrastructure. When talking about the Backup infrastructure, we mean the Veeam Backup and Replication backup infrastructure, in addition to the Cloud Connect infrastructure for the Enterprise and service providers.

To be honest, I didn’t give the product the attention it deserved until recently. I was on a shopping expedition looking for a product that could put me in control of my Virtual lab infrastructure; which, keeps growing all the time in my lab.  We all know that we live in a virtualisation sprawl where the workload continues to migrate to virtual infrastructure, and every day reduces the footprint of the physical infrastructure. The increased flexibility of the virtualised infrastructure has a downside; it puts more pressure on the physical infrastructure.

I will share with you my experience with using VeeamOne to monitor my virtual infrastructure, and then to discuss sizing and managing my backup infrastructure. VeeamOne can also help you design your customer’s Veeam infrastructure smooth and almost error free. So, let’s find out how.

VeeamOne Deployment

As with all Veeam software products, the installation is a straight forward process. To read more about VeeamOne product deployment and configuration, click here.

Report Generation

VeeamOne provides more than 100 pre-defined reports and more than 200 pre-defined alarms. On this blog, I will use only a few of the possible reports to demonstrate the power of the VeeamOne, and how to put these reports to work for us.

To generate a report, you can use the Report icon atr.PNG the top of the screen, and then select the desired report; or, you can right click on the Virtual infrastructure/Backup infrastructure and chose the desired report.

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On selecting the desired report, you can adjust the scope. For the remainder of this blog, the default scope is used. Under ACTIONS, Press Create report.

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Infrastructure Assessment

The best way to start managing our virtual and backup infrastructure is to determine those assets to be managed, and how each asset is behaving; we will discuss those aspects in this section. Before determining the course of any action, we will want to understand the configuration of our, or our customer’s, infrastructure. We will run the reports discussed in the following sections.

Host Configuration

The Host report will list all of those Hosts running on the targeted virtual infrastructure and will provide us with the number of Hosts, the Hypervisor version and build, compute power, and the connectivity status of each host.

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The takeaway from the reports above show:

  • The virtual infrastructure consists of four ESXi servers;
  • One ESXi is not responding;
  • The ESXi version is 6.5 build-4887370; and
  • An outdated ESXi build (02/02/2017) is used.

VM Configurations

Our next report, after determining the number of Hosts in our, or our customer’s virtual infrastructure, will allow us to determine the number of virtual machines we are dealing with, the OSs installed, the VM tools installed, quantity of memory, number of CPUs, available storage, the networks available for each virtual machine, and more. For this task, we will run the VM’s Configuration Report.

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This report shows us the following configurations:

  • A mix of OS versions (Clicking on Details will categorise the VMs under an OS category);
  • Almost all the VM tools are up to date and installed (Clicking on details will categorise the VMs under installed and not installed);
  • Two VMs are missing VMware tools;
  • Almost all the VMs are up and running;
  • Two VMs are powered off;
  • There is a total of 19 VMs; and
  • Additional information about compute and storage configuration of each VM.

OverSize or Undersize VMs (CPU/Memory)

Are our VM compute capacities oversized, or undersized? Can I reclaim compute power to be used for other purposes? To answer these questions, I can use two reports, Oversized, and Undersized, VM reports.

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These reports tell us the following information:

  • From the summary report, we have good news; we can reclaim 11 vCPU and 27GBs of RAM; and
  • From the other two screenshots, we can determine how the 11 vCPU and 27GBs of RAM are distributed between our 19 VMs, and how much I can reclaim from each VM.

Data Change Block and Growth

As we also aiming to backup our virtual infrastructure, we need to learn more about our data, starting from total size, distribution across VMs and Datastores, data growth, and change rate. So let’s quickly generate these reports.

Datastore Configuration:

This report will give us an insight into the datastores configured in our virtual infrastructure. The information we can learn from this report is the total datastore capacity, used and free space on each datastore, and the total number of VMs on each datastore.

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The takeaway from this report is that:

  • There are 3 Datastores configured;
  • One Datastore (SSDProdStore) is shared between three hosts;
  • The “esxlab04” host has two DataStores;
  • The Majority of the VMs are on the Shared Datastore;
  • The Shared Datastore utilization is 30%, with a capacity of 2TB; and
  • Total used space is 796 GB.

VM Change Rate Estimation

To start building our backup strategy, we need to find out about our data change rate. Knowing the change rate will help us to estimate the Veeam Backup Repository size. Ironically, many customers will claim that the change rate is around 10%; but, with this report, we can get an accurate change rate figure to arrive at a better sizing figure for the backup repository.

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The takeaway from this report is:

  •  The total backup size on each day is noted on the top of the table.
  • Average change rate on our test environment is 95% between backup
  • Average Weekly change rate is 571%
  • Note: the change rate is not realistic, but I reran the Active full several times every day as it is a test lab
  • Average calculated on Excel: every day total size/number of days

VMs Growth

The last report I will run for us, or our customer, is the Growth Report for the VMs for the past week; this is to learn how VMs have been added or removed on my infrastructure, and how much storage space has I consumed or can reclaim. This will help me to learn about how the business is generating data, and on what frequencies; this will assist us to estimate the size of the backup, and other metrics we will need to manage our site.

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The takeaway from this report is that:

  • Over the past week, two VMs were added;
  • These two VMs consumed 57 GB of storage space;
  • Storage reclaimed was 171GB on host “esxlab01”, and 218 GB on host “esxlab04”;
  • From the available Memory, we reclaimed 15GB from “esxlab01”, and 17GB from “esxlab03”.

Monitor the Backup and the Virtual Infrastructure

It is simple to monitor your virtual infrastructure or that of your customer. By default, VeeamOne will alert you on any unusual events that might concern your virtual hosts and VMs, in addition to the Datastores. Also using VeeamOne, you can monitor the CPU, Memory, Network, Disks, and process of each Host and virtual machine. And when it comes to Datastore and data management, you can monitor the VMs on each Datastore, Disk space, and disk/datastore I/O.

The same is true of the backup “Data Protection View” infrastructure, where you can monitor the Backup jobs, proxy servers, Backup Repositories and Tape libraries; all from one console.

To consolidate all the most important information for you, you can use VeeamOne Reporting to create a customized dashboard to show those parameters from your backup and/or virtual infrastructure essential for your monitoring. For example, the screenshot below illustrates the Backup trend per week, and the backup infrastructure health, and finally, the top backup job.

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Conclusion

There is no doubt that VeeamOne is a very powerful monitoring software tool for the virtual and Veeam backup infrastructure.

You can see from our blog today that VeeamOne can tell you a lot about the configuration, capacities, and workloads of a virtual infrastructure site. This information can be used to plan upgrade paths to your, or your customers, sites. A typical upgrade path will usually include upgraded ESXi hosts to the latest versions, for example. We will discuss the upgrade processes in another blog entry.

As a solution architect, VeeamOne has assisted me to accurately size the customer’s backup infrastructure and helped me to learn a lot about the customer’s infrastructure. And finally, with VeeamOne pro-active monitoring and alerting, it can help you take action on hidden problems before they become a real problem; it may even save your day.

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