Managing The Previously Unmanageable Veeam Agents

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Veeam Backup and Replication Update 3 introduced a new concept into managing the Veeam Backup Agent; the Managed and Unmanaged Agent. Let’s learn the difference between these versions of the same agent, and look at understanding how and when to use each version.

With the new Veeam Backup and Replication Update 3 product, the deployment of the Veeam Backup Agent becomes a very simple process. From the Veeam console, you can create a protection group containing one of three types of discovery. They are:

  • Individual computer,
  • Active Directory, and
  • List of computers using CSV file.

On starting the auto-discovery process, Veeam Backup will push, and then install a management/installer agent on all of the discovered agents.

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Choose the discovery type you wish to use; now you can schedule the chosen discovery process to run periodically, or at a specific time. Also, Veeam has introduced a new server role responsible for the distribution and installation the Veeam Backup agent. The distribution server can be any Windows Server managed by the Veeam Backup infrastructure. From the distribution Windows Server, Veeam will install, update and install a CBT driver; and, if needed, you can decide to perform an auto-reboot of the server/workstation if required.

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On completing the creation and installation of the the protection group, and installation of the Veeam backup agent, you will be ready to move to Step 2, the configuration of the Backup agent. You can deploy or enable one of the three types of the agent as shown in the below screenshot:

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Workstation Agent: is designed to protect workstations and laptops without the option of application-aware processing supported by the Veeam Backup product.

Server Agent: This is the same as the workstation and laptop configuration, but includes the application-aware protection option.

Failover Cluster Agent: This is designed to protect an application cluster, such as File-server, SQL and Exchange clusters.

However, this is not the only thing you need to choose when deploying the agent using the Veeam Backup console on Update 3. If you take a look at the above screenshot, you will notice a Mode group with two Agent modes as options:

Managed Mode Agent, or as presented on the GUI, Managed by the backup server. This is an agent that you manage from the Veeam Backup Server. Some things you should know about the Managed Agent:

  • No GUI, and all the configuration and management will be carried from the Veeam Backup console,
  • Scheduled backup will be triggered according to the Backup server local time,
  • The Repository is the Veeam Backup server Repository, and
  • The same agent can participate in a multi-job configuration.

Important Note: Managed agents cannot be configured to send backup directly to Cloud Connect – Cloud Repositories. To send backups to cloud connect with managed agents, backup to a regular backup repository, and then create a backup copy job to send the data to the cloud repository. 

Unmanaged: The second type of agent deployment is the Unmanaged, or as in the GUI, Managed by the agent. This type of agent deployment is the same as the managed agent with the following differences:

  • Full GUI deployment, which allows the user to manage and configure the backup job from the Agent GUI,
  • Scheduled backup job will be triggered according to the agent local time,
  • The repository can be configured as Local, Shared folder, and Veeam Backup server Repository, and
  • One backup job configuration per agent.

Important Note: To target the backup to a Veeam Cloud Connect – Cloud Repository, you must install the Veeam Backup Agent manually.

Summary

Enterprises can now rely on Veeam Backup and Replication Update 3 to easily and effectively manage their distributed, virtual, physical and cloud workloads. From this short blog post, you learned how to use Veeam Backup console to distribute and deploy the Veeam Backup Agent, and the differences between the Veeam Backup Agent deployment type.

These explanations of the differences between the managed and unmanaged Veeam Backup Agents can assist you to build your deployment and protection plan.

I hope this blog post provides you with some of the important things you need to know about the new intelligence behind Veeam Update 3, specifically the Agent deployment and the Agent types.

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