SQL. Veeam Backup & Replication (B&R) server, like most things these days, requires a SQL database for its back-end. However and also common, it doesn’t extend its System Requirements list to define the SQL Server Features actually needed. Given the robust nature of Microsoft SQL Server and the ever-increasing number of features available, it would be easy to overload a simple back-end instance with superfluous services that will absorb resources while never being used.
So in this install, I’m sticking to the basics. Perhaps I could go one more minimalistic step and drop “Client Tools Connectivity” as well, but I’d rather not re-run setup for that one non-service feature given that Veeam B&R server console would reasonably seem to be a “client tool” (purists out there, feel free to chime in). Of additional note, I am using SQL 2014 for this, which requires the “Patch 4” just released a few days ago on June 5th. Don’t miss that (includes the R2 update to support Windows Server 2012 R2 as well).
Moving on, I’m taking the default service accounts and startup types (we’ll see if SQL Server Agent needs to go to automatic later). I’m sticking with “Windows Auth” mode on the Server Configuration, adding Domain Admins to the SQL server administrators list (we’re a small shop with both hats on the same heads), and changing the data directories to a secondary disk (D:\SysDbs, D:\Databases, D:\Logs, D:\TempDb). From there, setup rolls on to completion.
Storage. While my first inclination on the backup repository is to use Windows mount points, it seems that they still don’t play like their Linux counterparts, and that top-level drive letter messes up capacity metrics. So I’m sticking with a standard drive letter (E:\) and will leverage SAN provisioning and hot-extending to inflate the initial 2TB as needed. That 2TB comes from a chunk of 3PAR near-line SAS disks in an effective RAID10 config (3PAR wide-stripes across multiple RAID1 pairs). It’s not ideal, per Veeam docs that recommend “high-RPM” disks, but it’s what we have to offer.
The one caveat to adding that near-line disk to the backup repository server (for now, the same as the B&R server) is System Center Virtual Machine Manager’s (SCVMM) storage UI. It gives no ability to choose the CSV for additional VM disks (B&R is in a VM). So we have to pull up Failover Cluster Manager on the B&R VM’s host to achieve this granularity.
- In FCM, right-click the VM and go to “Settings…”
- Select “SCSI Controller” (left) > “Hard Disk” (right) > “Add”
- Under “Media” > “Virtual hard disk:”, click “New”
- Next > select “Dynamically expanding” > Next
- For consistency, follow the format of the existing disk file names (i.e. svrVeeamBRS_disk_3.vhdx)
- Change the location to the new near-line volume (i.e. C:\ClusterStorage\Volume3\svrVeeamBRS) > Next
- Set the size (i.e. 2048 GB) > Next > Finish
- Finally, make sure to click “OK” on the VM Settings to attach the disk
From there, it’s a matter of rescanning in Disk Management, Online, Initialize and Format to make the new disk Veeam-ready.
Next, extract and store the files in a place reachable from the B&R server (i.e. network share). Then run Setup.exe.
Unless you’re rolling out a large, distributed Veeam environment, choose the left option (Veeam Backup & Replication), not Enterprise Manager.
Get the trial (or real) license file ready, because it’s up first.
Then, if you chose the bleeding edge of SQL 2014, too, click “Install” to add the SQL 2012 components that Veeam needs.
Next, pause with the install and go add (create in AD first, if you didn’t already) the Veeam B&R service account to SQL. Cringe in you will, but since the SQL instance is dedicated to Veeam B&R, I’m adding the service account as a sysadmin. As for OS rights, I was unclear at first, but apparently the definition of “Full Control NTFS permissions on the catalog folder” is the same as being a “member of the local administrators group” on the server. That makes that easy.
For the SQL Server Instance step, we’ll “Use existing instance of SQL Server” and accept the defaults. Service port defaults look good as well.
Directory Configuration gives a bit of pause, since my instinct is to prefer that those operations happen on a non-system disk. However, the words “highly recommended” a pretty persuasive and we can always hot-extend C:\ to make room. Okay, Next.
Note: During the install, it may hang and eventually error on starting the vPower NFS service. Don’t retry; click Cancel to continue with setup. In my case, this pointed to a port conflict between the Snare syslog and vPower NFS services. It’s preferable to catch this before installation, but fixing it afterward appears to be a simple registry change:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Veeam\Veeam NFS\Port (change from 6161 to another open port; I used 6163)
After editing the registry, edit the Default Backup Repository under Backup Infrastructure (in the Veeam B&R Console) and change the RPC Port to the newly-set port inside “Ports…” on the “vPower NFS” step.
Two more install steps before we’re finished:
- Remember Patch 4 — lots of goodies & fixes since 126.96.36.1990
- Add the SCVMM console (UI) to the B&R server if you use VMM