How Veeam can help with Sysadmin tasks

  • 14 October 2021
  • 6 comments
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Userlevel 7
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We all know Veeam as a great solution for Backup and Recovery. But besides that, Veeam can help us with many different Sysadmin tasks. Here are some for which I’ve used Veeam in the past. In most cases Veeam is just faster than any other way and, most important, it just works :smile:

Test Updates & Troubleshoot problems

With SureBackup and the Virtual Labs you can not only regularly check your backups, but also test certain updates before deploying them to production. If something fails, you can start debugging the problem without any hurry or restart the whole lab with just a few clicks.

Also, when troubleshooting problems in your production environment, why not take a Quick Backup and start a lab? From there you can try any adjustments or workarounds, without fearing to cause (much worse) problems in your production. Or, if you already have a workaround for a problem, but want to find the root cause, then backup the faulty state.

Migrate Systems

We can’t use online migration in every environment or for every system.

So for virtual machines, Veeam Replication or Quick Migration can speed up the process while keeping the downtime low.

For the conversion of physical systems to virtual machines (P2V) we can use Veeam Agent. Just create a backup, shutdown the system and start up your agent backup with Instant Recovery. Afterwards do a storage migration and the conversion is done.

And speaking of Instant Recovery; you can almost restore anything to anywhere with it :grinning:

https://www.veeam.com/instant-vm-recovery.html

Access overwritten (Event-)Logs

Did you ever have the problem that an important log has already been overwritten when you needed to check something? Especially the application event log on Microsoft Exchange Server tends to live for a very short time. No problem at all, just do a file level restore and browse to the C:\Windows\System32\winevt\Logs folder; from there you can open or export any event log in just a few minutes.

Accessing files

To stay at the log topic. I once had to analyze a problem inside a VM which wasn’t reachable via network, but I had to look at the logs and export them. Similar to above, a quick FLR solved this one. This may be obvious, but sometimes you can’t see the easy way :sweat_smile:

Replace snapshots for certain tasks

Are you also one of those sysadmins, who creates a VM snapshot, before doing certain tasks? (I am :sweat_smile: ) But instead of using a snapshot, which tends to grow fast, get slow and most often gets forgotten, why not use Quick Backup? Veeam will create a single incremental backup of that VM, which matches your primary backup job settings. This backup will have the same retention as your other backups, so it will live much longer (hopefully) than your snapshot, be consistent and offer more flexibility in terms of restore. Ok, it still uses snapshots for creating the backup, but at least this one will be temporary.

Searching Microsoft SQL Databases

There may be more elegant ways for this, like having a documentation, but sometimes you just need to find out where a specific database is hosted and how it’s configured. Instead of logging on to different SQL servers and hoping that you have the right permissions, why not browse the SQL backups via Veeam? Mounting SQL backups doesn’t take much time, and yes I once did it that way because it was quicker then searching the regular way. :no_mouth:

Active Directory

With the Active Directory Explorer we can solve many different problems.

  • A user cannot access his files or a service user cannot logon? Compare the current state of the user with an older backup and find out what changed
  • Need to work on a problem for a specific user? We all know that users like to write down their password on a post-it :rolling_eyes:  But wouldn’t it be better if you reset the password and afterwards restore the original password, when you’re finished? (shouldn’t be misused, of course)
  • You don’t have a problem? The Active Directory Backup is a also a great documentation

I hope this list will help you at a certain point or give you an idea on how to use Veeam for tasks, for which it wasn’t directly meant to.

Do you use Veeam for any other daily Sysadmin tasks? Then leave a comment :wink:


6 comments

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Have used Veeam for many of these tasks. :grin:

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Have used Veeam for many of these tasks. :grin:

Same!

Great write up @regnor, perhaps something to merge into the next Veeam Legends pocketbook?

Can’t overstate the benefits of data reuse!

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Veeam is like my imaginary friend, when I need him he’s there and works

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Have used Veeam for many of these tasks. :grin:

I agree! A very great tool overall.

Userlevel 7
Badge +6

Have used Veeam for many of these tasks. :grin:

Same!

Great write up @regnor, perhaps something to merge into the next Veeam Legends pocketbook?

Can’t overstate the benefits of data reuse!

Great idea 👍

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

I really like this post @regnor , agreed with all you write. I use Veeam also for most of the things you mentioned :wink:

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