Understanding Veeam Application Aware


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We know that Veeam Backup & Replication can back up virtual machines. This is one of the main functions of Veeam and it has the most features and options that we can configure.

Normally, when we are starting in the backup area and taking the first steps in data protection, one of the features that ends up going unnoticed is Application Aware.

So, application Aware is a function that we can configure in our backup jobs. It allows us to consistently create backup.

 

Consistent Backup

But after all, what is consistent backup?

By default Veeam Backup & Replication does not perform your backups consistently. This occurs because a default configured backup job does not process a server's application logs. We must remember that Veeam backs up servers through snapshots taken in the virtualization environment. As a result, Veeam ends up not communicating directly with the operating system of each of these virtual machines. This causes Veeam to consider and perform these backups inconsistently.

 

What to Process with Application Aware

Before we configure application aware, we must understand what types of logs Veeam can process. In the current version of Veeam Backup & Replication which is 12 it supports the following applications:

  • Microsoft Active Directory
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Microsoft Sharepoint
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Oracle
  • PostgreSQL

Through these applications, Veeam is able to stop these applications running in the VM and create a consistent image of the data in the guest operating system of the virtual machine.

Depending on the VM's operating system, VBR uses different technologies to create consistent backups:

Windows – For VMs with Windows OS, Veeam uses Microsoft's VSS (Volume Snapshot Service). This ensures that there are no unfinished transactions or incomplete files.

Linux – For VMs with a Linux operating system, Veeam ends up using the agent that connects to the consistent backup OS.

 

Requirements and Limitations

In environments virtualized with VMware vShere, VMware Tools must be installed in the operating system of each virtual machine. The OS must also be Windows Server 2008 or higher or any recent Linux distribution.

In environments virtualized with Microsoft Hyper-V we need Hyper-V Integration Services enabled in the virtual machines. For VMs based on Linux and versions of Microsoft Windows Server, the versions compatible and supported by Hyper-V itself must be used.

 

How Application Aware Works

As I said earlier, application aware works in different ways for each of the operating systems. But one thing in common is Veeam requesting consistent backup not only for the Hypervisor in the virtualization layer, but also for the OS of the virtual machine. After that the backup is sent to the repository.

 

Application Aware Configuration

Application aware configuration is done within the Veeam backup job advanced options. This option will interact directly with the operating system of the virtual machine. So, it is necessary to use a user with administrative rights for this function.

Inside the Guest Processing section of the backup job we have all details of the application aware configuration.

 

Conclusion

In this post I told what is the application and what applications we can protect with.

I hope you enjoy.


10 comments

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Nice post @wolff.mateus !

I personally haven't used AAIP in years...many years..because of all the permissions headaches I always dealt with. Because I've never had to restore anything requiring OS/DB consistency, I quit using it. I only use quiescing for such workloads. 

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Great post @wolff.mateus -- I use the AAIP off and on especially when testing things like AD, etc.  Love to see this explanation.

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Nice post @wolff.mateus !

I personally haven't used AAIP in years...many years..because of all the permissions headaches I always dealt with. Because I've never had to restore anything requiring OS/DB consistency, I quit using it. I only use quiescing for such workloads. 

AppAware is awesome! Sepecially AD and SQL/Oracle databases.

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Excellent piece @wolff.mateus! Have used this for Exchange and AD in the past! 

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Great post @wolff.mateus !!!

Personally I always recommended to setup application awareness as a default for all VMs. Only exceptions are being made that are not necessary.

Why?

The restore is very important?

If application awareness is not being activated for a particular server, because forgotten of not being used to, application aware restores (like SQL databases, tables, AD-objects, ...) are NOT possible. That can deliver headaches 🤣

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„application aware restores (like SQL databases, tables, AD-objects, ...) are NOT possible. “

@Nico Losschaert 

Item Level restore may still be possible :) Just not with a single click.

You may start a Guest OS File Level restore to mount the disks, then start an application item level restore within the file restore explorer.

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/vsphere/guest_restore_save_vm.html?ver=120#launching-application-item-restore

 

 

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„application aware restores (like SQL databases, tables, AD-objects, ...) are NOT possible. “

@Nico Losschaert

Item Level restore may still be possible :) Just not with a single click.

You may start a Guest OS File Level restore to mount the disks, then start an application item level restore within the file restore explorer.

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/vsphere/guest_restore_save_vm.html?ver=120#launching-application-item-restore

 

 

@Mildur , I know 😉, but it’s a workarround and not directly possible though, my colleagues are not all Veeam-experts 😎

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I use app aware to make sure AD is backed up.  Haven’t really needed it for much else although having it aware for SQL is great as well.  Sharepoint and Exchange on-premise are few are far between anymore.

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Great post @wolff.mateus ! AAIP is very used for microsfoft env’ with the love from VSS.

I never used the Oracle part because we’re running Oracle RAC on physical hosts.

V12 opened some cools features for PGsql, i’m actually in testing with my db expert  before generalizing to production. BUT from our experiences PGsql on linux well configured (Archived logs) could directly run after a VM restore.

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App aware has been amazing for AD.   If someone finger slips and deletes a group it can be a real headache. Being able to restore users, groups, computer accounts with their original object identifiers is so handy.   I’ve even restored GPO’s for a few guys that have created some fun at the office. 

 

I’m always cautious with SQL, especially SQL always on. I have some DB’s that are hyper sensitive to latency. 

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