Want to make Backup Jobs management easier? ...use Tags!

  • 27 November 2020

Userlevel 4

Veeam Backup & Replication supports and understands vSphere tags allowing the creation of Backup and Replication Jobs by selecting VMs to backup based on Tags.

Tags concept was introduced in vSphere 5.5 and basically it is a label you can assign to any object (VMs, storage and so on...) in the vSphere inventory. You can assign a tag to a specific category to better identify a VM type or simply the installed OS.

The use of Tags during Jobs configuration is pretty easy to configure. In the configuration wizard click Add button to add objects to backup. Click the tag icon to display VMs and Tags, select the item you want to include in the job then click Add.

Using Tags you no longer need to edit a specific Backup or Replication Job to add or remove a VM. A simple click in the Tags panel of the particular VM in vSphere Client does the trick.

No Backup tag?... why you should use it? Well, the No Backup Tag can be used to specify which VMs are not included in any backup on purpose. In big environments operations are often delegated to different administrators and the use of No Backup tag can help to quickly figure out that a specific VM was intentionally excluded from any backup. VMs members of this group won't be associated to any backup job.

Current VBR v10 can process only one tag at time but version 11 will provide an improvement introducing the AND operator.


Userlevel 7
Badge +5

More and more customers are using VMware tags for VM selection. From my perspective, there is one main question to answer: how is responsible to add new Data (VMs) to backup? Is it the one, responsible for application (VM owner) or backup? Application owner normally have the permission - or say to VI-admin to do so - can set tags or put VM in a specific folder. So tags are a great way for Application admins to add their VMs to backup. 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Yes, tags are a great way to put VMs automatically into backup jobs.

The responsibility who sets the tags - and keeps them consistent - is the biggest problem in most environments. Many application/VM owner do not thnk about backup after the VM ist installed...

Userlevel 7
Badge +2

I also encourage customers to use tags, especially in bigger environments, where the VM/application administrator doesn’t have knowledge or permissions for the backup solutions. Assigning tags during the deployment process is easier and can prevent administrators from forgetting the backup.

Regarding the responsibility; the person who deploys the VM is also responsible for the backup. There should be a process/workflow which includes backup configuration. Otherwise the backup admin would have to proactivly monitor/search for systems without backup.

Normally I configure something like a “catch-all” job (like addding the datacenter/cluster container). So if a VM doesn’t have any tags it get’s added to a standard job and we have at least some kind of backup if it was forgotten. Like @PValsecchi has written; if there’s no need for a backup then the “NoBackup” tag is assigned.


Userlevel 7
Badge +3

I don't see a lot of customer that use Tags, is a improvements with that they could manage the SLA. Very good Topic !!


Userlevel 6
Badge +2

Good idea! Will keep it in mind. Normally we categorize VMs based on criticality. But the way you mentioned will even simplify it further.