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Per-VM Backup Chains


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Hey everyone! 

Happy Friday 😃

I had a quick question regarding Per-VM Backup chains. If I remember rightly, I think I read somewhere that in V12 it would be enabled by default. 

Are Per-VM backup chains now best practice? Anything to be aware of when transitioning to them on already existing backup jobs that do not utilise Per-VM backup jobs currently?

Thank you!

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Best answer by MicoolPaul 24 February 2023, 11:19

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Userlevel 7
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For backup copy it’s now the only option I believe, except Veeam Agent for Windows Failover Cluster backups I vaguely remember.

 

The main downside to per-VM backup files is that it’ll consume more space vs a per-job backup file due to the lack of data efficiency techniques being processed across VMs (think how many identical bytes of OS data you’ve probably got in a backup job).

 

But on the plus side, it’s awesome from a performance stand-point.

 

If you’re upgrading from v11, be sure to upgrade your metadata format as <v12 had a per backup job metadata file instead of per VM metadata file. It’s a manual process and you can’t run the backup job whilst it’s migrating the metadata.

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The per-VM Chains are needed for moving single VMs from Job to Job.

And it will not be updated automatically after the upgrade to V12.

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After change to per-VM Chain, an Active-Full backup is automatically created on the next job run.

Userlevel 7
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Thank you :) 

Userlevel 7
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If you use a dedup storage appliance or XFS/ReFS fast clone, duplicated data shouldn’t come into play. Regardless...from a performance perspective, it’s fantastic! :) 

Cheers!

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Just to clarify, the new feature is called “ True per-machine ”, and creates a separate metadata file (.VBM) for each workload (unlike the old format which created a unique vbm).

More info here:

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/vsphere/per_vm_backup_files.html?ver=120

And remember to upgrade the backup chain in order to apply the new format!

https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backup/vsphere/backup_change_type.html?ver=120

Userlevel 7
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Great thanks. Appreciate the replies. 

Have a great weekend all!

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If you backup a LOT of similar servers, you won’t get the same dedupe/compression, but I found in production the loss of data reduction was minimal. The performance is significant.

 

It also adds portability to your VM’s. After sending my jobs to tape, I can restore a single VM rather than say 20 that are in the same job taking me significantly less time. 

 

I have been on the PER-VM jobs for quite a while now and it is a no brainer to switch. 

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think how many identical bytes of OS data you’ve probably got in a backup job).

 

I generally think of this in OS terms.  That’s some savings when deduplicating the OS files, but in all, I think the flexibility of per-VM more than makes up for that inefficiency.  With that said, if you had a cluster of application servers or something like that which would have a large amount of duplicate data, then maybe that would be significant, but personally I like per-VM because it’s much simpler to isolate what is what on the filesystem, and when it comes time to delete a backup, you actually reclaim the space vs a per-job backup just creating whitespace in the backup files.

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Honestly the dedupe savings from similar OS is not as good as you think…  It looks great, but it’s close when you have per-VM jobs. I think alot of that dedupe/compression comes into play with the unused space on the disks being a “savings” that is true on per-VM jobs too.

 

I tried grouping OS’s together, applications together, looking for the best ratios, and in the end it turns out, unless you have HUGE jobs, with a ton of VM’s, most likely it won’t be much different.

 

Every environment will be different, and there was some slight loss going to per-VM, but it was quite small.  It would be interesting to see some comparable numbers of before and after putting the same VM’s in the job. I was tracking this for a bit and stopped caring because it was so minor :) 

 

 

I have an issue while performing the “Upgrade Backup Chain Format”.
It fails with the following error:

Example job "D-HILEXCH":

8/03/2023 8:16:45 Failed Failed to upgrade backup D - HILEXCH Error: More than one password have been found for backup D - HILEXCH

Any ideas/feedback are welcome.

Userlevel 7
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Did you change the encryption password in the last times?

Hello Joe,
no, we didn’t change the encryption password during the past 1024 days.

 

Userlevel 7
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Do you get this error with this job only? Or with all jobs?

I get this error with all jobs.

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Then I would suggest to open a support call with Veeam...

That’s what I did yesterday Joe, but no response till now.
I’ll post an answer whenever I get any feedback from Veeam Support.
Thanks anyway.

Userlevel 7
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Support is probably under high workload at the moment because of the patches for VBR 11 and 12.

Today, after upgrading to v12, we started experiencing the same error “Error: More than one password have been found for backup...” only for 1 job that is of Windows Agent Backup type. Other jobs using VMware Backup are fine. Also there are other Windows Agent Backup type jobs which are fine also. However I remembered that I disabled that particular job prior to the upgrade (as it’s schedule was going to trigger it during the upgrade). I guess some upgrade script didn’t process that job as a consequence. After re-creating the job, all is fine now.

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