Veeam Agent - Introduction and Creation of Protection Group

Hello guys!

The Veeam Agent has been around for some time, is a way that Veeam has created to include in its products backup of physical servers and stations. Although it worked well, it was always decentralized from the Backup and Replication console, management was directly on the workstation or server by the agent installed on those machines.
Starting with the 3 9.5 Update, Veeam incorporated management into the console and made it much easier to manage in large environments. In the next articles I will demonstrate how to create Protections Groups, backup creation and execution of a restore.

First, as I said before, it is essential to have the 3 Update of the 9.5 version installed. If you have not yet made the update, you can download directly from the Veeam website HERE.
With the version installed, when you open the console and go to "Inventory" we will have a new section named "Physical & Cloud Infrastructure". It is in this section that we create our Protection Groups and install the agents.

We will create a new Protection Group. They are used to separate machines by type, for example, and also to determine how they will be added, whether they are direct from AD, whether they are machines that are manually added, and so on. For more information on Protection Group you can read HERE.
Click "Add protection group" to start the wizard to create a new protection group.

On the first screen, define a name for the group and a description.

In the next screen we must choose how we will add the objects in the group. We have three options:

  • Individual computers
    • Choosing this option we should manually add the objects that will be part of the group.
  • Microsoft Active Directory objects
    • Choosing this option we can set an Active Directory OU for the Veeam to fetch all found objects and automatically add to the group.
  • Computers from CSV file
    • Choosing this option we can create a csv file with the name of the machines that would like to protect and import to the group.

Choose the option that best suits your environment. I will demonstrate using the option for sync with AD.

On the next screen choose the domain and click "Add" to choose the OU you want to synchronize.

Choose the OU you want to synchronize and click "OK."

Click Next to proceed now that we have our OU. You can add as many as needed.

In the next screen we can create exclusions for Protection Group:

  • All Virtual Machines
    • Given that you would use the agent to back up physical machines, you can select this option so that any object the Veeam finds that is a VM is deleted. After all, if the machine is virtual you can use Veeam's native integration with the hypervisor. However, if you are a virtual machine in a Citrix or KVM environment, you would only have the option to use the agent to back up, so the option can be selected or not.
  • All Computers that have been offline for over 30 days
    • With this option we can exclude computers that are inactive on the network without having to clean up Active Directory. The Veeam will automatically check if the machine has been out for more than 30 days without communicating with the console and will remove it from the next backups.
  • The following objects
    • With this option we can delete some object manually if it is necessary.

My lab environment is all virtual, so I'll uncheck the "All virtual machines" option to make it back up to VMs. Choose the options that best suit your environment and click "Next" to proceed.

In the next screen, as expected, we need to define a credential with administrative permissions for installing the agent on the machines found in the OU. If you already have an AD account added to the Veeam console it will give you the option to choose it, otherwise you can add it by clicking "Add".

Choosing the "Standard account" option for Windows environment or options for environment in Linux. My environment is Windows, so I chose "Standard account" and typed my credentials.

In the menu below we can define credentials to be used in each OU, if necessary.

Click "Test Now" to validate the credential.

Click Next to proceed after setting the credentials.

In the next screen we can define some Protection Group options.
In "Discovery" we must define the frequency of the rescan in the Protection Group to check if there are new machines to install the agent.

In Deployment we will define how the installation will be done. We must choose our "Distribution Server" which is the Veeam server that will be responsible for the discovery and installation of the agents. In my environment I have only one Veeam server.

Below are some options for installation:

  • Install backup agent automatically (recommended)
    • Choose this option to have the agent automatically installed as soon as the new object is discovered
  • Auto-update backup agent
    • Choose this option when we have a new version of the agent the update is done automatically.
  • Install changed block tracking driver on Windows Server OS
    • If you will protect some Windows Server with the Veeam agent it is recommended to choose this option to install the Veeam drives for the CBT. For more details on how the Veeam CBT driver works HERE.
  • Perform reboot automatically if required
    • Choose this option to restart the computer automatically after installing the agent if necessary.

As described below, for Veeam to be able to manage the agents automatically it is necessary to have the "File and Printer Sharing" feature enabled on the target.

To check the required communication ports between the Veeam and the agents click HERE.
In the next screen will be made a verification if any necessary component for Veeam is not installed.

Click "Apply" to apply all options and create Protection Group.

In the next screen we can choose to run the discovery immediately. Click "Finish" to finish creating the Protection Group and start installing the agent.

We can follow the first scan of Protection Group and the installation of the agent in a VM that I have in this OU. It is a machine with Windows 7.

With that I finish this first part of the series on the Veeam Agent. In the next post I will demonstrate how to create a backup routine of objects found by Protection Group.

See you soon!