veeamlogoAs you might be aware Veeam has released Update 2 for it’s Backup and Replication software.  With that comes a slew of updates, integration with Endpoint Backup, vSphere 6 support, features, enhancements, bug fixes – you know the usual suspects that you might find inside of an update pack – you can see them all in the release notes here.  Speaking of release notes – it’s always a good idea to read completely through them before even considering an upgrade – not just to find any known problems or gotchya’s, but at times, mostly all the time you will find a feature or change to the product that isn’t marketed and publisized as much as the rest.  Now Veeam B&R update 2 is largely about Endpoint Backup integration and support for vSphere 6.0 –which is awesome – but as I was doing my once over of the release notes I noticed this….

veeamfree

Veeam has a long history of releasing so-called Freemium products – giving a way a scaled back portion of their complete solution absolutely free, while offering a paid license for those looking for enterprise features.  Veeam Backup Free Edition is exactly this – allowing administrators to create full backups of their VMs using VeeamZip technologies – absolutely free.

The one caveat to this was you were never able to schedule your VeeamZips – so creating a backup was something that had to be manually triggered.  I’m sure many of you (as have I) have tried – only to see the infamous “License is not installed” message when running the Start-VBRZip PowerShell cmdlet.  Well, as of update 2 you can kiss that message goodbye and begin scheduling that cmdlet to your hearts delight.

Start-VBRZip

This is a relatively easy process but in the interest of completeness let’s go over it anyways.  First up we need to create a PowerShell script that will execute the Start-VBRZip cmdlet, which inturn VeeamZips our VM.  The script I used is below…

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Param(
  [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][string]$VM,
  [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][string]$Destination,
  [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][ValidateSet(0,4,5,6,9)][int]$Compression,
  [bool]$DisableQuiesce=$true,
  [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][ValidateSet("Never","Tonight","TomorrowNight","In3days","In1Week","In2Weeks","In1Month")][string]$Autodelete
)
#Load Veeam Toolkit
& "C:\Program Files\Veeam\Backup and Replication\Backup\Initialize-VeeamToolkit.ps1"
#Validate any parameters
$vmentity = Find-VBRViEntity -Name $VM 
if ($vmentity -eq $null)
{
  Write-Host "VM: $VM not found" -ForegroundColor "red"
  exit
}
if (-Not (Test-Path $Destination))
{
  Write-Host "Destination: $vmname not valid" -ForegroundColor "red"
  exit
}
if ($DisableQuiesce -eq $true)
{
    Start-VBRZip -Entity $vmentity -Folder $destination -Compression $Compression -AutoDelete $Autodelete -DisableQuiesce
}
else
{
Start-VBRZip -Entity $vmentity -Folder $destination -Compression $Compression -AutoDelete $Autodelete
}

A couple things about the script – you can see that it takes 5 parameters; the VM to backup, the destination to back it up to, the level of compressions to apply, whether or not to queiesce the VM and the auto-delete policy to apply to the backup.  From there we simply load the Veeam toolkit, do a little error checking and then initiate the backup with Start-VBRZip.  Pretty simple stuff – you can go ahead and try it by saving the script and calling it like so…

VeeamZip.ps1 –VM “VM1” –Destination “E:\backups” –AutoDelete “Never” –Compression 5 –DisableQuiesce $false

Scheduling the script

scheduledtaskPick your poison when it comes to scheduling this script to run – I’ve chose the standard Windows Task Scheduler to do the job. So go ahead and create a scheduled task with whatever schedule you like within Windows –  The only really tricky part is passing the arguments to the script – the way I have done it is by selecting ‘Start a program’ as my action, passing the path to PowerShell.exe in my program script, then enclosing my string arguments in single quotes, and the complete arguments string in double quotes like below

Program/script: C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

Add arguments: “c:\VeeamZip.ps1 –VM ‘VM1’ –Destination ‘E:\backups’ –AutoDelete ‘Never’ –Compression 5 –DisableQuiesce $false”

From there it’s a matter of creating as many scheduled tasks as you have VMs you want backed up, or modifying the script to backup all your VMs – Either way, as you can see, the Veeam Backup Free edition has received a nice little feature buried within the Update 2 release notes!!!!