Getting Started with Veeam AWS Backup

Mayowa Ogungbola

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Considering the risks of data loss while working on Amazon Web Service (AWS), backing up and recovering your cloud workloads can be quite a struggle. But don’t put up with the struggle; let Veeam AWS Backup be the solution.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn to deploy and configure Veeam Backup for AWS to eliminate the risk of losing your important AWS cloud data.

Prerequisites

There will be hands-on demonstrations in this tutorial. Be sure to have the following in place to follow along:

Deploying Veeam Backup for AWS

Before you configure Veeam Backup for AWS, you’ll first need to deploy your Veeam solution. To do so, let’s first deploy the Veeam solution to AWS with the AWS marketplace.

1. Open your web browser and navigate to the AWS marketplace.

2. Search Veeam on the search bar at the top of the page, and click on any version you want to deploy from the pop-up screen. This tutorial uses the Free Edition, but the deployment process is the same with all available editions.

Finding the Veeam Backup for AWS CloudFormation template.
Finding the Veeam Backup for AWS CloudFormation template

3. Click on the Continue to subscribe button at the top-right corner of the page to subscribe to Veeam Backup for AWS Free Edition.

Subscribing to the Veeam Backup for AWS instance
Subscribing to the Veeam Backup for AWS instance

4. Next, read the terms and conditions, click on the Continue to configuration button.

Accepting terms and conditions
Accepting terms and conditions

5. Select the default VB for AWS Deployment-New VPC as the delivery method from the drop-down box on the configuration page. This tutorial assumes you don’t already have a VPC you’d like to deploy Veeam Backup onto.

Pick a region to deploy Veeam Backup into and click on Continue to launch when complete.

Selecting the Veeam Backup for AWS delivery method, version and region
Selecting the Veeam Backup for AWS delivery method, version and region

6. Next, select Launch cloud formation from the Choose action drop-down box as the launch action, then click the launch button below. AWS will deploy Veeam Backup via a CloudFormation template.

Launching Veeam Backup for AWS via CloudFormation
Launching Veeam Backup for AWS via CloudFormation

7. Leave the default template settings. You’ll be using the template that comes with the marketplace item, so ensure you select Template is ready, leave Amazon S3 URL selected as the URL should already be populated for you, and click Next.

Specifying the CloudFormation stack URL
Specifying the CloudFormation stack URL

8. Enter a stack name (veeambackup) in the Stack name field. The stack is how CloudFormation describes the entire set of components that you will be deploying. If you already have a key pair, you can use those to authenticate to the instance when created or create your own.

And finally, select an instance type. You can safely select the default instance of t2.medium as it should have the required resources to run Veeam Backup.

Providing the CloudFormation stack name and parameters
Providing the CloudFormation stack name and parameters

9. Next, select true when asked to create an elastic IP. This step isn’t required, but it’ll be much easier to connect to Veeam Backup if the IP address isn’t constantly changing on you when you reboot it.

Assigning a static public IP to the backup instance
Assigning a static public IP to the backup instance

10. Now, accept the default VPC and Subnet CIDR networks. The subnet contains all of the IPs in use for all instances in the VPC (in this case, just the Veeam Backup instance). Click Next.

Selecting a preferred VPC and subnet
Selecting a preferred VPC and subnet

11. Check the I acknowledge that AWS CloudFormation might create IAM resources box, and click on Create stack. The CloudFormation template for Veeam Backup needs an IAM user and role to authenticate to various AWS services.

Once you click Create stack, AWS will begin provisioning the Veaam Backup VPC.

Creating the CloudFormation stack
Creating the CloudFormation stack

12. Navigate to your AWS EC2 instances, and you should see a Veeam Backup for AWS EC2 instance.

13. Click on the Veeam EC2 instance and note the Public IPv4 address, as shown below, and the Instance ID. You will need these two attributes to configure Veeam Backup for AWS later.

Noting the public IP address and instance ID
Noting the public IP address and instance ID

Deploying a Worker Instance

Now that you have successfully deployed Veeam Backup for AWS let’s start adding a worker instance. A worker instance is the component of Veeam AWS Backup that performs image-level backup and restores.

To add a worker instance:

1. Open your favorite browser and navigate to the IP address you took note of in the final step of the “Deploying Veeam Backup for AWS” section and accept the license agreement.

2. Paste in the instance ID you copied from the last step of the “Deploying Veeam Backup for AWS” section to the Check Instance ID field, and click Next.

Providing the Veeam Backup for AWS instance ID
Providing the Veeam Backup for AWS instance ID

3. Provide a username and password you’ll use to authenticate to Veeam Backup for AWS in the future and click Create.

Creating a user account
Creating a user account

4. Now, log in to the machine with your credentials created in step three.

Logging in
Logging in

5. Once logged in, click on Configuration at the top-right corner of the page to open the main configuration pages where you can define many Veeam Backup for AWS settings.

Configuring Veeam Backup for AWS
Configuring Veeam Backup for AWS

6. Click on Workers on the side menu to begin creating a new worker instance.

Workers at the side menu
Workers at the side menu

7. Next, click the Add button with the green cross sign under the Region Network Settings section below to add a worker instance. Once you do, a window will pop up where you’ll configure the region network settings.

Adding a worker instance and selecting a region
Adding a worker instance and selecting a region

8. Set the region and availability zone for the worker instance you’re deploying in the Add Region window. For this example, choose US East (Virginia) and us-east-1d, as shown below.

Picking an AWS region to deploy the worker instance to
Picking an AWS region to deploy the worker instance to

9. Under Network Settings, select the Virtual Private Cloud, Subnet, and Security Group; you’d like Veeam to create the worker instance when needed temporarily. This VPC will most likely be the same VPC the Veeam Backup EC2 itself is in.

Selecting a VPC, subnet, and security group for the region
Selecting a VPC, subnet, and security group for the region

10. Briefly view the summary of the region settings and click Finish.

Review the summary and click finish
Review the summary and click finish

Adding a Repository

After deploying a worker instance, you must create a repository that will store the instructions to restore a backed-up AWS instance. Veeam Backup for AWS uses Amazon S3 buckets as target locations for EC2 instance image-level backups.

1. Click on Repositories in the left menu to add a repository, then click New (with green cross icon). A pop-up window will appear where you’ll configure the repository settings.

Navigating to Repositories
Navigating to Repositories

2. In the Add Repository window, enter a name for the repository (veeambackup) and a description (optional), then click Next.

Providing a name and description for the repository
Providing a name and description for the repository

3. Under the Account tab, select the default IAM role created during deployment of Veeam Backup for AWS, and click Next.

Picking an IAM role to connect to the repository
Picking an IAM role to connect to the repository

4. Now click on the Not specified option in the Repository tab to specify any of your existing Amazon S3 buckets. Once specified, the two grayed-out options below become available.

Selecting an S3 bucket where backup data will be stored
Selecting an S3 bucket where backup data will be stored

5. Next, select the Create new folder option and provide a folder name that will contain all of the information Veeam Backup for AWS will use to restore data. The name of the folder does not matter but should be descriptive of the task.

Creating a new folder
Creating a new folder

6. Finally, review the summary and click Finish. You’ve now created the setting to which your EC2 instance files will be backed up into or restored from!

Review the summary
Review the summary

Creating a Backup Policy

You must now create a set of instructions to tell Veeam Backup how to back up your AWS instances. To do that, you’ll use a backup policy. A backup policy defines configuration items like what to back up and when.

Even though AWS Veeam Backup can back up various AWS resources, for this tutorial, let’s back up an EC2 instance and all of the files on that instance. To do that:

1. Click on Overview and select Policies.

Navigating to backup policies
Navigating to backup policies

2. Click Add to begin creating a backup policy. Type in a unique name for the policy, and a description, then click Next.

3. Select the default IAM role created during deployment, and click Choose regions shown below to select a region. Choose the region where the EC2 instance is located you’d like to back up. In this tutorial, the region is US East (N. Virginia).

Once you’ve selected the region, click Add and Apply.

Selecting a default IAM Role and choosing a region
Selecting a default IAM Role and choosing a region

4. Click on the 1 resources will be protected link under the Resources section and select the EC2 instance you’d like to back up.

Selecting which resources will be included in the backup policy
Selecting which resources will be included in the backup policy

5. Click next to leave the page as default; you won’t make changes since you will not use any aware application-aware processing for this tutorial.

6. Set the backup switch to On to enable backups and choose the repository you created earlier. Click on Apply and Next.

7. Set your preferred scheduled time to carry out the backups automatically. Click on the link “edit daily setting” to make changes to enable the backups daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Click apply and click on next.

Defining a schedule for the backup policy
Defining a schedule for the backup policy

8. Click Next; once you’ve reviewed the estimated monthly cost, the backups will set you back.

Review the estimated costs
Review the estimated costs

9. Check the box to automatically retry if the policy fails, and specify the number of times to retry. This setting comes into play if the backup fails for whatever reason. You’re telling Veeam Backup to retry the backup if it fails a certain number of times.

When complete, click Next to view the summary details.

Setting retry settings if the backup should fail
Setting retry settings if the backup should fail

10. Click Finish after you’ve reviewed the backup policy summary.

Review and click finish
Review and click finish

Restoring Files with Veeam AWS Backup

Now that you have successfully backed up your AWS EC2 instance let’s see how to restore information from it.

1. Click on Protected Data, select an EC2 instance to restore, and click on Restore —> Instance Restore.

Selecting an instance to restore files from
Selecting an instance to restore files from

2. Click on the link labeled file-level recovery and select the instance to backup and click Next.

3. Type in a reason for restoring the file for identification sake, click Next and Finish.

Providing a reason for file recovery
Providing a reason for file recovery

4. When the instance has been loaded completely, click on the link FLR standing for file-level recovery. FLR allows you to extract one or more files from the backup.

Now click on the link on the popup screen to select the file you want to recover. You’ll then see all of the files available for restoration.

Selecting to perform a file-level recovery
Selecting to perform a file-level recovery

5. Select the file you want to recover, click on the Add to recovery list link, and click on Pending Review at the top corner of the screen.

6. Reselect the files you want to restore, click on download, and the file will be downloaded as a regular file.

You’re done! You should now have a copy of the restored file.

Conclusion

You’ve learned how to get started with Veeam Backup for AWS in this tutorial. You set it up from scratch, kicked off a backup, and finally restored a file from the backup. You covered the entire lifecycle.

Veeam Backup for AWS can do a lot more than what was covered here. Explore and see how it can help in your cloud backup strategy!

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