Introduction

This quick start guide is a resource for all phoenixNAP clients using the Veeam Availability Console (VAC) operated by PNAP. It provides the necessary information for a user to log in to VAC and install the necessary software components to manage, create, and restore backup data on all protected computers and virtual machines (VM).

veeam availability console quick start guide phoenixnap

Veeam Availability Console 3.0 Overview

Veeam Availability Console provides off-site access and management of your cloud repositories from a single console.

It provides three restore options:

  1. System-level: Bare-metal restore your entire system to the same or different hardware
  2. Volume-level: Restore a failed hard drive or corrupted partition
  3. File-level: Restore individual files from any backup file in minutes

Supported backup options include the following:

  1. Volume level backup
  2. File-level backup
  3. Linux – Full/Full active backups + incremental backups
  4. Windows – Full Standalone/Full active/Full Synthetic/Full backups + incremental backups

backup options

Veeam Availability Console (VAC) Login

The Veeam Availability Console (VAC) is a cloud-based management and monitoring solution intended for administering your Veeam data protection operations. To log in to the Veeam Availability Console operated by phoenixNAP:

  1. Using a web browser, navigate to https://phxvac.phoenixnap.com.
  2. Enter your Username and Password in the corresponding fields. Your credentials will be provided to you by phoenixNAP.
    The Username will be in the following format: company name\VAC- clientID_location.
  3. Click Login.

veeam availability console login


Important: All provided usernames that do NOT follow the above-mentioned standard will be blocked. Initially, the system will display a server is not responding error message.


Prerequisites

In order to manage Veeam Backup Agents in the Veeam Availability Console, you need two software components on machines you intend to protect:

    • Veeam Backup Agent. This software component protects your computers’ data and manages restore operations. By running discovery rules, you identify the machines in your network on which you can install Veeam Backup Agents. Deploy agents to configure backup jobs.
    • Veeam Availability Console Management Agent. This software component is the connecting piece between the Veeam Backup Agent and the Veeam Availability Console. Through it, admins give out commands from the VAC to the Veeam Backup Agent, effectively executing all operations on a managed computer as well as collecting data from the computer and sending it back to the Availability Console.

Below are the necessary steps to protect and manage your backups with the Veeam Availability Console:

  1. Install and configure the Veeam Master Management Agent on a Windows machine.
  2. Configure discovery rules and identify machines.
  3. Install Veeam Backup Agents for Windows or Linux.

Download and Install the Master Management Agent

To download the Veeam Master Management Agent, select Managed Computers from the menu bar on the left of your screen and then click Download Agent. This will prompt your browser to download the Veeam Master Management Agent for Windows.

download veeam master management agent

As you can see in the image above, the Install Backup Agent option is unavailable until you download and install the management agent. In case you manually install the Backup Agent prior to installing the Management Agent, you will NOT be able to configure a backup to a Veeam Cloud Connect repository.

  1. Select Download Agent and wait for the process to complete.
  2. Run the downloaded Management Agent app file as an Administrator.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions. Once installed, run the Veeam Master Agent from the taskbar. By default, the installation will be located at ProgramFiles\Veeam\Availability Console\CommunicationAgent
  4. On initial start-up, you’ll need to configure the following:
Field Description
Cloud Gateway A FQDN of a PNAP cloud gateway. Depending on which server you are using, enter one of the following:

For Phoenix type:

phxcloudconnect2.phoenixnap.com

For Ashburn type:

ashcloudconnect.phoenixnap.com

For Netherlands type:

nldcloudconnect.phoenixnap.com

For Atlanta type:

atlcloudconnect.phoenixnap.com

For Singapore type:

sincloudconnect.phoenixnap.com

Port The port used to transfer backups to and from cloud repositories. Set to 6180.
Username and Password Client username & password provided to you by PNAP in your welcome email.
Security Certificate For added security, paste your Cloud Connect TLS certificate thumbprint to validate the certificate. This is optional, but highly recommended.

Note: Validating the Cloud Connect security certificate with the management agent guarantees a secure connection between the Availability Console server and all protected machines.


When you enter the necessary information, click Apply. Now, the management agent is configured to communicate with the Veeam Availability Console. In the displayed window, select Yes to restart the Veeam Management Agent. The agent will attempt to connect to VAC.

The Agent Status field will display whether the management agent is connected.

Install Veeam Backup Agents

Backup Agents can be deployed automatically or manually. When speaking of VAC, the recommended installation procedure is using Discovery Rules. This method will initiate the installation within the Veeam Availability Console and manual procedures will be kept to a minimum.

Use Case - Protecting Multiple Windows Computers

Let’s consider the use case in which you have multiple Windows machines on a single network, and you want to protect them via VAC. First, you’ll need to configure a Discovery Rule.

Prerequisites

  • Master agent deployed on a Windows machine.
  • Remote computers you intend to protect must all be Windows machines. The Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI-In) firewall rule must be configured to allow inbound traffic.
  • Machines must be powered on and configured to allow network discovery. The Remote Scheduled Tasks Management (RPC) firewall rule must allow inbound traffic.
  • When automatically deploying Veeam Backup Agents, make sure that the File and Printer Sharing (SMB-In) firewall rule allows inbound traffic.

Configuring Discovery Rules

Please note that the Discovery Rules settings outlined below may not be suitable for your use case, and you might need to configure other Discovery Methods. For additional configuration instructions, please browse to Veeam: Discovery of Client Computers.


Important: The account and its credentials defined in the Master Management Agent takes precedence over credentials specified in a discovery rule. The Master Management Agent will always primarily use the account specified in its configuration settings. If the account is not defined or not valid, only then will the Master Management agent use an account specified in a discovery rule.


To configure a Discovery Rule select Rules from the menu on the left and click New.

  1. Rule Name. Enter a descriptive name. Click Next.
  2. Companies. Select your own company. There must be at least one management agent installed otherwise you will not be able to get past this step. Click OK.
  3. Discovery Method.
      • Network-based discovery. A discovery rule governed by the network IP range. Recommended for smaller environments without an Active Directory domain. This is a good option for our use case because the Management Agent will have network access to all other machines.
      • Microsoft Active Directory discovery. Dynamic discovery governed by Active Directory containers. Recommended for Active Directory domain environments of any size.
      • Computers from CSV file. Dynamic discovery governed by the content of a comma-separated values (.csv) file. Recommended for environments which have CMDB integration.

network discovery method

  1. Network Discovery. To complete this step, define one or more IP ranges and networks that should be scanned to discover computers. For multiple IP ranges, repeat the steps below for each IP range you want to define:
      • Click Add.
      • Network name. Enter a descriptive name.
      • IP Range. Define the network’s IP range.
  1. Access Account. Define account credentials that the Master Management Agent will use to connect to computers it discovers in the network. The account used must have Administrator privileges on all discovered computers. If you have previously specified a discovery agent in the Master Management Agent, select the Use credentials specified in the master management agent configuration checkbox.
  2. Discovery Filters. Select what filters you want to enable for discovery. To disable a filter, select it in the list and click Disable.
      • By OS type.
      • By application.
      • By platform.
  1. Email Notification. During this step of the wizard, you can configure email notifications about discovery results.
  2. Backup Agent Deployment. Choose whether to deploy Veeam Backup Agents on all discovered computers. By default, read-only UI access is enabled for all backup agents. Select the toggle to disable this setting. For more details regarding enabling read-only access, please refer to Veeam: Enabling Read-Only Access Mode.

veeam backup agent deployment

  1. Summary. Review your settings.
      • Select the Launch the discovery rule when I click Finish checkbox to start the discovery rule. If you opt to unselect this option, you can run the discovery rule later. To do so, you need to navigate to Rules, select the discovery option in the list and click the Run link located in the top bar.
      • Click Finish.

Automatic Installation Process

The automatic installation will be triggered, assuming that you have launched the Discovery Rule immediately.

The installation runs as follows:

  1. The Master Management Agent downloads the Veeam Backup Agent installation file and transfers this file to all discovered computers.
  2. The Master Management Agent downloads the Veeam Availability Management Agent installation file over the internet and transfers this file to all discovered computers. The management agent is installed on all computers and configured to communicate with the Veeam Availability Console.
  3. The installed Availability Console Management Agents trigger the installation of Veeam Backup Agents. Once installed, the backup agents are run on all remote machines.
  4. When backup jobs need to be set up as part of the installation, the Management Agent applies a backup policy.

Managed Computers

All discovered machines can be found in Managed Computers where you can check whether a Backup Agent was installed on each machine. If not, you can select a machine in the list and manually start the installation.

Overview of the Veeam Availability Console

Summary

The Summary screen displays your available and allocated company resources, as well as a list of all the computers and virtual machines (VMs) protected with Veeam backup agents and Veeam Backup & Replication.

  • Agent Backup. The Agent Backup tab provides a summary on all the computers protected with Veeam Backup Agents.

veeam availability console summary dashboard

  • VM Backup. The VM Backup tab provides a summary on all the virtual machines protected with Veeam Backup Agents.

vm backup tab veeam availability console

  • Cloud Backup Quota. The Cloud Backup Quota tab provides a summary of your organization’s cloud repository resources.

cloud backup quota tab

  • Cloud Replication Quota. The Cloud Replication Quota tab provides a summary of your organization’s cloud host resources.

Active Alarms

The VAC includes a set of alarms with predefined rules. Depending on your use case, you can customize predefined alarm rules.

For a list of predefined alarms, see Veeam documentation.

By default, the system is preconfigured to send email notifications to the Company Owner and Company Administrator users. You can also configure an alarm response action to send email notifications to other users as well.

See the image below for an example email notification.

vac active alarm notification

Please note that there are four (4) severity levels, color-coded as seen below:

Severity Level Description
Error (RED) A critical error that requires immediate action.
Warning (YELLOW) A non-critical error that needs your attention. If not cater for, it may cause a critical error.
Resolved (GREEN) An issue that was resolved.
Information (BLUE) General information on a specific event.

Protected Computers

A list of machines backed up by Veeam backup agents and VMs backed up with Veeam Backup & Replication.

  • The Computers view displays a list of company computers protected with Veeam backup agents. Each machine has at least one restore point.
  • The Virtual Machines view displays a list of company machines protected with Veeam Backup & Replication. The protected machine has at least one backup or replica restore point.

Reports

Run and set up backup reports to test the efficiency of data protection. The Veeam Availability Console enables you to generate backup reports and send them via email to the Company Owner user. Create a schedule for automatic report generation and notification. This functionality is available by selecting Reports in the menu on the left.

For more details on configuring, running, and managing backup reports, please refer to Veeam: Backup Reports.

Conclusion

By following the steps outlined in this article, you should now be able to set up a basic configuration to manage your resources in the Veeam Availability Console. For a detailed user guide, please refer to Veeam’s official Veeam Availability Console 3.0 User Manual.