Veeam Backup & Replication is a leading Data Protection and Availability solution. Its unique approach for protecting virtualized environments allows for agentless imaged-based backups that still allow for granular restores including File Level Restore (FLR). After hearing the voice from many Novell/Micro Focus customers through the years, NSS support for FLR was introduced in Veeam Backup & Replication v7 for VMware vSphere when it was released in 2013. But with the introduction of both 64-bit NSS volumes and AD-enabled NSS volumes in OES 2015, updated support was necessary to support the new media types. With the recent release of Veeam Backup & Replication v9.5, this support is now included.
How does it work? Veeam Backup & Replication uses a Linux “helper appliance” to perform FLR operations for non-Windows filesystems, and NSS modules are loaded on this appliance. The appliance accesses the backup repository where the backup file reside, accesses the VMDKs within the backup files containing the data to be restored, and then presents the filesystem in an easy-to-use Explorer-like interface.
This method provides true NSS access through the same NSS modules found on an OES server rather than using any sort of client. However, this means when media types are updated to introduce new features to NSS the modules on the appliance must be updated. This is precisely what was done in v9.5. As you can see, the VOL2 volume from the screenshot above is indeed a 64-bit volume. In fact, it has also been AD-enabled.
A question that often comes up is what about permissions? Veeam’s solution protects your valuable data on NSS volumes, but permissions aren’t restored during FLR operations. If you were to lose an entire disk or even an entire server, both full VM restores and VMDK restores bring back everything. While FLR doesn’t include permissions, in most instances inheritance—one of the key benefits of NSS—takes care of everything. As an added precaution it is possible to script saving trustee assignments to a file. That file is then utilized as necessary to restore permissions. On a similar token it’s easy to script a solution for eDirectory. And this is all a part of Veeam’s Application-aware Image Processing (AAIP). AAIP allows Veeam Backup & Replication to interact with guest VMs during backup by automatically deploying a small runtime on to Linux and Windows VMs and then removing the runtime after the job completes. Through this it’s possible to specify “pre-freeze” and “post-thaw” scripts. Essentially the pre-freeze scripts run prior to the VMware snapshot being taken for backup, and post-thaw scripts run immediately after the snapshot is taken.
This is where it’s easy to use a script that saves NSS trustee information to a file, exports eDirectory to a file, or even stops GroupWise agents to take a completely clean and consistent backup of GroupWise. Sample scripts are located in the VeeamHub repository hosted on GitHub.
As you can see, Veeam Backup & Replication provides excellent solutions for protecting OES networks. Native NSS support is key and Veeam continues to improve upon that support. Adding scripts to the mix further enhances that support providing a complete, robust solution for any environment of any size.