Add storage pool

Vembu BDR Suite – Review

Today is a sponsored post brought to you by Vembu who asked me to review their recently released BDR Suite 4.0.

Who Are Vembu?

Let’s start at the beginning with a bit of background. The company was actually founded back in 2002 based out of Chennai India but also with offices in the US. The company state that the product has reached 60,000 businesses world wide through 4000 partners.

Vembu BDR Suite

Their core product is the Vembu BDR Suite. The Vembu BDR suite is able to backup and protect a wide range of infrastructure including physical, virtual and cloud workloads.  Some of the specific data types that can be protected are:

  • VMware VM’s
  • Hyper-V VM’s
  • Physical windows machines
  • Office 365
  • Google Apps (G-Suite)
  • Cloud backup of AWS and Azure VM’s

As the product name suggests this is more than just a backup application offering a complete data protection and disaster recovery system.  These capabilities are delivered through the following components of the system:

  • Vembu VMBackup – Allows the backup of vSphere and Hyper-V VM’s without the need for the installation of any agents. In VMware environments the BDR console can also call on the VMware replication feature to copy VM’s between hosts.
  • Vembu ImageBackup – Is used to protect physical windows servers and desktops. The system allows bare metal recovery and P2V migrations
  • Vembu NetworkBackup – Used to backup file and application data including MS Exchange, SQL, SharePoint, and MySQL
  • Vembu OffsiteDR – Creates an offsite copy of your data to protect against loss of the primary backup site
  • Vembu Universal Explorer – Assists with viewing and restoring individual application items within a backup for example a table within SQL or mailbox within Exchange

The first thing that struck me with this product is it’s maturity in terms of number of items that can be backed up and also the scope of features available within the product. All the above features can be managed through a clean looking central console which is accessed via a web browser


Let’s go ahead and install the product and see how it looks. Vembu BDR suite can be installed on Linux or Windows systems.  Today we will be running through the Windows install. Supported Windows versions are:

  • Server 2008 R2
  • Server 2012
  • Server 2012 R2
  • Server 2016
  • Windows 10

Vembu setup wizard 1

First of all we download the latest version. The installation is wizard driven and generally you can click through it, you can review the settings to change the ports and passwords.

Vembu standard system settings

Config is stored in a PostgreSQL database you will need to make sure you have at least 100GB of storage available and choose where to store this.


The architecture we are going to follow is a simple all in one box installation, all management and backup operations occurs from here.  If you have a larger environment you can deploy a backup proxy to act as the data mover and deploy the image backup proxy for the backup of physical machines separately.

Storage Management

Vembu storage pool home screen

Once the installation is complete you can login and manage the system using the web console the default address will be https://VembueServer:6061.  The first job will to be creating a storage pool, storage pools are the target for backup jobs and are made up of a group of volumes which are aggregated together.

Add storage pool

SAN, NAS and DAS can all be used as storage targets. Vembu do not require any specific storage systems since they have developed their own file system VembuHIVE, the file system has inbuilt version control, encryption, deduplication and error correction. The VembuHIVE system also allows you to use any combination of storage types such as SAN and NAS.


Vembu backup wizard

Let’s take our first backup.  Setting a backup up is again through a wizard in the web console.  You will need to:

  • Select VM’s – Select VMs you would like to backup or a whole vCentre
  • Guest processing – Choose if any application specific processing is required for consistency for example a SQL database
  • Schedule – Choose when you would like the backup to run
  • Storage – Select the storage pool and the number of recovery points you wish to retain


  • Quick VM recovery – This allows VMs to be booted direct from the backup to provide quick access to VMs
  • Live recovery – Restores back to the original or a different datastore
  • File level recovery – Allows you to restore individual files within a VM rather than the entire VM
  • Disk management mount – Lets the VM disks be mounted and their content explored and restored as appropriate
  • Download – Allows you to restore the files as a copy


Vembu offer a number of options to harness the cloud for backups and to protect workloads held in the cloud. The OnlineBackup backup option allows you to backup directly to the cloud whereas the CloudDR option allows you to replicate your backups to the cloud thus allowing offsiting.  SAAS workloads that can be protected including G suite and Office 365 which are then backed up to the Vembu cloud.

Editions and Pricing

There are three editions available Free, Standard and Enterprise the edition you will need will depend on your business requirements .  You can use this table to compare editions. The pricing policy is very clear and open you can see the latest rates on the Vembu site. The product is priced per socket



Encrypted veeam configuration backup

Protecting Your Veeam Backup Server

Backing up the backups

Should you backup your backup server – hell yeah. If you suffer a site failure and want to start bringing things back the first thing you are going to need is restore your backup server. Veeam Backup and Replication provides this facility through Configuration Backups. Configuration backups dump out the information stored in the DB associated with Veeam to a flat file with a .bco extension

Default Veeam configuration backup settings

The good news is the that these config backups are enabled daily by default.  They will however run to the default backup repository which is held locally on the Veeam backup server. Obviously a key part of your recovery strategy will be ensuring you can cope with the loss of your backup server.

To view your current config backup setup, pull down the main menu and select configuration backup

Selecting configuration backup from Veeam main menu

In the below screenshot we can see an example config backup setup.  The choice of settings is simple frequency, number of restore points and backup repository.

Veeam configuration backup window

You can choose any backup repository as a target. So choosing a remote backup repository will ensure the config file is off sited. Your other option is to use a File Copy Job to ensure that you get two copies of the config and send one of these offsite. Just remember to keep a note of where your config backup is held in your DR plans.

If you have encrypted jobs or tapes in Veeam you will need to enable encrypt configuration backup. If you do not do this configuration backups will not run since otherwise the encryption keys in the config DB could be visible. The added benefit of encrypting config backups is that they will then include the details stored in the credentials manager.  This means that when you restore your backup server you will not need to re-enter credential information.

Encrypted veeam configuration backup


Other availability options

The backup server its self can be backed up as you would with any other VM.  The VM backup of the Veeam backup server can then be backed up to a an offsite repository, or offsited with a copy job.

Another option which would deliver the quickest recovery is that the backup server its self can also be in a Replication Job.

Final Thoughts

  • Start be thinking about what you are trying to achieve, what is the RPO and RTO for your backup server and remember to relate this to your main recovery objectives.  You will not be able to recover any servers until you bring back your backup server
  • Once you have considered what you are trying to achieve think which protection method you need to use from configuration backups, backup copies and replication jobs. Also consider that the protection methods are not mutually exclusive, you can use a combination of them.
  • Finally no matter which method you choose ensure that you document and test the recovery process

Veeam’s next big thing and 3ParDude’s new blog

What is 3ParDude’s next big thing?

Last week’s Veeam announced their next big thing and today I want to cover this and also my next big thing. First my news, I have put pen to paper and started blog number two! I’m super excited about this new venture I think it’s got so much scope. Data is growing at an exponential rate but backup and data protection just isn’t sexy, it gets pushed to the back of most companies to do list and is often inadequate. This will be the focus of the new blog – data protection. I want to deliver all the latest and greatest news from established vendors and exciting start-ups in the arena and present what has long been missing a simple and clear path towards data protection/ availability. I would love to have all you guys along for the ride so join me over at you can subscribe to the RSS feed and Twitter. Business will of course continue as usual at

Veeams Next big thing

For a month previous to the announcement Veeam had been advertising they were going to make the biggest announcement in the company’s history. This is a bold statement to say the least. I was going to start a sweepstake around this but I was a little slow off the mark. My hopes and dreams were for either the elixir of youth or the discovery of a free endless beer supply, unfortunately my hopes were dashed on both counts.


In all seriousness I was expecting one big announcement as the teaser has suggested. However what we got was not one massive announcement but several smaller ones. However the sum of the announcements was substantial and indicated Veeam has a strong vision and is looking towards the future. Carry on reading this article at to hear the key announcements and Veeam’s vision for the future.