Working with Veeam Application Consistency!

Hi all,

I have been using Veeam Backup & Replication off and on for a long time.  One of the things I have not used often, until lately, was the guest application consistency. I really like it, the way it can do a proper application consistent backup of SQL or Exchange and yet manage the logs is pretty darn cool. However, I sometimes have issues with it.  Frustrating issues.  So I have asked around, both solution architects and support people at Veeam, and then I tested their suggestions and comments.  So I have something good to share.  But this article is not going to be finished, but it will be updated over time and and hopefully be a good reference for both me, and you!

I had a few VMs being replicated or backed up, and using the application consistency option. And things were good.  BTW, here is a screenshot of the application consistency option.

I added a new VM to a replication job, which was Windows 10 and the job showed a warning and it was due to a problem with the application consistency.  So I edited the job, changed to the screen where I could do the application consistency and used the Test button.  Yes, I should have done that sooner. BTW, the Credentials button can be used to specify different credentials for each VM. You would add the credentials using the Manage accounts link, and then use the Credentials button to assign each set of credentials to the appropriate VM.

Background Info – in the screenshot above it is a replication job, and not a backup job.  If it was backup you would also see the guest file indexing option. This is an optional feature that will allow you to restore files via the Veeam Enterprise Manager portal.  You can still restore VMs if you do not enable this option.

That is a lot of red.

Background Info – the red is telling me that TWO methods of talking to the VM failed.  The first is RPC and the second is VIX related.

I was using the local administrator account – like on other machines and yet it was not working and it was on other VMs.

So I investigated.

What I learned is that normally people should use an account that is a domain user, and added to the local machine local administrators account. So I did that.  When I did the test look what I found.

See the two red at the bottom, which means VIX communication did not work.  But the three green above it shows that the RPC method works.  This means that my backup job was now successful.

I tested this on Exchange servers and it worked without modification or change just fine.

On SQL, I had to do a little more – I created an account in SQL (Windows account) that had sysadmin rights, and was the same account as the backup account. Now the backup worked good and was successful. Important Note – the above is a replication job and for SQL (and Oracle too I think) it only does a copy but it does not manage the logs.  So make sure you are also doing a backup on the SQL box and that way the logs will be managed, in other words they will be truncated when a good backup happens.

I also used this technique with Horizon View as well and it worked good.

Domain Controllers are handled different since they don’t have a local administrators group. You use the local administrator and specify it as domain\administrator which you will find to be successfully in the test and backup.

Things to remember

  • Always use the Test button and while it is very nice to be all green, it doesn’t have to be. See the screen shots above.
  • Another way to test things is to use Start / Run \\FQ_VM\ADMIN$ and if it doesn’t work there will be no RPC working. This should be done on the VBR server to the VM you are having trouble with the application consistency.
  • When you replicate a domain controller (which is normally a very bad idea) to be used in a Veeam Availability Orchestrator Lab Group, make sure to use application consistency.  This is a good idea to do no matter what. I do a backup of a domain controller in my lab but never restore it.  I use the Veeam Active Directory Explorer to recover passwords or group policy objects that I mess up.
  • When you have VSS related issues, and yet the test of the crendentials worked fine, try doing the following as they have made things work for me.
    • Do a manual snapshot via the vSphere Client.
    • Delete the snapshot.
    • Power off the VM.
    • Power on the VM.
    • Do a manual snapshot.
    • Remove the snapshot.
    • Now the Veeam action that was failing should work.

Additional Background info

  • Backup fails with “VIX Error Code: 13” or “Access is denied. Code: 5” – KB article
  • Guest Processing – Veeam Help Center article
  • Guest Processing Settings – Veeam Help Center article
  • Application-Aware Processing – Veeam Help Center article

Updates

  • 5/26/19 – added the manual info above.
  • 2/22/19 – added some info around SQL and guest file indexes.
  • 2/21/19 – published

I do not consider this article done.  It has enough info to do successful backups with application consistency enabled.  But as I learn more, I will update this article.

Michael

=== END ===

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