Using Google Cloud Storage with Veeam Cloud Edition

Veeam 6.5 Cloud Edition has many nice features.  It includes the award winning Veeam Backup and Recovery and then adds a second application to replicate those backups to offsite storage — such as Google Cloud Storage.

Veeam does a great job of performing disk-to-disk backups of virtual machines, but many will want and/or need to have an offsite copy of those VMs.  Sometimes this will even be required for various certifications and/or audits.  Veeam Cloud Edition can do exactly this, adding encryption to the backups as well.  No more Iron Mountain, tape exchanges, car trunks or whatever physical method you use to get your backups offsite — now it is simply replicated to the cloud storage provider of your choice.

Google is one of many such cloud storage providers and their standard offering includes geo-redundant storage which means a lot more durability than any mechanism of shipping tapes/disks offsite.

Being new to Google Cloud Storage I went to set up integration with Veeam and I quickly got stuck over finding the proper client key and secret key to be used to access my storage bucket.  The provided help file seemed to reference a previous layout of Google Cloud’s web pages and I quickly found it somewhat useless (Veeam 7 is due this summer which I assume will have updated documentation).  After some reading and experimentation I finally found where in the Google API Console I had to go to retrieve the proper keys for Veeam.

Once in the Google API Console I eventually found the answer not in the API Access session, but in the Cloud Storage section: gcloud

At the bottom of this tab is “Interoperable Access” which you must manually enable.  Once this is enabled you will see a new subtab under Google Cloud Storage for Interoperable Access and this is where you will find the keys you need to provide to Veeam Cloud Edition to get started.  Now you should be able to connect to your Google Cloud Storage buckets and start replicating them offsite.

SO, HOW DOES IT WORK?

The replication of the backups worked flawlessly but what type of speed you get will be highly dependent on the quality of your connection to your cloud storage provider.  To walk you through a quick restore scenario I started with a small Windows 2012 virtual machine which Veeam Backup had compressed down to just 6GB.  I initiated a “Restore From Cloud” job which pulled down the backup files in about 15 minutes.  Then I simply had to import the backup files into the catalog and then I could setup the restore job (combined about 2 minutes).  In the restore job I chose to use Veeam’s “Instant Recovery” option which allows me to run the VM right from where it resides on the backup repository (I can always storage vMotion it later).  In summary it took about 20 minutes to pull a VM backup (6GB) from cloud storage and have it powered up and running.

If you’re interested in Veeam be sure to check out version 7 in a few weeks which will have even more features.

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