As the new version of Veeam Backup & Replication is just about the be released, I often get asked whether customers should hold back on deploying the current version 18.104.22.1684. With this post, I will demonstrate why there is very little reason to postpone deployment, as the upgrade is extremely easy and straight forward.
As with any infrastructure change, it is recommended to have a good rollback plan. While the installer is very fail safe, it is better to be safe than sorry.
- Verify that you are running at least Veeam Backup & Replication v7 patch 4 (22.214.171.1241). If you are running an older version, please contact Veeam Support for instructions on how to proceed with the upgrade
- Backup your Veeam SQL databases (typically VeeamBackup and VeeamBackupReporting)
- Run a final Configuration Backup
- If your Backup & Replication Server is a VM, create a Veeam QuickBackup or snapshot for quick rollback
- Download install media from https://veeam.com/downloads.html (available at GA date)
- Download updated license file at https://cp.veeam.com (available at GA date)
As you first launch the installer, you see that some components are unavailable. This reminds us to upgrade Enterprise Manager first. Please note that the installer is only able to detect Enterprise Manager, as they are running on the same server in this case.
Upgrading Enterprise Manager
Launching the installer by clicking the big Enterprise Manager button first checks for .NET 4.5.2. If not present, it asks you to install the update. In my environment, this required a reboot. After the reboot, I reopened the installer and it took me straight to the EULA.
After accepting the EULA, it discovered the upgradable components, and asked for the new license file. Your current v7 or v8 license will not work
Next up is configuration of the service account that runs Veeam Enterprise Manager. If you have a remote SQL Server, these settings may vary, but generally it is recommended to use the local SYSTEM account whenever possible. Please verify the settings match your current configuration.
If you wish to upgrade the current Enterprise Manager database, keep the default settings and you will be warned that the schema will change to match the new version. This is why we backed up the SQL Server databases before starting the upgrade. Again – better safe than sorry. Only thing left is to kick off the installation and wait for a couple of minutes.
Another reboot was required after installing Veeam Enterprise Manager. Except from that, we are done with this section.
Upgrading Backup & Replication
One reboot later, opening the installer reveals that another box has been activated. It is what we have all been waiting for: the Veeam Backup & Replication installer. Let us click it and get down to business.
After the final reboot, we can launch the new console from the desktop icon. The version 9 console supports connecting to remote servers, but the default server is “localhost” and passing through our Windows credentials. If you are always connecting to the same server, you can use the “Save shortcut” link, which will save the parameters and send you straight to the console.
In the following screens, we are guided through updating all distributed components: Proxy servers, repository servers, tape servers, WAN accelerators, integration components on Hyper-V, cloud gateways – you name it! If there is a server added to the Backup Infrastructure tab, and it has a Veeam component installed, the update will be pushed automatically. How could it possibly be easier?
I intentionally did not crop the images too much, so you can see how quickly I was able to install the upgrade. Keep in mind this includes three reboots, capturing screenshots of the process and pushing updates to distributed components. All in all, less than 30 minutes.
This adds up with the previous upgrade statistics collected from our users. Over 80% of users upgrading from v7 to v8 were able to perform the upgrade in less than 30 minutes without help from any external consultants. Once v9 goes GA, please use the comment field below to post how long time it took you :-)
Honestly, I think the installer team in Veeam R&D deserves a raise. Fist bumps to everyone!
Stay tuned for my next post: “Fully leverage Veeam Backup & Replication v9”
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