Veeam Certified Architect 2022 – Course Review


I was able to sit the VMCA2022 course on Thursday, October 7th and Friday, October 8th.  The course was taken through HPE Learning and is a two-day course.  The course is the entire day for the duration and is jam-packed with great content and labs.  My instructor was George Vish II and he was extremely great with the course teaching.


The course takes you through the new “Design Methodology” of Veeam and covers the following topics –

  • Discovery
  • Conceptual Design
  • Logical Design
  • Physical/Tangible Design
  • Implementation & Governance
  • Validation and Iteration

The course is a mix of both lecture and lab work using the Veeam Activity Guide document which lays out the methodology, Architecture principles, the Scenario you work on and all the required details including questions with answers and charts that you fill in.

You are taught in the Discovery phase how to get things like –

  • Requirements
  • Security Requirements
  • Constraints
  • Assumptions
  • Risks
  • Other Information pertinent to the project

Labs – Group Work

During the labs (well technically not hands-on with Veeam itself) you work in groups to fill out the charts in the document for each phase of your Scenario given.  You populate all the information regarding discovery, sizing, etc.  You also use some calculators that are recommended by Veeam –

These two sites come in handy for calculations. The other great thing with the document you use is that they have links that take you to the Wolfram Alpha site with example calculations so you just need to change the values to what is relevant to your scenario – pretty slick!

As you work through the document, each person took the lead for a section so that you can get input from everyone in the group and fill in the charts, data, etc.   I was lucky as the class I was in was just three students so we all worked in one group and the instructor joined for questions and acted as the customer in the scenario if we had more questions or needed a nudge/hint for things. :smiley:


If any of you are thinking about doing the VMCA2022 exam I could not recommend enough taking this course before you do.  It is truly amazing the work that has gone into this one compared to the older VMCA and I know @haslund has done tremendous work too with the course content.

I can truly say that this has helped me better understand how Veeam can and should be architected which I will bring to my role at work.  Along with the great document that you get a copy of with all the answers including the links to the calculation sites, recommendations, etc. makes this invaluable.

All I can say is take the course as you won’t be disappointed at all!!


Veeam Legends Program – Accepted!


Today I received a great surprise in my email from Kseniya (@frainpan) the manager of the Veeam Community Legends program and Rick Vanover (@rickvanover) that I was accepted into the 2021 second intake.

You can find out all about the Veeam Legends program on the Community Hub located here – Veeam Community Hub

There are some really great benefits to being a Legend –

As a part of Veeam Legends, you’ll be eligible for unique content, NFR licenses, private betas, prelaunch briefings, Veeam R&D insights and, of course, awesome Veeam Legends swag!

But one of the biggest benefits is being part of a community to share knowledge, experience, tips, tricks, etc.  I know this from already being in the Veeam Vanguard program for the past four years as well.

So if you are interested check out the link to the Community Hub above and work your way up to becoming Legendary!

Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication v11 – COMING SOON

“Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication 10” was released earlier this year in February 2021.  The book can be seen at the following link and ordered:

Version 10 Book is here – Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication 10

I have since been approached to write an update to the book for Version 11 and have accepted the challenge.  The current book will get updates, some things removed and definitely all the new goodies that are in the latest release of @Veeam.


Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication v11 — Coming Soon

I will update my blog as my journey progresses with the new version.  I hope to create an updated book that was as good as the first one which everyone enjoyed that gave me feedback.  It will be fun writing about the newest features of Veeam v11 and updating existing stuff to make it current.

Keep an eye out for further updates and other blog posts.

Synology DS920+ Network Attached Storage – DSM & iSCSI LUN – Accidental Deletion

***Disclaimer: This article was written to explain what not to do and is in no way blaming Synology for my mistake.  I want to ensure no one else makes a similar mistake and loses data as I did.***

It has been a while since I blogged about the Synology DS920+ that I have and received for testing, as well as to create blogs about features, etc.  I recently had an experience with my LUNs on my NAS which caused them to be deleted and thought that a blog article was warranted.

NOTE: This applies to anyone that upgraded from DSM 6.x to DSM 7.x RC prior to the GA release

My Synology DS920+ came with DSM 6.x for the operating system.  I have used it for several things as noted in the other articles I have written, so when I had the chance to test the DSM 7.x RC release I figured why not and completed the upgrade on my device.

While everything looked normal after the upgrade including some new applications and a giant list of enhancements the one thing I did notice with my Intel NUCs in my home lab is that they showed the LUN devices but were not automatically mapping them.  This is where the troubleshooting started out.

I tried many things like:

  • Removing the iSCSI target in the Software iSCSI adapter, rescanning and then adding it back – this did not solve the problem
  • I checked the configuration on my Synology device and everything looked good as the hosts were connected via their IQNs

So what to do now?  Well, next step was opening a ticket with Synology to determine what the issue might be and if possibly related to VMware 7.0.  I got a response to my ticket the next day indicating that there was a change in the DSM 7.x on how it handles iSCSI LUNs and connections.  Now you need to create a Generic iSCSI connector and then use a new tab called “HOSTS” to manage the IQNs for the hosts and what LUNs they can access in the new – “SAN Manager” application.

So I proceeded to create a new iSCSI using the Create button –

Once you click Create the wizard opens asking for things like Name, IQN, LUNs and then you complete the wizard.  It was explained to me by Support to leave the generic IQN that Synology puts there and NOT to change it because you can cause conflicts with your VMware hosts.

This is where things got very interesting for me once I upgraded to the DSM 7.x RC release of the Operating System.  While troubleshooting my hosts not mapping the LUNs, I decided to delete the iSCSI target that I created.  When you do this you are then prompted with another dialog to confirm that it will “Delete” the LUNs.  At this point, I don’t recall seeing this prompt but might have been a little too click-happy and just clicked through it (unfortunate for me and no fault on Synology’s part).

Once this happens you enter your Administrator password and boom the iSCSI target is gone, but unlucky for me so were my LUNs.  So another Support case was opened and in the end, recovery was determined to be a best effort at which point I decided to create new LUNs and rebuild my environment again from scratch. 😦

After rebuilding my environment including my hosts again when I created a new iSCSI target on DSM 7.x (GA at this point) there was something that I noticed with the default setting and that is you can only Disable it and the Delete button is grayed out.  This is a nice touch to prevent accidental deletion of LUNs.

This was a big lesson learned but one that I felt should be told to help others that may have upgraded to DSM 7.x from 6.x to inform them of the new SAN Manager as well as the new method of using iSCSI to connect to hosts for VMware.  As well as what not to do like in my case by deleting the iSCSI target.

If you are able to recreate your LUNs and iSCSI target then use the Host tab to manage your ESXi connections that is the best thing.

Until my next article – stay safe out there.

Veeam – Hitachi Storage Plugin Installation How-To


Recently on July 21st, there was a new storage plugin release by @Veeam for the Hitachi storage arrays.  It can be found here – Veeam – Hitachi Plugin.  This plugin allows you to connect Veeam to your Hitachi storage arrays to leverage the SAN-based snapshots for your backups.  Hitachi has also released documentation which can be found here – Hitachi – Veeam Plugin.

Hitachi Plug-In for Veeam Backup & Replication supports integration with the following storage systems:

  • VSP E590, E790, E990 (93-03-01-60/00 or later),
  • VSP F350, F370, F700, F900 (88-07-01-x0/00 or later),
  • VSP G350, G370, G700, G900 (88-07-01-x0/00 or later),
  • VSP 5000 series (90-05-01-00/00 or later)

Today I am going to walk through the installation and configuration of the plugin within the Veeam software.  This will show how easy the plugin is to install and configure within the Veeam environment.  One thing to note is that you need to take a look at the Hitachi documentation so that you can configure the access for the Veeam Proxies to be able to leverage the backup from snapshot technology otherwise any jobs will fail if the failover mode is not selected.

First, you need to download the Hitachi plugin from the link above and extract the zip file.  You will then see the executable file that you need to run – “HitachiPlugin_1.0.66.exe”.  Double-click on this file to start the plugin installation wizard showing the initial screen –

Click Next, accept the agreement, click Next again then Install.  This will then install the plugin to be accessed via the Veeam console so click Finish once completed. (***NOTE: This will stop and restart the Veeam backup service so ensure to have a maintenance window***)

Open your Veeam console and go to the “Storage infrastructure” tab to click on the Add Storage toolbar button or link on the right side of the screen –

Once you click the Add Storage option you are presented with which vendor you want to add.  Hitachi does not appear on the first screen and you need to click the Show More Vendors option to get to the second screen to see Hitachi listed.

After you click the HITACHI vendor option the wizard opens up and depending on if you are using Veeam v10 or v11 the wizard may look slightly different as seen below.  Also, another thing to note is when you type in the “DNS name or IP Address” it must be that of one of the controllers on your Hitachi array.  You cannot use the SVP IP address for access.

The new Storage Role information can be found at this link in regards to their function – Veeam – Storage Role.  Once you select either or of these “Roles” other options will appear in the wizard to select some options for either VMware or Microsoft Windows –

After you select your options and finish the wizard it will do a storage infrastructure scan to find the volumes within the Hitachi array.  Once complete you see something like this in the tree –

This now completes adding your array to Veeam for snapshot backups.  If you have followed the Hitachi documentation to ensure proper access you can now configure your Proxies as well as your jobs to back up from Storage Snapshots.  Be sure to enable the fallback method to NBD just in case something is not configured correctly so that your jobs do no fail.  You can then review the documentation and configurations to correct settings then test again.

Be sure to read the documentation noted at the beginning of this blog article to ensure you get everything set up the correct way.  Enjoy backing up from storage snapshots with @Hitachi!

Synology DS920+ Network Attached Storage – Active Backup for Business

One of the great features built into the Synology DS920+ is an application called “Active Backup for Business”.  This is an application that you can download from the Package Center on the NAS device.  Once installed you are able to add a shortcut to the menu bar that I noted in my previous article – Synology DS920+ – Web Console.

Active Backup allows for you to back up things like –

  • PC or Laptop – you are able to download an Agent to install and direct to the Synology device
  • Physical Server – Windows or Linux and there is an Agent install
  • File Server – allows for SMB or rsync backups
  • Virtual Machine – you can add VMware or Hyper-V hypervisors to access VMs

***NOTE: The backup Agent must be installed before proceeding with the tasks below and can be downloaded from this screen below.  In this case under the PC tab, there is an ADD DEVICE button and when that comes up it allows the download of the Agent software as noted in Figure 1 below***

Figure 1: Add Device – Agent Installer download links

You navigate through each of the tabs in Figure 2 below to display the settings for each type of backup noted.  When you get to the “Virtual Machine” tab this is where you can add your hypervisor for either or VMware and/or Hyper-V.   You specify the server, port and credentials to connect.  Once that is done you set up “Tasks” which are backup jobs.  For my laptop, I have a weekly job configured as you can see In the screen in Figure 2 which runs weekly on Friday.  You can set up tasks for Daily, Weekly and Monthly to back up your servers or virtual machines.

Figure 2: Active Backup for Business window

When  you click on the tab of the particular system you want to back up, in my case, I am selecting the PC tab for my laptop it is here that you create the Task (backup):

Figure 3: PC tab for laptop – Create Task button

Once you click the “Create Task” button it launches a wizard that you step through to create your backup job as seen below in the follow screenshots:

Figure 4: Task name, Source type and transfer settings

Note in Figure 4 above that if you select “Entire Device” the option for backing up externally attached USB drives is turned on by default.  You just may want to disable that depending on the size or quantity of the drives attached to your system.

Figure 5: Backup Destination – default is the ActiveBackupforBusiness share

Figure 6: Backup Destination settings – configured when setting up initially

Figure 7: Scheduled backup – Daily, Weekend, Weekdays with checkboxes

Figure 8: Repeat type – Daily/Weekly or Hourly

Figure 9: Retention Policy – Keep all or GFS set up for daily, weekly, monthly, yearly

Figure 10: Task Summary – validate settings and then apply to create

Now the task you have created going through the wizard will run as scheduled to your Synology NAS.

As you can see Backup for Business could be a way for SMBs to leverage backup software that is included in the Synology devices and the licenses are FREE!  You cannot beat that.

Stay tuned to my next article as I will cover a component that pairs with the Backup for Business called – “Hyper Backup”.  This allows you to send the backups from your NAS to a Cloud Service Provider including a new offering from Synology called “Synology C2”. Here is a sneak peak at the screen within the console of which I have signed up for a trial of the Synology C2 offering:

I will discuss this as well as other providers that you can register in the Synology NAS for sending your backups offsite.  If you want more information on Backup for Business or Synology C2 please visit the following websites:

Active Backup for Business

Synology C2 – Cloud Storage

VeeamON 2021 – ONLINE Conference


2020 saw unprecedented changes in our world with the COVID19 virus and the many changes that it has made all around the world. Technology and technology conferences are not immune to this virus or the changes that it has brought. Vendors are realizing the severity of what is going on around us and have taken steps to do what’s best for everyone’s health. Many have had to modify their usual physical in-person conference format to the online variety. And Veeam is no exception again in 2021 with VeeamON.

Veeam has transitioned its conference to be held online for 2021 on May 25-27. So why should you attend a Veeam conference?

  1. It’s FREE for everyone! This has to be the best part as it won’t hurt your wallet or bank account.  You can watch in the comfort of your home office while social distancing.
  2. CONTENT – This is really the most fantastic part of VeeamON. Veeam’s sessions are really technical in nature.  Even though I achieved my Certified Veeam Architect (VMCA), there’s still always something I don’t know about Veeam Backup and VeeamONE features and enhancements. The presenters fill in those gaps.  This year will be all about v11 with possible sneak peeks into v12, as well as Kubernetes which is taking off including backups with @Kasten.
  3. INTERACTION & COLLABORATION – Similar to the in-person event, you can interact and collaborate with Veeam technology experts. Take advantage of the opportunity to enter chat-rooms and take part in the hands-on-labs Veeam will offer to diver deeper into their product line
  4. VEEAM LEADERSHIP ACCESSIBILITY – You can gain access…direct access to those who make the technical decisions on the future of Veeam’s products – what enhancements will be made; what features implemented. You can submit for an opportunity to meet with Veeam leaders to provide input and feedback on your experience with Veeam products.


While everyone enjoys the in-person events being able to meet fellow Veeam users and Vanguards, 2021 will still be great.  So be sure to sign up and make the first online event a great success for Veeam.

For more information, and to register, visit Veeam’s VeeamON 2021 information and registration link VeeamON 2021.  If you register before April 22nd you have the chance to get a FREE Veeam SWAG box!

I have registered and hope to see you there!


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Synology DS920+ Network Attached Storage – Web Console

Synology DS920+ — Web Console

I have completed the initial setup of my DS920+ and now want to take you through the Web Interface where the management of the NAS takes place.  You connect to the device using either the DNS name or IP address as follows – http://<IP or DNS Name>:5000/

Once you get to the login page and type in the Administrator username & password you are then presented with the main console screen which has a widget showing in the bottom right and buttons on the left side of the screen:

The widget is the “Health Widget” and shows the status of your DS920+.  It will show if it is healthy or not, the Server name, network IP, uptime and the bottom half shows CPU, RAM and network traffic.  The button in the top right corner of the screen can toggle the Health widget on or off as noted in the screenshot.

The button on the top left side of the screen is the customization button for the buttons on the left-hand side of the window, which when clicked brings up the respective Widget on the main window.  These can then be arranged as needed to allow for a customized view.

The following shows some of the widgets toggled on with the buttons on the left and arranged on the screen for viewing components you want to monitor or watch.

This has covered off the web console for the Synology DS920+ and then the next post will look at setting up things like:

  • Networking – single or bonded network cards including IP settings
  • Storage – created a RAID setup including NVME for caching
  • iSCSI – setup of volumes for use in VMware to connect to hosts
  • File Services – SMB/NFS, FTP, and rsync

Look for the next blog in a few days and check back frequently.  Also, feel free to subscribe to the site and receive newsletters as blogs are posted including a weekly recap.

Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication 10 — Published

“Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication 10” is now in publication (since February 2021) and is ready to order either the book or e-book/kindle.

While I had not thought about writing a book, when I was approached by Packt Publishing about doing on for Veeam v10 I decided to take the plunge.  The process from beginning to end was lengthy from coming up with Sections, Chapters, scheduling, etc., the team at Packt worked with me and my busy schedule to create something I think that everyone is going to enjoy reading.  Whether you are a newbie with Veeam or a seasoned expert you can learn something I think from this book.

Gain proficiency in monitoring infrastructure along with focusing on cloud backup and recovery

Key Features

  • Explore the 3-2-1 rule of backups in Veeam to keep your data safe
  • Gain in-depth knowledge of NAS backups and Scale-Out Repositories to use in your virtual environment
  • Discover Veeam’s monitoring and reporting utility – Veeam ONE – along with Linux and Window’s proxy

Book Description

Veeam is one of the leading modern data protection solutions, and mastering this technology can help you to protect your virtual environments effectively. This book guides you through implementing modern data protection solutions for your cloud and virtual infrastructure with Veeam. You will even gain in-depth knowledge of advanced concepts such as DataLabs, cloud backup and recovery, Instant VM Recovery, and Veeam ONE.

This book starts by taking you through Veeam essentials, including installation, best practices, and optimizations for Veeam Backup & Replication. You’ll get to grips with the 3-2-1 rule to safeguard data along with understanding how to set up a backup server, proxies, repositories, and more. Later chapters go on to cover a powerful feature of Veeam 10 – NAS backup. As you progress, you’ll learn about scale-out Repositories and best practices for creating them. In the concluding chapters, you’ll explore the new proxy option available in both Linux and Windows. Finally, you’ll discover advanced topics such as DataLabs, cloud backup and recovery, Instant VM Recovery, and Veeam ONE.

By the end of this book, you will be equipped with the skills you need to implement Veeam Backup & Replication for your environment and disaster recovery.

What you will learn

  • Discover the advanced concepts of Veeam Backup & Replication 10
  • Master application optimizations based on Veeam best practices
  • Understand how to configure NAS backups and work with repositories and proxies
  • Explore different ways to protect your backups, including object immutability and cloud backup and recovery
  • Discover how DataLabs works
  • Understand how Instant VM Recovery allows you to restore virtual machines
  • Become well versed in Veeam ONE for monitoring and reporting on your environment

Who this book is for

This Veeam backup book is for IT professionals who have intermediate to advanced-level knowledge of virtualization as well as backups and backup applications. Anyone who needs a reference guide for learning the advanced features of Veeam Backup & Replication and how they are used, including best practices and optimizations, will also find this book useful.

Table of Contents

  1. Installation – Best Practices and Optimizations
  2. The 3-2-1 Rule – Keeping Data Safe
  3. NAS Backup
  4. Scale-Out Repositories and Object Storage – New Copy Policy
  5. Windows and Linux – Proxies and Repositories
  6. Object Storage – Immutability
  7. Veeam DataLabs
  8. Cloud Backup and Recovery Using Veeam Cloud Connect Provider and Insider Protection Feature
  9. Instant VM Recovery
  10. Veeam ONE

While the chapters of the book do not go too much in-depth for each topic they touch on all the basics as well as some more advanced features as well.  I believe it will be a great reference guide as well once you have completed it to quickly refer back to when doing a new deployment or possibly trying to remember something about a Proxy server.  It might just be useful for the VMCE exam as well as an additional study resource.

So I hope I have piqued your interest and if so you can order the book below.

Order the book/e-book here – Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication 10

Veeam Vanguard 2021 – Year Four

I was a part of the Veeam Vanguard program for the past three years in 2018-2020 with the hopes of another renewal for the 2021 year. Applications opened up for the 2021 year, and this time, it was all based on your application, whereas in previous years, you could have others nominate you. I had been very active and remain active with the Veeam space promoting the product, blogging, Twitter, E-Newspaper, and even decided to write a book for Packt Publishing – Mastering Veeam Backup & Replication v10

So I filled out the application with examples of all my activities throughout the year in the hopes I would be accepted. After applying to wait is the hard part for that email indicating you are in or out.

So based on my post as you can imagine, I was accepted for a fourth year into one of the best evangelist programs out there – Veeam Vanguard. Many thanks to @RickVanover @NikolaPejkova and the amazing people at @Veeam @Veeamvanguard

To be part of such a great group is an amazing feeling. This program is one of the best out there for promoting the Veeam products and giving insight to the Veeam Team.

You can read about it here –

My blog will have more content this year including a new endeavour of evaluating a @Synology DS920+ NAS. I look forward to bringing more articles to everyone.