With Veeam Backup and Replication 10, there will be a new feature that will greatly enhance the overall Veeam backup architecture without any additional cost. The feature’s name is Linux Proxy, and it will, basically, have the same function as Windows Proxy, which, until now, was the only way of using it.

You still won’t be able to install Veeam on Linux, even though many users would like to, but Linux Proxy will add significant flexibility to Veeam’s backup product.

There are some advantages compared to Window proxy:

  1. Linux has smaller disk footprint – usually the Linux distribution is smaller in size when installed on disks so you consume less disk space. If you have many Linux proxies, you might feel the difference.
  2. Linux does not need a license – yes, true, no additional cost for a license; so, again, many Linux proxies can save some money.
  3. Linux proxy can also act as a gateway server – the backup infrastructure usually has a gateway server when used with Shared folder backup repositories or with deduplication appliances. Veeam Backup creates a connection between the source Veeam Data Mover and target Veeam Data Mover, and transports data from/to backup repositories via gateway servers.

What is Veeam Proxy actually useful for?

Veeam proxy is a Veeam software component which is deployed and installed on Windows or Linux systems. This proxy component is located between the data source and the target, and it allows to offload some of the tasks, which are otherwise processed on the Veeam backup server.

Tasks such as:

  • Compression
  • Deduplication
  • Encryption
  • Retrieving VM data from production storage
  • Sending VM data to backup repository

First, backup proxy is installed on the backup server itself, which is sufficient only for very small installations. If you have a medium or large environment, you’ll need more backup proxies.

With large architectures, the more proxies you have, the faster your backups will be able to be processed as backup proxies take care of the data traffic between the hypervisor (VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V) and the storage repository.

The proxy is also used during replication tasks, copy or migration tasks, or during restores; so if you’re using the replication feature of Veeam’s product to replicate your production VMs to remote site (or to the next building), you can benefit of the performance boost of Veeam proxy.

You can deploy a backup proxy to a Virtual machine (VM) or to a physical server. The installation is done remotely over the network via Veeam backup console.

So, in essence, the main goal of Veeam backup proxy is to facilitate the tasks of the main Veeam backup server which would, otherwise, become too busy to handle the load. Backup proxy optimizes data paths for backup traffic and makes the data transfers as efficient as possible.

Veeam Linux Proxy

The Red Hat, Ubuntu and Debian will most likely be the first Linux distributions to be supported. There might be other distros added later on. According to the latest testing, the top performer would be Ubuntu 19, Debian 10, followed by OpenSUSE 15.1 and Cent OS 8 (which is the least performant candidate).

Compared to Windows proxy, Linux proxy performs approximately at the same speed and performance level without having superior performance over Windows. However, with the evolution of Veeam’s products, we might see some further enhancements down the road since this will be v1 release only.

Once Veeam 10 is released, you’ll check the requirements for Linux proxy, but one of them is to secure the system by leaving open only the required ports, before deployment.

As for Operating System (OS) sizing, a VM with 2vCPU should be fine, together with 4Gigs of vRAM; but, again, check the requirements when the product will be released.

In order to add a new Linux proxy to your backup environment, you’ll have to go to Backup proxies > Right click > Add VMware backup proxy (if you’re willing to add VMware VM).

Add VMware backup proxy

Add VMware backup proxy

And then select Linux as an OS.

Add Linux Proxy

Add Linux Proxy

Veeam will not provide a “ready-to-go” pre-packaged Linux appliances as many admins hope. No. The vanilla Ubuntu Linux server will have to be deployed and configured first, and only then you will be able to remotely “push” the installation over the network.

Linux proxy will be able to operate in network mode only while Windows proxy can also operate via direct storage access or virtual appliance mode.

Direct storage mode is when the proxy has a direct access to the storage on which the VMs are located or the storage where VM data is written. Like this, the backup proxy will retrieve the data directly from the datastore, bypassing your LAN and possible limitations of the throughput of your LAN.

Linux proxy also has support for application-aware processing so any DB or enterprise applications will be processed with the same criteria as on Windows.

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Final words

Veeam continues the product improvement and, over the last decade, it has become the best backup and DR product for virtual (and now also physical environments) because support of physical Windows and Linux systems has been added.

The flexible Universal Licensing is now based on “per-instance” mode where you can have your workloads on-premises, in the cloud, virtual or physical.

Veeam Backup and Replication 10 will be available in Q1 2020 after a period of test in service provider’s environment.

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Vladan Seget
IT and Virtualization consultant, owner of vladan.fr - ESX Virtualization - one of the top independent virtualization blogs. VCAP5-DCA/DCD, VCP4/5