Part 5 – Veeam and AWS Tape Gateway Integration – Creating Backup Jobs

On the 5th and final part of this series, we’ll look at creating backup jobs and accessing archived tapes.  Links for parts 1-4 are shown below:

Creating Tape Media Pools

Tape media pools are simply containers used by Veeam to organize and administer tapes.  In order to be used for backup storage, a tape must be added to a media pool.  Veeam supports 3 types or media pools:

  • Service Media Pools – these are predefined system pools such as the Free and Unrecognized pools. You cannot modify or delete service media pools
  • Simple Media Pools – these pools can serve as destinations for backup to tape and file to tape backup jobs.
  • GFS Media Pools – these pools are targets for GFS (Grandfather, Father, Son) tape jobs. GFS media pools are used to storing weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly tape backups.  A tape job targeted to a GFS media pool can only produce full backups, thus GFS media pools cannot be used for file to tape or any incremental jobs.
  1. To create a Simple media pool, open the Veeam admin console and then click Tape Infrastructure | Add Media Pool.
  2. On the Name screen, enter a media pool name and description then click Next to continue.
  1. On the Tapes screen, select the appropriate tape library and then click Add.

  1. On the Select Tapes screen, select the tapes you wish to add to the media pool and click OK.  When returned to the Tapes screen, click Next to continue.

  1. On the Media Set screen, specify the desired naming pattern for the Media set. Under the Automatically create new media set heading, select your preferred option and click Next.  If you select “Do not create, always continue using current media set”, Veeam will create a new media set if a backup is started on a new tape.
  1. On the Retention screen, select the desired Data retention policy (overwrite data, never overwrite data, etc.). Under the Offline media tracking heading, select your AWS media vault if you desire to move data to AWS Glacier storage.  Click Next to continue.

  1. On the Options screen, enable parallel processing for the media pool to support greater job concurrency and encryption since the data will be stored in the cloud. Click Next to continue.

  1. On the Summary screen, click Finish to create the Simple Media Pool.

Creating a Tape Backup Job

  1. Within the Veeam Management Console, click Backup & Replication | Tape Job | Backups
  1. On the Name screen, enter a backup job name and description then click Next to continue.
  1. On the Backup Files screen, click Add | Backup Jobs
  1. On the Select Jobs screen, select the backup job that you wish written to tape and click OK. In this example, I’m selecting the Veeam NWNLab_VMs backup job which backs up VMs hosted on the vSphere infrastructure.
  2. On the Full Backup screen, select the Media pool to use for full backups and click Next. In this example, I select the simple media pool created in steps #1-8.  If I selected a GFS media pool, the Incremental Backup option would disappear since GFS pools can only do full backups.

  1. On the Incremental Backup screen, select Archive incremental backups to tape and then select the media pool to use for incremental backups. Click Next to continue.
  1. On the Options screen, specify the desired Media automation settings and click Next. The Veeam AWS/VTL deployment guide recommends ejecting the tape and exporting the current media set upon job completion.  Notice that the export media set option has a Days tab to the right…by default all days are selected.  Because we have created a media vault, if we leave the default settings, every completed backup job will be migrated to Glacier storage.  This may or may not be a desired configuration.  As an example, to move only those backups taken on a Saturday to Glacier storage, click Days and then uncheck each day except for Saturday as shown below.

  1. On the Schedule screen, select when to run the backup job and click Apply. In this example, I scheduled my tape backup job to run after my VM backup job.

  1. On the Summary screen, click Finish to create the new tape backup job.

Verify tapes are archived to and retrievable from AWS

  1. You can determine pretty easily if tapes have been moved to your media vault. Within the Veeam Management Console, click Tape Infrastructure, expand Media Pools, and then select a given media pool.  If tapes have been migrated to the Media Vault, their icon will display a lock and their LOCATION should match the name of the Media Vault.

  1. To check the AWS side, login to the AWS Management Console and click Storage | Storage Gateway | Tapes 
  1. If the tapes have been migrated to Glacier, their Status should read as Archived.

  1. To retrieve a tape, select the desired tape and then click Actions | Retrieve tape. Unfortunately, you cannot select multiple tapes to retrieve them at the same time.  Multiple tapes can be retrieved, but you have to select and retrieve them individually.

  1. On the Retrieve tape window, select the Gateway in which to place the tape and click Retrieve Tape.

  1. You’ll see a message indicating that the tape is in the process of being retrieved and that it could take 3-5 hours to do so. The Status of the tape also changes to Retrieving.

  1. When the retrieval process completes, that Status of the tape will display Retrieved.


  1. Return to the Veeam Management Console and on the Tape Infrastructure screen, right-click the AWS Gateway VTL and select Import Tapes.

  1. Assuming the import process completes successfully, click Close. The tape should now be mounted into the tape drive and ready for restore operations.

Well, that completes this series and I hope it’s been at least somewhat helpful to you.  The next time you see something from me I’ll be in Las Vegas, NV for AWS re:Invent!  I’ve been to Citrix, Veeam, and VMware conferences but never to re:Invent and I’m very much looking forward to it.  My plan (as it is for most conferences) is to blog while I’m there both my session notes and other experiences/pictures.  To date, my follow through on that plan has been very poor but I’m determined to fill virtualbonzo up while with all kinds of AWS stuff next week.



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