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Build: MSP service administration

In this chapter we will deploy the MSP service administration solutions (VCC/VSPC). Both VCC and VSPC are installed at the service provider side. Also each application component gets its own dedicated server. This allows us to more easily balance the load, add more resources to components and makes the entire solution more scalable.

Building the service comprises of the following steps:

  • VCC deployment
  • VSPC deployment
    • Database installation
    • VSPC Server installation
    • VSPC Web UI installation
  • Post-installation
    • Log files
    • Registry keys

VCC deployment

A complete Veeam Cloud Connect deployment guide is available at vccbook.io therefore this design guide continues directly with VSPC below.

VSPC deployment

Database installation

Prerequisites:

  • Windows Server machine
  • Microsoft SQL Server installation media
  • Dedicated service account

The prerequisite for any VSPC installation is to have a supported Microsoft SQL Server, where the installer can create and configure the database. Even though Microsoft SQL Express edition is supported, the recommendation is to limit its scope to Evaluation installations only. For any Production installation, plan for the use of a full-blown Microsoft SQL Server edition such as Standard.

  1. Prepare a Windows server machine and install a compatible SQL Server edition that will be our dedicated SQL Server machine.

    Note: The installation and configuration of Microsoft SQL Server itself is outside of the scope of this guide.*

  2. Create a dedicated service account in Active Directory:
    Important: It is important to also configure this account on the SQL Server to be the owner of the VSPC database.

    VSPC Service account in Active Directory

NOTE: If you already have an existing SQL server or cluster you can opt to pre-create the VSPC database. Use the SQL creation script, available on the installation media under \ApplicationServer\Configuration Database\Scripts\VAC_DB_Creation.sql. This may be useful if your DBA prefers to control the database creation process.

Do not forget to set a new maintenance plan on the SQL Server to create backups of the VSPC database.
Backup and recovery of the VSPC database are decribed in chapter Database protection chapter.

VSPC Server installation

Prerequisites:

  • Windows Server machine
  • VSPC installation media
  • VSPC license (= VCC license)
  • Dedicated service account
  1. Prepare a Windows server machine for the VSPC Server service.
    In comparison to the Single-Server installation, we will install each component on a different machine.
    Click on the Veeam Management Portal Web UI icon and select This feature will not be available. Click Next to continue.

    Install VSPC Service

  2. Insert the License Key. The license file for VSPC is the same one as for VCC.
    Click Next to continue.

    Install VSPC Service

  3. Specify the service account:

    Define VSPC Service Account

  4. It’s best practice to use trusted certificates instead of self-signed certificates.
    This can also be changed later via the web UI. Click Next to continue.

    Select the certificate

  5. Select Production under Managed infrastructure size so that we can specify the SQL Server Instance in the next step.
    Click Next to continue.

    Choose Infrastructure size

  6. Connect to SQL Server that was previously installed and configured.
    Select Windows authentication to use the previously defined service account:
    Click Next to continue.

    Point to existing SQL

  7. Click Install to start the installation.

VSPC Web UI installation

Prerequisites:

  • Windows Server machine
  • VSPC installation media
  1. Prepare a Windows server machine for the VSPC Web UI service.
    Click on the Veeam Management Portal Server icon and select This feature will not be available.
    Click Next to continue.

    Install VSPC Web UI

  2. System Configuration Check. Click Install to enable missing features automatically.
    Click Next to continue.

  3. It’s best practice to use trusted certificates instead of self-signed certificates.
    However, this can also be changed later via the web UI. Click Next to continue.

    Select the certificate

  4. Port configuration. Any of these ports can be changed, however make sure that you document this properly as Veeam documentation will always show the original ports. The best practice is to leave the port numbers instact.
    To enforce TLS 1.2 encryption protocol for communication between the VSPC components, make sure that High security mode is checked.
    Click Next to continue.

    Select the certificate

  5. Specify the VSPC Server’s IP address or DNS name and the service account used to connect.
    Click Next to continue.

    Point Web UI to VAC Service

  6. Click Install to start the installation.

VSPC installation complete

Once the installation has completed, we can verify the service via the browser using the https://vspc-webui:1280.

Connect to the Web UI

Post-installation

Now that everything has been deployed, we are ready for operation and the service can be consumed. As a final step, change the log files location and apply the scalability tweaks. Keep in mind that in most cases you have to restart the related service before the change comes into effect.

Logs

If you have chosen to put logs on dedicated drives or volumes, then it is now time to change them. For more info on default log locations and how to change them, check our chapter on Log files.

Registry keys

In general sticking with defaults is a good thing. However to increase scalability and reliability of the Cloud Connect platform the following registry keys are highly recommended to implement.

IMPORTANT. Before implementing any of the VCC scalability tweaks, please check with your Veeam technical contact.
All tweaks can also be found on the Veeam forums.

The titles below refer also to the server where the registry key(s) should be applied.

VCC Server

CloudConnectionProcessingThreads  
Description: Defines number of threads assigned to CC service to process incoming connections.
Type: REG_DWORD
Registry key: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Backup and Replication\
Default value: 1.
Recommended value: 30 (works stable with up to 1000 concurrent tasks)
CloudConnectQuotaAllocationMode  
Description: This key changes the quota allocation mechanism in Veeam Cloud Connect. This key also affects the VCD backup jobs created from a VCD self-service portal. By default, the VCC service allocates a quota every 10 seconds, increasing it to 512 MB CloudConnectQuantSizeMb registry key). It becomes a bottleneck if data is transferred faster. The key allows VeeamAgent to request the quota necessary for work.
Type: REG_DWORD
Registry key: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Backup and Replication\
Possible values: 0, 1, 2
  0 - Default. VCC service increases the quota to 512 MB every 10 seconds
  1 - VeeamAgent.exe process asks for the required quota itself
  2 - Hybrid mode. VeeamAgent.exe prcess asks for the required quota size of set in registry key CloudConnectQuantSizeMb
Recommended value: 2
TcpTimedWaitDelay  
Description: Defines the time that must elapse before TCP can release a closed connection and reuse its resources. Basically frees up dynamic TCP ports faster. For more information refer to the Microsoft article.
Type: REG_DWORD
Registry key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Tcpip\Parameters\
Default value: 240
Recommended value: 30

VCC Cloud Gateway

MaxSimultaneousCloudConnections  
Description: Defines total number of allowed simultaneous connections to cloud gateway. Connections exceeding the threshold get dropped automatically.
Type: REG_DWORD
Registry key: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Veeam\Veeam Gate Service\
Default value: 256
Recommended value: 20000 (for 1000 concurrent tasks)

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