My experience with Veeam and the Veeam VMCE 8 Exam

About two to three years ago a well respected colleague introduced to me the VEEAM product. I was still setting up my LAB and was in the same time in search of a fast, small and usable backup product. He convinced me of at least trying it. Back then, I believe it was version 7, it was indeed fast and very usable in my LAB.

It was setup very easily, and it worked….just what I needed. Still, only making backups back then and never even tried to restore a VM or a portion of it. For a while I forgot about it and never looked at it, until the moment arrived (of course) that an important VM of my lab stopped working. Yeah, I needed to restore it, but how…I had a backup so, I restored it, and it worked. Of course as it should be, but I can remember the easy, fast and reliable way how it got accomplished. So my love for the product was there….

Ever since it has been an essential part of my lab, and not even for the daily backups, but I also started to leverage the huge amount of possibilities for testing the VM’s (SureBackup) and testing new updates and versions before bringing them into production (Sandboxing/Virtual Lab).

A couple of months ago I attended the 3-day VEEAM course to learn even more about the product and to get even more educated on the high level and advanced opportunities the product is offering. VEEAM Backup and Replication v8 in a nuttshell delivers backup, recovery and replication for VMware and Hyper-V. This #1 VM backup solution helps organizations meet RPO’s and RTO’s, save time, eliminate risks and dramatically reduce capital and operational costs. The VEEAM suite combines Backup and Replication with advanced monitoring and reporting capabilities to help organizations of all sizes protect virtualization, increase administrator productivity and mitigate daily management risks.

Keeping your business, and of course your own LAB, up and running at all times is for some of us critical. Even business today require 24/7 non-stop access to data, the exploding data growth needs to be efficiently managed, and now there is even no or little tolerance for downtime and data loss. With VEEAM’s Availability Suite, VEEAM has created a new solution category and thus a new market: Availability for the Modern Data Center they call it, to enable the Always-On Business. After the 3-day VEEAM course I immediately tried as many functions as possible, testing, looking at it, measuring performance, tried restores, setting up
the virtual-lab, all nice thing you can do with the product, and its worth it:

– High-Speed Recovery: Rapid recovery of what you want, the way you want it.
– Data Loss Avoidance: Near-continuous data protection and streamlined disaster recovery.
– Verified Protection: Guaranteed recovery of every file, application or virtual server, every time.
– Leveraged Data: Low-risk deployment with a production-like environment.
– Complete Visibility: Pro active monitoring and alerting of issues before operational impact.

Then, of course it was time to certify…veeam certified engineer logo

The actual exam consists of 50 randomized questions from each of the course modules. In my opinion if you are new to the product, the official classroom textbook, hand-out and labs are a must have. Unless you are really familiair with the subject matter you can sit the exam. But, to be officially certified you must sit the 3-day classroom or you must be a North America citizen, then completing some VODL video’s could be enough.

The balance across modules is not necessary equally balanced (you may have more on deployment than on product overview for example), so be sure that you know the product really well and all of its features. Most of the questions are multiple choice and some are just True or False. I had a few questions that would need to describe what is going on in the picture shown. I had also some difficult questions that look a bit troubleshoot like.

If you sit at the exam, read the question well, most likely read it 2 or 3 times to be sure what they ask. Time is not a constraint (I’ve finished the exam in less than 45 minutes). Questions are quite short and simple sentenced. If you are not sure right away you can flag the question for review later, and you can go backwards and forward in the exam. After you are sure to end the exam the result is shown immediately and you can start a short survey about the exam. You can check back at Pearson VUE if it all went well.

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There are some nice practice exams around on the web, which are in my opinion more difficult than the actual exam. Rasmus Haslund has a very nice practice exam online at: https://www.perfectcloud.org/practice-exams/practice-exam-veeam-certified-engineer-v8/

Currently VEEAM Availability Suite V9 is in the making and will hit the market hopefully very soon. So most likely I will keep you informed…

Arie-Jan Bodde

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