Keep a fixed backup file name in Veeam Backup & Replication

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Starting from version 5, Veeam has introduced a new naming convention for its backup files, appending a timestamp to every new created file:

Timestamped Backup Files

This nomenclature is convenient to identify immediately the date and time of a specific backup, but with Reverse Incremental bakup jobs this new system creates many problems in case the backup files are to be replicated to a second storage: since every day that the VBK file is renamed, many replication softwares identify this file as if it was brand new, and then replicates it entirely instead of copying only the changed blocks. Given the large size a VBK can reach, this renaming produces very long and expensive replication activity.

Typically, a solution is to use the Forward Incremental mode, since VBK file is created on a certain day and never changed until canceled once it reaches the desired retention period. On the other hand, however, Reverse Incremental are useful due to its lower occupancy of disk space, and faster recovery times during activities such as Instant VM Recovery.

It’s possible to change the behavior of Veeam Backup & Replication to make sure the backup file maintains a fixed name and does not contain the timestamp, practically the same behavior that it had up to version 4. Let’s see how.

1. open the registry and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREVeeaMVeeam Backup and Replication
2. create a new DWORD key = DisableVBKRename
3. set its value to 1
4. Restart Veeam Backup Server

This change alone, however, will affect only new jobs that will be created after the change.

To apply the change to an existing job, you have to proceed in this way.

In the Backups section, you must use the command “Remove from backups” to remove any reference to historical data from the database. It also works with “Delete from Disk”, but in the first way the old backup files are kept on disk, ensuring retention is satisfied until the new files are numerically equal to the retention itself. You can then remove the old files manually.

To create the new backup file, you can simply wait for the next scheduled execution, or start the job manually using the command “Start Job”. If the version you have is at least, you can also use the “Perform Full Backup”. I think today almost all users are using VBR at least version 6, in any case, you can check the compatibility with this change in KB1076.

Once first backups are completed, you can check the new file names:

Veeam Backup with fixed names

VBK file has the same name of its job, and only VRB file is “marked” with the timestamp.