Use Veeam Backup & Replication Free Edition to collect Veeam Agents backups

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Veeam Agents, both for Windows and for Linux, have the possibility to send backups to a Veeam Backup & Replication server. This is a great feature, but sometimes customers don’t even have anymore any virtualized workload to protect, so they find a hard time to justify the deployment of Veeam Backup & Replication to only protect physical workloads. There’s a solution to this however, and it doesn’t cost anything to users.

The “hidden” Veeam Backup & Replication edition

Veeam Backup & Replication exists in only one version, actually 9.5 Update 1, and the differences between the four different editions are based on licensed features. One version is completely free (Veeam Backup & Replication Free Edition) and the other three (Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus) differ from each other by the features that are enabled in each edition.

The Veeam Agents for Windows and for Linux can consume a Veeam Repository, created into Veeam Backup & Replication, as a target of their backup jobs. This is a good option for customers that have both a virtualized environment for their servers, and they also need to protect the multiple user computers , or the physical servers that they still have around. But there may be other scenarios where VBR cannot be easily justified. For example, a customer may have migrated any server workload to a service provider or a public cloud, and what’s left in their offices are only laptops. In such a scenario, it’s not easy to justify the need to acquire another license for VBR, only to be able to create a repository and receive the backups of the multiple agents.

However, there’s a “hidden” fifth edition of Veeam Backup & Replication that can help here, and it’s also completely free.

I used to call this edition internally the “Agent Edition”, even if it’s just my joke, since this mode has no official name. What’s about this edition? Let’s find out.

If you want to send a backup of Veeam Agent for Windows to a Veeam Backup & Replication server, you have the option in the backup wizard:


But if you are using Veeam Backup & Replication Free Edition, and you proceed in the wizard, the software gives you a really precise error:


“Veeam Backup Free Edition servers are not supported as backup targets” sounds really like a final NO, but there’s a solution that doesn’t involve buying a Veeam Backup & Replication license. I like to call it the “Agent Edition” but this is just me, it’s not an official name from Veeam. If you go into the Veeam Backup & Replication installation, and look at the Licensing popup page, there is a “Backup and Replication” tab, but also a “Agent for Windows” tab. In this tab, I can install an Agent license that I received to protect my laptops and physical servers:


Then, what I’m missing is also a configured Veeam Repository to store the backups. It may seems at first sight that the “Backup Infrastructure” section of the software is missing, but in reality is only hidden. To enable this view, in the main menu look for the “View” options:


By switching to the “Full Functionality” view, the Backup Infrastructure section of the software will appear, and I’ll be able to configure a backup repository, and also the Agent permissions on top of it:


Once the software has been configured in this way, the Agent backup wizard can be completed, the backup jobs will store their backups into this Free version of Veeam Backup & Replication, and also the VBR installation will act as a licensing system for the different agents. You don’t have to install the license into any Agent, each installation will automatically consume one of the available licenses from the pool loaded into Veeam Backup & Replication:


20 thoughts on “Use Veeam Backup & Replication Free Edition to collect Veeam Agents backups

  1. Thanks for the great post! One question: What would happen after the license expires (58 days left on your screenshot)?

    • 30 days grace period, then backups will start failing.

      • So this is not a permanent free solution. Still It is good to know. Thanks!

        • The agent license itself is subscription based, so once the grace period is over the backup will fail, regardless the chosen destination. As long as you have a valid subscription for the agents, this solution is technically free.

          • Probably not at all koscher with Veeam either. Just because one might be able to bypass hard coded limitations doesn’t mean one is in compliance with the license.

            For instance, VMware Essentials Pro allows one to use features that are not in the license. It’s just not explicitly disabled. Microsoft Exchange CAL’s are not enforced, but you still need the required number for which you have users.

          • Both me and Anton work for Veeam, so sorry but we are pretty sure about what’s allowed and what it’s not in our own software.

          • We have an existing Veeam customer who wants to set up a completely isolated physical environment for a security-conscious government customer, and use a file/print/backup server with an attached autoloader. They plan to do D2D2T; all of it on that single server. Your SE says that right now, they can do so because they own VAS Enterprise for the rest of their environment.

            However, what happens if this is being set up for a customer without any B&R licensing that supports autoloaders or libraries? What kind of licensing will they need besides the agents? Please advise.

    • No, t works with the free edition. As you can read from the article, the whole idea is to use the free edition to backup Veeam agents.

      • Wow, even with the Free edition it works (with certain limitation) ?
        That’s awesome 🙂 I’ve never seen any software this generous before Veeam.

        • License managed by B&R is a Workstation license. Do I have to purchase a Workstation license when the Beta expires?

      • This does not work for more than 30 days. Just having a valid Agent license installed isn’t enough, the b&r product stops accepting backups to the repository and is stuck in free mode even though there is a valid agent server license.

        • Hi Russell,
          I checked again internally and this behaviour is not expected. Support asked to contact them internally so that they can verify what’s wrong.

  2. Is this mode enabling staging of backups in other way… I mean scenario where VA –>VBR free repository –> Cloud Connect Backup
    I know there is a workaround where You cron another task [since this scenario is not in the default GUI available 🙁 ], yet I’m curious because often clients ask to have sth locally.

    • Hi Oskar,
      this solution is exactly designed with environments with only agents, to collect their backups locally into this installed Veeam Backup & Replication server, and then use the local backups for fast restores, and as a source to send them outside to cloud connect.

        • You are confusing the two things (and that link is old by the way, we have Veeam Agent for Windows 2.0 right now): agent needs to be licensed, and with the agent license you can enable the features inside the Veeam Backup & Replication free edition.

          • Ok. I Just wanted to confirm because i wasn’t 100% sure after finding this out. My suggestion is to change that in docs to not confuse others ?

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