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Veeam Backup Catalog is a feature of Veeam Backup & Replication that stands for VM guest OS file indexing.

Veeam Backup Catalog comprises Veeam Guest Catalog services that run on a backup server and Enterprise Manager server.

Veeam Guest Catalog service on backup server works as a local catalog service. It collects index data for backup jobs on this specific backup server and stores this data locally in the Veeam Backup Catalog folder. By default, the indexing data is stored in the VBRCatalog folder on the backup server. Veeam Backup & Replication creates the folder on a volume with the maximum amount of free space, for example, C:\VBRCatalog.

This feature is not a dedicated role, but part of the Veeam Backup Server role.

That mean that all those files can fill up the Backup Server.

Use hint can be put the catalog on a dedicated disk and grow it if needed. If you need to move it, just follow or Moving the Veeam Backup Catalog to another drive.

But, on the Veeam Forum, there is an interesting suggestion on how optimize the catalog consumed space… just use the Windows NTFS file compression feature!

It can takes a lot of time depending by the number of files, but can be very effective.

For example, this is my saving on one installation:

Intestead of almost 52 GB, now it takes only 13 GB… huge saving with a mining performance impact during normal running.

Important note in Veeam Backup & Replication 12.1

But an interesting question could be “Why the catalog is growing so fast also if you are not using indexing?”

Starting with Veeam Backup & Replication 12.1 the new malware detection feature will use the Veeam Backup Catalog to store some information like the RIDX files (one for each VM).

For more information see How Inline Scan Works.