NetBackup for VMware: notes and restrictions

Article:HOWTO70878  |  Created: 2012-02-08  |  Updated: 2014-01-20  |  Article URL
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NetBackup for VMware: notes and restrictions

Note the following about NetBackup for VMware:

  • For support information regarding the backup host, guest operating systems, and VMware components and versions, see Support for NetBackup 7.x in virtual environments:

  • NetBackup for VMware does not support the Retain snapshot for Instant Recovery or SLP management option on the policy Attributes tab of the Administration Console.

    NetBackup 7.6 supports these features as follows:

    • For instant recovery, use the nbrestorevm command.

      See About Instant Recovery for VMware.

    • For SLP management of snapshots, use Replication Director.

      For more information, see the NetBackup Replication Director Solutions Guide.

  • NetBackup for VMware cannot back up the data on an independent disk, because an independent disk cannot be captured with a snapshot. The backup succeeds but the backup image contains no data for the independent disk.

    To back up the data on an independent disk, install a NetBackup client on the virtual machine. You can configure NetBackup to back up the virtual machine and any independent disks as if the client was installed on a physical host. You can restore the virtual machine and then restore the independent disk as a separate job.

  • NetBackup for VMware does not back up standard iSCSI LUNs that are connected to the virtual machine. If the virtual machine has an iSCSI LUN, the backup succeeds but the drive that represents the LUN is not backed up.

    Note: NetBackup for VMware supports datastores over iSCSI.

  • Several notes and limitations apply to Linux virtual machines.

    See NetBackup for VMware: notes on Linux virtual machines.

  • For Windows backup hosts, a backup that uses the hotadd transport mode fails if a vmdk file spans multiple disks. In this case, select a different transport mode for the backup.

    VMware has acknowledged this issue (SR#12204838207). This problem will be fixed in a future release.

  • If a Windows virtual machine includes Veritas Storage Foundation volumes, the Enable file recovery from VM backup option is not supported.

    See Storage Foundation Volume Manager volumes in the virtual machine.

  • VMware virtual machine templates are for cloning virtual machines: They cannot be turned on and used as functioning VMs. As a result, VMware has imposed the following restrictions on backup and restore of virtual machine templates:

    • A virtual machine template cannot be captured in a snapshot. NetBackup backs up the template to the designated storage unit.

    • Block level incremental backup (BLIB) cannot be used when backing up a virtual machine template.

    • A virtual machine template cannot be backed up over a SAN. You must configure the NetBackup policy to use a local network transfer type, such as nbd. Likewise, the restore of a template must be conducted over a local network.


      You can use the Query Builder in the NetBackup policy to create rules for automatic selection of virtual machine templates.

  • VMware does not support non-ASCII characters in virtual machine display names or in other objects that are associated with the virtual machine. (Examples are annotations, floppy image name, parallel port or serial port file name, and CD-ROM ISO name.) Note that the same character restrictions also apply when creating vCloud Director objects.

    For VMware's list of the special characters that may cause issues, see the following VMware article:

    Troubleshooting issues with virtual machines or datastore names containing special characters (2046088)

    For a list of objects that VMware does not support with non-ASCII characters, see the following VMware article:

    Troubleshooting errors resulting from non-ASCII names (1003866)

    In keeping with VMware's position, NetBackup does not support non-ASCII characters in display names or in other vSphere objects. Symantec recommends that you follow VMware's guidelines in naming vSphere objects.

    In addition, NetBackup has its own restrictions on characters in display names.

    See NetBackup character restrictions for virtual machine display names and other vSphere objects.


    If the virtual machine display name contains non-ASCII characters, the backup may succeed but the restore fails. To restore the virtual machine, configure a restore to an alternate location. On the Recovery Options dialog, change the display name to contain ASCII characters only.

  • NetBackup for VMware does not support the display names that end in a period. If the policy's Primary VM identifier option is VM display name, any VM with a period at the end of the name is not backed up.

  • To back up a virtual machine while Storage vMotion migrates its files, NetBackup must conduct the backup through the vCenter server.

    See Conflict between NetBackup and VMware Storage vMotion with vSphere 5.0 or later.

  • Several notes and limitations apply to the automatic selection of virtual machines for backup (Virtual Machine Intelligent Policy).

    See NetBackup requirements for automatic virtual machine selection.

  • For hotadd backup or restore: The virtual machine to back up (or restore) and the virtual machine that contains the hotadd backup host must reside in the same VMware datacenter.

    See Notes on the hotadd transport mode.

  • NetBackup for VMware supports Windows NTFS file encryption and compression, for backup and restore. However, it does not support NetBackup's compression or encryption options (in the NetBackup policy attributes).

    For UNIX or Linux guest operating systems: NetBackup for VMware does not support any type of compression or encryption, whether they are set in NetBackup or in the guest OS.


    The compressed Windows NTFS files are backed up and restored as compressed files.

  • Storage optimization cannot be used if a snapshot exists on the virtual machine when VMware Changed Block Tracking is turned on.

    See About reducing the size of VMware backups.

  • If the policy's Primary VM identifier option is set to VM hostname, note: NetBackup cannot select a VMware virtual machine for backup if it cannot obtain an IP address for the virtual machine.

  • For Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL applications, NetBackup for VMware supports Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) restores from full backups only.

  • Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server databases are not cataloged and backed up if they exist in mount point volumes.

  • See Restore notes and restrictions.


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