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Backup Exec

What's included in the Backup Exec V-Ray Edition?

Created: 18 Oct 2012 • Updated: 28 May 2014 • 19 comments
Kate Lewis's picture
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Today I received an email from one of our channel partners and his question was: "I'm not 100% clear on what is included in V-Ray and how it's licensed. Let's say I have 3 VMware hosts running a total of 1 million virtual machines.  Each host has 2 Quad-Core CPUs.  I simply purchase a 6-socket license V-Ray, correct? Another one - are there any special application agents that V-Ray does not include?  And if that's true, do I simply purchase "Agent X" just like I would for Backup Exec?  The same goes for options - if I need an NDMP agent, I would purchase that add-on in the exact same way for standard Backup Exec?"

If you have also been wondering how the V-Ray Edition differs to standard Backup Exec or maybe you have been trying to find the answers to the same questions listed above, then this blog is for you. I am going to briefly describe the V-Ray Edition and how it’s licensed while covering the basics of standard Backup Exec in respect to the differences between the two offerings. My goal is to answer the questions outlined above and in doing so provide further insight into the Backup Exec V-Ray Edition.

Backup Exec V-Ray Edition

The Backup Exec V-Ray Edition is designed exclusively for virtual environments. Ultimately, with the Backup Exec V-Ray Edition you get all the software you need to completely protect your virtual environment at a very attractive price. Plus, the capabilities of the V-Ray Edition can easily be expanded to protect physical servers too!

The Backup Exec V-Ray Edition is licensed per socket and includes the following software components:

  • Backup Exec Media Server (x1 license)
  • Backup Exec Agent for VMware and Hyper-V (unlimited licenses)
  • Agent for Applications and Databases (unlimited licenses)
    • Exchange
    • SQL
    • SharePoint
    • Active Directory
    • Oracle
    • Lotus Domino
    • Enterprise Vault
  • Backup Exec Deduplication Option (x1 license)

The Agent for VMware and Hyper-V “switches on” the integration with VMware APIs for Data Protection (VADP) and Microsoft VSS, which enables fast, high performance snapshots of the virtual disks attached to VMs. The Agent for Applications and Databases enables granular recovery of Microsoft applications. You do not need to buy additional agents or options for application protection in a virtual environment since they are already included with the V-Ray Edition.

All other Backup Exec agents and options in the Backup Exec portfolio e.g. Enterprise Server Option can be added to your Backup Exec V-Ray purchase by purchasing them in the exact same way as standard Backup Exec.

To extend protection of the V-Ray Edition to physical servers, you simply purchase one Backup Exec Agent for Applications and Databases for each physical Application or Database server you wish to protect. In addition, the Backup Exec Media Server and Deduplication Option included in the V-Ray Edition can be used to protect your physical servers. You don’t have to re-license these for your physical environment. The only additional software you need to purchase to protect physical servers is the Agent for Applications and Databases as mentioned above. However, you may decide to extend the functionality of Backup Exec by adding on additional Backup Exec Agents and Options. For example -  Virtual Tape Library Unlimited Drive Option, Enterprise Server Option, Exchange Email Archiving Option etc.

If we quickly take a look back at the question: I have 3 VMware hosts running a total of 1 million virtual machines.  Each host has 2 Quad-Core CPUs.  I simply purchase a 6-socket license V-Ray, correct?”. The answer is yes. There are 2 sockets per host and a total of 3 hosts. That means you would purchase 6 licenses of the Backup Exec V-Ray Edition. Since Backup Exec protects an unlimited number of guest machines per host, it doesn't make a difference if you have 1 or 100 virtual machines per host machine. Backup Exec will protect them all. There is also no limit on the number of hosts you can protect. You simply count the number of sockets in the environment you wish to protect and purchase the corresponding number of V-Ray licenses. So with the V-Ray edition, you really can protect everything in your environment with a per socket licensing method.

If you wanted to buy standard Backup Exec to protect your virtual environment and what I mean by standard is purchasing Backup Exec via the a la carte licensing model, you would simply purchase:

  • One Backup Exec Media Server license for each media server
  • One VMware and Hyper-V agent per host machine
  • Plus, one agent for applications and databases for every application in the virtual host for granular recovery capabilities

All other Backup Exec Agents and Options such as the Deduplication Option can be purchased in the usual way.

The recovery options available with the V-Ray or standard edition include:

  • Protection for All Physical Servers
    • Full system recovery
    • Application and database recovery
    • File and folder recovery
  • Protection for All Virtual Machines
    • Full VM recovery
    • VMDK recovery
    • Application and database recovery
    • File and folder recovery
  • Application Data Granular Recovery in both virtual and physical environments
    • Exchange
    • SQL
    • Active directory
    • SharePoint

If you have any additional questions, you can reply to this blog, or find me on Twitter at @KateJLewis or @BackupExec

Thanks for reading.


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Forums User 6198540's picture

I'm a consultant with a handful of clients on different versions of Backup Exec.  The new & improved 2012 is a whole new beast as compared to what I'm used to.  I feel like I need training on the changes from 2010, but I can't commit a week to it.  Is there any kind of documentation or guidance if someone knows the operations and just wants to understand the new interface?

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susanw's picture

Here are a few links to get you started:

BE2012 – where to find manuals, videos and training

BE 2012: Comparing BE012 & BE 2010 (video)          

What’s different in BE 2012:

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ricdanger's picture

Hi Kate,

The "Symantec Backup Exec™ 2012 Licensing Guide" Page 3 implies that only one Media Server is included per license:
Purchase one Backup Exec 2012 V-Ray Edition per occupied processor socket on the virtual host. Each license of Backup Exec 2012 V-Ray Edition includes:
- One Backup Exec 2012 media server license
- Agent for Application and Databases ...
So, for your example scenario I would be licensed to run 6 Media Servers (vs unlimited). If this is incorrect, Symantec should review that document.
But this still raises some questions:
- Could I use each of those 6 media servers to backup the same servers (total 6 sockets), or just a small set (ex: each vray license protects a socket; so I would only be allowed to backup machines on that single socket with the media server license)?
- What license files/keys would I add to each Media Server?
I also had a look on the "SYMANTEC BACKUP EXEC™ V-RAY EDITION SOLUTION BRIEF" that says:
The V-Ray Edition has the ability to
protect itself and duplicate your backup
data to tape or disk for redundant copies
The Backup Exec V-Ray Edition is licensed to protect all virtual machines running on the licensed ESX(i) and Hyper-V hosts and the huge
advantage here is that the Backup Exec Media Server and Deduplication Option can be installed on a physical system thereby giving it the
ability to protect itself AND duplicate the data to tape.
Still some questions:
- So I can install the Media Server on a physical server, and it can "Protect Itself". Does it mean I can backup the SQL server database of the physical media agent without buying further licenses (is the Agent for Applications included for the Media Server)?
Also on the same document:
The V-Ray Edition includes unlimited use of Backup Exec Media
Servers, the Agent for Applications and Databases as well as the Deduplication Option in a virtual environment
- This document says the same you are saying in your post, but goes against the Licensing Guide and (maybe) the EULA:
From BackupExec 2012 EULA, Page 6:
Backup Exec V-Ray Edition.  You may use each individual copy of the Licensed Software and related documentation 
on a single active Server to perform data backup, regardless of whether the Server is a physical or virtual Server.  You may use 
each individual copy of the Licensed Software on a single active Server as part of a series of clustered Servers at any one time 
provided that a separate licensed copy of the Licensed Software is installed on each active Server within the cluster.  For 
passive nodes in cluster, a copy of the Licensed Software is required only to be installed and not licensed. The Backup Exec VRay Edition license is measured by the "Per Processor" license for the number of populated processor sockets present on the 
VMware ESX(i) or Microsoft Hyper-V host.  By way of example, if you have a system with a single socket with a 4 core 
processor you will need to license Backup Exec V-Ray Edition for a single processor socket.  You may also obtain and use 
different levels of Backup Exec V-Ray Edition licenses in the same Backup Exec environment
Can you please clarify this?
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Kate Lewis's picture

Hi ricdanger

I just noticed we didn't get back to you regarding your questions. I am so sorry about that. Here are the answers, but do let me know if you need more information.

1) Yes you are correct. It's one media server license per Backup Exec V-Ray license. I have updated my blog.

2) The "6" media servers are licensed to backup only the virtual host(s) for which the V-Ray licenses were purchased unless there were additional “agent” licenses purchased for physical systems.

3) All of them from the V-Ray license purchase and any other licenses that apply.

4) Any physical server components require separate licenses for the physical environment. The licenses that come with the V-Ray edition are for virtual environments only.

5) We will update the document. It's one media server license per Backup Exec V-Ray license.

Thanks, Kate

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jtavares2's picture


Thank you for your explanation to the original poster. I'm still confused and hope you could shed some light on this scenario:

Let's say I buy 1 copy of v-ray. Can I install the Media Server & Deduplication option on a seperate physical server from the virtual host, or must all components of v-ray edition be installed on same the virtual host?

What I am trying to accopmlish to to have the Agent for VMware and Hyper-V and Agent for Applications and Database on the virtual host, and the media server/deduplication option on a seperate phsyical server that has sufficnet storage to do the backup.



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Kate Lewis's picture

Hi James,

Yes you can install the media server and dedupe option on a seperate physical server from the virtual host. In fact, this is a best practice approach  (see thread below). The V-Ray edition includes a license for the BE media server and a dedupe option. No additional licenses needed outside of the V-Ray licenses.

Thanks, Kate

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favors's picture


This post is a bit old, but I just purchased BE2012 VRay and am looking for some clarification. We purchased BE2012 with a 6 core vray license, tape library expansion option, and 3 per-server windows agents (Agent for Windows).

Our environment will be as follows:

3 ESXi 5.1 Hosts

1 Shared SAN Storage (Connected to Backup server and ESX Hosts)

1 Backup Server running BE2012 VRay

3 Physical Windows 2003 servers (additional licenses intended for these)

My question is this; For any VM running on the 3 ESXi Hosts, can I install unlimited remote agents for GRT backups and restores of applications, or do I need to purchase windows agents for each VM? The briefs and whitepapers lead me to believe that I can install the agent on unlimited VMs, but when I called technical support they told me that every installation of the windows agent needs to be a new license, VM or physical. If this is true, do I download specific agents for each application in the VM (SQL, Sharepoint), or was technical support just misinformed, and I am licensed under VRay to install the windows agent on unlimited VMs?

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Kate Lewis's picture

Hi Tim,

The Backup Exec V-Ray Edition is licensed per socket. So if each of your host machines have two sockets you would need to purchase 6 licenses of the V-Ray Edition. Therefore, for the following environment; 3 ESXi 5.1 Hosts and 1 BE media server, using the v-ray edition, it's impossible for me to know how many licenses you need because I need to know the number of sockets.

Having said that, in answer to your question, if you licensed the V-Ray edition correctly, you can deploy an unlimited number of Agents for Apps and Databases (on each of the hosts you licensed the Backup Exec V-Ray Edition). You do not need to purchase a Windows Agent.

If you need more help, feel free to email me:

Thanks, Kate

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R.Tetemadze's picture

I want to ask a pretty same question:

I have 3 blades to run VMware on it. I want to go V-Ray edition for backups. Also, I have 1 physical server for Media Server role. So,

3x2=6 sockets for vmware hosts

1x2=2 sockets for media server

How much licenses of v-ray should I purchase? Looks like it should be 6, but It's not clear about the media server running on separate sockets.. Please help.

Kind regards

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Kate Lewis's picture


You are correct - you would need 6 Backup Exec V-Ray licenses. The Backup Exec V-Ray Edition includes a media server license for the physical media server. Therefore, you do not need a separate license for the Backup Exec Media server.  

On a side note, we also recommend that you keep the BE media server as a physical server. This is to minimize the impact to virtual environments at backup time.

Thanks to the vStorage API integration we can minimize the impact to vSphere environment by protecting VMs on host level leveraging VM snapshots and capturing them directly off the data store by providing a LUN in SAN environment for the Backup Exec server. All backup data movement is thus done via the SAN and not through the ESXi-server(s) minimizing the impact to the shared virtual environment resources.

Hope this helps.


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R.Tetemadze's picture

Thanks Kate!

Yes, it's going to be HP 3PAR, and as I read - it's pretty much compatible with vStorage API for rapid snapshoting.

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Nir_l228's picture


I download and install Backupexec 2012 v-ray as a trial befor I buy

My system is as follow:

1 x ESXi 4 with 2 hosts:

SBS 2011

Server 2008 R2

1 x Server with server 2008 R2 and SQL

I want to backup both server

My supplier recommand me to buy Backupexec 2012 with V-ray + SQL agent

where is the best way to install the backupexec

BTW Itried to install the software on the sbs

Please advised

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Hardstone's picture

Your article says that V-ray license comes with unlimited agent for applications and databases . But I just purchased v-ray license for 4 sockets (as I have 2 host servers each with 2 CPU), installed the media server on a seperate machine and added the license. The license installed now shows me that I have only 4 'agent for applications and databases'. Why is that?

Is the agent for application and databases unlimited or is it not? Or is it just the same number as the number of v-ray licenses purchased as my license shows me?

What if I have more than 4 (say 5 or 6) virtual servers running SQL on my hosts for all of which I want to be able to do granular resotres etc.. Am I covered or not?

All virtual servers are on the 2 hosts which I licensed with the 4 socket v-ray license.

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lmosla's picture


Yes, for each V-Ray license you have unlimited use of the agent for application and databases to protect virtual guests running on the host machines.

for further explanation see page 6 in the Backup Exec 2012 Portfolio License Guide   

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Hardstone's picture

Then why does the license show me 4 agents for application and databases, as I mentioned in my quesion.

Does this mean that I can use this to directly backup unlimited number of virtual servers, i.e. not as VM backup from the host but as backup from inside the VM using the agent? SO I can do this for unlimited no. of virtual servers as long as they are running on the hosts which I have licensed?

The link provided does not work.

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lmosla's picture

Here is a link that you can use to access the pdf for the Backup Exec 2012 Portfolio License Guide.

and yes you only need licenses per socket so that is why you see 4 agents for application and databases. 

another discussion on the

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pmevalenzuela's picture

Just a quick question:

If i have a tape library with 2 tape drives and 10x VRay processor socket license,

Do I need to purchase Library Expansion option to support the second tape drive ?



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ecnivnaj's picture

yes you will need additional license for the other tape drive..

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Studio Two's picture


My scenario is much simpler, but I'm still confused.

I have one physical server running: File Sharing; IIS and SQL Server. There is also an instance of Windows Server 2003 (running inside Hyper-V on the same physical server).

Are you saying that I would need to purchase agents for the applications running on the physical server, but I would not need an agent if they were running inside the Server 2003 virtual machine?

I suppose I am asking if purchasing a copy of Backup Exec 2012 V-Ray will back up everything on a single server that I can throw at it (without having to purchase expensive add-ons).

I hope I explained that clearly.

Kind Regards, Stephen

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