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Altering backups to avoid vmware snapshots

Created: 14 May 2013 | 4 comments


I would like to reconfigure our backup exec solution. Currently we have backup exec taking vmware snapshots to quiesce the vm so that it can backup. In addition to this we have veeam using the same process to backup the same virtual machines each night. As you can imagen, this is causing some serious issues.

I would like to change backup exec to backup using traditional file based backups using the microsoft vss writer and ensureing that snapshots are not taken. Can anyone please advise of the pest way to reconfigure these backups. From what I can see this option would be under the Advanced Open File section, were I would specifiy the Microsoft VSS writer. This seems an unusual way of altering this and my ignorance of backup exec is resulting in this post for help, is there a section to disable vmware snapshots and use traditional backups that I am missing?

Any help or comments will be appreciated.

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Jaydeep S's picture

Are you using the AVVI option to backup the VM. If yes, then the only way you can backup is using Snapshots from VmWare. Now for the file data (GRT portion) the backup by default uses either Microsoft VSS or Symantec VSS provider installed. So again this is a snapshot backup.

If you are perfroming a simple RAWS based backup of the VM (Remote Agent installed on the VM) then you could choose either to perform a snapshot (AOFO enabled) or a non snapshot backup (AOFO disabled).

Again, if you are backing up any applications like Exchange or SQL it would a different story. So it would be better, if you could provide more detailed information about how and what are you backing up.

iosupport's picture

Hi jaydeep,

Thanks for your reply. 

I have a total of 34 servers including SQL and exchange being backed up by backupexec 10 and veeam. Each server has the backup exec remote agent for windows installed. They are using GRT recovery. Using the microsoft or backup exec snapshot provider will create a snapshot within the vm however this should not create a snapshot through vmware vcentre, this is what I'm trying to avoid. 

Your second paragraph is very interesting, when I select each backup job and select the AOFO this is not selected.

However if I look in the selections list each selection starts with VMVCB:// I assume this means it is backing up each selection from the vcentre and I guess that each of these need altered to a more traditional path of \\$servername\somebackup.

Thanks once again for your reply, does this sound correct?

CraigV's picture

Hi there,

Why run a BE backup of your VM infrastructure when you're running Veeam? Just backup to a B2D using Veeam, and then stream the output off to tape. Only 1 snapshot per backup run will be done as a result.


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iosupport's picture

Its the unfortunate situation we are in, backup exec handles the local backups at one datacentre and veeam provides the DR nightly replication to the DR datacentre. 

It wasn't deigned like this in the first place, backup exec was changed to use vmware snapshots by a client. I now need to reengineer it back to the original working solution. 

I hope this answers your questions.