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Backup Exec 2010 R3 on Virtual Machine

Created: 02 Jan 2014 | 12 comments

I've done quite a bit of searching and found some information regarding the installation of a Backup Exec media server on a VM, but nothing that answers all of the questions that I have.

We would be running Backup Exec 2010 R3 on a Windows Server 2008 R2 VM.

The VM host is a Dell Poweredge R720 and I can provide more specs if needed.

The tape library is a Dell TL2000 and would be connected via iSCSI using an iSCSI to SAS Bridge Controller.

The main question is, has anyone tested this type of setup? I've seen VM's connected to SCSI and SAS tape libraries through passthrough, but failed to find any using iSCSI.

My next question is, how would the performance of other VM's be affected by the backup traffic? The server has a single 4 port Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet BCM5720 NIC.

Last, if it would work, is this type of setup supported by Symantec at all?

We are trying to do away with an old hp Proliant ML350 connected to 2 MSA20's and the TL2000 and just backup straight to tape on the TL2000. Right now we are backing up to disk and creating monthend duplicates to tape for Offsite Storage.

Thanks in advance.

 

Randy Fetterman

Operating Systems:

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pkh's picture

The use of a VM as a media server is not supported.  You should use a physical machine or load it on the host if it is not a core OS.

Also, iSCSI is not a supported interface for this tape library.  See the HCL below

BE 2010|2010 R2|2010 R3 Hardware (HCL)

Larry Fine's picture

Also, iSCSI is not a supported interface for this tape library.  See the HCL below

BE 2010|2010 R2|2010 R3 Hardware (HCL)

Yes, iSCSI is a supported interface for this library.  See page 185 of the HCL you linked.

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pkh's picture

I was looking at pg. 93-94 and iSCSI is not listed there.

Sush...'s picture

Helo Randy,

    As already mentioned installing BE on VM is not recommended at all. Also the tape drive configuration you mentioned (passthrough) is NOT SUPPORTED.

Please refer to the following technote which provides more details.

http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH130609 : Can Backup Exec Media Servers be installed on a Guest virtual machine running on an ESX server?

 

Regards,

-Sush...

Hope this piece of Information Helps you... and if it does then mark this response as Solution....!!!

Larry Fine's picture

As already mentioned installing BE on VM is not recommended at all.

I think this comment above may be mis-interpreted.  The technote you linked says

Backup Exec 12.5 and higher media servers can be installed in a supported guest virtual machine OS running on an ESX server to protect the entire server and any other supported physical or virtual systems running on separate machines.

I think that I recall other people using iSCSI libraries or VTLs with BE on a VM, but I cannot find any details at the moment.  I also don't think that iSCSI is lumped in with the same limitations that parallel SCSI or FC has on a VM, but I cannot find that documented.  So, I think your strategy will work, but I haven't done it myself.

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CraigV's picture

...might be possible (I have also seen people using it successfully, while it hasn't worked for others), but Symantec would consider it an alternative configuration and the OP is not necessarily going to get full support.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

Randy.Fetterman's picture

Thank you all for the prompt replies.

I'm kinda weary of using iSCSI anyway since I don't really have much experience in the field.

With that being said...what if I was to install a compatible SAS card in the VM host server and connect to the tape library? Would that be better suited?

I've tested BE2010 in a VM connected to an iSCSI target and it worked, but nothing extensive. I basically backed up one desktop as a test.

So basically the short of it is....this could possibly work, but Symantec will not provide any type of support for their product with this type of setup?

 

Thanks again.

Randy Fetterman

 

pkh's picture

It has been stated many times in this Forum by Symantec employees that Symantec has not tested a virtualised media server and hence it is not supported.  At best, it is an alternative configuration in which you have to prove that the problem exists with a physical media server before you can get help.  This is regardless of how you connect the tape library either to the host or the VM.

If you are not using a core OS for your Hyper-V host, you might want to connect the tape library to the host and load BE on the host.  This is a supported configuration.  As earlier advised, an iSCSI interface for your library is supported.  A SAS interface would be much better.

CraigV's picture

...something else to consider before comitting to a virtual server as a media server...there will be no Live Migration of that box, meaning you'd have to shut it down in order to do maintenance on the host. Also, if the host fails, there will be no Live Migration so backups would fail.

Physical is always better, until this is supported by all vendors (not sure why they haven't to be honest as it makes a lot of sense to run a virtual server as a media server)...

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

Randy.Fetterman's picture

Again, thanks everybody for the replies. We will be going with a physical server attached to the tape drive and possibly a SAN down the road.

Thanks again,

Randy Fetterman

Larry Fine's picture

It has been stated many times in this Forum by Symantec employees that Symantec has not tested a virtualised media server and hence it is not supported.

I don't think that is a completely accurate statement.  I think that is only true for tape devices that use SCSI passthrough.  I am pretty sure that backup to disk is fully supported by BE, as it is mentioned in TECH130609 .  I suspect that other network based things (such as iSCSI tape) would be supported also.  I cannot find anything that that says that they are NOT supported by BE.  I don't know what VMware's support position reagrding tape over iSCSI would be.

 

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