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Backup Exec 2012: Backup on removable network drives (shares)

Created: 28 Nov 2012 • Updated: 04 Feb 2013 | 22 comments
ehss's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I would like to use Backup Exec 2012 to backup over the network to a set of removable USB disks alternately connected to the same host (windows 7).

I have shared each disk as D1, D2, D3, D4.... and then I have added each of them to BE Storage and then I have added them all into a pool.

Soon after the disks are removed, BE detects that they are missing and marks them as offline, however it does not detects when a share is back online.

Is there a way to force BE to check the state of each network share before the backup starts and mark the available one as online?

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VJware's picture

Consider scheduling an inventory before the backup starts.

ehss's picture

Thanks for replying

Can I run an inventory for the whole pool at once rather than disk by disk? If yes, how?

Can I do that via command line tool and run it as a pre-command? If yes, how?


Colin Weaver's picture

If you restart the BE services before the backup run they will be redetected if they are online (obviously give enough time for detection phase to complete before the jobs start.) I do not think an inventory will work because Inventory operations affect Online devices so will just go queued and not run.

At this current time we detect that USB disks are online via the inbuilt triggers from the operating system, because a network (NAS) disk does not have any inbuilt method to notify the server that it is online Backup Exec will not autodetect the online status of such a device.

ehss's picture

Thanks Colin,

I tried to restart the BE... it restarted a bunch of other services and it took quite a while but it did not redetect any disk. 

It looks like that If  a disk is marked 'online' and is not then BE fails rather than attempt ro write on any other disk in the pool... it just relies on the reported state rather than trying to write or query the disk.  It sounds like there is some room for improvement here.

So, I may have to consider an alternative storage such as RDX or Tape.

The problem is that I am trying to backup individual files and SQL dbs on a SBS2012 VM running on a Linux based KVM hypervisor, so backup must happen over the network.

pkh's picture

You would not have this problem if you attach the USB drives to the media server.

ehss's picture

PKH: I tested your solution but it looks like media server can only be installed on a Windows Server and it is therefore not supported on Windows 7 or Linux. I cannot justify the cost of a Windows Server OS just for running as a 'media server'. Our infrastructure is fully virtualised and the hypervisor is running on linux based hosts. Any other suggestion?

pkh's picture

I hope that you are aware that Symantec does not recommend a VM for a media server, much less a KVM. Whether you are using a VM or a physical machine, you would still need a server class machine to load BE.

ehss's picture

I understand that the media server should be a phisical machine and I am ok with it but why Windows Server rather than 7 or Linux?

pkh's picture

BE is always Windows-centric, so Linux is out.  If you want to use Linux as a media server, look at NetBackup.

As for Windows 7, only Symantec has the answer.

cruisen's picture


you can use a linux machine as a media server. You need the RMAL (remote media agent for Linux) on the linux machine, please check for compatibility issues about the kernels. But dont forget that, to use the RMAL agent you need to install another BE on a windows server elsewhere. But if its only Linux you dont have to go for netbackup.

pkh's picture

you can use a linux machine as a media server

This is not true.  When you install RMAL on a Linux server, you can only backup data from that machine onto the attached devices, you cannot backup data from other machines onto the devices attached to the machine with RMAL.

What you are proposing does not solve his problem

cruisen's picture

Hi pkh,

i am refering to Collin Weaver :


To explain the basic difference betwwen RALUS and RMAL

RALUS is a standard remote agent where your backup devices (backup-to-disk or tape) are connecetd to your Windows Media Server

RMAL includes the (RALUS) remote agent but allows you to connect your tape device directly to your linux based system. It can also be used to create a virtual device that uses disk storage attached to the Lunix system instead of tape.


The user ehss complains about using a physical server to attach disks to install windows. You dont need to do this. You can install a VM in Windows and attach the storage to the physical linux.

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Remote Media Agent for Linux

Ensure that the storage device that is attached to the Linux server is supported. Also, confirm that the operating system can access the device before you start the RMAL.

You can find a list of compatible devices at the following URL: 

Add a RMAL from the central administration server if you use the Backup Exec Central Admin Server Option (CASO). You cannot add a RMAL from a managed Backup Exec server.


Perhaps I am missing something: But I think the problem that user ehss has relies on using a mediaserver with linux. This works with the Rmal agent.

Best regards


cruisen's picture


How to use the Remote Media Agent for Linux Servers and create a Virtual Tape Library with Backup Exec for Windows Server 12.5 and above.

Article URL

Steps by step installation of the Backup Exec Remote Media Agent for Linux Servers.

Article URL

But please can someone confirm that we can backup to the Rmal from other servers?

I have not found this yet.

pkh's picture

You cannot backup another server to the devices attached to to the Linux server with RMAL installed.  You can only backup the resources on the Linux server to these devices.  You cannot do this.

S  ---->  L -----> tape drive.

where S = some server,  and L = Linux server with RMAL and tape drive.

You can only do this

L ----> Tape drive

cruisen's picture

Now i found it:

How the Remote Media Agent for Linux Servers works

Article URL

From the Backup Exec media server, you can add a Linux server as a Remote Media Agent. The Remote Media Agent establishes a data connection to the remote computer on which a supported remote agent is installed. Then, you can create backup, restore, and utility jobs on the media server that run on the Linux server's storage devices.

If you use Backup Exec Central Admin Server Option or the SAN Shared Storage Option, you can share a Remote Media Agent between multiple media servers. Sharing can be enabled when you add a Remote Media Agent. You can select new media servers to share a Remote Media Agent or remove the sharing ability from the media servers at any time.

pkh's picture

The sharing refers to the ability to allow multiple media servers under CASO to define jobs on the server with RMAL installed.  It does not refer to the ability to backup other servers to the devices attached to the RMAL server.

BTW, do not use multiple posts to post your answers.  If you have additional information to add, edit your previous answer.

bert.geiger's picture

@pkh: sorry, but if that's true then the documentation is wrong; the excerpt freom the Admin Guide that Cruisen cites specifically says "...The Remote Media Agent establishes a data connection to the remote computer on which a supported remote agent is installed...."  It doesn't say a BE server...

pkh's picture

On reading the Admin Guide again, it appears that you and Cuisen is right.  You can backup other remote servers to the devices attached to a server with RMAL installed.  My apologies for my earlier wrong information.

Colin Weaver's picture

I believe you can only bacup other Linux resources via RMAL as an NDMP 3-Way and that you cannot backup Windows devices through RMAL. As such the remote servers would also have to be Linux based

This is matching the same way that NDMP can only be used to backup NDMP data as a 3-Way form an NDMP devcie and is not supported to backup Windows data to devices attached to the NDMP filer.

EDIT: CORRECTION Admin guide states RMAL supports Agent for WIndows, Agent for Mac 7 Agent for Oracle on Linux or Windows. However it is still possible that GRT operations against any database technologies may not be supported. I have found the original RMAl release information for BE 12.5 that states "Local and Remote File system agents" which would specifically mean things like Exchnage, Sharepoint, VMware etc cannot be supported for backup to an RMAL device.

I will check this internally (and against latest version)

Colin Weaver's picture

I have received internal advice that RMAL is only desigend to protect Linux based resources (either on local system or via RALUS on another system)  As such the Admin Guide does contain an error with regards to mentioning the Agent for Windows (and I was correct with my initial answer, before the correction, that I gave above)

pkh's picture

In this case, my previous answers were correct.

pkh's picture

In any case, the scheme to install the media server in a KVM and RMAL on the Linux host will not work.  If the host server crashes, it needs a media server to recover it and there is no media server until the host is recovered and the KVM is also recovered.  A chicken and the egg situation.