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Backup Exec 2012 backup through SAN (Exchange database, SQL Server)

Created: 05 Nov 2013 • Updated: 05 Nov 2013 | 15 comments

Dear Experts,

 

We have the following environment,

- 2 DL380p Gen8 Servers running vmware Esxi 5.0

- 1 HP Storage P2000

- 2 SN6000 switches

- LTO 6250 FC autoloader

- DL 360p gen8 server (running backup exec 2012 media server)

 

On the Esxi we have Exchange 2010 server virtual machine and accounts server virtual machine running SQL 2012, future there will be HR server. Our aim is to backup database for Exchange 2010 so that the transaction logs are truncated, we want to take backup of SQL databse for accounts server.

Virtual machines have vmdk files assigned to them. We don't want to go from LAN for backup and willing to acquire through SAN. Please note we want to backup selected data from virtual machines and not intrested in taking image of virtual machine.

Is this possible that we take database backup for exchange 2010 and flushing its logs and for SQL server database for accounts server without going to LAN but through SAN and when backup exec is installed on physical server which is connected to SAN switches SN 6000 as mentioned in above hardware description. 

Before responding if additional information of environment is needed please let me know OR if anything is unclear.

 

Kind Regards,

 

 

Operating Systems:

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ZeRoC00L's picture

Yes, this is possible with the Backup Exec Vmware Agent.

This requires to have a licensed edition of ESXi and the backup server needs to be connected to the SAN and must have at least read access to the LUNs where the VMDK files are located.

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

Colin Weaver's picture

Your comment about backing up selected data from the VMs and not backup the whole of the VM means you cannot use AVVI SAN Transport - you either use AVVI SAN Transport and backup the whole of the VM  with GRT enabled and then select what to restore, or you use a remote agent backup and pick and choose your selections but won't be able to use SAN as the backup path

 

We do have an agent based off-host option (part of ADBO) which can protect SQL and Exchange over SAN, however it requires specific hardware for the storage of the data being backed up and using this hardware inside a VM is probably not possible.

EDIT: The other option for SAN backups is making the server that owns Exchange and SQL be a media server as well, problem with that is there are limitations on what sort of backup storage devices you can use if you virtualize a media server, so again almost certainly not an option.

 

 

Sejeltech's picture

Dear Colin,

Sorry for replying late, I was doing study for this, so now I will share what I have understood by all this discussion, please correct if I am wrong:

- I have standard Backup Exec license NO Vray edition,

- I have ONE license agent for application & DB which I am using on Exchange 2010 virtual machine

- I have two Licenses agent for Windows, One I am using to take backup of Active Directory virtual machine and second I am using to backup SQL server virtual machine, I generate SQL backup file using  built in SQL backup method using management studio and save it to secondry virtual disk attached to the same virtual machine and this backup file I am picking up using Windows agent of backup exec

These virtual machines all running on TWO Vmware Esxi version 5.0 hosts, each host having 2 physical processors and 8 cores / processor

Now Our aim is to take backup of selected files from virtual machines not the entire VM and make it a LAN free backup, but I understood from you now if doing so I won't be using AVVI SAN transport and SAN will not be used as backup path.

So, in order to use SAN as backup path I must use AVVI SAN transport and backup entire VM with GRT, so I can restore what is required when needed, correct?

So, what we are missing here is ONLY vmware agent (2 we need One for each Esxi host), right? Two windows and one application & DB agent we already have, these agents will remain installed in their respective virtual machines as it is and we just need to add vmware agent and we all set to backup via SAN, agent which is installed in Exchange virtual machine will also flush logs at the end of backup.

please correct if any mistake in my understanding, before I go further for finalizing this solution

Sejeltech's picture

Hello ZeroCool,
What you are telling me will allow us to take exchange database backup while flushing logs of exchange at the end? This is important for exchange database backup.

We do have licensed esxi 5.0 but how to verify that server where backup exec will be installed have read access to LUNS where vmdk reside.

According to colin explanation there is no option. Do you have your opinion about his response?

pkh's picture

If I am not mistaken, if you backup the entire VM with Exchange in it, the Exchange logs will not be flushed.  The logs will be flushed when you back up Exchange by itself in a separate job.

ZeRoC00L's picture

Yes, when you do a complete VMDK backup the Exchange logs will be flushed.

Keep in mind that this requires the installation of the BE Remote agent inside the VM and a license of the Backup Exec Exchange Agent.

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

Sejeltech's picture

Hello Zeecool,
Presently I have license for agent application and databases which is installed in exchange vm. The BE remote agent license is separate item I need to buy?

ZeRoC00L's picture

No, the agent for applications and databases includes the remote agent on that specific VM.

Also the Vmware Agent gives you the right to install the BE Remote agent on all your protected VMs.
(this is required for the GRT technique)

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

Sejeltech's picture

So, I need to buy vmware agent ? Please correct if I am wrong.

how many of them for SQL server, for Exchange for Active directory VM as well ?

then this addition of vmware agent will allow me to take backup via SAN and properly deleting exchange logs ?

ZeRoC00L's picture

Yes, you need to buy the Backup Exec vmware agent.

This agent is license per ESX host, so in your case you need two licenses for this agent.

If you want to make a GRT backup of SQL, AD and SQL you will require 3 agents for Applications and Databases.

When you install the BE Remote agent in the VM the Agent will 'inform' Exchange that a successfull backup is taken, and this will flush the Exchange transaction logs.

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

Sejeltech's picture

Many thanks for all your help, just a question for clearing my doubt,

Like you mentioning above,

"

Also the Vmware Agent gives you the right to install the BE Remote agent on all your protected VMs.
(this is required for the GRT technique)"

and you advised me I need to Vmware agents since I've two Esxi hosts, the agents for windows OR for application & databases come along with Vmware agents? since you are mentioning it gives right to install BE remote agent on VM's

This I am asking because for example in future there is another application on a newly created virtual machine, then do I need to buy additional agent for application & DB for this new VM or no need since I will be buying the Vmware agent now

Colin Weaver's picture

The App & DB agent license is needed to do GRT backups of database technologies within the VM.

GRT of file system within a VM is possible with just the VMware agent, however to do a restore of an individual file does need the remote agent software inside the VM, hence having the VMware agent license allows you to install the remote agent software (primarily to allow a restore)

The remote agent software also must be installed for the backups and restores of database GRT content however you need the App & DB agent license as well as without the licens on the media server the Application GRT feature is disabled

Without being fully aware of all the licensing cost calculations this is the area that can affect whether the V-Ray bundle license is more cost effective that then individual VMware agent and App & DB agent licenses

Sejeltech's picture

Yes, pkh,

 

You are right, they will be flushed when we backup exchange itself, thats what I asked in my question that I want to take files backup and for the entire VM. How ever we aim to acquire backup through SAN and not LAN. So if this is possible and will also flush exchange logs, this I wanted to know. If you have idea please share.

 

Thanks,

 

ZeRoC00L's picture

Yes, when you do a complete VMDK backup the Exchange logs will be flushed.

Keep in mind that this requires the installation of the BE Remote agent inside the VM and a license of the Backup Exec Exchange Agent.

 

Edit: Check this technote:

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=HOWTO74443

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

Colin Weaver's picture

As per the BE 2012 Admin guide section called  "About protecting databases and applications with the Symantec VSS Provider" that starts on page 790 and is within the chapter "Symantec Backup Exec Agent for VMware"

By default, the Symantec VSS Provider quiesces the operating system application
writers using the full backup option. Each application responds differently to this
request. In the case of Microsoft Exchange, the database logs are truncated.

 

Unfortunately however if SQL is involved inside a VM then the same is not true due to limitations more in the Microsoft API for SQL than our VMware agent.

 

EDIT: Online verison of Admin guide is here

http://www.symantec.com/docs/DOC5211