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Backup Exec 2012 & Hyper-V

Created: 17 Mar 2014 | 7 comments

Backup Exec 2012 v14.0 Rev. 1798 (64-bit)

Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard (Backup Exec Server)

Windows Server 2012 Standard (Agent Server)

I'm in the process of properly configuring and licensing my Backup Exec 2012 installation.  I have a Server 2012 Standard physical server that is running Hyper-V and currently has 2 virtual machines on it.  Right now, there is an Agent for Windows installed on the physical server.  This works, but I know this isn't the correct way to do it.  A full backup is about 1.6TB and every time the vhdx files of the VMs change, which is pretty much instantly, the incremental backups will need to backup +300GB of VMs and I know that there are only minimal file changes based on the roles of these VMs.  As I understand it, I can get an Agent for VM/Hyper-V license and install this agent on the physical server, then this license will allow me to install, at no extra licensing cost, an Agent for Windows on each VM.

This proper licensing configuration will allolw me to do GRT on the VMs, but will it improve (reduce) the quantity of data I am backing up on a daily basis?  Or will the incremental backups still need to backup each vhdx file in its entirity, since, at the file level of the physical server, the files have changed and need to be backed up.  The reason I ask is that I do a full backup every weekend, along with daily incremental backups.  Rounding a little bit, that makes roughly 4.6TB of data per week.  The time to do this backup is not really of concern to me, but the storage space is quite large and will only continue to grow as we take advantage of more virtualization.  Any suggestions to help my situation?



Operating Systems:

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lmosla's picture


Deduplication may be what you are looking for. See pg 752 of the admin guide: 

pkh's picture

Dedup will not reduce the amount of data processed for backup.  It will only reduce the amount of data stored.  Using dedup may also lengthen the backup time due to the extra processing involved in the dedup process.

You are correct in that having a Hyper-V agent licence allows you to install remote agents in any number of VM's hosted on the licenced host without additional licence fees.  However, if these VM's have applications/databases, like SQL Server, Exchange, etc, and you want GRT for these applications, you would need to buy an Agent for Applications and Databases licence for each application/database in each VM.

For GRT of Server 2012, especially with VHDX, take note of these restrictions.

If I understand correctly, for Hyper-V VM's, you can do differential backups, but not incremental backups.  This should save you some data processing.

melview1's picture

Sorry for the late reply.

I think Deduplication is what I am after here.  There are no Applications and Databases on the VMs, so that wouldn't be an issue for me.  I presume that I still have file level GRT capability within the VM as long as the physical server is running the Agent for VM/Hyper-V?

pkh's picture

Yes. You should install the remote agent in the VM's as well.  With the Hyper-V agent, you are entitled to load remote agents to as many VM's as they are hosted on the licenced host.

melview1's picture

Are the Agents in the VMs required in order to do file-level recovery in the VMs?

pkh's picture

You will need them for restores