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Backup Exec 2012 vs backing up VMware ESX 5.1 host and not the VMs themselves

Created: 10 Dec 2013 • Updated: 24 Jan 2014 | 5 comments
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We have 3 VMware ESX 5.1 hosts that contains multiple Windows VMs.

Is there a way we can backup these hosts ?    We already backup all the VMs but I just noticed that we do not backup the hosts themselves. (the ESX hosts).

Let me know if we should back them up or not and if not, why.

Do we need a specific agent for that ?     Looks to be a linux of something like that,  that is driving the ESX hosts.

I know there is a VMware agent but as far as I know,  It is for backing-up VMs or something like that.  (I've created another post for that too).

thanks for any help.

Operating Systems:

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lmosla's picture

It sounds like you have purchased the appropriate VMware agents  'We already backup all the VMs'. You should be able to just select the host in the selection list.  Please see this link for a wealth of information on protecting your virtual environment.

pkh's picture

No.  There is no way to back up the hosts.  There was a previous discussion regarding this problem and the reply from a Symantec employee is that the hosts are pretty easy to setup, so a backup is not necessarily helpful.

MusSeth's picture

ESX is a cutdown version linux, previously we did support backing up ESX with backup exec versions like 12.0 with RALUS license however the reason we do not support it now is because RALUS agent is unable to backup filesystem it is designed to backup user data from the system, and ESX has minimal user data, files on ESX are eighter OS or Virtual machine files which are active and open.backup exec 2012 AOFO for linux lets you backup open files however it fails to snap filesystem open files, in ESX VMDKs are active and are in use because of the RALUS limitation now we do not support backing up of ESX.

V4's picture

When BE offers flexibility to protect all your VMs under hypervisor, why would you need to protect hypervisor itself.. As far i recollect ESXi doesn't store much of info that is needed to be backed up. Even if its vCenter then it can be backed up as traditional VM (if its Windows based appliance) or a Physical host in similar manner.

It would be best if you could shed lights on use case why would there should be an option to protect ESXi itself.  Hope it was your curiosity of BE Linux agent to cover it as well but trust me VM protection should be sufficient for any organization.

Consider Hypervisor as Hardware only, Business are concerned for Application and data to be protected in case of failure. Not the underlying Hardware being used. Similar manner You should be concerned about Protecting VMs not hypervisor itself. VMs may travel across multiple Hypervisors in your domain but not hypervisors do travel :-)

 Perhaps you should view this 3 min vid what business are concerned when disaster occurs (vid is focused towards Business Continuity solution from Sym team)

Hope this helps

CraigV's picture


Simple...restore the host as fast as possible. The OP isn't asking about an option (ie. Idea), but rather if the host can be backed up.

Most don't realise that reinstalling a host isn't that much of a big deal compared to reinstalling a Windows-based server.

Also don't understand your analogy behind protecting the hardware...VMware is software...the rest makes no sense!


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