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Backup for vCenter by SQL Server Agent?

Created: 01 Nov 2010 | 9 comments


Does anyone do full backup for the VMware vCenter using Backup Exec Agent for Microsoft SQL Server, in order to protect the vCenter and have better diaster recovery plan?

If not, any other ways to automatically protect the vCenter, so that recovery becomes simple?

Thanks a lot!

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pkh's picture

Backup Exec Agent for Microsoft SQL Server can only be used to backup SQL Server databases, not VCentre.  To backup vCentre, you need the Agent for Vwware

hongkong123's picture

Does it mean protecting it like the ESX host?  But it is not a VM!

pkh's picture

If you are talking about the vCentre configuratioin, then the recommendation is to build it up from scratch since the configuration is quite simple.  You then restore the VM's onto it.

hongkong123's picture

As I know, there is database, certificates, and some other configurations for vCenter.  Because I've a Backup Exec Media Server, I want to make use of it to do simple protection.  Any options?

teiva-boy's picture

Hongkong123, I believe pkh has things confused.  

The vCenter host, which holds all the configuration information for the ESX/vSphere hosts does indeed have a SQL instance or Oracle instance.  It runs Windows, and there is critical information stored there.  

It's easy enough to bring up a new ESX/vSphere host and join it into a vCenter environment.  Typically I can get a new host up and running in under an hour.  Just laying down ESXi take minutes.  The same cannot be said for the vCenter host and configuration

That said, you will want to install a remote agent for Windows on the vCenter host, as well as have SQL licensed for it.  If the vCenter host is also your BackupExec Media server, than you only need to add on the SQL license.  Many folks virtualize the vCenter host, and if so, you only need a SQL license and the AVVI agent.

If you are looking for even quicker and simpler recovery of a complete server, I would recommend Backup Exec System Recovery (BESR).  This product will backup a server and restore it in under an hour.  From bare metal, to even different hardware.  You can even take  a backup from BESR, and convert it to a virtual machine to run that way until you replace the hardware, and it can restore back to a physical box.  Think about it, P2V than V2P.

There is an online portal, save yourself the long hold times. Create ticket online, then call in with ticket # in hand :-) "We backup data to restore, we don't backup data just to back it up."

hongkong123's picture

Thanks teiva-boy,

My vCenter Server is located separately and physically in a machine.  Can I control the backup of it in the Backup Exec Media Server remotely using only SQL Server agent license?

I agreed the BESR is very good for OS imaging, but can it backup the database/transaction log used by the vCenter Server?

Colin Weaver's picture

The SQL Server Agent License - also includes an inbuilt RAWS license so that you are always licensed to Backup both the SQL database and the server the database runs on if you have purchased the SQL agent - after all there is not much point in backing up just the database if you can't then recover the server itself.

As such the SQL license should be enough - but you will need to install RAWS on the vCenter server and you should probably refer to VMware documentation about (general not backup product specific) best practices for Backing up and Restoring the vCenter itself.

hongkong123's picture

Sorry, in the Symantec website, I cannot find Remote Agent for Windows Servers (RAWS), but only Backup Exec Agent for Windows Systems.

No matters what the server is for (e.g. web server, file server, vCenter server, window server within a VM, etc.), do you mean a copy of "Backup Exec Agent for Windows Systems" is required to be installed on each of them?

ksattler's picture

@Colin Weaver

1. Where I can find that SQL or Exchange Agent includes a RAWS license?

I have checked the Backup Exec 2010 Customer Licensing Guide, but I can't find anything about this.

2. What is about the SQL Express database which comes with Backup Exec itself? Do I need a SQL Agent license to backup the database which resides on the media server?