Video Screencast Help
Symantec to Separate Into Two Focused, Industry-Leading Technology Companies. Learn more.

BE2012 on Server 2008R2 backup to USB drives

Created: 15 Nov 2012 | 11 comments

 

Hi 
 
Could you confirm the following scenario is supported
by Backup Exec 2012, and if so is there any documentation
to explain how to set it up correctly.
 
We have a 2012 Hyper-V Server running Server Core.
On that Server there is a virtual machine running
Server 2008 and within that Server Backup Exec 2012 
is running. 
 
We need Backup Exec 2012 to backup to a pool of USB drives
that are attached to the USB port on the underlying Hyper-V 
Core Server.There will be 5 drives that are attached to the 
Hyper-V Core Server rotated mon,tues,wed,thurs,fri.
 
Is this supported and if so what is the correct way to 
implement it?
 
Thanks

Comments 11 CommentsJump to latest comment

AmolB's picture

Backup Exec Media server on a VM is not a recommended configuration, you may face issues 

if the VM does not detect physical media (USB drives or tape drives)

Protech1's picture

Thanks for the reply,

 

Yes that is exactly the concern we have. Is there any official documentation that confirms that it is not "supported" that you could provide.

 

Would be much appreciated.

Colin Weaver's picture

In Hyper-V you cannot pass through SCSI/SAS Tape drive support into a VM as Microsoft does not provide a way to do it. Whilst USB can be passed through (either for disks or I guess tape devices) Symantec does no testing of such a configuration and as such cannot certify the configuration as a supported solution.

If you installed the Backup Exec media server on the Hyper-V host it would be supported.

With VMware despite some form of passthough being possible we know that there can be problems from customer reports and again we do no official testing of tape drives (on any connection technology) or USB drives used as target devices. 

 

As such if there are any problems experienced with such a configuration, you would have to prove to us that the same problem would exist on a physical media server using the same hardware.

 

There is no specific documentation for Hyper-V. However the terminology for "Alternative Configuration" is discussed in the SCL and defines our response to untested scenarios.

Peter Sheridan's picture

Last time i checked, i don't think you can pass through USB Drives in Hyper V either.

If it supports passing through PCI devices, you may be able to install a decided USB PCI card and pass that through.

Protech1's picture

To clarify further, this is the exact method we are trying to implement.

 

 
 
We have a 2012 Hyper-V Server running Server Core.
On that Server there is a virtual machine running
Server 2008 and within that Server, Backup Exec 2012 
is running. 
 
We need Backup Exec 2012 to backup to a pool of USB drives
that are attached to the USB port on the underlying Hyper-V 
Core Server. As Hyper-V does not support USB passthrough,
if these drives are instead "shared" then added to a pool in 
Backup Exec 2012, can they then be rotated mon,tues,wed,thurs,fri?
 
 
So far, implementing this method in testing has shown that 
it does not work reliably as Backup Exec 2012 seems to loose 
track of which drives are connteced and as drives are rotated
there is no guarantee that they will always appear with the
same share name?
 
Is this a recommended/supported method and if so what is the 
correct way to implement it?
 
Thanks
Colin Weaver's picture

As stated - if Backup Exec is not on a physical operating system but is running inside a VM then access to USB (or tape devcies) is not officially supported. Backup Exec would need to be either on a separate physical media server or running on the Hyper-V host, but as your host appears to be running Core, I am not sure you can install a media server directly on Core

The USB disk rotation is supported on physical hardware, although some customers have had problems which need investigation on a case-by-case basis.

pkh's picture

The SCL states that you cannot install the media server in a Core edition.  I guess it is because of the lack of a GUI.

Peter Sheridan's picture

Use VMWare ESXi as your hypervisor instead. It supports pass through of USB/PCI devices which will make it work the way you want it to :P Thats that way I do it.

I have tried one of these before

http://www.belkin.com/networkusbhub/

The only problem is the auto mount feature requires you to be logged on, and since there is no console session in Windows 2008 or greater it doesn't work unattended.

I have also tried what your doing in regards to sharing the USB drives but didn't find it reliable. It would have the same share name but just wouldn't read it properly.

Unfortunately It doesn't sound like you have many options. I guess you could either a) install the full version not the Core and then have the media server on the Hyper-V Host, or b) purchase some sort of NAS and then somehow copy the data from the NAS to the USB drives for offsite backup.

 

Protech1's picture

Thanks for your input guys. What you are reporting pretty much confirms that we are not alone in the issues encounterd. If anyone has any further comments please feel free to contribute.

Peter Sheridan's picture

One would have thought that Microsoft would have implemented some of these features in Hyper-V 2012, but after playing with it, the software still lacks basic functionality features that VMWare have had for years.