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Best practices need for backing-up hyper-v virtual machines

Created: 09 Nov 2011 | 5 comments

I am new to Backup Exec and I would deeply appreciate some help in creating a backup scheme/plan.  

I have one server setup running Windows Server 2008 R2 standard edition and it's acting as a domain controller with DNS, and it is running the Hyper-V role.  Thre is one server that is virtualized for our engerining server.  Yes, I know that it's best pratice to only have the host running the Hyper-V role, and have serveral virtual machines; but we we only have Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition and the linces only allows us to have one virtual machine.  I want to do everything by the book so that we don't get in trouble when we get audited.

The server is setup with a RAID 1 array for the OS and a RAID 5 array for the data.  

Obviously Backup Exec 2010 R2 will be need to be installed on the host OS (I understand that), but should I also install it in the virtual machine's OS?  Or should I just have Backup Exec backup the virtual machine hard disk (vhd)?

Thainks in advance!

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teiva-boy's picture

From a cost perspective, it's cheaper to backup the guest via a traditional RAWS agent.  

Operationally, its better to use the virtual agent, but the cost savings don't make sense until you have 3 or more guests virtualized.  The virtual agent, covers unlimited virtual guests, but costs roughly 3x a windows agent.

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."

pkh's picture

You should buy a RAWS licence and backup the VM like a physical machine using the remote agent.  Just push out the remote agent from the host to the VM.  If you have other applications like SQL Server, etc. in the VM, then you would need to buy the appropriate appliction licence.

Sush...'s picture

but should I also install it in the virtual machine's OS?

No. Its not receommended to install Backup Exec in the Virtual Machine. Install it on the Host server. Installing BE in virtual machine will have many limitations like you can not take backups to tape drives, performance is lowered, etc.



Hope this piece of Information Helps you... and if it does then mark this response as Solution....!!!

Colin Weaver's picture

Please clarify: Are you really running multiple Hyper-V Guest Virtual Machines inside a Host that is itself a Virtual Machine inside another Host?

If yes then you are really asking for best practices against an environment that is not configured as even a good practice and Symantec have almost certainly not officially tested this configuration.

Also if yes, then a possible solution would be install BE as a media server on the Physical host with the Hyper-V agent and and mail or database agent serial numbers enabled. Install the Backup Exec Remote Agent software inside the virtual machine that is itself a host. And then configure Hyper-V backups via this remote agent as if it was a physical host with a separate physical media server - then you will be able to do Hyper-V backups of the virtual machines residing at the lowest virtual level. You could then in theory choose between backing up the intermediate host as a Hyper-V backup or as a remote agent backup (althouigh might need extra licenses to be compliant). Please note however that none of the above could be considered as true best practice, just might provide a method.

Dark Shadow1's picture

First off, sorry about the username change.  I was having troubles logging in, and I tried resetting my password; but I never got the email.

Moving on, let me clarify, I have the host OS running as domain controller with the Hyper-V role installed.  Backup Exec is currently installed on the host OS.  I do not have a virtual machine within a virtual machine.