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Continue with Traditional Backups even though we are doing VMWARE Backups?

Created: 25 Jul 2012 | 4 comments

I have a file server that is virtualized.  We own the VMWARE Agent for backup exec.  This Virtual machine also has the Remote Agent installed on it.  We have been doing two things.  

1. Traditional Backups of the Files used by our users.  So the files they access via network drives.  We a full on Sunday, then incrementals all week, and then repeat.  This is for disaster recovery but also used quite a bit to do restores for our users.

2.  VMBackup - We have also been doing a VMWare Backup where it quieces the VM and gets you a copy of the VMDK and all that stuff.  We run this once a week.  It is quite a bit more data as it is the whole computer.  So it backs everything.  This is really for Disaster Recovery, more than day to day restores for users that delete a file etc...

My question is with GRT and the Windows Agent can I stop doing the first item and switch to something where we do a Full VMBackup on Sunday, we then run incrementals all week using the VM Agent?  

Is this somethign other people are doing?

Is this something you would recommend doing?

I just got done finding out that Synthetic backups and Deduplication won't work together even though our sales rep said it would, so I wanted to make sure I asked this before getting too much further... but that is another story.

Oh btw - We are using 2012.  Yeah, been ruff.

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pkh's picture

Since you have installed RAWS in the VM, you can do incremental backups on your VM's and then use GRT to restore the individual files.  Restores may take longer because BE will have to reconstruct the VM from the full and incremental backups before it can extract the files from the reconstructed VM.  You should also be backing up to disk so that you save time on staging the backup to disk from tape.

Yes.  You cannot do synthetic backups when you backup to a dedup folder.

chiprock's picture

Yup we are backing up fully from disk.

I guess one last comment/question.  You say...  

"you can do incremental backups on your VM's and then use GRT to restore the individual files"

Just to clarify on the "can" portion of that statement.  Is this recommended?  Are other people using this as their primary backup for "data"?  I am not too concrerned about the restore time.  On our very large file server I think we will still do traditional backup of just the data files.  But I have like 40 other servers that we will probably use this method.  

Seems like lately I have been getting a lot of "Well you could do it that way but..."  Just wanted to check.

Thanks in advance for your help.

pkh's picture

Whether you do incremental backups of your VM depends on your environment.  Some installations are forced to do this because of the lack of disk space or time.  If you can do full backups, so much the better because they would be easier to restore.  The capability to do incremental backups exists.  It is up to you to use it or don't use it.

Sublaner's picture

Consider differential vs. incremental backups. True the backup increases in size as the week goes on, but restores are simpler especially when looking for that one user file lost "sometime" during the week.

We perform straight AVVI backups for our file servers and hybrid traditional-vm backups for 'special' servers: selection set is the VM plus traditional Exchange, AD or SQL backups using the remote agent. We always do Full database backups with commit logs along with the AVVI differentials during the week.