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"File server" vs "Microsoft Windows computers and servers"

Created: 28 Jan 2013 • Updated: 29 Jan 2013 | 3 comments
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Hello,

From what I've read both "File servers" and "Microsoft Windows computers and servers" require a Remote Agent to be installed. If that is true then why is there a dinstinction between the two in the UI? Does one option provide more functionality over the other? If I choose "File servers" does that mean I cannot backup Exchange? Conversely, if I choose "Microsoft Windows computers and servers" does that mean I cannot backup files?

 

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CraigV's picture

Honestly, who knows...go through Microsoft Windows Computers and Servers and you won't have any issues.

You need the RAWS agent installed on any server you want backed up, and the agent loaded on the media server to allow it to see any application installed.

However, if you buy an agent for Exchange, no need to buy a RAWS agent for example as this agent allows you to install the RAWS agent on the Exchange server.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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cparker4486's picture

Coming from you I'll take that as my answer.

Is this just another weird thing they've done in 2012? The reason this came up in the first place was because I didn't realize 2012 was not supported as a backup source. I thought the incompatibility was only for Server 2012 being used as a media server.

What I had done was choose File Servers for a Server 2012 machine and didn't install a Remote Agent. To me the UI was suggesting that, possibly unlike previous versions, BE 2012 was now able to backup files available through a file share simply by looking at modified time. I was further convinced this would work since the Add Server wizard completed without error. I was able to create a job and select the shares I wanted to back up (it was slow to enumerate the shares at first but after that I could drill down without a problem).

Once the backup job completed I was left with an ~88MB .B2K file in the storage repo (total data is ~7GB). I did a test restore (by simply browsing the "available" files but not actually restoring) and saw that the full file tree was available.

Even without a remote agent BE was at least able to connect to the remote server, take and record an inventory of the file share, and back up a small portion of the data.

The job did, as expected, have failure errors because it couldn't detect a remote agent and couldn't do a VSS snapshot. But then why did it allow me to add the server without deploying an agent? And why did it let me create a job and browse the file share without throwing an error? And why did the job run (and backup a small portion of the files) at all instead of immediately failing because of no remote agent?

Ultimately, I've seen too many weird things to not be convinced that BE 2012 is a mess.

pkh's picture

When you install a RAWS in a Windows machine and it is publishing properly to the media, it will be detected and be listed as a server in BE as "Microsoft Windows computers and servers".  The ability to add file servers, is so that you can shares stored on NAS which may have an OS which you cannot load either RAWS/RALUS.

why did it allow me to add the server without deploying an agent?

This is to cater for NAS.  Explanation above

And why did it let me create a job and browse the file share without throwing an error?

Why not?  BE went through the normal routines and they work.  There is no way for BE to tell that it is Server 2012 behind the share and that it is unable to backup the share

And why did the job run (and backup a small portion of the files) at all instead of immediately failing because of no remote agent?

This is because Windows 2012 is not supported and hence not tested.  The failure can occur at random points.

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