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Help with backing up VM's

Created: 23 Sep 2013 • Updated: 18 Nov 2013 | 3 comments
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Hello people who are reading this.

Here is whats going on. I have 3 servers running vmware ESXi 5.1 and vCenter controlling them. I have a brand new Symantec 3600 Appliance. All the VM's are stored on a SAN connected by iSCSI. Now the old way I've been backing up the VM's is by installing the Agent for windows on the VM's and backing them up like that. Everything works fine like that.

Since I now have the 3600, I should have the V-Ray edition of agents for VMware. (Understand that I know nothing about the V-Ray edition other than they backup virtural machines better) I have everything from AD to SQL to Exchange and Sharepoint running on VM's. (Server 2003-2008R2) Is the method of backing up the VM's the same as before or is there a better way then installing an agent on every VM??

Example: I have 3 Host ESXi 5.1 servers and 1 vCenter and 10 VM's. What is the best way to backup all the VM's? Do I install an agent on every VM?

I have the option of adding a vCenter server to my list of servers to backup, when I edit the selections I can see all the VM's on all the hosts but when I expand a VM it just shows the vmdk. Is there a way to backup both the vmdk and individual files on the server in one job? (i.e. exchange mailboxes, documents, etc.) Or do I create one job to backup the vmdk and one to backup the server itself??

Hopefully someone can understand my madness lol

Thanks for any help!

Operating Systems:

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Jaydeep S's picture

1. You need to add the vCenter server and only backup the Virtual Machines from there. In the backup selections you would only see the vmdk files. However, after performing a GRT enabled backup, you would be able to view and restore granualr data like files/folders, Exchange GRT, SQL databases, etc.

2. Install Remote Agents on all the Virtual machines that you want to be able to perform a GRT restore of.

Here is the Best practice guide for VMWare Agent

tech001's picture

Thank you!!!!!!!!!

It's a little different then the way I was doing it but you are correct. Thank you for the link also.

I installed the agents on all my virtual servers and they appeared like normal servers at first. Then I added my vCenter server. From the vCenter server I ran a backup job of the VMs. In the list, all the virtual server that looked like normal servers before changed to a blue icons in the list. I got a Green check on both the vCenter server and the VM's so I'm hoping that means that I got everything.

One more question if your still around. If I didn't want to backup a specific file on the VM how would I go about deselecting it since the job runs from the vCenter server and only lists the vmdk?

Thanks again for answer!

Jaydeep S's picture

GRT (ability to restore individual objects like files/folders) is an added feature which works for supported Windows OS. If you don't want to have this ability for a few VMs but wan't it for others, you could split the VM backup job in two. One job with GRT and the other with out GRT.