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HP P411multiple LUN controller v BackupExec 2010 v VMware ESXi

Created: 28 Nov 2010 | 7 comments

Hi there,

We are in the process of getting a HP P411 SAS controller working with a HP StorageWorks 1/8 G2 autoloader running on a Windows 2003 Virtual Machine. The backup software is Backup Exec 2010 R2.

The issue is that BackupExec and the OS are seeing the autoloader as a stand alone device and not a robotic library.

Our P411 controller supports multiple LUNs so I am guessing the issue lies with VMware ESXi.

Has anyone got the HP P411 or a HBA with multiple LUN support working on an ESXi guest?

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pkh's picture

It is always preferable to use a physical machine as the BE media server.  This is because of the difficulty of accessing a physical tape device from a virtual machine.

CraigV's picture

...ugh! We are heading down the ESXi route, and "APPARENTLY" a VM hosting an autoloader/MSL2024 is supported.

I guess I will see shortly when we do the first installation...

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

Colin Weaver's picture

Not sure where the comments about device being supported in a VM actually came from - the official line from Symantec is that we only support hardware configurations for pasthrough into a VM that VMware state are supported. The last time I saw updated specifics for this it stated that no SAN (Fiber Channel) connections are supported and that the only supported connectivity was a SCSI connection using an Adaptec SCSI card. SAS was not mentioned at all.

The VMware document was not however a recent one so this may have changed.

CraigV's picture

Hi Colin,

Came from an engineer downstairs who mentioned that. I remain sceptical, as I will be the one with the hospital pass once the project is hurriedly signed off crying

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DrewJenner's picture

If I cannot get the above setup working we may look to setup a dedicated physical machine but really wanted to exhaust all other options first before forking over more $ on hardware.

I have not tried passthrough to the VM. Would this work?

Ken Putnam's picture

A media server  doesn't have to be a real high end box, and the OS can be XP-Pro (32 or 64Bit).  Just make sure you have plenty of RAM in it

If this response answers your concern, please mark it as a "solution"

teiva-boy's picture

Here is the official support document on virtualizing the BE media server:

I will say that this has been very temperamental in getting to work reliably and consistently. If you did get it to work, an new vSphere update could break it.  Vmware would rather you just use iSCSI devices if possible for tape access, but that introduces its own performance issues.

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."