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Looking for general feedback on backing up with Agent vs. VMDK

Created: 22 Apr 2013 | 3 comments

Hello,

We are currently using BE 2012. A good portion of our servers are VMware VM's. For now we are still using the BE Agent for our Server backups. I have been doing some testing and also research on the pros and cons of backing up the VMDK vs. an Agent backup.

I was curious with those with a similar scenario what method you have decided to use and commit to. Agent, Agent & VMDK or just VMDK? Personally having the ability to restore the VMDK sure seems like the way to go but i would like to know what others have decided.

Hope that makes sense.

Thank you!

Steve

 

 

Operating Systems:

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teiva-boy's picture

An agent based backup is generally easier to setup and configure since it's what folks have been doing since the 90's with BackupExec.  Also if using deduplication, gets better dedupe rates.

Image based backups, are generally faster to backup as you backup an entire large contiguous image file.  However, when using GRT, it's sometimes problematic with random errors every now and then.  But it's quicker to backup and restore.  It also depends what your infrastructure is based on SAN or JBOD storage or NFS/CIFS, FC vs iSCSI, etc.

From a cost perspective, virtualize and backup 3 or more guest OS's and that is the price of one virtual agent.  So from a cost perspective it's better to buy those, and you can still deploy agents as needed, as it's included.

 

In the end, there is no right or wrong way.  You can do either method, it really depends on your applications, personal comfort levels, and architechture.

There is an online portal, save yourself the long hold times. Create ticket online, then call in with ticket # in hand :-) http://mysupport.symantec.com "We backup data to restore, we don't backup data just to back it up."

iamstevechambers's picture

Thank you teiva-boy for your thoughts and thorough explanation! I know that this a tough question to ask because there are several scenarios to consider and maybe one method of backing up would be better than another depending on the server and the server role. Your pretty much just confirming what my thoughts are and I appreciate that. Backing up the entire VMDK file sure makes life easy but i don’t know if I’m ready to put all of my eggs in that basket just yet :)

 

teiva-boy's picture

Symantec has had their fair share of issues like being able to backcup over the SAN, but can only restore over LAN of VMDK's.  Blaming VMware, but other vendors didn't suffer this issue.  Or not supporting vSphere 5.1 for a long time, perhaps even to this day?  yet other "Enterprise," products do as well as point products like vRnager and Veeam.

But Symantec has marrketshare, about 23-25% of the world uses BackupExec.  There are better products, but it's easier to find help when you need it with the popular product.

There is an online portal, save yourself the long hold times. Create ticket online, then call in with ticket # in hand :-) http://mysupport.symantec.com "We backup data to restore, we don't backup data just to back it up."