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Migrating to Exchange 2010, using BE 2010

Created: 22 Oct 2013 | 18 comments

We currently run B2D backups to external eSata drives that we take offsite, on a Windows 2003 physical box. We are migrating to Exchange 2010 soon and - of course I took for granted nothing would have to change on BE, TOTALLY my bad but still needs fixing ASAP.

  1. What I want is the best practice and what actually works in the real worlld. We will be virtualizing, through VM Ware, the Exchange server on a 2008 platform. I have my BE 2012-level agents already as part of my yearly renewal.
  2. MUST we move BE to a 64 bit box? We will backup the .vmdk for server restoration but require granular full and incremental mailbox backups.
  3. If I must move my BE isntallation, can it be virtualized or do I need a physical server? My VM guy can provide a way for me to access the eSata drives, either for direct B2D jobs or as a copy location after the job is done.
  4. We only get one server, will not be using advanced features of 2010 like Unified Messaging or DAG.
  5. Since I totally spaced on THIS part, is there anything I am not asking that I should?

Thanks to all!


Operating Systems:

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pkh's picture

Yes. You must use a 64-bit media server to backup Exchange 2010.This is stated in the SCL. It would be better to use a physical machine for your media server

lmosla's picture

Hello,  yes adding on to what pkh said ,  the media server must be a Windows 2008 sp2 or Windows 2008 r2 64 bit server with the Exchange 2010 management tools installed.

see the Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Agent for Microsoft Exchange Server


Backup Exec 2012 Software Compatibility List (SCL)
page 5  Backup Exec 2012 Server - Operating System Compatibility
Windows Operating System Compatibility
Wellsoft's picture

Thanks....Why must it be physical? NOT using BE 2012, using BE 2010. I moved ti 2012 and it was horrible, moved back to 2010.

lmosla's picture

one of the major issues that you run into is Alternative Configuration support for connecting to a storage device, such as tape drives and removable drives. here is another link:  Can Backup Exec Media Servers be installed on a Guest virtual machine running on an ESX server?  

Make sure you check the Backup exec 2010 scl 

Wellsoft's picture

I read the document and do not see anywhere that it says I cannot virtualize BE2010 and map an external drive as the B2D. Can you please point me to that documentation?

CraigV's picture

It's designated an "alternative configuration" in the documentation, and Symantec are clear on this...virtualise your media server, and unless you can prove the issue you're experiencing is reproduceable in a physical environment, they're not obligated to assist in solving it.


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Wellsoft's picture I am reading this correctly...there is no reason I cannot virtualize outside of accessing my external drive. If I chose to backup to the VM itself, then copy the file to the mapped external drive post-job I can do this with no issue. Of course, I may not WANT to do that....I am just looking to be sure I could. I may not be able to buy a physical box.

CraigV's picture would need to duplicate your B2D files. Copying them is going to mess up catalogs and probably ensure you can't restore from those files.

Just add the duplicate stage in to run after the primary job completes.


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Wellsoft's picture

Sorry, I was unclear....I meant a duplication job

Dharmarp's picture


For more information about ""why backing up or copying backup to disk data files is NOT recommended" refer to the following article:


pkh's picture

Have you thought about how you are going to do a recovery with a virtualised media server if you have a failure?  Suppose a couple of servers are wiped out, including the machine hosting the media server.  In order to restore the servers, you would have to recover the media server first.  You would need to manually load and configure the VM host.  After this, setup the VM for the media server and then recover the media server.  All these before you can start restoring the rest of the server.

If you are using a physical server, you can start recovering the media server straight-away.

Wellsoft's picture

Of course I did. All it takes is restoreing the server snapshot to get the VM back. I mean, really?

pkh's picture

How are you going to get the server snapshot to restore?  Remember your host is wiped out and this is a newly built host.

CraigV's picture

Backup Exec doesn't backup from snapshots (another vendor can with HP StoreServ/StoreVirtual hardware), and it doesn't retain those snapshots. Once VSS is invoked, it is released eventually. No ability to do this.


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Colin Weaver's picture

Just to clarify this slightly

Our alternate configuration definition fioor vitualized media servers is really there to clarify our lack of support of pass throgh configurations for target storage devices. So SCSI, Fibre Channel, SAS and USB pass through might be able to work but also might give you random effects (devices going off line, tapes not being mounted in libraries etc). Customers that have tried pas through configurations have seen a number of intermittent problems of this nature.

You should however still be able to use an iSCSI library or B2D devcie held on either iSCSI LUN's or NAS shares with a Media server virtualized and whilst this also might be reasonable efforts support, our reasonable efforts with this sort of configuration is likely to dig further than in the passthough type of environment where we already know there are problems. 

There is another limitation with relation to VMware however, you can't do SAN transport AVVI backups if the media server is virtualized, although you can do HotAdd instead so this might not be a major issue.

As an aside DO NOT try to use Dedup Storage where the iSCSI target device is provided by software running on a server, we have seen such software not resond quick enouigh to the loads of Dedup and corrupt the deup folder. Thios comment appleis to bioth physical and virtual media servers.

Wellsoft's picture THERE'S an answer I can pass up the ladder and get buy in with. Thanks!