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Netbackup for VMware, how to configure datastores where the backup host is a VM

Created: 25 Oct 2011 • Updated: 25 Oct 2011 | 8 comments
EstherM's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I've been working through the Netbackup Admin Guide for VMware and some on-line reading, but I'm still not clear on one point. Where it says :

"Hot-add Transport

  You can think of hot-add transport as a special case of SAN transport where the backup host is also a virtual machine.  The backup host VM accesses the VMDK objects of other VMs directly from the data store (similar to SAN transport). It can protect all VMs on datastores to which it has access."

Is there something specific that needs to be done on the vmware configuration so that the VM, that is my backup hostm can access all the datastores for that ESX host ?

Current Environment:

Netbackup 7.1 Enterprise

Netbackup Enterprise client license

Netbackup database pack license

Vsphere 4.1 Essential

VM with Windows 2008 as backup host

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Mark_Solutions's picture

As long as you follow the pre-requisites it will work

Unfortunately you are running vSphere Essential which is not licensed for hot-Add so you wont be able to use it.

You need to be on Enterprise or Enterprise Plus i'm afraid


You can still use vSphere backups though, just not the hot-add ones.

Map the datastores via the SAN to the backup host (which must at least be a NBU Client) and add it to the Master Servers properties, add the vCenter to the Credential section and you should be OK

Authorised Symantec Consultant

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

EstherM's picture

The part that I don't understand is how to map the datastores to a virtual machine.  

Luns are mapped to the ESX host, on which datastores are created that contain the vmdk files.  Is it necessary for me to map the luns to backup host virtual machine as a raw device mapping?  or isn't it necessary since it's already mapped to the ESX host on which my virtual machine is created?

Do you know which feature in the Vsphere editions is the one that allows for hotadd backups?  I was under the impression that the vStorage API for data protection is used. 

Mark_Solutions's picture


I see i got a thumbs up - if that as from yourself please let us know if you need further help with this otherwise please close the thread by marking as solved


Authorised Symantec Consultant

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

Mark_Solutions's picture


You would need to add in a virtual controller to do this but in view of not being able to use the hotadd feature you would be better to use a "real" Windows Media Server as the VMWare Backup Host.

That Media Server would need a fibre HBA installed and the DataStore LUNS zoning over the SAN to the Media Server.

Although the vSpehere API allows for the hotadd functionality VMWare themselves limit its functionality in the differenct versions and will just not allow it in anything except Enterprise and Enterprise Plus - if you tried it it would fail and the logs would report a licensing issue.

Of course you can also do this over the LAN if you wish

Authorised Symantec Consultant

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

EstherM's picture

Thanks, I'll get the vmware guys to add in a virtual controller for the virtual machine that's the backup host.

I didn't mention it before, but this is a Unix environment with a Solaris master/media server and no option to buy a separate windows server

Marianne's picture

hotadd licensing requirements in this post (see vmware URL):

Another useful discussion:
hotadd access requirements in this post:

(Mark, the 'thumbs up' was from me...)

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links

McMurdonz's picture


I have a similar question.  My VMWare backup Host is one of my physical media servers.  I've added zoning so this VMWare backup Host  can now see all the esx datastores.

How do I mount these within windows (my VMWare backup Host is 2008 R2 64), do I just mount them as any old drive letter?

Sorry I can't find any guide as to how this should be done?

Any help would be appreciated.