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Recommendations for backing up a virtual environment

Created: 27 Dec 2013 • Updated: 27 Dec 2013 | 4 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hello everybody

I'm evaluating Backup Exec 2012 as our new backup software and I wonder, what would be the best way to backup our virtual environment.

We have one vCenter Server and about 15 servers (all windows 2008 R2) which need to be backed up. As far as I understand Backup Exec there are two ways of backing them up, I wonder what the recommendations are.

One way is to do a backup of the virtual machine via vCenter Server, either with GRT enabled or disbaled, depending on the servers profile. The other was is to backup the vm via the agent, so it would look like a physical machine.

What exactly are the advantages or disadvantages of either way? What would be recommded for a virtual machine running Exchange 2010 or one running SQL Databases or one being a Fileserver?

I understand that this is also a question of licenses but since we are reconfiguring our whole backup situation, buying a few extra licenses should not be a big problem.

Thanks in advance and merry belated christmas!

nwickord

Operating Systems:

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Sush...'s picture

Hello nwickord,

     The best way to back this is using the Backup Exec Virtulization Agent. So on one of your physical server install Backup Exec. Add the VCenter to the Backup Exec and there you go... You can backup all the 15 VMs in the same job selected via VCenter.

The advantages I can see are following:

- In one backup you have backup of all the VMs

- Easy to perform Disaster Recovery of any VM by restoring the complete VM in one go.. so no need to install OS and then perform other steps

- Using GRT option you can restore any file & folder from any VM

- Using Application GRT option you can restore individual database of SQL, then individual emails/mailbox of Exchange, individual documents of Sharepoint, individual components of Active Directory

What would be recommded for a virtual machine running Exchange 2010 or one running SQL Databases or one being a Fileserver?

--> Just back it up using the Virtulization agent and Application GRT enabled.Using Application GRT option you can restore individual database of SQL, then individual emails/mailbox of Exchange.

I understand that this is also a question of licenses but since we are reconfiguring our whole backup situation, buying a few extra licenses should not be a big problem.

--> You will require following licenses:

1 - Backup Exec Core product license keys

2 - Agent for Application & Database license keys for 1 Exchange & 1 SQL servers to use the Application GRT feature.

1 - Backup Exec Agent for Virtulization (This will include all the remote agent licenses for as many VMs you have on that ESX host server).

Please note that if you have more than 1 ESX server then you will require that many Virtulization Agent licenses.

Let me know if you have any further query.

Regards,

-Sush...

Hope this piece of Information Helps you... and if it does then mark this response as Solution....!!!

nwickord's picture

Hello Sush

Thanks for your helpful response. So if I have 4 VMs running SQL server I need 4 App/Database license keys?

I have 5 ESX server but only one vCenter Server. I ran the Backup Exec License Assessment tool and it says I only need one Agent for VMware and Hyper-V, even though I backup VMs from all 5 ESX servers in our test environment. It also does not state that I need any App/Database Licenses even though I have GRT enabled on the backup jobs for i.e. the exchange and 2 SQL servers.

This assessment tool really confuses me, as it also says I need 2 Agent for Applications and Databases for physical server even though I have 3 physical servers configured, two of them running SQL and on running Oracle databases.

Can you help me on that also?

Thanks

nwickord

Sush...'s picture

Hello nwickord,

   yes. If you have 4 VMs running SQL then legally you should have 4  App/Database license keys for backing database.

The Agent for VMware is based on formula Number of license key equal to number of ESX host. So even if you are managing 5 ESX servers with 1 VC you would still require 5 Agent for VMware licenses.

I would not completely rely on the results of the tool. You can refer to the BE 2012 licensing guide.

http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH178479 : How Agents and Options are Licensed in Symantec Backup Exec 2012 (Portfolio Licensing Guide)

http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH178483 : Backup Exec 2012 Licensing - Getting Started

Regards,

-Sush...

 

Hope this piece of Information Helps you... and if it does then mark this response as Solution....!!!

SOLUTION
pkh's picture

You might want to consider the V-Ray edition which is licensed on a per occupied socket basis and this edition gives you unlimited Agent for Application and databases licenses. See this blog

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/what...