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Sofware compression on VMWARE backup to disk

Created: 02 Nov 2010 • Updated: 19 Dec 2013 | 7 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I have enabled software compression on backup to disk jobs of VMs.  When I look at the size of the backup in both Backup Exec and in Windows Explorer there is no compression.  File sizes are equal to the amount of data on the disk in question - a compression ration of 1:1.  I have checked the job logs and confirmed that software compression is selected.

Should I be seeing some compression or is software compression not available when backing up VMs?

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CraigV's picture

Hi Superdave,

You won't always get compression, even if you enable it. Hardware compression would be a better bet if you were able to get it running, due to the fact that Software compression tends to rely on the server's performance.

That said, your hardware needs to support compression, and forcing it in the job won't work if the hardware doesn't support it...


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RahulG's picture

When you a GRt backup , all the files for the Vm are backed up in the native format... so you would not see any compression ..The file will only get compresses if Hardware compression is used.

refer the following document which talk abt the same

superdave56's picture

So basically there will be no software compression on a Vmware agent backup with GRT enabled?  Will it compress if GRT is disabled in the jog? 

I'm backing up to disk so hardware compression is not a factor here. 

CraigV's picture

It is kind of a Catch 22 situation...enable GRT and get no compression, or disable it with the chance you will get it.

There is only 1 way to check and that is to disable GRT and run the backup again...

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superdave56's picture

I'll give it a shot with GRT disabled and see how it goes.

CraigV's picture

Hi superdave,

How did your test go? Did it resolve this?


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teiva-boy's picture

I dont see why there would be any compression on an AVVI backup.  There is no remote agent involved, thus no software compression can take place.  All that is happening, is BE calling vCenter and the vStorage API's to make a snapshot and to transfer the snapshot to your storage target.  Basically a file copy operation from VMFS to NTFS with BE handling that process.

If you want some sort of compression, you need to store the VMDK's on a target that can provide compression like BE's new deduplication option, or a Dedupe appliance, or to tape.

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."