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SQL incremental (log) backups fail after VMware backup runs

Created: 02 Jun 2010 | 4 comments

I have a weekly full / daily differential policy running against vSphere using the Backup Exec 2010 VMware Agent.  Two of the VM's being backed up during those jobs are running SQL Server.  I have a weekly full / daily incremental (log) policy that are run against the databases (in fully recovery mode) on those VM's.  When I run the SQL backup policy without the VMware policy jobs are successful, but whenever a SQL incremental / log backup job runs after a VMware backup job runs the SQL log backup gives me the error message that the previous SQL full backup was not performed by Backup Exec and so it couldn't continue.  There are no other manual or automatic backup processes running on these servers.  The VMware Agent jobs do have GRT enabled.  Is the VMware job also backing up my SQL databases?  If so, can I restore from them?  Is my second SQL policy useless?  What's the recommended practice here?  Thanks!


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Colin Weaver's picture

VMware with Application GRT of SQL enabled Quiesces the SQL databases and then does a snapshot backup of the complete VM - as it quiesces the SQL database this probably counts as a Backup outside of BE because the VM API did it - hence your remote agent backups will be reporting the error you mention.

Not 100% sure what the recommended practice is but at least you have an explanation.

M Daubs's picture

Thanks for the explanation Colin.  Does this mean that my SQL transaction logs are flushed during a VMware image backup?  I checked Restore -> Resources and found that I can restore a SQL database from a VMware full backup job but not from a VMware differential backup job.  Do you know if VMware incremental backups will effectively perform a SQL incremental job and allow me to restore?  If that's the case then I shouldn't need a dedicated SQL backup job at all, right?  Thanks!!

Colin Weaver's picture

OK I just found this statement (answered by a Symanetc employee):

OK, with AVVI agent, you will not be able to run log backup. Also, in order to run a log backup outside AVVI agent, you will need to perform a full backup using sql agent. AVVI backup is not recognized as a sql agent backup by SQL Agent. Hence, the limitation. So, the only solution,  is to perform a full backup of sql database using sql agent, followed by log backup. If you do an AVVI backup, you might have to perform a full backup using SQL Agent again, so that log backup succeeds. Currently, this is the default behaviour of AVVI Agent in Backup Exec 2010

In this thread:

Colin Weaver's picture

Also the Admin Guide for BE 2010 - on page 1347 discusses how to set the Symantec AVVI VSS provider to run a SQL copy job which does not truncate the logs and might let you run your SQL full and Log backups via RAWS as well.