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Using RAWS as a VMware HotAdd transport mode mount host instead of using a Backup Exec Server

Created: 12 Nov 2012 • Updated: 13 Nov 2012 | 5 comments
RLeon's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hi all,

This thread is not about the SAN transport mode in VMware vStorage VADP, which works well;
but sometimes the HotAdd transport mode can work better when used together with deduplication.

It is known that the following setup works well:
  1x Physical Backup Exec Server running as a CAS as well as a deduplication storage host.
  1x Virtual Backup Exec managed media server working also as a HotAdd mode mount host.

With the above setup, vStorage type backup jobs can be configured to present VM snapshots to the virtual BE server using HotAdd mode.
The virtual BE server deduplicates then send the data to the physical BE server - via LAN - where the deduplication storage is.
Although not LAN free, but in some cases backup jobs could complete even faster than using SAN mode, if data change rate is low.
The important point here is that backups get deduplicated by the virtual BE server before they are sent to the physical BE CAS server where the storage is.

The question is, is it possible to use a humble RAWS (I.e., BE agent) as a HotAdd mount host in this case?
If it is possible, then this setup could do without the extra 1x Backup Exec Server license for the virtual BE server and the extra 1x Enterprise Server Option license for running CAS mode on the physical BE server.
From Colin's post above, it is clear that in BE2010 only a BE server can be a HotAdd mount host; so no HotAdd mounting in RAWS then.
I'm just wondering if things have changed in BE2012.

For deployments that do not use BE deduplication, there would be little point in using HotAdd, as Colin suggested.
For deployments that do use BE deduplication, the configuration I described can make HotAdd very useful.
If there is a way to make a RAWS a HotAdd mount host, then even better (cough*cheaper*cough).
The HotAdd mounted snapshots could be deduplication by RAWS (it supports client-side-deduplication, right guys) then be sent to the deduplication storage on a physical BE server.

Side note: It is generally not recommended to run a deduplication storage from a virtual BE server, regardless if it is done using a dedicated vmdk, RDM lun, iScsi, etc. Best to attach the deduplication storage on a physical BE server.

Thanks all,


(Optional block of text) In Netbackup environments, client-as-a-HotAdd-mount-host is a supported configuration, and has been a popular alternative to the SAN transport mode:
  1x Physical Nbu master server, which hosts the deduplication storage
  1x Virtual Win2008 running just the Nbu client/agent, and is configured to be the HotAdd mode mount host. Client deduplication is enabled so that it deduplicates the HotAdd mounted snapshots of other VMs before sending them to the physical Nbu server where the deduplication storage is.

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RLeon's picture

HotAdd. HotAdd.
I prefer mine in a poppy seed bun with extra onions and mustard.

CraigV's picture

...OK then! I doubt that the basic functionality would have changed between BE 2010 R3 and BE 2012. Your best source of information in this regard would be the BE 2012 Admin Guide, and if nothing is mentioned there, then it won't be possible.

Your next best step is to add this in as an idea on the link below. Enough interest/votes and it might be considered for some future version of BE.


Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

RLeon's picture

Thanks Craig.

No, the BE2012 admin guide doesn't say much about HotAdd.
But then, it also doesn't say much about Off-host backup using import storage hardware snapshots, but it is supported and works in Backup Exec.

For now, I guess I'll just have to stick with using a virtual BE server as a HotAdd mount host, and swallow the 2 "extra" licenses.

For anyone who is interested, some people prefer to implement the setup I described in the following different way:
  1x Virtual BE server running as CAS as well as the HotAdd mount host.
  1x Physical BE managed server running as a deduplication storage host.
By running the "main" CAS server as a VM, you get the benefit of VMware HA. (I.e., If one of your ESX server dies, your CAS goes to a different ESX and survives.)
Of course if the physical BE managed server dies, then you lose your deduplication storage.
But then, if you have more than one BE managed server, you are still good.
The point being that it is more important to give the "main" CAS server HA because you can have many managed servers.

Colin Weaver's picture

No we can't use RAWS as a Hot Add mount, you can suggest it as an Idea, using thd Create Content menu at the top of the forums. (Ideas are ways for customers to submit enhancement requests)

WIth regards you off-host comment, you ahoudl read up on the Off-host options within ADBO/ESO as we do dodumcnet that capabolity, restricted to certain hardware vendors capabilitites.

You can't however mix Off-host with either Hyper-V or VMware agent backups as this is unsupported. VMware should use SAN or HotAdd Transport. Hyper-V APIs do not yet have similar functionality, but you can make  the host server a media server in a Hyper-V setup which you can't with VMware.

RLeon's picture

Thanks for replying Colin.

The off-host feature is indeed documented and I should add that it works quite well; if configured properly.
I am aware that the VMware SAN/HotAdd method is a very different type of "off-host". I was just referencing the hardware snapshot off-host feature to express that I'd have liked to see more pages written about it in the admin guide. The current latest iteration of the admin guide has around.... 10 pages on it.