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