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Is a virtualized BE 2010 media server as good as a physical one?

Created: 29 Jul 2012 • Updated: 19 Feb 2014 | 5 comments
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I am only using dedupe no tapes. Ths will be hooked to a Dell isci San

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Backup_Exec's picture

Edited (As I didn't read your above post right & thought you are using tape.)


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pkh's picture

A virtual machine can NEVER be as good as a physical machine, especially where I/O's are concern.  Symantec always recommends a physical machine as a physical server.  You ae using dedup which places heavy demands on both CPU as well as I/O's, so it would not be wise to use a VM as a media server.  

When you use a VM as a media server, you are using an alternative configuration which means that if you cannot reproduce the problem with a physical machine, then Symantec will not support it.  This will make any trouble-shooting difficult.

The definition of an Alternative configuration from Symantec's Techncial Support Policy (which is publicly available) is:

Alternative Configurations: Our Licensed Software is designed to interoperate with many types of systems, applications, and hardware. Sometimes a customer may choose to use our Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration, namely, an environment that has not been validated, approved or verified to operate with our Licensed Software or which does not support such Licensed Software or only supports limited functionality. In most cases, we do not support Alternative Configurations, and we have no obligation to provide Support Services to Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration. Symantec makes no warranty with respect to use of Licensed Software in an Alterna­tive Configuration and any such use is at your own risk. A “Supported Configuration” might be converted into an “Alternative Configuration” where a vendor modifies one of its components that is part of the original “Supported Configuration.” As a consequence, your Licensed Software would then be operating in an Alternative Configuration. If you experience a Problem with the Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration or if your issue deals with script that was not developed by Symantec or an authorized consulting partner, then we may ask you to reproduce the Problem in a Supported Configuration environment. Please note we have no obligation to attempt to resolve Problems that cannot be replicated in a Supported Configuration. However, if the Problem can be replicated in a “Supported Configuration,” we will investigate the Problem in that Supported Configuration and attempt to resolve it. If the Problem cannot be replicated in a Supported Configuration, then we may elect not to work on that Problem.

macpiano's picture

I was also thinking that it would not be good but I wanted to hear from someone else. I have just built it and am doing a couple test jobs right now. I may take another server in the Cisco UCs and build it as a real server and see how the I/O times are.


pkh's picture

It is not just performance that you have to worry about.  The more important thing is support in case things go wrong.  You would be using an alternative configuration.

CraigV's picture

...we've put in virtualised BE media servers on a couple of sites...not my idea, and no amount of push-back from my side changed things.

They connect via SCSI pass-through to HP StorageWorks MSL2024 G3 LTO4 tape libraries. It works well...WHEN it works. When it breaks (and it does and will), it takes forever to fix. To rescan the SCSI bus through ESX it means I have to restart the ESX host dropping all VMs in the process causing downtime. This is basically a stand-alone solution with replication via Veeam.

As pkh says...don't do this, and I'd like to back him up. You'd run into issues with Symantec supporting any issues fully as well.

As a test, not a hassle...who cares about IOs in this case, but not in a production environment!

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