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VM Backups

Created: 26 Nov 2012 | 10 comments

I read in the best practises for VMs article that you should create 2 jobs one with GRT and one without for SQL Dbases, Linux etc.

If I am backing up at Vcentre level, and new VMs are added automatically, how do I ensure they are added to the correct job?

Thanks

Loz

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pkh's picture

I read in the best practises for VMs article that you should create 2 jobs one with GRT and one without for SQL Dbases, Linux etc.

Which article/document advises you to exclude SQL databases from GRT backups?

Without GRT, you would need to restore the entire VM to recover 1 SQL database.

If I am backing up at Vcentre level, and new VMs are added automatically, how do I ensure they are added to the correct job?

You select the entire vCentre and then exclude specific VM's below the vCenter.  As long as the top level is selected, any addition/removal of the lower level will automatically be reflected in the selection list.

Support_team's picture

Thanks, my thinking was that maybe GRT is not a good idea for SQL as the logs are not truncated and not all databases are in simple recovery mode. If an application level backup needs to be run then I don't see the point in GRT for SQL. Your comments would be welcome though if I am wrong.

I am still unclear about the default behaviour for a VM. If I backup my whole Vcentre and add the exclusions you mention for non GRT jobs, if a Linux VM is added at a later date would it automatically use GRT unless we manually intervened and excluded it. This seems like it is not a good use of the dynamic inclusion feature, bearing in mind that if we miss it then the backup of that system fails if it doesn't support GRT.

It would seem you would have to create your default settings to not include GRT and then add it for servers that require it.

How have other people been able to structure their Vcentre backups?

pkh's picture

If you are going to backup the SQL databases individually, then you are right in that there would no be much point in using GRT.

The advice on not using GRT for resources which does not support GRT like Linux is probably based on the fact that you would save some time during the enumeration phase.  There is actually no harm in including such resources in a GRT backup.

Support_team's picture

This doesn't seem to be the case in the Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Agent for VMware doc

Back up virtual machines that do not support Granular Recovery Technology (GRT), such as Linux and Mac, in a separate job and deselect the four options to "Enable GRT for <Microsoft application name> on virtual machines".

If a virtual machine does not support GRT, but the options to enable application GRT are selected, the job will fail. Therefore, placing the virtual machines that do not support GRT in a separate backup job and deselecting the application GRT options will help to prevent job failures.

pkh's picture

My apologies.  I did not notice that caveat.

I am not sure, but you can try using include/exclude to see whether this would solve your problem.

Support_team's picture

Thanks, I would be interested to know how other people structure their Vcentre backups to get around this.

VJware's picture

What most people usually do is ~

split off two backup jobs...select each VM individually (and not the top-level selection of vCenter or ESX)... one backup job has App-GRT enabled & the other does not.. The difference is the way you make the selections, in other words not using dynamic inclusion & not using include/exclude..

Colin Weaver's picture

Just for reference the SQL logs will not be truncated by a VMware agent backup with or without GRT enabled.

However if your SQL database are not in SImple logged mode then you will have to reun remoet agent backups to truncate the logs

Assuming the server in question is just a SQL server and does not provide other functions then a [possible strategy woudl be do a non-GRT VMware backup once a week for DR purposes. Then backup the SQL databases with standard agent backups with a sequence of at least one full following teh VMware job and then your log backups/full backups as required by your strategy.

Support_team's picture

Thanks VJWare, so I must just change my mindset about getting dynamic inclusion to work and rather make the whole process manual. I don't see how the Dynamic inclusion feature can work if you have multiple OSs and want to use GRT. Good feature, its a shame it can't be used more extensively.

Support_team's picture

Thanks Colin,

Good advice for the SQL server strategy. I will bear this in mind.

Is there any information on backup strategies for BE 2012 and VMWare? There are overall best practise docs but as you suggest there are better ways to configure certain systems and sometimes treating a virtual as a physical is a better option.