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Level 2

Such a great feature to backup your VMWare virtual machines through SAN and you are about to know why

What are the Advantages

1 - The first thing is that (Netbackup for VMWare) supports a wide range of VM Guest OS including Windows Linux as mentioned on

     NB_virtualization_support_7x.pdf  Page No. 11         ==>        Attached

2 - Backing up over SAN is faster and does not impact the ESX host or the LAN as on NBD (Mentioned on "Netbackup For VMWare" Web Seminar




How can it be done

As from the (Symantec NetBackup ™ for VMware Administrator's Guide UNIX, Windows, and Linux Release 7.0.1)    ==>        Attached

Overview of NetBackup tasks
Install the NetBackup 7.0.1 master server and media server.
     See the NetBackup Installation Guide.

  • Symantec recommends that the NetBackup media server and the VMware backup host be installed on the same host.
  1. Phase 1

          Install the NetBackup 7.0.1 Enterprise Client license on the master server, and install NetBackup

          client 7.0.1 software on the VMware backup host.

     2.  Phase 2

          Add the VMware backup host to your NetBackup configuration. See “Adding the VMware backup

          host to the NetBackup configuration” on page 30.

     3.  Phase 3
          Set NetBackup access credentials for the VMware vCenter or VirtualCenter (if any), or for VMware

          ESX servers. See “Adding NetBackup credentials for VMware” on page 30.

     4.  Phase 4
          Configure incremental backups for VMware. See “Incremental backups must be based on

          timestamps ” on page 34.

     5.  Phase 5
          Create a NetBackup policy for VMware. See “Configuring a VMware policy from the Policies node”

          on page 34.

     6.  Phase 6
          Perform a backup or restore.
                See “Backing up virtual machines” on page 55.
                See “Restoring individual files” on page 62.
                See “Restoring the full VMware virtual machine” on page 65.

     7.  Phase 7
          Recheck the configuration.
                See “Best practices” on page 81.
                See “NetBackup status codes related to VMware” on page 93.

But the Tricky part is the topology

you need to Zone your Veritas Media Server and Both your ESX Servers and Data Store as follows

This can be done by on zone with both of them or a zone with every one separately


((((((( Critical note ))))))) 

Before the Zone with the Data Store is made make sure that automount is disabled and Scrubed on your media server

This can be done using diskpart then (automount disable) , (automount scrub)


This Configurations was tested for Both Backups and Restores using ESX host Directly with no VCenter


Thanks for every one who published how it work (or this article was not to be)

Please feel free to comment or contact me about this article

Ahmed Atef Khalil

Software Consultant (Coca Cola Egypt)


Backup over SAN using VCenter is easier to manage specialy if you are using VMotion

To backup using VCenter i used the same Idea and gave the VCenter it self access to both ESX hosts and the Data Store (((((do not forget the critical note above))))) as Follows

And again this can be done with single zone or more 


**** Note ****

If you are using NBU 7 or 7.0.1 i recommend that you upgrade to 7.1

As on NBU 7 and 7.0.1  restoring Virtual Machines with Thin Provisioned Disks may fail to restore through SAN but Still Succeed on NBD

This can be fixed either using NBU 7.1 or opening case with the tecnical support about binary file(ET2022987) mentioned on this link


Thanks for every one who published how it work (or this article was not to be)

Please feel free to comment or contact me about this article

Ahmed Atef Khalil

Software Consultant (Coca Cola Egypt)

Level 3

Hi Ahmed,

My requirement is to perform file-level backups of the Windows Guest.I wish to backup individual drives and files.

Im using NBU 7.1 and have a Win2K3 Std installed as guest OS on my ESX4.Used the Veritas Admin guide for VMware for all the configurations.

But everytime the policy validation fails  with the error " Snapshot could not be created with VMware method" crying.To fix this I even installed the latest VCB driver on my backup host.It didnt help though.

I can backup the entire VM using ALL_LOCAL_DRIVES succesfully.

My earlier forum post did not solve the issue.broken heart.Please help.smiley


Level 2

As from the configurations that you posted i do not think that you need VCB

you can still backup (All Local Drives) and restore (Files)

all what you have to do is to choose (Mapped full VM backup) from (Snapshot Client Options)

as mentioned on

(Symantec NetBackup™ for VMware Administrator's Guide: UNIX, Windows, and Linux) Page (52) Table (3-3)


I did not try this before but your configuration fits to this as you are using ESX 4 ,NBU 7.1 and the client is Win2k3

so i recommend that after backup try to restore a single file from your desktop for example to make sure that it works

(Please let me know if it works as i might need to use this feature) 

Level 3

Hi Ahmed,

Thanks.Yes I have tried the above set-up and this does work fine.

I realised why my attempt to backup individual files using off-host set-up was failing.

It was due to my VMware Backup host was Win2K8 R2.When I changed it to file-level backups in offhost set-up are working.smiley

VCB is required though.Also a mount point must also be mentioned.


Please let me know if you have any queries.

Level 2

Sorry All

I mentioned the wrong page and table

the correct page is (51) table (3 - 2)

Sethu - thanks for your reply and thanks for trying this and for the mount point hint you mentioned

but still i am sure that vStorage is able to do file level backup as mentioned on the correct page and table

Level 6

((((((( Critical note )))))))  above is VERY important  without that step you will blow away the data you have to back up.    The ESX data store is a Linux-based.  VMware backup/recover server (the NBU media server) must be windows.  Mounting a non-windows dive with automount enable will cause windows to initalise the drive when it does that you have lost the data you had to backup.  Turning automount off is well documented.

What not well documented is the potential killer of your data ...........

The default for automount enabled  (W2K8).  From my experience if you apply a Windows maintenance pack automount will go back to the default value.  No guarantees it will always do this as it will depend upon the patches in the patch bundle

Level 4

This is a very good document to help people with setting up VADP (or VCB) backups on a SAN.

I am deleting the rest of my post, as I am looking for help on VADP backing up VMware over NFS.

Sorry for wasting anybody's time.

Level 2

You can use the same way but

1 - you will not need fiber connections

2 - you will need to change the transfer type From SAN to NBD


Ahmed Atef

Software Consultant

Not applicable


@Ahmed Atef Khalil I didn't understand why you need to zone your veritas media server with your esx servers ? Or i misunderstood ?

I mean i understand that the media server needs to access to the datastores luns so you only need to zone the veritas media server with the physical storage.


But the Tricky part is the topology

you need to Zone your Veritas Media Server and Both your ESX Servers and Data Store as follows 


Btw, i really apreciate the article.

Best regards ..






Level 2

I hope you are able to gauge the risk involved here. Exposing VMware LUNs to a windows host, and relying on a single option (automount disable) to protect the vmware estate.

what are the symantec recommendations to mitigate risks??

If you manage to use Linux for your vmware backup host then this solution would be become quite viable, till then I stronly discourage customers from taking this risk.

Not applicable

It is a fair point.

But your prayers have been answered with maintenance release and later

NetBackup for VMware on SLES – delivered in

SLES can now function as a vmware backup host instead of Windows box.

Level 6
Employee Accredited Certified

True that! One clarification though. NetBackup is the version used in NetBackup Appliances (available through appliance software version 2.5). For SLES backup host support in non-appliance hosts, you need NetBackup 

See this blog for the background and details: 



Not applicable


We are using Netbackup and trying to use SAN backups on a VCenter configuration but it does not work.

Our media server sees all the Datastores (Offline, see critical note).

We are able to do a backup/restore but it always uses the LAN ... even if I force the SAN type ...

I really don't get what's wrong in our configuration.

When I check the scheme above, it seems that the VM backup host should also see the ESX over the SAN ... which looks way less clear to me ...

Somebody can give me some details about what I can do?

Thks in advance.




It seems that the Restore of a file uses the SAN (100MB/sec), while the restore of vmdk + backup is done over the LAN (yes I forced SAN type in the options of the policy) ...

Any idea?




Level 6
Accredited Certified



I need help on this issue.


I configured vmware backup through SAN, as below url.


Master server (windows 2008) Netbackup version

Media server (windows 2008) Netbackup version

Virtual machine (windows 2008)


Configured media server as vmware backup host,

Media server, ESX server and datastore are connected with SAN,

Media server and master server are connected with LAN.

ESX server, master server and media server are connected with LAN


I configured policy with flash backup windows type with snapshot option with VMware backup host (media server), in the snapshot option, I selected transfer type as Try SAN and NBD


Then I restarted test backup, backup was completed successfully with 10 MB/ sec, in backup job details, it is showing as Transport type as LAN.


So, once again , I reconfigured zoning between media server, ESX server and datastore, I selected transfer type as Try LAN and NBD, I restarted test backup, backup was completed successfully with 35MB/sec, but in the backup job details, Transport type is showing as LAN, but speed is 3 times more compare to previous test backup,

Maybe it is using SAN, but Iam not sure, can anyone help me to fix this issue, whether backup job is running through SAN or LAN, because, for FT media server, backup job´s Transport will show as FT, but in VMWare via SAN, it will show as SAN as Transport or ? I don’t have any idea.


Note : I tried backup with transfer type as only SAN, but it is getting fail as below error, ERR - Error opening the snapshot disks using given transport mode: Status 23, could not send server status message file read failed(13),

Maybe this issue due to LAN connection between master server and media server, Iam not sure, guide me.



04-Jan-13 16:54 - Info nbjm(pid=5944) starting backup job (jobid=3226483) for client TEST01, policy vmware_new_san, schedule Full

04-Jan-13 16:54 - estimated 0 Kbytes needed

04-Jan-13 16:54 - Info nbjm(pid=5944) started backup job for client TEST01, policy vmware_new_san, schedule Full on storage unit media1stgo-hcart3-robot-tld-0

04-Jan-13 16:54 - started process bpbrm (8016)

04-Jan-13 16:54 - connecting

04-Jan-13 16:54 - connected; connect time: 00:00:00

04-Jan-13 16:54 - mounting AMD097

04-Jan-13 16:54 - end writing

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bpbrm(pid=8016) TEST01 is the host to backup data from

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bpbrm(pid=8016) reading file list from client

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bpbrm(pid=8016) starting bpbkar32 on client

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bpbkar32(pid=6120) Backup started

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bpbkar32(pid=6120) CONTINUE BACKUP received.

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bptm(pid=4368) start

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bptm(pid=4368) using 262144 data buffer size

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bptm(pid=4368) setting receive network buffer to 1049600 bytes

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bptm(pid=4368) using 128 data buffers

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bptm(pid=4368) start backup

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bptm(pid=4368) Waiting for mount of media id AMD097 (copy 1) on server media1stgo.

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Error bpbrm(pid=8016) from client TEST01: ERR - Error opening the snapshot disks using given transport mode: Status 23.

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Info bpbkar32(pid=6120) bpbkar waited 0 times for empty buffer, delayed 0 times.

04-Jan-13 17:00 - Error bpbrm(pid=8016) could not send server status message file read failed(13)


Anyone help me on this issue, to fix it.



Level 6
Partner Accredited Certified

I faced the same issue and as Symantec guy said :

The transport type you see in the Activity monitor represents the transport mechanism between client and media server. In your case, it is likely to be LAN unless your VMware backup host (the client where bpbkar is running) is a SAN Client. You will see the transport type as SAN if your backup host is a SAN Client sending data to a FT media server.

The transport from VMware datastore to VMware backup host is not displayed in Activity Monitor. The only way to confirm the transport type used is to look at bpbkar log.


This is bad because the customer want to see SAN not LAN,


Level 6
Accredited Certified

Hi Rami,

Thanks for your information.

But, I checked with Symantec support, they told, there is  issue with Zoing between Datastore and VMware backup host. and they closed the case, because zoing issue is out of scope from symantec.

I guess, it will show SAN, if its using SAN for transport for backup and also there is no issue with zoning.


Level 6
Partner Accredited Certified

Yes ,Symantec believe that this is SAN requirment not Backup so they will not work for long time with you on such casesrelated to SAN ,But  if you still facing this issue and you believe that zoning done right way and mapped to the appliance so they are presented on the appliance (you can see the luns under storage >scan ,please do the following:

- add your appliance in the master server properties (Vmware access host)

- restart the netbackup services in the master server and the appliance(support>proccess>netbackup>stop>start)

-create the policy and check only SAN transport mode

- add 2  or 3 clients from different datastores or esx hosts to check(because some time the client located not in that datastore which was zoned)

-start manual backup and check

I followed this steps and was worked successfully


Hope this will help


Level 6
Accredited Certified


Thank for your information.

Let me try with appliance and VMware for backup through SAN

Level 1

Hi Ahmed,

I have DS4700 SAN Storage and I need to configure the NBU backup over SAN.

As per the above "you need to Zone your Veritas Media Server and Both your ESX Servers and Data Store as follows", my question is

- Is that all the configuration needed to be done from the sotrage side?
- Don't we need to map the Logical Drives "LUNs" to the Netbackup Host/VMware backup host?



Senior Database & Backup Admin

Version history
Last update:
‎03-28-2011 08:24 AM
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