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Level 6
Administrators often run into difficulties providing comprehensive backup and recovery of VMware. While VMware’s built-in backup tools provide some level of protection, they do not allow the kind of flexibility and granular control many enterprises demand. Many third-party applications may provide more control but affect VMware performance. In addition, without integration of these third-party applications with VMware’s VCB backup framework, administrators may need to add additional scripting or integration modules to achieve the desired results.

Capabilities of the Backup Exec’s Agent for VMware Virtual Infrastructure

Symantec Backup Exec’s Agent for VMware Virtual Infrastructure (AVVI) addresses many limitations currently facing VMware administrators. In particular, the Backup Exec AVVI has the following capabilities:
  • Integration with VMware VCB backup
  • File-level and folder recovery from single-pass, image-level backup
  • Integration with VMware VirtualCenter
  • Agentless backup of guest machines
  • Off-host backup processing.

In addition, AVVI includes VSS support for all VSS-aware applications, such as MS Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL and leverages the VMware Converter for customized guest machine restores.

How the Backup Exec Agent works

The Backup Exec AVVI license must be installed on a Backup Exec server. The Backup Exec interface can then communicate with VMware’s VirtualCenter or individual VMware servers. The interface then walks administrators through the process of identifying and selecting hosts, groups, and guest machines for Backup Exec backup and recovery processes.
Figure 1. Discovering and selecting guest virtual machines

When selecting guest VMs, all components are selected for backup, including .vmdk, .vmx, and .log files. When a guest VM must be restored, administrators can use the same Backup Exec GUI to browse to the VM to restore the entire VM or its individual .vmdk files.
Restore files can also be redirected to alternate locations, including other datastores, host servers, virtual machine names, or other virtual networks. 
The Backup Exec AVVI protects individual files and folders in one pass, requires no agent on guest machines, and provides greater performance as it does not process its backup on host VM machines.
  • The Backup Exec AVVI has the following system requirements:
  • VMware ESX 3.0.2,3.0.3, 3.5 or later
  • VMware Converter 3.0.3 or later
  • VMware VirtualCenter 2.5 or later
  • VMware VCB 1.1, 1.5 or later
  • VMware Tools installed on guest virtual machines
Administrators using Backup Exec AVVI will realize greater control, improved performance, and easier administration of VMware backup and restore facilities. For more detailed information on the Backup Exec AVVI, read the Symantec White Paper “Comprehensive Backup and Recovery of VMware Virtual Infrastructure” here.
Not applicable
 Pardon me if I'm being stupid but isn't VCB dead and gone as of vSphere 4?

As a VMWare rep put it to me recently "we listened, you hated it, it caused problems, it's gone.... a new backup API is available and is the only thing you'll see going forward as there will be no service console in future"

So how does BE 12.5 support vSphere 4 natively - without resorting to just backing up the guests as if they were physical machines?
Level 3
Are there limitations with the VMware backup when the VM is running a database, such as SQL, Exchange, Sharepoint, etc?  Will you be able to have a hot backup of the database (and restore it), with the VMware agent, or is that a place where the regular host agent should still be used to get those files?

Not applicable
These tech tips are always worth looking over very carefully and diligently. You have done a great job explaining all of this. These things can be quite confusing at times and we do not want to miss a beat. casino online
Not applicable
Good real life article, will save me some time in future.
Not applicable
vSphere is the way of the future for VMware, yes.  The good news is Backup Exec supports vSphere too, along with existing installations of VCB in ESX 3.x environments.  Through integration with VCB or vSphere, Backup Exec can restore anything from an individual file to an entire guest machine from a single backup WITHOUT putting an agent on the guest machine (like you would in a physical environment.)  Hope this answers your question.
Not applicable
The only limitation currently is that if you want granular recovery of these applications (individual emails, documents, etc.), then you need the respective application agent installed in the guest machine.  If you just want to backup these application and be able to recover the guest in a known, good state, then no application agent is needed.  Just the Agent for VMware.
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Last update:
‎10-27-2009 03:44 PM
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