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Backup Exec 2010 running on VM within ESXi (free)

Level 2
I've got a Dell T710 running as an ESXi (free) host with a tape drive installed.  I would like to run Backup Exec 2010 within a VM and have it backup files from itself and other VMs.  I am not concerned with backing up the snapshots or the entire VMDKs, only file level backups.  I have agents for all the servers that will have files pulled.

At current, the inventory process works, but the label process fails.

Does this require VMware Essentials and the vStorage API?  Everything I read tells me that this will allow me to read the VMDK files and backup the snapshots but should not effect my tape drive access.

Thank you,


Employee Accredited Certified
Hi Jason

All free versions of ESXi (3.5i and 4i) require a minimum license from VMware in order to be protected by Backup Exec. This is due

to the lack of vStorage API for
Data Protection support in the free unlicensed versions of ESXi and is a current limitation of VMware

Level 2
So the tape drive will fail to operate properly without the vStorage APIs?

Employee Accredited Certified

Jason, could you please post the error message that you are getting for the label job.

Level 6
Take a moment, and browse the support KB site...  There is an article about virtualizing the BackupExec server, and the ONLY way it is supported and known to work (at least to Symantec).

Perhaps that will point you in the right direction.

Level 2
I've "upgraded" to Essentials and installed the license keys.  The host and guest have been rebooted and the tape drive is still not functioning.  The error is below.
I've also searched the Support KB and cannot find the virtualizing article you are talking about.  I can find several from users that state that this works for them though.  A link perhaps?


The error that Backup Exec reports:  “A device attached to the system is not functioning.”

In the Windows Event viewer I see Backup Exec errors which is below:

Log Name:      Application
Source:        Backup Exec
Date:          6/30/2010 11:01:20 AM
Event ID:      34113
Task Category: None
Level:         Error
Keywords:      Classic
User:          N/A
Backup Exec Alert: Job Failed
(Server: "SERVERNAME_EDITED_OUT") (Job: "Label Drive 00074") Label Drive 00074 -- The job failed with the following error: A device attached to the system is not functioning.
For more information, click the following link:
Event Xml:
<Event xmlns="">
    <Provider Name="Backup Exec" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="8192">34113</EventID>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2010-06-30T15:01:20.000Z" />
    <Security />
    <Data>Backup Exec Alert: Job Failed
(Server: "SERVERNAME_EDITED_OUT") (Job: "Label Drive 00074") Label Drive 00074 -- The job failed with the following error: A device attached to the system is not functioning.

Employee Accredited Certified
Firstly for what you are trying to do, you don't need the VMware agent (AVVI) that makes use of the vStorage APIs becasue you are intending using remote agents installed into each virtual machine - with Backup Exec installed in full into one of the Virtual Machines.

Problem is when you come to use a Physical Tape drive with a VM as a media server there are limitations on the SCSI Pass-through support. The following document written for 12.5 applies to 2010 as well:

This document is kind of based on a VMware kb article for ESX 3.5 that more or less stated Adapatec cards are the only ones supported and we only support what VMware say they support.

More or less means you have to be using an Adaptec SCSI card and that SAN attachments to the tape device/library are not supported either.

There will be some non-Adaptec SCSI cards that might work  and also SAS cards won't have been officially validated so will amost certainly have issues.

Kind of means we usually recommend that media servers are run as physical machines.