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Backup Exec 2015 Application Server Recommendations

Level 2

Hi all

Currently we have the Backup Exec Application server installed on a Physical Server that we are wanting to convert to a Hyper-V Host.

The question is, and I am looking for advantages/disadvantages of where the application server would be acceptable to be installed based on the following environment factors that are not likely to change. One of the disadvantages that can contribute to the answer is the downtime required for reboots due to Backup Exec updates and Agent Updates, that are A) actually infrequent and B) we do not have high availability requirements and server reboots can be carried out after 5PM every day.

Thing to consider:

  • Full backups are carried out every evening throughout the night of our entire server infrastructure.
  • File restoration during the day that could impact the services of the server it is installed on. This generally is only an issue with Exchange restores because as we backup to LTO6 tape it means we have to restore the entire exchange database to a staging area for it to extract the restorable items that can take ~1 hour, but I am unsure how demanding Backup Exec actually is resource wise for such a task.

So here are the options:

1. Leave installed on the Hyper-V host. (Del R610, 2x x5650 @ 2.67Ghz, 48GB Ram)

I have read and been told this is not best practice, but technically is it still acceptable? It would mean I do not have to migrate the current installation and catalogues etc. I could just install the Hyper-V host.

Is there something fundamentally not recommended by this, or is it just how important the services on the VM’s and how they could be affected by the application server running on the host? Also whether the CPU/Memory allocations are equipped to cater for everything? I could start off like this and then migrate if performance was severely impacted.

I intend to run 2 VM’s on this server, the 1st being the terminal server that never has more than 5 people connected and rarely more than 2 or 3, I have plans to move everybody to VPN connections eventually. The 2nd VM is for all miscellaneous internal services i.e. McAfee EPO/WSUS etc to be migrated to, we only have ~50 computers so there is no excessive demand.


 2.Install on a Domain Controller (Dell R710, 1x x5650 ~ 2.67Ghz, 12GB (will be upgraded to 24GB))

One of our Domain Controllers is actually our Fileserver and I was thinking it would be good to have the App Server and HBA card local to the majority of the data and may improve backup speeds to tape (although all servers are connected to the same switch so unsure if this is actually reducing the speed at all). I was just sceptical having this installed on a Domain Controller and any issues with Backup Exec that could adversely affect our network.


3. Install within a VM

I could install within the 2nd VM with all of the other Services mentioned previously, but this requires migration and I consider it only an options if it is highly not recommended to have running on a Hyper-V Host.


What option do you think you would choose and why?


Also one other random question, technically do you think there would/should be a noticeable difference of backup speeds to LTO6 tape between 10K and 15K SAS HDD both in Raid 10 Configurations?


Thanks in advance


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1. This will work but you need to factor in the memory required for Windows Server on the host, the additional memory for the Hyper-V role, and the memory used by the VMs. Then add in at least 8GB for BE to get your total. There is no harm running BE on a Hyper-V host, especially since the tape drive is already attached. Downtime is required for server restarts after patching BE or upgrading it, and this is the only negative I can think of here.

2. Those specs are fine...more memory is better with all things, but I've run BE 2010 R3 on a ProLiant DL380 G4 before with 16GB memory which acted as a DC, Exchange server, and file and print with no hassles. This works fine.

3. Not an option since Hyper-V doesn't support SCSI passthrough which is what you require to attach the tape drive.