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BackupExec 2012 Agent for VMware over NFS?

Good morning.  We recently acquired a new NetApp SAN and are looking to move from iSCSI to NFS for our vSphere storage.  I understand from looking at the BackupExec 2012 SCL it is possible to use the Agent for VMware to back up VMs from NFS SAN storage, but after reading through the BE Admin Guide, browsing Symantec's website, searching Google, and searching this forum I've yet to come up with a single bit of information on the proper methods to mount the NFS datastores on my BE 2012 media server. 

Note that I already have iSCSI datastores mounted on my BE media server from my older NetApp SAN and all of the appropriate DISKPART commands have already been done on the media server host.

I have NetApp's SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure, and all of the other SnapManager licsenses on my NetApp storage, but it would be nice to still be able to produce some monthly tape backups of our VMware environment using BackupExec.


Anyone have any more specific, detailed, information on how to back up vSphere VMs using BackupExec 2012 on NFS datastores?  I would prefer to use a SAN transport method for this so that traffic is not going over either my production network or the service console.



8 Replies

Hi Please check below link


Please check below link for SAN configuration


Hope that helps


That link is for VMFS volumes

That link is for VMFS volumes on iSCSI, FC, or FCoE.  It has, as far as I can tell, nothing to do with configuring BackupExec 2012 media server to access VMs on NFS storage.  The key here is NFS storage.  I know how to mount VMFS volumes over iSCSI already.

According to the VMware Virtual Disk API Programming Guide:

SAN Transport
In this mode, the virtual disk library obtains information from an ESX/ESXi host about the layout of VMFS LUNs...

NAS (NFS) is not mentioned to be supported, only VMFS.
And as we know, VMFS cannot be created on top of NFS, because the vmdks are simply stored directly on NFS when you use NFS Datastores.


However, for network based transport:

LAN (NBD) Transport
The ESX/ESXi host can use any storage device, including local storage or NAS.

It explicitly states that NAS (NFS) is supported.


If your ESXi uses NFS based Datastores, then the only option is NBD Transport, or guest OS based agent level backups.

Our BE 2012 SCL

Our BE 2012 SCL "" states that NFS is supported but has a footnote/disclaimwer which states

"Be aware that entire disks are allocated, and therefore are returned when QueryChangedDiskAreas is used in the following scenarios: a cloned thick disk is created,

disks are formatted using the Long Format setting, disks are created with vmkfstools using the eagerzeroedthick format option, a VMDK is stored on storage that is not

VMFS, such as NFS, is not supported."


What I believe this means is that you may get all the unused space inside a VMDK backed up if on NFS which would both increase the backup storage capacity requirements and the time windows for the backup job.


Can I interpret "a VMDK is

Can I interpret "a VMDK is stored on storage that is not VMFS, such as NFS, is not supported"


"a VMDK is stored on storage that is not VMFS, such as NFS, is not supported in SAN Transport backup mode, but is supported in NBD Tranport backup mode with full space allocation."


Hmm OK - I have asked

Hmm OK - I have asked internally for an explanation, as reading back what is written on our SCL very carefully, the whole footnote regarding this is grammatically poor and does not make a clear enough statement. Thus making it confusing.

is there some clarification

is there some clarification about this note?

is there somebody who can explain this footnote in an understandable way?



NBD is the only way over NFS

Unfortunately NBD is the only way here, when using NFS. This is pretty normal for Netapp shops. With netapp telling customers nfs everything... You could virtualize your media server and do hot-add, and then have your tape connected over fc, and the BE sever mapped to the fc hba.... That i have done and works too. But you cant vmotion your be server. Not a big deal as its not a critical server in my case. So there are your options. Nbd or a virtual BE server and hot-add which can have traffic not go over the LAN