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Custom Edition licensing Hyper-V / VMware licensing Windows/Linux agent question

Level 3

I've come across this thread about licensing of the Hyper-V agent as we currently have an old Custom Edition licensing (or à la carte). The original license have been bought at least back when BE 15 was the current version and where no Subscription or Bronze/Silver/Gold editions even existed.

Yet in the current BE 20.3 licensing guide on page 26 the same phrase appears but the Veritas support and the linked thread mentions that this would only apply to Windows agents, not Linux agents. All I can see there is that IF you have Bronze/Silver/Gold THEN the Hyper-V agent is included (not applicable to us as we have custom edition) yet still also says "Custom edition licensing: Each Agent for VMware and Hyper-V license includes unlimited deployment of Agent for Windows and Agent for Linux to the virtual machine guests of that licensed hypervisor host server only"

In the old licensing guide of BE 15, page 17 the same phrase appears but without mentioning "custom edition" (since that was the modus operandi of licensing back then):

So why if you have the custom edition AND have a support entitlement do we not have the Linux agents yet the licensing guide (if I try to read between lines and twist words) does not give us Linux agent support


Level 3

So now after a total of 3 tickets (2 being closed by Veritas without waiting on my update as I requested), 1.5 months after basically fighting with them over a initially simple ticket I have been able to get this licensing question resolved to the point where it actually agrees with the licensing guide.

So long as you are licensing Backup Exec "à la carte" (Custom Edition) and the following conditions are met:

  • The system being backed up is a virtual machine (Hyper-V or VMware)
  • The host system has a Hyper-V agent license (~ you have enough agent license your hosts)

You are entitled to run the Windows or Linux agent inside all VMs running on that licensed host. You are also entitled for support if you run into issues with either agents inside those VMs so long as the Hyper-V agent license has active support. You don't need to license the Linux or Windows agent for these VMs for basic backup. This is what the BE licensing guide for 20.3, page 26 says.

Since the Linux agent can only do file-based backups and doesn't support any sort of advanced application integration like the Windows agent with MS-SQL or Exchange you don't need additional licenses for Linux VMs. There are still a couple of corner cases when it comes to Windows and Application integration though. In fact since Hyper-V based backup of Linux VMs cannot be used to restore single files you actually need the Linux agent inside VMs for file-level backup & restore.

The gist of this eventually is that the licensing for Backup Exec models have become so many and complicated to the point where even within Veritas several people involved were unable to agree on the interpretation of the terms in a quick manner - and unable to provide written statements or references in a timely manner.

This resulted in blocking or denying support requests for several weeks. Luckily the original case that resulted into that licensing question to be resolved first, was a low prio one. I don't want to be imagine what this would have meant in a high impact case.

I am in fact appaled at through how many hoops both tech and customer support (licensing department) let me jump through until I got hold of a person that was knowledgable and in the right position to give a proper, written statement.

If anyone needs a copy in case they run into similar support issues in support case, drop me a note and I'll be happy to provide you a copy.