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Status of Backup Exec 2014 and RDM


Customer is still using BE 2010 R3 SP4.

Due to some ugly bugs which are still unresolved, customer thinks about changing to BackupExec 2014.

The question which arises before is:

What is the state of backing up VMs which have RDMs attached via VMware Agent? GRT is not needed for those machines?

With BE 2010 there was an unsupported way of excluding certain vmdks from backup which was somewhat upgly but did the job in this scenario.

I know that Symnatec suggests to backup those machine with traditional agent as if they were physical servers, but all guys which are in the same boat know that this is not an option for obvious resons.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Kind Regards


11 Replies

Hi harsi, It hasn't

Hi harsi,


It hasn't changed...taken directly from the document on the link below:

Notes and Best Practices

Virtual Machines Configured with RDM Physical Compatibility Mode Disks

Backup Exec 2014 and the Agent for VMware and Hyper-V cannot protect Raw Device Mapping (RDM) Physical Compatibility Mode disks

using image-level backups.

Physical Compatibility Mode RDM disks bypass the vSphere storage infrastructure and the VMFS file system, and cannot have a snapshot

taken through vStorage API processes. Physical Compatibility Mode RDM disks in this configuration are skipped automatically during backup

job processing. Associated backup jobs are displayed as successful with exceptions.

To fully protect virtual machines configured with Physical Compatibility Mode RDM disks, the Backup Exec Agent for Windows or Agent for

Linux must be installed on the virtual machines to protect them using agent-based backups.


Hi Craig. Thanks for your

Hi Craig.

Thanks for your reply, however what the document states does not exactly match our situation.

The document refers to physical mode which is clear that it does not work as it completely bypasses storage subsystem. Here all RDMs operate in virtual mode.

So what is the state vith virtual mode RDMs?



See page 37 of the SCL

See page 37 of the SCL below

Thanks for the

Thanks for the link.

According to what is stated there backup of those disks is supported.

The question remaining, "can those disks be exculded from backup"?



No, individual VMDKs cannot

No, individual VMDKs cannot be excluded from the VMware agent based backup.

Thanks for confirmation. Real

Thanks for confirmation.

Real showstopper in this environment.

Seems we have to evaluate a different solution.


Hello Again. Meanwhile I

Hello Again.

Meanwhile I checked software of different vendor which is able to do this so my question is:

  • Does the workaround to exclude single vmdks which works in BE2010R3SP4 is still valid (even if unsupported) for BE2014?
  • If not what are your suggestions beside backing up those machines as real machines via remote agent (from a DR perspective this is not a viable solution IMO)? I'm relly interrested how others having to deal with more complex environments solve this challenge.

Thanks again for you efforts.



1) I have come across mixed

1) I have come across mixed results when using the "unsupported" way of excluding vmdks, i.e. have seen it work sometimes and sometimes not.

2) Virtual RDMs are supported by BE so why not use the VMware agent itself to back up the VM ? We recommend using the Remote Agent for backup as physical machines only if GRT is required.

Hi VJware. Thanks for your

Hi VJware.

Thanks for your suggestions.

The reason to seperate backup of OS vmdk from DATA RDM for some machines is simply a matter of data volume.

The most challenging part in backup business IMHO is still to get a rapidly growing data volume backed up in a fixed backup window. What most helps to get this job done is if you have the flexibility to decide what data you backup when and to split it into parts which are done when it is possible.

So the machines I'm talking about all have many hundreds GB up to few TB LUNs where we have to seperate backing up OS from user data.

Did you were successful by excluding vmdk via the unsupported way in BE 2014.

This saved our live with BE2010 and if it would not be possible we would have been forced to switched to a different software meanwhile.



@CragV: In your previous


In your previous reply you stated:

taken through vStorage API processes. Physical Compatibility Mode RDM disks in this configuration are skipped automatically during backup

job processing. Associated backup jobs are displayed as successful with exceptions.

So from what I understand to achive our goal it would be possible to change those machine's LUNs from "virtual" to "physical" mode and then the machine would be backed up successfully and only the RDM LUNs would be missing?

IIRC this failed with older versions of BE.

Any chance to get the jobs beeing displayed as successful (without exception)?



I believe in newer versions

I believe in newer versions of BE, the pRDMs will be skipped from the backup, however the exception cannot be suppressed in the job log.