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AD GRT - vmware snapshot

Hi,

this must be a subject discussed countless of times- regardless I havn't quite found the answers I was looking for.
I am trying to figure out if I can and should backup Active Directory using vmware snapshots, and if it is possible to use GRT with snapshots.

this article firmly states against it: http://techgenix.com/dont-snapshot-domain-controllers-96/
however this old thread I found: https://vox.veritas.com/t5/Backup-Exec/Backing-up-AD-in-a-VMWare-VM-Using-GRT-Causes-Job-Warnings-Sa...
suggests it's fine to use snapshots to backup AD. moreover it suggest that with "active directory agent  license installed on the media server" I will be able to use GRT.

so I am left with two main questions:

1) can and should I backup AD with vmware snapshots?

2) what is this "active directory agent  license installed on the media server"- does @RahulG mean a regular netbackup client installed on the DC or is it an actual agent on the media server capable of expanding the snapshot to restore single users or etc.?

thanks in advanced for the help

2 Solutions

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Re: AD GRT - vmware snapshot

If I search NetBackup for VMware Administrator's Guide  for GRT, this is what I find:

For Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL applications, NetBackup for VMware
supports Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) restores from full backups only.

AD or Active Directory does not appear in this manual.
So, my guess is that it is unsupported or else undocumented.

If you need GRT, then probably best to treat the DC as a normal client.

View solution in original post

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Re: AD GRT - vmware snapshot

There is confusion at the top of the thread because terminology in Backup Exec differs from NetBackup.

To rephrase the question, what kind of GRT restore can I do from a VMware backup?

Answer: Normal files, Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server. Not AD.

For AD GRT, you need to make an MS-Windows backup. It does use a snapshot, but the snapshot is taken on the client, not from the the outside as in a VMware backup.

Reason: Active Directory uses a database, with the same JET database engine as Exchange uses. Exchange restores from a VMware backup need an agent on the VM to work with the Exchange VSS writer. Restores (whether database or GRT) work with the Exchange VSS writer, using metadata captured by the backup ASC job and data from the VMware backup image. AD restores would take parallel work, which we didn't do.

View solution in original post

7 Replies
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Re: AD GRT - vmware snapshot

Are you aware that your reference post is for Backup Exec?
Have you tried to find answers in NBU for VMware manual for your NBU version?
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Re: AD GRT - vmware snapshot

Hi,

I wasn't aware that the reference post was for Backup-Exec. sorry, I usually double check to see to what backup system the post belong to.

I did look at the vmware manual, but didn't find any reference to active directory in it.

Highlighted
Accepted Solution!

Re: AD GRT - vmware snapshot

If I search NetBackup for VMware Administrator's Guide  for GRT, this is what I find:

For Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL applications, NetBackup for VMware
supports Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) restores from full backups only.

AD or Active Directory does not appear in this manual.
So, my guess is that it is unsupported or else undocumented.

If you need GRT, then probably best to treat the DC as a normal client.

View solution in original post

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Re: AD GRT - vmware snapshot

Marianne,

I know this post is old - but it is key to a project I am just starting in this area.

Did you ever confirm if we need to use an MS-Windows policy to allow GRT AD restores - or can a VMWARE policy type be used ?

I have virtual W2K16 AD servers in a number of sites and would prefer to use a VMWARE policy type if possible.

Thanks,

AJ

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Accepted Solution!

Re: AD GRT - vmware snapshot

There is confusion at the top of the thread because terminology in Backup Exec differs from NetBackup.

To rephrase the question, what kind of GRT restore can I do from a VMware backup?

Answer: Normal files, Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server. Not AD.

For AD GRT, you need to make an MS-Windows backup. It does use a snapshot, but the snapshot is taken on the client, not from the the outside as in a VMware backup.

Reason: Active Directory uses a database, with the same JET database engine as Exchange uses. Exchange restores from a VMware backup need an agent on the VM to work with the Exchange VSS writer. Restores (whether database or GRT) work with the Exchange VSS writer, using metadata captured by the backup ASC job and data from the VMware backup image. AD restores would take parallel work, which we didn't do.

View solution in original post

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Re: AD GRT - vmware snapshot

OK - thanks for that.  Didn't realise there was a Backup Exec reference - I am NBU anyhow.

As it happens I have 2 DC's in each location - one VM and one Physical.  Based on this I will perofrm a VMWare policy backup of the W2K16 VM and an MS-Windows policy backup of the W2K16 Physical - I can then use the VM backup for a DR restore and the Windows backup for a GRT AD Restore if required.

Do we know if AD GRT functionality is planned for the VMware policy type ?

Thanks for your input.

AJ

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Re: AD GRT - vmware snapshot

Awesome to have knowledgeable Veritas resources answering here!

Thanks @Lowell_Palecek