VMWare Backup Architecture

I'm trying to deploy the VMWare for NetBackup agent, and I'm running into some problems. Before I drill too deep into the troubleshooting, I wanted to post my architecture and make sure that I have the fundamentals correct.


NBU 7.1

Master Server - RHEL 5 running on a Dell r710

Backup Host - Windows 2008 with NBU Media Server software installed running on a Dell 2950.


The backup host has three PCI slots in it. I've put dual port QLogic HBAs in all three slots. I've zoned all 6 ports (3 on A side, 3 on B) to see my tape library, the disks holding the OS, and the LUNs of the datastore that I want to backup.

My VMWare guy has a test cluster with some dummy VMs on it. When we use the NBU snapshot policy wizard to create a backup policy, it runs fine.

We then took the datastore for a production cluster, setup a policy to backup some of the VMs on the cluster, and when we open the policy, we get the following error:

"   Policy: vm-lpz -- client: client01 (virtual machine proxy: backup host) --
    Snapshot could not be created with VMware method
Policy: vm-lpz -- client: client02 (virtual machine proxy: backup host) --
    Snapshot could not be created with VMware method
Policy: vm-lpz -- client: client03 (virtual machine proxy: backup host) --
    Snapshot could not be created with VMware method
  (Status 223)"

The dummy cluster backs up and restores fine. We've presented the LUNs for the prod cluster in the exact same configuration as the dummy cluster, and we get this error.


List of questions:

1) NetBackup aside, is my hardware config correct?

  • Having all my disks and tape drives spread across 6 HBA ports?
  • Should I use 1 HBA for the library, 1 HBA for the OS LUNs and 1 HBA for the VM Datastores?
  • For those of you with a backup host, what's your config?

2) Has anyone else seen this status code 223? I've done some google searches and searches here on Symantec's forum and the one technote I found suggested in might be a reverse lookup problem. I made sure all the proper information was in DNS and the hosts files of the respective machines.


Looking forward to the responses.



3 Replies

Start by create

Start by create directory <install_path>\NetBackup\logs\bpfis on the VMware Backup Host and review logs upon retrying.

Also check that to use Block Level Incremental backups BLIB need your VM's to be at Hardware version 7. Upgrade them if not. Compare Test VM's with the Prod VM's. Also check Permissions are the same for the VM's in vsphere.


Also upgrade to the latest NBU maintenance release on master and backup host as there has been a lot of bug fixes since 7.1GA release around VMware backups.


Please split Disk and Tape -

Please split Disk and Tape - they should never be zoned to the same HBA's.

If you Google 'disk and tape on the same hba' you will find loads of links that will tell you why it's not a good idea...

Use the single initiator

Use the single initiator zoning which is the best practice for zoning.

i.e. single initiator and single target per zone.

Rest, for creating VMware backup policy - there are lot of posts in community for the same.


Hope this helps.