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VMware Media Servers and Netbackup

Level 6
I'm curious if anyone is using Netbackup VMware media servers? I'm wondering if it's possible and, also, what the performance impact is. I'm thinking of adding some media servers to my netbackup environment and before going forward I wanted to see if this was a viable option.

Level 6
As per latest NetBackup Version 6 OS Compatibility Matrix updated on Feb 22, 2007. VMware is not supported as NBU server. It is supported as client though.

Level 6
From white paper

Backing Up VMware With Veritas NetBackup�
Best Practices
NetBackup 6.0 and
VMware ESX Server 2.x and 3.x

Running a NetBackup Media Server in a VMware environment
At first glance this configuration seems to make a lot of sense. Positioning the NetBackup Media Server close to the data requiring backup seems logical enough, but there are significant issues with this configuration. The main point to keep in mind is that a NetBackup Media Server (or any backup server) requires a significant amount of system resources during backup operations. Because of the I/O-intensive nature of backup, adding a Media Server to a virtual environment that is most likely busy to begin with does not make sense from a resource management perspective. VMware is designed to make use of all unused system resources on a given server or
host. Adding backup activity to a host that is already busy supporting multiple VMs simply does not make any sense.

There are two commonly referenced configurations for placement of the NetBackup Media Server. The first is placing the Media Server within a virtual machine, and the second is placing the Media Server on the ESX service console:

Media Server in a virtual machine

This technique is seemingly attractive in that the NetBackup Media Server is as physically close
to the virtual machines as possible. But there are two issues that must be considered.
First, most servers hosting numerous virtual machines typically do not have enough
computing and memory resources to support a Media Server running in an additional virtual
machine. The impact of backup operations on the other guest OSs hosted on this server can
be enormous.
Second, VMware does not currently support fibre-attached tape drives. This significantly limits flexibility when tape drives and libraries are incorporated in the backup environment.

Media Server in the ESX service console

This configuration is not supported by VMware. Because VMware does not recommend or support this configuration, NetBackup does not support it either.
Keep in mind that the service console is running in an optimized version of Red Hat Linux.
This modified version of Red Hat Linux was never intended to support applications such as backup servers.