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VMware vCenter appliance backup configuration in NetBackup 8.0

Level 4

Hi All,

Please help on how  to configure VMware backups when the vCenter is an appliance instead of a Windows server. NetBackup Version is 8.0 on Windows 2012.

Till now we have had backup environments where vCenter is a windows server. We would add a separate backup network to  vCenter so that it can communucate with the NetBackup servers,open TCP ports 902 and 443 and add vCenter to NetBackup. This is how we have done the configuration till now.

My question is,can we add a separate backup network to the appliance (seems it unsupported by VMware). If not how do we configure the backups. Another question if we want to use NDB protocol instead of SAN then do we need to add backup network on esxi hosts too.

Thanks is advance for the help and advice.


Level 6

Hi Data-Backup,

We still use Windows VM's as our VCenter servers, but have had a bit of a look at the VCenter appliance.  The question about adding an additional NIC to the appliance is a VMware question, not a NetBackup question.  As you've already found, that is not supported by VMware so I wouldn't even think of going down that path (even if you could get it to work), primarily as you would be unsupported by VMware.  I've had a dig through the doco as well, and it clearly states the only supported config to add an additional NIC to the appliance is for failover - no other case.

So in your case, I would treat this just as if it is a standard VCenter with one NIC.  Open port 443 between that NIC and your Master Server(s), and add your VCenter credentials to your Master so NetBackup can query VCenter for VM's to backup/restore.  The traffic over this link shouldn't be huge, as the actual data for the backup will be going between your ESX hosts and Media Server(s).  Then make sure you have port 902 open between your Media Server(s) and ESX hosts and you should be done.

If SAN is available, I would choose that first for performance reasons.  If you want to use NBD, I would only look at adding a backup network to your ESX hosts if you having congestion on your existing links.  Adding a backup network adds an additional layer of complexity to your design (think name resolution, routing, etc).  I would also make sure that wherever possible you are using additional features like Dedupe and Accelerator.  These will significantly reduce the amount of data actaully hitting the wire.

Hope this helps,