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Leveraging SSR to automate virtualization of a test environment?

We are running a mix of 400 physical & virutal servers in my production environment.



A need has recently been identified to allow certain department to test production servers (physical OR virtual).

my problem?  Create a process that would automate the creation of production servers to a test environment.

Can I leverage SSR to do this?

My toughts: 

  1.  I stand up a VMware test enviroment, 
  2. use existing jobs that backup production servers to v2i using SSR, 
  3. create/automate a conversion job that converts SSR v2i backups to vmdk on the test enviroment EVA
  4. Attach vmdk to the vmware host, 
  5. fire up the VM
  6. Test
  7. When test is over, Nuke the VM (not sure about this one)
  8. repeat every month as needed. (idealy, I only repeat turning on the VM as the jobs are set to run automatically)

Will this work?  Am I doing this the hard way? Can anyone recommend a simpler way to do this? Are there symantec products I can purchase that would help me accomplish this more efficiently? Or am I not using SSR for what it was intended to be used as?

Other questions I have:

  • Based on my understanding of SSR, I can't go directly to vmdk from the server agent (makes sense as SSR is a backup tool and not a conversion tool). I need to create the job that backs up to v2i, then run a job to convert to vmdk. Is this correct?
  • Can the two jobs be automated so that the vmdk is always updated? If I take 1 full and 4 incremental jobs during the week, does the v2i to vmdk conversion update ONLY the changes since the last conversion? Or will it start a FULL conversion each day?

I guess thats it for now,


Let me know if you'd like me to clarify anything.



3 Replies

A scheduled P2V conversion is

A scheduled P2V conversion is the way to go I think.

Yes, you are right - you cannot backup directly to VMDK format. It's a 2-step process; backup then do a  P2V conversion.

The conversion is a FULL conversion each time. It won't update the existing VMDK file.

Hope that helps.

Got it thank you.   Can you

Got it thank you.


Can you list what VMware ESX and vsphere versions are support with SSR 2011?

here you are:

here you are: