Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What’s new in Backup Exec 15 Feature Pack 5?


What’s NEW in Backup Exec 15 Feature Pack 5?

Backup exec introduces Instant Recovery for Virtual Machines which will help to reduce the restore time for a Virtual Machine (VM) to a great extent.


What would I achieve using this feature?

Achieve the best RTO with Backup Exec Instant Recovery; RTO in ‘SECONDS’…


What are the use-cases?

  1. Network Authentication failing due to disaster of Active Directory virtual machine; need a quick action on restoring the AD virtual machine.
  2. Need to quickly test an important update of SQL server before deploying to actual Production SQL server
  3. Need to validate the backup quickly
  4. Need to quickly validate a critical patch for Operating Systems before deploying to wider scale in production


Do I need to purchase any additional Backup Exec license to use this new feature?



What are the additional system requirements for using this feature?

There are no new requirements for this feature.


How quick is the Recovery?


These job details are from one of the in-house IR job run.

  • The full VM restore took 24:43 minutes
  • The Instant Recovery job for the same backup set took just 00:29 seconds.


What is this feature?

Instant Recovery (IR ) of a VM starts VM directly from the backup set located on Backup Exec storage.

This saves the time required to copy the data over the network to the hypervisor host.


What are the requirements for Instant Recovery?

“Host-based” VMware or Hyper-V backup sets

  • Backups using the Agent for VMware and Hyper-V (VM selected from the virtualization host)
  • Backups must have File-Folder GRT enabled

Backup sets must be stored on a disk device

  • Deduplication, OST, disk cartridge, USB, cloud, VTL and tape storage are NOT supported for Instant Recovery
  • Backup sets duplicated from a non-supported source to a disk device are supported for Instant Recovery


How this feature works?

  1. A virtualized copy of the backup(s) is made available to the virtualization host as an NFS (VMware) or SMB (Hyper-V) share.
  2. The virtualization host creates a VM from the virtualized copy of the backup.
  3. To handle the writes to the instantly recovered VM, a snapshot is taken for the newly created VM.
  4. Reads of existing data happen from the virtualized copy on the Backup Exec server.
  5. The backup set and related dependencies are marked as retained to prevent DLM grooming.
  6. Optional : Use vMotion or Live Migration to make a new permanent copy of the recovered VM.


How the Backup sets are virtualized to the hypervisor host?

VxLatServer… a new process does the virtualization.

  1. BEngine creates/spawns VxLatServer processes
  2. Hosts virtualization and translation of VMware and Hyper-V VM backup sets
  3. Virtualizes files from the backup sets
  4. Performs reads from virtualized copy of backup sets

More about VxLatServer

  1. One VxLatServer process for each recovered VM
  2. Continues to run even if you restart the Backup Exec services
  3. Removed when the instantly recovered VM is removed from Backup Exec console
  4. Removed if Backup Exec server is restarted

About Virtualized Backup Sets

  • Prevents the running VM from changing the backup data
  • Allows multiple VMs to be recovered from the same backup set(s)
  • Allows Full/Incremental/Differential backups to be combined without changing the original backup sets
  • The virtual backup sets are hosted on the Backup Exec server in a directory path that is a combination of “staging path for GRT restores” and GUID Default path: C:\Temp\<GUID>


Are there any performance impacts of Instant Recovery?

  • An instantly recovered VM adds some load to the Backup Exec server that hosts the backup set.
  • Each active recovered VM uses network bandwidth and CPU on the Backup Exec server.
  • The impact on the Backup Exec server depends on the disk activity in the VM
  • An idle instantly recovered VM has almost no impact on the Backup Exec server.
  • A busy Backup Exec server may not meet its backup window


Are there any considerations for Instant Recovery?

  • If the Backup Exec server or the Hyper-V/ VMware server reboots, the recovered VM is not available because its disk drive and any changes are no longer available
  • Upgrade/update/uninstall of Backup Exec or the Agent for Hyper-V and VMware on the Hyper‑V/VMware host will be blocked if an instantly recovered VM is running.
  • Use VMware vMotion or Hyper-V Live Migration to migrate the recovered VM to a permanent datastore on the virtualization host if the instantly recovered VM needs to be active for a long time.


How can we backup the Instantly Recovered VMs?

IR VMs are excluded from backups run using the Agent for VMWare and Hyper-V unless:

  • For a VMware instantly recovered VM, the VM has either been migrated to a different storage OR removed from Backup Exec.
  • For a Hyper-V instantly recovered VM, the VM has been both migrated to a different storage AND removed from Backup Exec.


How the Instant Recovery feature works in an upgrade scenario?

You can use this feature for VM backups after upgrading from Backup Exec 2014 or higher to Backup Exec 2015 Feature Pack 5.

If you are upgrading from earlier versions than Backup Exec 2014 RTM, you must run a full backup with FP5 to use this feature.


Questions asked by customers in external Demo

  • Does it support incremental, differential and synthetic backups?

IR supports full, incremental, and differential virtual backups. It does not support agent based backups. 

  • Are Linux VMs supported for Instant Recovery?

The initial release of IR in FP5 does not support Linux or other non-Windows OS VMs.

  • Do we need share back the disk-based backup storage to the ESX or Hyper-V host for the Instant Recovery?

All sharing operations are controlled by the IR jobs.  A Hypervisor appropriate share (NFS or SMB) will be created by the IR job and will be removed by the Remove IR job. The only manual step that need be taken by the user is to enable NFS server for Windows prior to running the first VMware IR job. 

  • Is storage Vmotion mandatory for migration of IR machine ?

For running VMware VMs, storage vMotion is required. If storage vMotion is not licensed, the VM will have to be powered off prior to migration. 

  • Does a customer need any additional VMware licensing for this feature to work?

No, as long as VADP is enabled (in all but the free ESXi version).

  • Is it possible to do instant recovery of applications without BE Agent in VM.?

Technically IR does not require an agent in the guest. However since the initial release requires GRT be enabled and since virtual AppGRT requires the agent to be installed to gather metadata and correctly handle VSS backups, in practice agents will already be installed for application support. 

  • How many IR VMs can be running simultaneously?

This is dependent on the specific IR VMs running and the quality and performance of the network and storage subsystem on the media server. An IR VM running an I/O intensive workload will have a larger impact on the media server than an IR VM that has a modest I/O workload.  


Instant Recovery for VMware Virtual Machine

  • Requirements and Prerequisites
  1. Backup Exec Server:
    • Windows 2012 or later
    • Windows feature ‘Server for NFS’ must be installed on the Backup Exec Server
    • Licensed Agent for VMware and Hyper-V
    • Only Windows-based VMs are supported for IR
    • IR is not supported in a clustered Backup Exec environment
  2. Destination VMware Server
    • Must be 5.1 or later
    • Storage vMotion is required
    • If Storage vMotion is not licensed, the VM will have to be powered off prior to migration


Instant Recovery for Hyper-V Virtual Machine

  • Requirements and Prerequisites
  1. Backup Exec Server:
    • Windows 2008 SP2 or later
    • Licensed Agent for VMware and Hyper-V
    • Only Windows-based VMs are supported for IR
    • IR is not supported in a clustered Backup Exec environment
  2. Destination Hyper-V Server:
    • Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2, Windows 2012, or Windows 2012 R2
    • Agent for Windows version Feature Pack 5 or later


Instant Recovery Demo links

Demo- Instant Recovery for Hyper-V virtual machine

Demo- Instant Recovery for VMware virtual machine 


Related links

Backup Exec 15 Feature Pack 5 Launch Blog 

Backup Exec 15 FP5 TechNote Download page 

Backup Exec 15 FP5 Release Notes               


We hope you find this new Instant recovery feature of a great value and invite you to share your feedback once you’ve had an opportunity to use it.

We thank our customer and partners for providing valuable feedback during the development cycle. If you have any addition thoughts or constructive comments please let us know by commenting on this blog post.


Thank you,

Backup and Recovery Team