Support for Backup Exec in virtual and IaaS environments

Support for Backup Exec in virtual and IaaS environments

Article: 100023671
Last Published: 2015-09-14
Ratings: 0 0
Product(s): Backup Exec


Ideally, every Backup Exec configuration that is supported in a traditional physical environment would also be supported in any virtual environment without qualification. While that is our mission, it is not always possible. This document provides information about support for Backup Exec within a virtual environment, notes about limitations of Backup Exec support in a virtual environment, and links to related articles.



The following terms are used in this document:

Term Definition
Guest operating system The operating system that is installed on a virtual machine.
Hypervisor The software platform running on a physical server that hosts one or more virtual machines.
Virtual machine (VM) The emulation of a single physical machine within a hypervisor.


General Guidelines for Support

Veritas provides support for Backup Exec within a virtual environment. For the purpose of this document, a "virtual environment" is defined as any onsite, offsite, or public cloud IaaS virtualization solution where Backup Exec can be installed into a supported guest operating system. 

Backup Exec has an open support policy for virtualization platforms, as follows:

  • Backup Exec is qualified on physical configurations.
  • If the same configuration can be virtualized, it is supported without explicit qualification on the virtualization platform (unless otherwise noted in this document).

The published Backup Exec software and hardware compatibility listings reflect this support policy. The version specific links for both hardware and software compatibility are available here:

Note the following limitations of Backup Exec support within a virtual environment:​

  • Support of hardware or software as published in the Backup Exec compatibility listings is subject to mutual support by the hardware/software vendor and the hypervisor vendor. Specifically:
    • The hardware/software vendors must support their products within the hypervisor.
    • The hypervisor vendor must support use of the hardware/software product within the hypervisor.
    • Such hardware/software products include operating systems, cluster servers, peripherals, drivers, patches, databases, applications, and so forth.
  • When operating Backup Exec within a virtual machine, the hypervisor may introduce conditions (such as contention for shared resources or other interruptions) that were not present during standard qualification. Additional tuning and configuration may be required to address any resulting delay, retry, or timeout conditions. Contact the hypervisor vendor first for tuning and configuration suggestions.
  • Backup Exec may experience lesser performance when it is virtualized. It may be necessary to increase system resources to address a performance issue.
  • Using a hypervisor vendor's interface to suspend, resume, or otherwise disrupt execution of Backup Exec is not supported. The impact upon Backup Exec operations and data is unknown. Only Backup Exec management interfaces are supported for Backup Exec control.
  • Using Backup Exec within VM high availability, replication, or transfer solutions is supported but not qualified by Veritas. Examples of such solutions are vSphere HA, host-based replication, vMotion, and Storage vMotion (but not limited to VMware). As a virtualized application, Backup Exec is unaware of being deployed within a VM, and support for such operations is provided by the hypervisor vendor.
  • Passthrough configurations (SCSI, FC, USB etc) that provide access to physical hardware, as a backup target device, from inside a virtualized server are not officially supported within Backup Exec (and if configured may exhibit connectivity or performance issues that affect backup and restore operations)
  • In the event that a support case is needed, Backup Exec technical support will make every reasonable attempt to resolve the issue within the virtual environment. In some cases, the configuration used will fall under the "alternative support" term and as such the issues experienced must also be reproducible in a fully supported environment. In rare circumstances, Veritas reserves the right to qualify, limit, exclude, or discontinue implicit support for a Backup Exec configuration due to unforeseen incompatibilities within the hypervisor environment. In the rare case of a Backup Exec failure due to a hypervisor operation, it may be necessary to recover from a backup.

Virtual Backup Exec Central Administration Server (CAS)

The Backup Exec central administration server (CAS) is supported within a virtual machine, under the limitations described in the "General Guidelines for Support" section of this document.

Refer to the Backup Exec Software Compatibility lists for supported Backup Exec CASO configurations

Virtual Backup Exec Server

The Backup Exec server is supported within a virtual machine, under the limitations described in the "General Guidelines for Support" section of this document. 

The following storage units are supported within a virtual machine:

  • Backup-to-disk (within virtual disks, iSCSI connected or CIFS connected)
  • Local deduplication storage device.
  • OpenStorage (OST) where the data interface is Ethernet.
  • iSCSI connected tape drive/library and virtual tape library (VTL).

For details about storage device compatibility, see the version specific Backup Exec Hardware Compatibility List, as can be found in:

When Backup Exec is installed on a Hyper-V virtual machine, the Agent for VMware and Hyper-V cannot be used to back up that Backup Exec server (it self). To properly protect the Backup Exec server in this configuration, you should back it up as if it is a physical machine.

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