Can Backup Exec Media Servers be installed on a Guest virtual machine running on an ESX server?

  • Article ID:100001998
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  • Product(s):Backup Exec


Can Backup Exec Media Servers be installed on a Guest virtual machine running on an ESX server?


Backup Exec 12.5 and higher media servers can be installed in a supported guest virtual machine OS running on an ESX server to protect the entire server and any other supported physical or virtual systems running on separate machines. However, the benefits of performing an "off-host" or "SAN Transport" snapshot backup away from the ESX server will not be realized if the Backup Exec server is virtualized and backup I/O could impacting the performance of the ESX server. In this configuration the "Hot Add" backup transport method should be selected in the Backup Job Properties|VMware Virtual Infrastructure settings screen in Backup Exec. It should also be noted that VMware's ESX support of local tape devices is limited to only certain SCSI hardware configurations. The directions for connecting the SCSI backup device to a virtual machine through the SCSI pass-through mechanism are detailed in the ESX Server Administration Guide and include the following restrictions:

• VMware supports attaching SCSI drives to the ESX Server using Adaptec SCSI adapters. Using other adapters, such as LSI MPT Fusion SCSI, is not supported.
• If using a tape drive library (versus using a stand-alone tape drive), the library must be multi-target, and not multi-LUN.
• Set the tape drive's virtual target ID in the virtual machines configuration to be the same as the physical target ID.
• Fibre Channel attached tape devices are not supported by VMware.  For these reasons, it is recommended that backup-to-disk (B2D) devices be used for backup.

At the time of authoring this article more specific details regarding this type of configuration, within ESXi. were available in VMware KB 1016407.
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Currently Veritas do not officially test or certify any libraries for connection via the SCSI pass-through mechanism (see Alternative Configuration note below). Veritas however can confirm that customers that have attempted such a configuration have reported multiple problems that all relate to the reliability of the connectivity to the tape library or drive. 

Note: Using a tape backup device attached to a virtual machine through the SCSI pass-through mechanism is considered an Alternative Configuration. Our Licensed Software is designed to interoperate with many types of systems, applications, and hardware. Sometimes a customer may choose to use our Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration, namely, an environment that has not been validated, approved or verified to operate with our Licensed Software or which does not support such Licensed Software or only supports limited functionality. In most cases, we do not support Alternative Configurations, and we have no obligation to provide Support Services to Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration. Veritas makes no warranty with respect to use of Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration and any such use is at your own risk. A "Supported Configuration" might be converted into an "Alternative Configuration" where a vendor modifies one of its components that is part of the original "Supported Configuration." As a consequence, your Licensed Software would then be operating in an Alternative Configuration. If you experience a Problem with the Licensed Software in an Alternative Configuration or if your issue deals with script that was not developed by Veritas or an authorized consulting partner, then we may ask you to reproduce the Problem in a Supported Configuration environment. Please note we have no obligation to attempt to resolve Problems that cannot be replicated in a Supported Configuration. However, if the Problem can be replicated in a "Supported Configuration," we will investigate the Problem in that Supported Configuration and attempt to resolve it. If the Problem cannot be replicated in a Supported Configuration, then we may elect not to work on that Problem.



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