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VM frozen when EXEC backup runs

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
Hi,
We are using VMware server 2.0 running on Windows server 2003 enterprise. We run Symantec backup exec12 to backup the vm folder. The vms become unaccessable every time the backup runs.

Get error message from the vm event "Operation on file "*******flat.vmdk" failed. if the file resides on a remote file system, please make sure your network connection and the server where this disk resides are functuioning properly. ......choose retry to attempt the operation again.....etc. The vm will back to normal if I click on "retry" button on the vm console.

I have tried running a script (vmrun) to restart vm after the backup job finishes, but that does not seem to solve the problem. Is there any way to solve the problem without using the backup agant? Is there a vm command I can use?

Thanks
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Question by:deanbrandt
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paulsolov earned 250 total points
ID: 22665355
You cannot backup the vmdk files since Backup Exec uses VSS.  When you're trying to backup the vmdk files themselves there may be too much going on to quesce the data properly so that VSS can copy it.  You will need to install the remote agent onto the guest OS to do the backup.

You may also want to look at Backup Exec 12.5 which is avalable for download as of yesterday and has a vmware module (not sure if strictly for ESX and/or VMWare Server).

Another option is to install Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery Server onto the guest operating system.  This will image the servers and allow you to use backup exec to backup image. In case of recovery you can use vmware converter or symantec tools to convert to vmdk files and run from the last backup.  This will also do incremental backups and allows for P2V, V2V, and V2P restores.
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Author Closing Comment

by:deanbrandt
ID: 31504107
Thanks for the information here, extensive, and correct
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Author Comment

by:deanbrandt
ID: 22666392
is there any way to check the exec see if the pre/post command runs successfully? looks like exec pre/post command is the way to go but I can not find any syntax for it, the exec user manul is not helpful at all.
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by:paulsolov
ID: 22667402
FYI

Another way to do this is to setup a script to shutdown the virtual machine during backups, now it is just a flat file and backup exec can back it up wiht no problems. Once complete the script can be used to start up the virtual machine. I have seen customers use the script to stop the virtual machine, use xcopy to to a disk to disk copy to another file share and backup from the file share using backup exec or ntbackup
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