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Best way to use System Recovery in a VMWare environment?

Hi all,

We've migrated to a virtual environment using three Dell servers running VMWare ESX 3.5 and an EMC SAN which contains all the VM's. Before virtualising we used to run Symantec System Recovery 8.5 to take images of all the servers, and then back up those V2i files to tape using Backup Exec.

We continue to do this on the new virtual environment but I'm concerned about the ability to restore V2i files to a VMWare volume. I know System Recovery is VMWare aware, so should I be backing up the VMDK's or should I continue as we are? We will soon have a hot DR using Vizioncore vReplicator over a WAN link, but I'd still like to know the most robust option (for quick DR restores if the worst happens) before that is in place.

Thanks in advance!

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Irwin W.
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I am not sure if you have already committed money to Vizioncore but you may wish to take a look into VMWare's SRM

It probably would give you some of the best integration for your infrastructure.

you can use vmware converter to convert you image files to VMs and restore them in case of disaster. If you have not yet tried the same then you can download vmware converter and convert you v2i images to vmdk files and add them back to esx server.

read the readme for vmware converter 4.0 here

by default when u install virtual center it has the option to add vmware converter as a add-on to the VC.

this can be your DR solution which will work well with your current backup solution.

The alternate method is to use the vmware consolidated backup to backup the vms to a dump location and then use either the vcb restore utilities or vmware converter.

please revert back if you have any further clarifications

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Hi Vladimir, that sounds like a great solution. Does that support individual mailbox restoration for Exchange?

Thanks again.
hi aim,

good the know that  you have accepted the backupexec vcbbackup solution. my assumption was that  you wanted to use the exisisting v2i files and try to use the same for DR purpose.

please do mention your question if you are looking at alternate solutions.

because i feel it wastes our time if the question is not framed right and we cannot visualise what is going on in your mind.

Okay, thanks for the advice, will try to be more consise in future.

Any ideas about the Exchange restore capabilities of VCBBackup using the BE VMWare agent as described above?

Thanks again.
nope the vcbbackup is not something which does a application aware backup. You would need a exchange agent installed on the VM and run a backup from the server using the exchange agent.

The vcbbackups are only helpful for DR of the VM. It is rather a copy of the VM as on the time the backup was taken.

Okay that makes sense. In that case the suggestion about using VMWare converter probably makes the best sense as we are just about to have a live DR using VReplicator to an off-site data-centre and we really do need file/mailbox level restores to have the most complete backup and DR solution for more minor issues such as when a staff memmber leaves and deletes all their email.

Thanks again.

If you want to use Backup Exec for Exchange and have individual mailbox restore, then you need to install Backup Exec for Exchange agent inside the virtual machine that is running Exchange and backup Exchange as it is physical machine. So, short answer would be NO, with just VMware agent and VCB you can't have individual mailbox restore - you need Backup Exec for Exchange agent on Exchange server. Individual restore works only for files and folders on Windows servers.

Best regards,