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How can I use a tap backup drive within a virtual machine hosted in XeServer 5.5?

Posted on 2010-01-11
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Experts,
We currently have Citrix XenServer 5.5 hosting a Windows Server 2008 Virtual Machine, which contains all our files, and would like to implement a classic tape backup solution.
We are using Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 for the backup software and a Dell Power Vault LTO-4-120 tape backup system.
Although the controller card shows up in the menu settings of the XenServer host, it does not show up within the Windows Virtual Machine.
Can someone help me out with the steps for getting the tape backup device to be recognized with the Virtual Machine?
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Question by:Pro4ia
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12 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:NJComputerNetworks
ID: 26285788
IT would seem that you want the backup to occur from the virtual machine; therefore, you have to install Backup Exec on the Virtual Machine (not the citrix server).
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Author Comment

by:Pro4ia
ID: 26285854
Yes.
Backup Exec is installed on the Virtual Machine.
There is no way to install Backup Exec on the actuall XenServer host.

The problem here is that the tape backup device is not being recognized within the Virtual Machine.
So, the question is how to get the backup tape device to be recognized by the virtual machine (with a Windows Server 2008 Operating System).
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:NJComputerNetworks
ID: 26286101
So, when Backup exec is installed, the drivers of the tape drive are also installed.  (There is a device configuration within Backup Exec itself to configure the tape drives...but during initial installation this is automatically configured.)  Therefore, I think you have to first configure the hardware on the HOST so that it can see the tape drives... then edit the hardware configuration of the VM possibly to use this hardware using a virtualized driver (not sure if this is possible)...  remember all hardware drivers are virtualized for the VM client... so, I dont' know if this is supported in Backup Exec...
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Author Comment

by:Pro4ia
ID: 26286197
Within the XenServer Host console, I can see that the controller card of the tape drive is recognized.
I am looking for the exact steps on how to configure the Windows Server 2008 Virtual Machine to recognize the tape backup device in a XenServer environment.
Can you provide them?
Can you confirm that this scenari is supported in a XenServer/ Virtual environment?
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Expert Comment

by:NJComputerNetworks
ID: 26286316
OK... I'm not not familiar with xenserver but I have found that Backup Exec, in general, is supported on the VM..

http://docs.vmd.citrix.com/XenServer/4.0.1/installation/apbs04.html

http://www.symantec.com/connect/forums/xenserver-support

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Expert Comment

by:NJComputerNetworks
ID: 26286326
Do you have a physical server you could use to attach the tape drive to and load Backup exec on... then just load the Backup Exec AGENTS on the VM machines?  In this way, you could install Backup Exec server a normal and backup the VM's remotely?
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Author Comment

by:Pro4ia
ID: 26286536
As far as the first post:
I think you are not fully understanding the question as the links you posted describe how to backup a whole Virtual Machine. This is not what I am asking.

My question is related to using tape backup to backup files from our file server, which happens to be a virtual machine hosted in XenServer. Although Backup Exec can be used to backup a XenSever virtual machine, this is something completely different from what I am trying to accomplish.

Just like a physical sever environment, I would like to setup a tape backup device and use it in conjunction with Symantec Backup Exec to backup files and folders stored on my file server based on a nightly schedule (full backups and differential backups).

The issue again is that the Windows Server 2008 Virtual Machine does not "see" the tape backup device.
Thus, I can progress with using Backup Exec to backup my files and folders to tape.

So, I am looking for two things:
1. Is a "tape backup" solution supported in a XenServer VM environment?
2. If yes, what are the steps to getting the Virtual Machine to recognize the tape backup device so that I can begin backing up my files and folders?

Regarding the second post:
I do not have a second physical server to use as described.
I would like to use Symantec Backup Exec and the tape drive within the virtual machine.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:NJComputerNetworks
ID: 26286783
The more research I do, the less likely I think loading the full Backup Exec software on a VM and using it as the backup server is supported...

Looks like you will run into performance issues and Tape Drive discovery issues:  http://www.symantec.com/connect/forums/backup-exec-media-server-vmware-virtual-machine-itself

The solution is to move your Backup server to a physical server and load the Backup agent on the VM's.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Pro4ia
ID: 26287409
NJComputerNetworks,

I can see the posts from the link you have posted and understand your physical server solution, but I would like to see a more definative answer and more specific to XenServer.
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NJComputerNetworks earned 1200 total points
ID: 26292229
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:Pro4ia
ID: 26318380
Is there any other information related to this that specifically applies to XenServer 5.5?
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Assisted Solution

by:markusdamenous
markusdamenous earned 800 total points
ID: 26849544
Hi.

You need to install Backup Exec on a separate server, Install a remote agent into the Windows Server 2008 virtual machine and plug the tape drive directly into the separate server.

Xenserver cannot pass-through connect in the way that you are trying to achieve.

Regards
Mark
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