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SBS 2008 and Backup Exec 12.5 for VMWare ESX 4.0 system. Best backup method?

Posted on 2010-01-12
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Hi all,
I wonder if anyone could advise me on a good backup solution for our office VMWare/SBS 2008 system?

I have recently migrated an old SBS 2003 machine into a new SBS 2008 Premium virtual machine on VMWare ESX4.0 running on a Dell PowerEdge R710 with an MD3000 disk storage. We will have another VM running Win Svr 2008 on the same machine for SQL, IIS, business apps etc. We purchased Backup Exec 12.5 SBS Premium but this hasn't been installed yet, so I'm desparate to get this sorted asap before anything goes wrong!

My main query on this is about a suitable disaster recovery plan and backup regime. We are fortunate to have a 2nd separate building on site (gigabit fibre network linked) where I will house an identical Dell server + MD1000 storage also running VMWare ESX4.0. So my questions are:

- Is it worth getting the BE Agent for VMWare Virtual Infrastructure in order to make best use of the virtualisation and speed of recovery. ie. Will this allow me to restore any of the complete VM's and have it up and running again very quickly on either ESX server?
- Is Backup Exec 12.5 for SBS best installed on the main SBS 2008 virtual machine or is it better installed on a separate server outside of the VMWare hosts?
- I don't have a tape drive, so thought about possibly backing up to the other storage device in the opposite building each night (ie. a network drive?). Is this possible with BE?

I was originally thinking of using DoubleTake software for replicating the two main OS's between the ESX hosts, but I thought this BE solution and VM-level backup may do the job for me. Am I going the wrong way here?! (We don't need immediately failover redundancy here...a day outage max would be acceptable).

Any thoughts/comments are very welcome.
Thanks
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Question by:paulbugs75
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paulsolov earned 1000 total points
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Is it worth getting the BE Agent for VMWare Virtual Infrastructure in order to make best use of the virtualisation and speed of recovery. ie. Will this allow me to restore any of the complete VM's and have it up and running again very quickly on either ESX server?

--It is not worth getting a backup exec agent for vmware because it is way too expensive.  What I have done for customer is to use Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery to image the SBS Server for which you can then use VMware vConverter to convert back to a VM and a regular Backup Exec remote agent to backup the Exchange and SQL Databases

- Is Backup Exec 12.5 for SBS best installed on the main SBS 2008 virtual machine or is it better installed on a separate server outside of the VMWare hosts?

I normally make the backup exec a physical server, if your ESX host fails you don't lose your server and backup.  If you have tape especailly I would recommend this option

- I don't have a tape drive, so thought about possibly backing up to the other storage device in the opposite building each night (ie. a network drive?). Is this possible with BE?

You can use Backup Exec System Recovery to image to a local share and then FTP or another copy to a remote system.  

I was originally thinking of using DoubleTake software for replicating the two main OS's between the ESX hosts, but I thought this BE solution and VM-level backup may do the job for me. Am I going the wrong way here?! (We don't need immediately failover redundancy here...a day outage max would be acceptable).

Doubletake is a good product but not really designed for SBS since you need double of servers, such as Exchange SQL, etc.. and agents for each one.
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by:nappy_d
nappy_d earned 1000 total points
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Is it worth getting the BE Agent for VMWare Virtual Infrastructure in order to make best use of the virtualisation and speed of recovery. ie. Will this allow me to restore any of the complete VM's and have it up and running again very quickly on either ESX server?
  • While the cost of the VMWare agent for BExec is pricey, this is all relative.  If you have BExec(licke I have Arcserve), and want not to have have to use two or three solutions to backup VMWare's guests at the file level with different software, then get the agent.  Also, if you have the budget to do so, why not purchase it?
Is Backup Exec 12.5 for SBS best installed on the main SBS 2008 virtual machine or is it better installed on a separate server outside of the VMWare hosts?
  • I concur, separate machine installation is best.
I don't have a tape drive, so thought about possibly backing up to the other storage device in the opposite building each night (ie. a network drive?). Is this possible with BE?

  • This is possible to do with BExec.  You can easily configure removable storage or drives for backup media.  If you are ever in the market for removable storage devices for ackup, checkout the RDX line of removable disks.
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