I am looking to backup my ESX 3.5 VM environment using Netbackup v6.5.1 with a VCB proxy and Convertor of restores. Prior to backups this queises the OS to allow backups.
I cannot however find out the best practises for backing up Exchange and SQL server as these require an agent to clear down transaction logs. My gut instinct is to use a Netbackup agent installed in the VM to backup the databases and infromation store, but wondered if anyone knew of any other methods along the VCB path.
VCB doesn't really take into consideration databases, and the like. It more or less provides the path to the VM's as if they were physical boxes, and lets you mount the directory structures onto the local filesystem. Essentially, all of the same issues apply to backing up a phyical Exchange or SQL server as apply to backing up those same machines in a VM. For SQL, you have two real choices. Backing up the fullvm alone is not a valid choice as that would be the same as backing up the system before a crash, and may possibly result in lost data upon restore. The two real choices are either to script pre and post commands to quiese the database and put it into backup mode prior to mounting the filesystem with VCB, and to put it back after backing up the database, or you can use the agent for your tape backup software just the same as if it were a physical box. We use a combination, as I am not very good at SQL (we use Oracle), and scripting the quiese commands would be a chore for me. I run a monthly fullvm backup that would allow me to do a bare metal restore of the box. That takes care of everything but the databases on the machine. I then run weekly, or sometimes daily, backups using the oracle agent (we use arcserve). That takes care of the databases. In the event of a database crash, I can simply restore the latest backup of the database to either that machine or another database server. In the event of a catastrophic failure, I can use the latest fullvm backup to restore the machine, and the latest database backup to restore the databases on top of that restore.
For Exchange, we do essentially the same thing, fullvm backups, and backups using the exchange agent, although differing schedules. I do weekly backups of the Exchange server, because it houses files and other things as well. I then do a daily/weekly rotation backup using the Exchange agent.
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