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January 19, 2010

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W. Curtis Preston

I don't think I missed that distinction at all. I just don't think that crash-consistent backups have any place in a datacenter: http://www.backupcentral.com/content/view/293/47/

Tim Linerud

The problem with guest level backups in an VMware environment is scalability and management. The advantage of using the native VMImage backup is that you don't have to install Avamar agents on each and every guest machine. That in itself might be worth the down side of not getting a "crash consisitent" backup, but if your deploying guest via templates, then the application is already covered, it's just the application data.

This is for "file system" backups, but if you need modules like SQL, SharePoint, Oracle, or Exchange, then you'll need to do guest level backups, with the appropriate plugin for those applications.

VMDoug

Yes, all very interesting indeed. What is the definition of agent? Is it something that is required to be installed on the OS and managed (persistent)?

What about vendor VSS implementations (like Veeam) that use a non-persistent, backup runtime executable that doesn't actually backup the GUEST but perform the PROPER VSS application quiescing accross Windows 2003, 2008, 2008 RS 32 and 64?

I agree that VMware does NOT provide this, but other vendors DO properly support VSS at the application level and there's no need for a guest AND image level backup for Windows Servers and applications that support VSS.

You DON'T need to do guest level backups if your image level backup provider (like Veeam) properly implements VSS and doesn't rely on VMware to support Microsoft systems.

Chad Skinner

I just purchase a Gen3 Avamar Data Store, and am running the latest public release of 5.0 software. I am a big fan so far on most fronts, but am beyond disappointed by the absurdly slow pace at which EMC updates the software to support OS releases and service packs. Two of the Domain Controllers in my environment are 2008 or later. First a Windows Server 2008 server with service pack 2 installed, and second a Windows Server 2008 R2 server. Both complete their backups "with exceptions" because Avamar does not yet support service pack 2 or 2008 R2 yet. Had I known this before purchasing Avamar, I may not have purchased it. I guess it is shame on me for not doing detailed enough research before buying. I can understand no support for 2008 R2, but lack of 2008 service pack 2 support, is just embarrassing (or should be) for EMC. I guess my point is this: sure you have a much better chance of getting application consistent backups by doing guest level backups, but with Avamar you had better be willing to wait around for an eternity for support. Service pack 2 for 2008 was released to the public in May of 2009. Over six months have passed, and still no support from Avamar. Sad, just sad.

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