Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Do I need the Backup Exec 2010 VMware Agent plus the Exchange Agent to backup an Exchange VM? Or will the VMware Agent take care of it (minus any granular recovery features; we're looking for disaster recovery options only at the moment)?

(It shouldn't be this hard to figure out an answer to this from Symantec's docs, but I can't get a straight answer)

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

One big, glaring caveat is that the VMware agent probably won't be aware of the exchange databases, so the logs will not get truncated. If you're comfortable with circular logging, this should be ok.

Edit: See the comments below; it's not a good idea to depend purely on the VMware agent. VMware's VMware Data Recovery product uses the same APIs ("VADP") for backup as Backup Exec 2010, and here's VMware's recommendation on the matter:

While VDR can use the VSS framework to back up Windows guest OS virtual machines it does not contain the required Exchange VSS requestor to properly back up and restore an Exchange mailbox database. (source)

share|improve this answer
I'm not entirely convinced the Exchange databases will be logically consistent if you go with this option. The ESE backup momentarily quiesces the database being backed up, makes it logically consistent on disk and then backs it up. I don't know if the plain VMWare agent will do this. – Ben Pilbrow Mar 15 '11 at 22:05
@Ben As long as VMware tools is installed in the VM, it should quiesce the guest filesystem as part of the snapshot. But I do agree that it's riskier than doing a "proper" exchange backup. – Shane Madden Mar 15 '11 at 22:11
It may quiesce the filesystem, but the unless it also quiesces the Exchange database (i.e commits everything in memory to disk) using the specific Exchange APIs, then the .edb file on disk isn't guaranteed to be logically consistent. I will freely admit I don't know how the VMWare agent works, and if it does do this then I'm more than willing to stand corrected. – Ben Pilbrow Mar 15 '11 at 22:15
@Ben You're right, a VADP quiesce isn't enough. I'll edit the answer to clarify. – Shane Madden Mar 15 '11 at 22:22

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.