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Backing up a VMware Environment

vmware sql exchange

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#1 Adam Carby

Adam Carby
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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:52 PM

I'm sure that if I were to search enough I would easily find the answers I'm looking for...but... I'm a creature of habit and like to get the fresh answers out of your wizards.  Here's the deal... we recently go hit with the dreaded ransomware virus which took down a very critical server running SQL. We are a 911 dispatch center and in the panic we probably didn't do this "best practice".  The a$$hats before me set up the Barracuda Backup 890 and I must say, it appears they did an awful job.  So, here's my questions, and keep in mind this is a VMware environement...


1. What is better, adding each host as a source or using vCenter as the source?


2. We have Exchange, DCs, and other SQL servers running on these hosts.  Should I back them up at the VM level AND create a seperate schedule and back them up with using the Agent?  I want to be able to fire these suckers back up promptly, but also want granular recovery options.  Yes - it will take more space.


3. What do you recommend for Bare Metal Recovery of a physical server that is running SQL? How should we back it up and what should we consider?


Please feel free to add anything I might not be thinking of and tell me how you all are doing things and any successes or hardships you've encountered.  We were NOT able to recovery our SQL server because we just hit restore instead of attempting the SQL databases individually... it hoses the master databases... it sucked...still does.

#2 David Waller

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 09:56 AM

1.  Your source should ALWAYS be the vCenter server in a clustered environment.

2.  Unfortunately, Barracuda's VM backups are not application aware.  You should also perform an agent backup in case of SQL and Exchange.  If you're simply concerned with doing an entire VM restore then the VM backup will be enough.  If you want to perform Exchange Message level, SQL restores then an agent backup is required.  You can perform file level restores from the VM backups FYI.  You will NOT be restoring AD objects from a Barracuda backup with either the agent or the VM backup.  I'm not sure how large your Exchange Org. is either, however, the Message Level backups do not work for us either.  We have numerous Exchange servers in our environment that the BBS should NOT be attempting to backup, however, it does and never completes.  We had to turn Message Level backups off due to this bug.  Barracuda hasn't resolved this problem yet and it's been about a year.

3.  As I am not a DBA, I'm not entirely sure how to answer this question.  Are you attempting to restore the entire VM or just the DB?