How to configure NetBackup policy to backup VMware VMs

By | January 21, 2023

After introduction to NetBackup features for VMware like NetBackup Instant Recovery , NetBackup Accelerator and NetBackup Replication Director this is time to show how to configure NetBackup VMware policy.

To configure a policy to back up the virtual machine please follow steps:

  1. In the NetBackup Administration Console, click Policies and select Actions > New > New Policy:NetBackup policy for backup VMware 1

    NetBackup policy for backup VMware 2

  2. Select the VMware policy type.(1) Select a policy storage unit or storage unit group.(2) To enable the Accelerator, click Use Accelerator.(3) When you click Use Accelerator, Perform block level incremental backups is automatically selected and grayed out. On the VMware tab, the Enable block-level incremental backup option is also selected and grayed out.NetBackup policy for backup VMware 3To enable Replication Director, click Use Replication Director. If you click this, option Use Accelerator will be unavailable and greyed out.NetBackup policy for backup VMware 4
  3. Click the VMware tab.NetBackup policy for backup VMware 5

    a) Enable file recovery from VM backup - allows restore of individual files from the backup. With or without this option, you can restore the entire virtual machine.
    b) Enable block-level incremental backup - For block-level backups of the virtual machine. This option reduces the size of the backup image. For the Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint Agents, enable this option if you use Accelerator. Otherwise, disable this option.
    c) Exclude deleted blocks - Reduces the size of the backup image by excluding any unused or deleted blocks within the file system on the virtual machine.
    d) Exclude swapping and paging files - Reduces the size of the backup image by excluding the data in the guest OS system paging file (Windows) or the swap file (Linux).
  4. Use the Schedules tab to define a schedule (click New).NetBackup policy for backup VMware 6
  5. Use the Clients tab to select the virtual machines to back up. You can specify virtual machines in either of two ways: manually or query. Select manually:NetBackup policy for backup VMware 7Select by query:NetBackup policy for backup VMware 8Also you can validate query by "Test Query".
  6. Click Backup Selections Tab. Depends on VM selection (manually or query) you will see: query or ALL_LOCAL_DRIVES (for manual VM selection)NetBackup policy for backup VMware 9
  7. When you click Apply or OK on the policy Attributes tab, a validation process checks the policy and reports any errors. If you click Close, no validation is performed.

In my opinion, NetBackup policy for VMware is easy to be configured and works pretty well. The most important thing  is validation VMs after configuration of VMware policy. In NetBackup 6.x and VCB, it was a really big Achilles' heel (and so annoying) but now (since NBU 7.x) it works! How's your experience with VMware backup by NetBackup?

Author: Mariusz

Architect (~ 15 years experience based on passion...) with strong background as a System Administrator and Engineer. Focused on Data Center Solutions: Virtualization/Cloud Computing and Storage/Backup Systems. Currently living in Poland.