Integration Veeam Backup with Symantec Backup Exec 2010

Integration Veeam Backup with Symantec Backup Exec 2010


This document highlights some necessary steps required to setup a successful Veeam Backup and Symantec Backup Exec 2010 for tape integration and off-site storage.

Steps to a successful integration:

Veeam B& R v6.0.0.181 is installed on a Virtual Machine running guest operating system Windows 2008 R2 64bit with 8 GB of Ram and 2 Virtual vCPU Sockets and 4 Cores for each socket. The Veeam resources it depends on the environments and workload that put on the backup during backup operation.

All backup repositories’ are mapped through iSCSI Initiator with MPIO. The sizing of the repositories also it depends on each environment and how much data needs to be restored from disk and for how long. Again, this retention period plays a big role in the repository storage and how big your storage is.

In my environments, I have multiple targets;


Repository Target


1. IBM iSCSI – DS3500 2.0 TB
2. IBM iSCSI – DS3500 745 GB
3. EMC iSCSI – AX4-5i 800 GB
4. OpenFiler iSCSI 2.3 1.4 TB
5. IBM iSCSI – DS3500 2.0 TB
Total 6.9 TB

Veeam Backup Configuration:

All the above repositories are added to the Veeam Backup & Replication v. Backup jobs configured for each VM to one of the above repositories.

Due to lack of disk space in the repositories and which limits the number of days  ofbacked up VMs should remain on disk, all the backup jobs are configured as follows;

Categorizing the backup jobs based on roles of the Virtual Machines helps a lot from backing up static Virtual Machines which doesn’t change very often.


Backup Category


1. Critical Virtual Machines Virtual machines are changing dynamically, such as Mail Server, file Server, Archive Server, Sharepoint, etc..
2. Non-Critical Virtual Machines Virtual machines are not changing on a daily basis, such as AntiVirus, Proxy Servers, WSUS, Deployment Serves

Critical Virtual Machines Job Settings:

Since those Virtual Machines are changing dynamically and daily, weekly and monthly backup requires for them backup job settings are configured based on the disk space and how long we can restore from disk.

Restore points to keep on disk: = 5

Deleted VMs data retention period: = 5

Backup Mode set as Incremental and Weekly Friday Active Full Backup. And schedule backup Sunday through Friday.

This settings result 1 Full Backup on Friday .vbk file and Sunday through Thursday is incremental which will gives 5 .vibs files.

Note: Since the Deleted VMs data retention period set to 5, CheckDataValue() when it reaches to 5 days, the full last backup chain will be deleted from disk and will have a new .vib file changed with last .vbk file.


Full Backup runs on 27th April, 2012 it will have a chain of Sunday through Thursday.



Backup Date


Backup Mode

1. 04/27/2012  02:43 VM001012012-04-27T143033.vbk Friday Full
2. 04/29/2012  02:37 VM001012012-04-29T143033.vib Sunday Incremental
3. 04/30/2012  09:42 VM001012012-04-30T093346.vib Monday Incremental
4. 05/01/2012  02:37 VM001012012-05-01T143039.vib Tuesday Incremental
5. 05/02/2012  02:37 VM001012012-05-02T143047.vib Wednesday Incremental
6. 05/03/2012  02:38 VM001012012-05-03T143029.vib Thursday Incremental

Week #2


Backup Date


Backup Mode

1. 05/05/2012  11:18 VM001012012-05-04T143026.vbk Friday Full
2. 05/06/2012  02:36 VM001012012-05-06T143052.vib Sunday Incremental
3. 05/07/2012  02:36 VM001012012-05-07T143038.vib Monday Incremental
4. 05/08/2012  02:36 VM001012012-05-06T143052.vib Tuesday Incremental
5. CheckDateValue()

When CheckDateValue() reach next week Wednesday, the previous backup chain will be deleted entirely.

Non-Critical Virtual Machines:

The same applies to the non-critical virtual machines backup jobs, except those backup jobs are set to 1 for both values, Restore points to keep on disk:= 1 && Deleted VMs data retention period:= 1.

This will allow only one restore point on disk.

Symantec Backup Exec 2010 Configuration:

All traditional backup software, the well-known backup methods are Full, Incremental or Differential. With Symantec Backup Exec 2010 and Veeam Integration there is a caution in here to select which backup methods to use when you Backup the Veeam Images *.VBK or *.VIB files.

In Symantec when Full Backup is configured to backup Veeam Images it will Backup everything on the drive and will reset the file Archive Bits.

When Veeam Backup runs again and created a VIB file or VBK file and again Symantec Runs as Incremental against veeam files, only the last changed files will be backed up.

But, when Symantec Full backup runs against Veeam, it will backup everything on the drive, means all Full *.VBK Files along with all *.VIB files. This increase the possibility of taking long time to finish the backup as well as doubling the backup twice.

The best option in here to backup Veeam Image using Symantec is to set all the backup methods as Incremental with Reset-Archive-Bit including Daily, weekly and Monthly Backup.

Also, Since Veeam Backup & Replication doesn’t have the option to set a monthly Backup, the last Wednesday of Last Week in the month can be considered as monthly backup and again the Backup Method has to be Copy otherwise backup will not backup anything to tapes because the Archive-Bit has been reset already.

In my example, Wednesday is my CheckDateValue() that configured on the Veeam backup jobs. So, all previous chain will be deleted.

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  1. #1 by jupiter on July 24, 2012 - 4:53 pm

    So with this setup, once you set Symantec to do Incrementals, you basically run with Incrementals forever and never really do another full backup? Is that correct?

  2. #2 by Plancherel on October 9, 2012 - 6:45 am

    Thanks for your article, very interesting !

    I have one question about the Symantec backup. You say you are doing only incremental, I know that the veeam file will change so you will always have the last veeam full or incremental files on your tape. But is Backup exec able to restore the files without any full ? What happen if one of your tape is corrupt ? Is one backup exec tape enough to restore the file ?


    • #3 by habibalby on October 13, 2012 - 9:35 am

      @Jupiter I do full backup on weekly and monthly as Copy which will includes all the files of the backup job.

    • #4 by habibalby on October 15, 2012 - 11:26 am

      Hello Plancherel,
      Well, you are right.. If one of the tape is corrupt I cannot restore the particular .VIB file to the Veeam Backup.

      Backup Exec able to restore the .VIB files without any full. But again remember the VIB file not useful without the full chain of the Full backup and subsequent VIBs file.

      So for the restoration, always you have to have the entire Chain on disk, then import them to Veeam Backup and you can do the restoration from there.


  3. #5 by jupiter on October 15, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    I think Plancherel was wondering more about the Backup Exec side of things. So for instance, if you do incremental backups forever, in order to restore (from a BE standpoint) would you need to start with your initial backup tape from your very first backup, and then restore all the incrementals from the first backup on.

    What I do is set my VEEAM backups to do a synthetic full on Sundays, and then do incrementals Monday through Friday. I do BE incrementals every day (never a full backup from BE standpoint). If I needed to restore a file on say Tuesday, I’d need Sunday’s tape along with Monday and Tuesday’s tape. I believe you can just restore files off the BE incremental tapes without needing the initial full backup that took place however long ago. Since you are doing backups of backup files vs a physical server where you do backups of a server, you can do forever incrementals and never really need the initial full backup tape.

  4. #6 by Plancherel on October 15, 2012 - 1:52 pm

    Thanks habibalby and Jupiter, I have now a better understanding of the Veeam’s integration with BE. I just finished my setup and I’m also doing forever incremental with BE. Veeam is configured to do incremental backup during week’s days and a full backup on Friday and BE is configured to do forever incremental.

    Jupiter, why are you doing a Synthetic full instead of a standard full? Is there any advantage?

    I did my first tape backup last week end, it took a very long time (more than 48h) as it had to backup the entire Veeam repo (~12To), normally the next backup should be much quicker.

  5. #7 by jupiter on October 15, 2012 - 2:04 pm

    The synthetic full just takes the VEEAM incremental backups and combines them with the previous weekend’s backup to create the synthetic full, so you never really have to do a “full” backup. I was told by VEEAM support that the synthetic full backup ends up being identical to what running a true full backup would be, but the backup takes much less time since it only backs up an incremental backup worth from the VM. I also use the SureBackup option to verify all our critical backups each Monday morning after the synthetic full has run over the weekend.

    • #8 by habibalby on October 15, 2012 - 6:58 pm

      Well, I agree that the synthetic backup would chain all the vrb files into a chain of VBK file but remember the time it took to backup a 2 TB machine and will chain all the VRB files, when my jobs were configured with synthetic backup my exchange hanged for 26 hours just trying to finish the chain, it didn’t successful and cream support advised to restart the been services to force commit the snapshot. Also the vrb files keep changing the date and time of the original VBK file and if u run daily incremental you will end up backing up as Full on daily basis unless you apply the registry heck not to change the file archive bit. In the current configuration, I can restore for last 10 days from disk, and in beyween in day 7th I have Full backup of last week 7th day, I can restore last full backup which includes 1 VBK and 5 VIBs in one tape.

      Hope it helps…

  6. #9 by habibalby on October 16, 2012 - 7:31 am

    Forgot to add a very good point about the Synthetic Backup.. Consider your Storage I/O speed if you want to go with Synthetic, if are backing up an Exchange with vRDM for instance and the Exchange has 1.6 TB of data… and you do a Synthetic Backup… Remember this; Does your Repository SAN Storage can handle the I/O constrains that will be generated by Veeam? If the SAN Storage configured as Raid 5 to save space and it’s a cheap NAS or iSCSI with Near-Line SAS disk for example… I doubt Veeam can transform all the .VRB files to be injected to .VBK file and remember the impact the will cause on the VM/Application.

  7. #10 by habibalby on October 18, 2012 - 8:45 am

    Great comments in Veeam Forum as well.

    Veeam and BUE integration

  8. #11 by Plancherel on October 18, 2012 - 9:11 am

    Thanks for the info !

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