16577: Acronis Cyber Protect, Acronis Cyber Backup: agent-based and agentless backup of virtual machines

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Last update: 12-11-2021

Acronis Cyber Protect (Advanced) for Virtual Host is designed and optimized specially for agentless backup of virtual machines: these editions allow you to perform backups of virtual machines without the need to install an agent on each guest system - agents only need to be installed on hosts.

The table below shows the main differences between agentless backup and using Agent for Windows/Agent for Linux to back up a virtual machine.

  Agentless backup Agent-based (Agent for Windows/Linux)
Available in

Acronis Cyber Protect for Virtual Host
Acronis Cyber Protect Advanced for Virtual Host

Acronis Cyber Protect Advanced 
Available for

Scale Computing HC3 (in Acronis Cyber Protect 15)

Citrix XenServer
Oracle KVM


1 license of Acronis Cyber Protect (Advanced) for Virtual Host: backup of an unlimited number of virtual machines on the same physical host 

If you are using clustered VMware ESX of Hyper-V servers, you need 1 license for Acronis Cyber Protect (Advanced) per each host in cluster.

1 license of Acronis Cyber Protect (Advanced) for Virtual Host: backup of unlimited number of virtual machines on the same physical host

Other Acronis Cyber Protect Advanced editions: backup of 1 physical or 1 virtual machine

Installation One Agent on Hyper-V host
One Agent on ESX(i) host or on a Windows machine outside of the vSphere environment
Agents on all virtual machines
What OS can be backed up? Any operating system supported as guest by virtualization server.

Operating systems supported by Agent for Windows / Agent for Linux.

Back up selected files/folders inside virtual machine NO* YES
Back up to Online Storage YES YES
Exclude files/folders from backup YES YES
Recover backup to a virtual machine YES YES

Recover backup directly to virtualization server


* You can recover files and folders from a disk image.

**You need to have an Acronis Cyber Protect (Advanced) Virtual Host license registered in your License Server.

Virtual machines with Acronis Cyber Protect Agent for Windows/Linux installed inside will be shown in Physical Machines list in Acronis Management Server. Virtual machines backed up by Acronis Cyber Protect Agent for ESX/ESXi or by Acronis Cyber Protect Agent for Hyper-V will be shown in Virtual Machines list.

If an Agent for Windows/Agent for Linux is installed in the VM, then it will appear twice in All devices list: once as a physical machine, once as a virtual machine. This is the expected behavior in the current product design.

Agent-based and agentless backup may have different speeds depending on many factors such as workload complexity and priority, server capacity and utilization, local area network (LAN) and WAN bandwidth, and more. Since no two environments are the same, it is recommended to test which type of backup works best for your infrastructure and better suits your needs.

More information

See also: Acronis Products Licensing Table