44302: Acronis Backup for VMware 9: Backing Up

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Last update: 03-12-2015

Add an ESX host, then back up the machines or dynamic groups

This article applies to:

  • Acronis Backup for VMware 9 (Acronis vmProtect 9)


First, you need to add ESX(i) host(s). See Acronis Backup for VMware 9: Adding ESX(i) Host.


Select the virtual machines (or vApps) by moving the machines from the left side of the butterfly control to the right one, via the > and < buttons. The list on the right shows all the virtual machines selected for backup. The > button is used to add the VM to the backup list, and the < button is used to remove the VM from this list. You can also select the VM by double-clicking it.

You can back up dynamic groups of the machines by selecting the upper level unit (e.g. ESX(i) host or VMs folder) in the tree and moving it to the right list with the same > button. As a result, all the machines running within this group will be automatically included in the backup list. Moreover, any new machines created in this group will be backed up automatically by the current backup task.

When to back up

  • Schedule a backup
  • Do not schedule, run on demand

Where to back up

  • Cloud backup storages.
  • Recent Locations.
  • Local folders.
  • Network folders.
  • FTP servers.
  • SFTP servers.

If your Acronis Backup for VMware 9 (Acronis vmProtect 9) Agent has no licenses added, the only possible choice for a backup destination is Acronis Cloud Backup Storage.

(!) Acronis Backup for VMware 9 (Acronis vmProtect 9) Cloud backup storage might be unavailable in your region. See Acronis Cloud Storage: list of supported countries.

(!) Within the Acronis Cloud backup storage application-aware backups, the backup validation and run VM from backup operations are not possible.

Application-Aware Backup settings

Prior to running Microsoft Exchange Server Items, Microsoft SQL Server Databases, Microsoft SharePoint Server Data or Microsoft Active Directory recovery you have to configure your backups to become “Application-aware”. From the VMs list on the left select the specific VM(s) running MS Exchange Server, MS SQL Server, MS SharePoint Server, MS Active Directory, provide its/their Domain Administrator Credentials. You can add several VMs running applications.

Note that for enabling the Application-aware backup, you have to provide guest OS login credentials for the selected VM(s) running MS Exchange server, MS SQL Server, MS SharePoint Server, MS Active Directory. This means that you have to specify a user with domain administrator privileges. User Account Control (UAC) technology introduced in Windows Server 2008 operating system is not natively supported by Acronis Backup for VMware 9 (Acronis vmProtect 9) since the product accesses the VMs data in agent-less mode. So, if UAC is enabled for the user you specify, we would suggest the following possible solutions (either one is acceptable):

  • Disable UAC for the specified user. The UAC can be enabled/disabled via a domain group policy, for example.
  • Specify a different user for which UAC is disabled. For example you can use a built-in domain administrator account which has UAC disabled by default.
  • Install a small (up to 30MB) "Acronis Backup Agent" inside the VM. For that: run Acronis Backup for VMware 9 (Acronis vmProtect 9) installation package, choose Extract Components option from the menu, extract Acronis Backup Agent .msi component and install the Agent onto the server where UAC is enabled. Then, you can employ any domain user with domain administrator privileges independently from UAC state.

Note that while Acronis Backup for VMware 9 (Acronis vmProtect 9) is not a cluster-aware software, it is still possible to perform Application-aware backups of Exchange cluster nodes (Exchange 2003 SP2+ versions are supported). During the backup Acronis Backup for VMware 9 (Acronis vmProtect 9) can back up the Exchange databases available for the specific VM (node of Exchange cluster) at the given moment of time. While there are many different types of Exchange cluster (SCC, CCR, DAG) which all have their own specifics, the main thing you should ensure is that the Exchange databases data is actually accessible from the VM you are backing up with "Application-aware" option. The same approach applies to transaction logs truncation option – they will be truncated for the accessible databases only.

For example, it does not matter which node of Exchange 2010 DAG cluster you are backing up, since in this case each node can host active databases and passive databases (i.e. replicas of databases from other nodes), and all these databases will be properly backed up as they are accessible from any node. Note that the logs will be truncated for both active and passive databases in this case.

The exception from this rule is SCC cluster where database is located on shared storage and therefore is inaccessible for vStorage API used to get access to the VM data. SCC clusters are NOT supported.

If you are planning to extract the Exchange database from the backup and perform recovery to the point of failure, which implies replacing the database with the backup copy and rolling up the transactions logs on top of it, then you should make sure to extract the very latest version of the database, so that the existing transaction logs can be applied to this copy. If any of the transactions logs are missing in the chain then their roll up will not be possible.