Virtualized Exchange Servers in Distributed Configurations
As previously described, Backup Exec supports modern image-level (“agentless”) protection of VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines, including virtual machines hosting applications such as Exchange. It’s important to note that Backup Exec does not currently support image-level backups of virtualized Exchange servers in a distributed configuration. Only virtual standalone Exchange servers are supported for image-level backup and granular recovery.
In order to achieve granular recovery support of virtualized Exchange servers in a distributed configuration, such as an Exchange 2010 Database Availability Group (DAG), the virtual machines must be protected using agent-based backups, which essentially treats each virtual machine as if it were a standalone, physical system.
Note: Backup Exec does not support granular recovery of Exchange 2013 mailbox objects. This functionality is planned for a later release of Backup Exec.
Protection of Physical Exchange Servers
For physical Exchange servers, the Agent for Windows is installed locally to the Exchange server. The Agent for Windows interacts with the physical Exchange server to prepare the Exchange databases for backup and to transmit backup data to the Backup Exec server over the NDMP protocol.
Backup of Physical Exchange Servers
VSS Integration and Physical Exchange Servers
Backups of physical Exchange servers that are captured by the Agent for Windows are snapshot backups performed using Microsoft’s VSS Writers (the only exception is Exchange 2003, which does not have a VSS writer). In most cases, Backup Exec uses a VSS full backup, which ensures that Exchange is placed into a consistent state at the time of backup and also truncates transaction logs, a key element of maintaining a healthy database application over time.
The Agent for Windows can only protect Exchange components of a server after the Agent for Applications and Databases has been licensed within Backup Exec.
Granular Application Recovery of Physical Exchange Servers
In addition to preparing physical Exchange servers for backup and transmitting Exchange backup data to the Backup Exec server for storage, the Agent for Windows also plays a key role during Exchange recovery. For example, the presence of the Agent for Windows locally installed to a physical Exchange server enables the Backup Exec server to directly transmit and restore granular Exchange objects back to the production Exchange environment of an organization.
Offhost Backups of Physical Exchange Servers
Backup Exec also supports offhost backups of physical Exchange servers. Offhost backups help alleviate the processing overhead of backup operations from the physical Exchange server and transfer them to the Backup Exec server.
For more information on Backup Exec and configuring offhost backups of physical Exchange servers, refer to the Backup Exec Administrator’s Guide and the following technote: http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO12231.
Granular Application Recovery of Exchange Virtual Machines
To enhance Backup Exec’s virtual machine protection and recovery capabilities, particularly when the virtual machine is hosting Exchange, the Agent for Windows should be installed into the guest virtual machine itself. In this configuration, Backup Exec can still capture snapshot-based, image-level backups of the destination virtual machine, but can then also offer dynamic application discovery capabilities and granular recovery of Exchange application components, all from a single-pass backup. In other words, even with the Agent for Windows installed to the virtual machine, the backup process remains what is known in the industry as an “agentless” backup; the presence of the Agent for Windows within the virtual machine simply allows for application metadata capture and granular recovery of application objects directly back to the original virtual machine.
Agent for Windows Enables Granular Recovery of Virtualized Exchange Servers
While Backup Exec fully supports protecting virtualized Exchange servers without installing the Agent for Windows to the virtual machine, recovery options are limited in this configuration. When the Agent for Windows is not present on the Exchange virtual machine, Backup Exec has no direct knowledge of Exchange being present on the virtual machine, and recovery options are limited to full virtual machine recovery and file/folder recovery.
Application-specific recovery features are only available when the Agent for Windows is installed to the Exchange virtual machine, which allows Backup Exec to discover the Exchange application and capture the Exchange metadata needed to enable application-specific recovery features.
VSS Integration and Virtualized Exchange Servers
When protecting virtualized Exchange servers, Backup Exec utilizes Microsoft’s VSS service to prepare the Exchange virtual machine for backup and truncation of Exchange transaction logs. For VMware environments, these VSS calls are made to the Agent for Windows on the Exchange virtual machine through interactions with the vStorage API, and involves the VSS writer on the virtual machine. The VSS writer will be either the VSS writer included with VMware Tools, or the Backup Exec VSS writer that is installed with the Agent for Windows. For Hyper-V environments, a similar process happens through interactions with the Hyper-V host via the local Agent for Windows agent installed to the Hyper-V host. The VSS writer that is used to prepare the virtual machine for backup will be either the VSS writer installed to the virtual machine along with Hyper-V Integration Services, or the Backup Exec VSS writer that is installed with the Agent for Windows.
With either VMware or Hyper-V environments, Backup Exec invokes a virtual machine-level VSS full backup, which prepares Exchange for the virtual machine snapshot event and truncates Exchange transaction logs. If the Agent for Windows is installed to the Exchange virtual machine, the VSS backup method can be changed to a VSS copy, which will not truncate log files.
For more information, refer to the following technote: http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO74082.
Uniquely Named Mailbox
To enable key features related to the protection and recovery of Exchange servers, such as granular recovery of Exchange objects, Backup Exec must have access to a uniquely named mailbox within the Exchange infrastructure. Access to this mailbox enables Backup Exec to interact with Exchange and important components within the Exchange Information Store. In order to enable granular recovery of Exchange objects, you must use the appropriate Exchange Server management utility to assign the user account to the Exchange Organization Administrators role (Exchange 2007) or the Exchange Organization Management role (Exchange 2010/2013).
The uniquely named mailbox cannot be hidden in the Exchange Global Address List.
For more information about this mailbox and associated requirements, refer to the Backup Exec Administrator’s Guide or the following technote:
- Ensuring Exchange mailbox name is unique http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH24691.
Exchange Management Tools
You must install the Exchange Management Tools on the Backup Exec server. The management tools on the Backup Exec server must be the same version or later as the management tools that are on the Exchange Server. For more information about installing the Exchange Management Tools, refer to your Microsoft Exchange documentation.
Protection of Virtualized Exchange Servers
For virtualized Exchange servers, Backup Exec interacts with the Exchange server through the virtual host, either through software APIs provided by the virtual infrastructure (VMware), or through the Agent for Windows installed to the virtual host (Hyper-V). For virtualized Exchange servers, Backup Exec fully supports what is generally known as “agentless” backup, both for VMware as well as Hyper-V environments.
Backup of Virtualized Exchange Servers
For additional information on requirements for protecting Exchange environments using Backup Exec, refer to the Backup Exec Administrator’s Guide and the following technotes:
- General Exchange protection requirements: http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=HOWTO24128
- Exchange granular recovery requirements: http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH51740
Note: “Licensing Backup Exec in Exchange Environments” provides more information about the Agent for Applications and Databases licensing.
Exchange Protection Methods and Technology
Backup Exec employs modern, highly advanced, and scalable technology to protect and recover Microsoft Exchange systems. While very easy-to-use, these sophisticated technologies ensure that Microsoft Exchange remains properly protected and ready for recovery events, allowing customers and partners to sleep easy at night, knowing they are prepared to handle any disaster that may befall their Exchange infrastructure.
Supported Exchange Versions
Backup Exec supports all major versions of Microsoft Exchange, including Exchange 2003/2007/2010/2013. Please note that for Exchange 2010/2013 systems, the Backup Exec server must be hosted on 64-bit hardware. For a complete list of supported software platforms and applications, please refer to the Backup Exec Software Compatibility List (SCL): http://entsupport.symantec.com/umi/V-269-1.
Components Used to Protect Exchange
The Backup Exec Server
The primary component used to protect and recover Microsoft Exchange is the Backup Exec server. The Backup Exec server interacts with the Exchange system to prepare the system for backup, to capture backup data selections, to store backup sets to the target storage device, and to perform recovery operations.
The Agent for Windows
For physical Exchange servers, the Backup Exec Agent for Windows is installed to the physical Exchange servers to identify, capture, and transmit Exchange backup data to the Backup Exec server for storage. For Exchange 2007 and later (Exchange 2003 does not have a VSS writer), Exchange backup data is captured through VSS snapshots and transmitted by the Agent for Windows to the Backup Exec server over the NDMP protocol, using a secure (TSL/SSL) and trusted connection.
For virtualized Exchange servers on the VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V platforms, the virtual machines hosting Exchange are protected using image-level backups through snapshot interactions with the virtual host. In these virtualized configurations, the Agent for Windows can be installed on the Exchange virtual machine to enable application discovery and metadata collection, allowing for granular application recovery features for virtualized Exchange servers. Protection of virtualized Exchange servers without the Agent for Windows installed is also supported, but virtual recovery options are limited to full virtual machine recovery and file/folder recovery.
Additional information on the differences in how Backup Exec can be used to protect physical and virtualized Exchange servers is provided in “The Agent for Applications and Databases.”
The Agent for Applications and Databases
When protecting either physical or virtualized Exchange servers with Backup Exec, a license for the Agent for Applications and Database is required before Backup Exec can perform backup and recovery operations of Exchange application data.
Enabling the Agent for Applications and Databases
Whether the Agent for Applications and Databases license is included or purchased separately depends on the Backup Exec version that is being used. For example, the standard Backup Exec 2012 product allows customers to pick and choose the different agents and options they need to protect their environment, while the Backup Exec 3600 Appliance includes unlimited use of the Agent for Applications and Databases in its core license.
It’s important to note that the Agent for Applications and Databases does not represent a true software agent that needs to be pushed or installed to a physical Exchange server in order to protect it; the license simply unlocks the ability for Backup Exec to interact with and protect Exchange components. The Agent for Applications and Databases also enables the use of Backup Exec’s VFF driver, which is used for advanced granular recovery operations.
We have become a species of information addicts – the “information explosion” is affecting the everyday lives of office workers. What is crystal clear is that we are all suffering from a 21st century ailment – Information Overload – and it is taking over our personal lives, working lives, and our businesses.
Businesses need to protect a broad range of information, generated in a plethora of ways, through multiple applications used by billions of individuals around the world. Organisations not only need to protect their information and IT infrastructure, but need to be aware of how the infrastructure facilitates the sharing and use of the information used by the organisation between, not just connections among colleagues, but linking businesses, from businesses to consumers, as well as between consumers themselves. In other words, all the collaborative environments, and the movement of data while in use.
Accessing work information out of hours, compulsively checking emails, texts and social media and hoarding endless emails and multiple versions of the same file are all symptoms of information overload. But the technology enabling us to be more productive (fantastic mobile devices and faster connectivity) together with the mismanagement of information is actually counter-productive.
Email is Business Critical
Email has become an indispensable way of communicating and transferring data in the modern electronic age. In the year 2010, it was estimated that almost 300 billion emails were sent each day, and around 90 trillion emails were sent every year. Considering the rate at which data continues to increase year-over-year, the number of emails sent today is likely significantly greater. Email is used for many forms of communication, including business critical communications for companies of all sizes.
Companies rely heavily upon email systems to conduct day-to-day business operations, and any significant period where access to email is lost is considered to be highly intolerable.
All email solutions used by modern businesses are based upon a server infrastructure hosting an email software system. Whether hosted locally on physical or virtualized servers, hosted by a partner, or hosted in the cloud, these email software systems support the incredible amount of email transmissions that happen every day, and can be implemented in many different sizes and configurations. Perhaps the most common and popular email system used in the industry today is Microsoft Exchange.
Because Microsoft Exchange plays such a critical role in the ability for organizations to conduct day-to-day business, it’s equally critical that companies employ protection solutions that enable them to quickly and easily recover their Exchange system should a data loss or disaster event occur. Backup and recovery solutions of the highest value will offer features that enable the following:
- Functionality designed specifically for Microsoft Exchange
- Protection of Exchange while it remains online and functional
- Ability to protect physical Exchange servers as well as virtualized Exchange systems
- Support for highly available Exchange configurations
- Adherence to Microsoft best practices for Exchange backup and recovery
- Optimization of secondary (backup) storage using data deduplication technology
- Support for local as well as offsite storage of backup data
- Multiple levels of recovery from a single-pass backup
Symantec Backup Exec
For many years, the Symantec Backup Exec product family has offered market-leading solutions for the protection of Microsoft Exchange, and solves each of the key problems mentioned above. The Agent for Applications and Databases offers purpose-built functionality to ensure Microsoft Exchange is properly protected against disaster and to help partners and customers quickly and easily perform any level of Exchange recovery, whether it’s bare metal recovery of a physical Exchange server, granular recovery of an individual Exchange email, or anything in between.
Key benefits of Backup Exec include the ability to:
- Reduce business downtime
- Eliminate complexity
- Spend less time managing backups
- Ensure critical information on virtual or physical systems is always protected
- Restore data in seconds
- Reduce storage and management costs
- Optimise network utilisation
- Eliminate redundant additional backup jobs
- Provide granular recovery of data for applications and databases
First Exchange Archive Task Performance
The first time an Exchange archive task is run, it will find a large number of mail messages that are valid candidates for archiving. This can result in an Exchange archive task taking a substantial amount of time to finish the first time it is run. Subsequent runs of the Exchange archive task will only pick up messages that became eligible since the last run, and will not take as long.
It is advisable to plan around the first run of Exchange archive tasks by scheduling it to run over the weekend or over a longer block of available time. Another approach would be to add mailboxes to archive tasks in phases rather than all at once.
Archive Task Scheduling Recommendations
Schedule your archive tasks to run after full backups. Because archive tasks source data from backup images, by scheduling archive tasks to run after full backups they run faster since they process the latest full backup rather than a chain of incremental backups going back to the latest full.
Schedule your archive tasks so that they run outside the backup window. Because archive tasks source data from backup images, archive tasks impact the backup server and not production systems. Scheduling archive tasks to run outside the backup window allow them to make full use of backup server processing cycles and prevent scheduling conflicts between backup tasks and archive tasks.
General Best Practices
Emails Must Be Backed Up Before They Can Be Archived
Due to the unique implementation of archiving capabilities within Backup Exec 2012 SP2, only data that is being protected by Backup Exec 2012 SP2 through backup jobs can be archived. If no backup job exists to protect the Exchange server in question, the email data associated with that Exchange server cannot be archived.
In Backup Exec 2012 SP2, archiving tasks are implemented as an additional stage to a backup job. Archiving tasks will only employ archiving rules against source data from the backup job of which they are a part. When adding an archive stage to a backup job, it is advisable to configure the backup job to be the most compatible with archiving, such as storing backups to disk rather than directly to tape.
The Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option does not support archiving data from backup sets stored only to tape.
The Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option does not currently support clustering. It will install to a Backup Exec 2012 SP2 server that is a cluster node, but it will not be allowed to join the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 cluster.
For the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option, the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 server must be in a domain. For configurations involving multiple domains, the domain of the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 services account must be trusted by the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 server domain as well as the domain of the Exchange servers targeted for archiving.
In addition, the BE services account must be granted permissions on each Exchange server targeted for archiving tasks. The Administrator’s Guide lists additional details in regards to the permissions that need to be provided to the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Service Account on Exchanges mailboxes in order to enable archiving. Please refer to the Administrator’s Guide for additional details.
Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option Sizing Guidelines
The Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option requires permanent disk space for the following archiving components:
- Vault store
- Vault store partitions
- Index locations
- The following SQL Express or SQL Server databases:
- Directory database
- Vault store databases
- Fingerprint databases
As the data in a vault store grows, additional vault store partitions can be added to provide additional capacity. Local drive or network shares can be used for vault store partitions. The following section offers introductory sizing guidelines for administrators; for further details, please refer to the Backup Exec 2012 Administrator’s Guide.
Sizing Guidelines for the Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option
Symantec supplies certain formulas that administrators can use to estimate disk space requirements for the Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option. The following values and variables are used in the formulas:
- ‘N’ is the number of emails
- ‘m’ is the average number of identical copies of attachments across user mailboxes
- The compression factor for attachments is estimated as 60%; if the attachments are mostly Office 2007 files, the compression factor to use is 90%
- The average number of emails that have attachments is estimated at 20%
- The average size of an email attachment is estimated at 250 KB
Vault Store Partition Size
The size of a vault store partition used for Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option depends on the following items:
- Size of the emails
- Type of attachments
- Number and size of the attachments
- Number of emails with attachments
Vault store partition sizing formula for the Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option for which single instance storage is enabled:
(Nx16) + ((1/m) x (Nx0.2×0.6×250) kilobytes
For example, if you want to know the disk space requirements for a vault store partition for 100,000 emails, you estimate that each email attachment is shared across three people on average. The calculation for the approximate disk space requirements would be as follows:
(100000 x 16) + ((1/3) x 100000 x 0.2 x 0.6 x 250) kilobytes = 2.6 GB approximately
The size of an index is approximately 8% of the total size of the items that are archived. The percentage may be less if there is less content to index. For example, there is less content to index when there are large attachments such as MP3 or .jpeg files.
Example: You have 100,000 emails that each has a body size of 8 KB. About 20% of the emails have attachments, each with an average total size of 250 KB. The index size is approximately 450 MB.
Directory Database Size
The Directory database only grows when a new mailbox or share is archived for the first time. The recommended disk space allocation is 500 MB.
Vault Store Database Size
The size of a vault store database is approximately:
N x 500 bytes
The vault store database grows with every item that is archived. Temporary space is used to hold information on the items that have not been backed up or indexed.
Fingerprint Database Size
The fingerprint database is created only if you enable single instance storage of archived items. Backup Exec 2012 SP2 initially allocates 212 MB for the fingerprint database. The fingerprint database grows with every item that is archived.
If the database grows to more than 212 MB, use the following calculation to estimate the disk space that it requires:
1/m x Nx0.2 x 500 bytes
Exchange Mailbox Analyzer Tool
To assist with planning efforts around Exchange email archiving, an Exchange mailbox analyzer utility is available for download from the SymIQ for Partners portal.
Exchange Mailbox Analyzer (EMA) is a tool that examines Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, 2007, and 2010 environments to collect information on:
- Number of messages
- Size of messages
- Age of messages
- Number of attachments
- Size of attachments
- Top users
- Duplicate attachments*
- Duplicate message bodies*
The results collected can be imported into the Enterprise Vault 8.0 sizing tool to help estimate sizing requirements for Enterprise Vault.
Client-side deduplication uses a process whereby deduplication calculations, meaning the identification of unique and non-unique blocks and the skipping of non-unique blocks, is driven by the local Backup Exec 2012 SP2 agent locally installed to the protected server. The advantage of using this method is that only the unique blocks of data are transferred to the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 server, greatly reducing the data traffic impact on network or LAN.
Backup Exec Server-side Deduplication
The Backup Exec server-side deduplication method uses a process where all backup data is transferred to the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 server before deduplication calculations are made. After backup data has arrived at the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 server, blocks are fingerprinted and identified as unique or non-unique, and either kept or skipped respectively.
The appliance deduplication method leverages a 3rd party deduplication device to handle all aspects of deduplication. Backup data is transferred to the appliance device for storage, while catalog information is transferred to the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 server.
The Backup Exec 2012 Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) contains information about all 3rd party deduplication devices that have been certified with Backup Exec 2012 SP2.You can find a list of compatible operating systems, platforms, and applicationsat the following URL: http://entsupport.symantec.com/umi/V-269-1
Flexible Deduplication Choices
Different deduplication methods can be mixed and matched to better service the configuration needs of Backup Exec 2012 SP2 customers.
Integrated Block-level Deduplication for Backups
Configurations are not restricted to a single deduplication method for a particular environment. Some protected servers will be better matched for one type of deduplication or another, and Backup Exec 2012 SP2 administrators have the flexibility to mix and match deduplication methods in order to tailor protection to meet the specific needs of their environment.
Combining the SIS deduplication technology within the Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option with the Deduplication Option can offer additional storage savings for Backup Exec 2012 SP2 administrators, allowing them to reduce storage costs by getting the most out of the backup and archiving storage resources at their disposal.
Each license of the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option enables archiving protection for 10 user mailboxes. Additionally, one license of the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Agent for Applications and Databases is required for each Exchange server that you want to archive.
Example Licensing Environment
Here is an example Backup Exec 2012 SP2 environment with Exchange servers to be archived:
Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option Example Licensing Diagram
This environment would require the following licenses in order to be fully enabled with Exchange archiving capabilities and remain in compliance with Backup Exec 2012 SP2 license requirements:
|Backup Exec Licensable Component||Required Licenses|
|Backup Exec Server||1|
|Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option (10 Users Each )||10|
|Agent for Microsoft Exchange||3|
Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option and the Agent for Applications and Databases
The Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option can only archive emails from GRT backup sets captured from Exchange servers using the Agent for Applications and Databases. As a result, the Agent for Applications and Databases is required for each Exchange server that will be involved in the archiving process.
Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option and the Agent for VMware and the Agent for Microsoft Hyper-V
The Agents for VMware and Hyper-V offer advanced technology designed specifically for the backup and recovery of VMware and Hyper-V environments. This includes optimized, image-based backups of VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines, including virtual machines hosting key applications such as Microsoft Exchange.
At this time, the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option does not support archiving of Exchange email objects from image-level backups of Exchange virtual machines captured by the Agents for VMware and Hyper-V. In order to enable archiving support of virtual machines hosting Micrsoft Exchange, the virtual machines must be protected using agent-based backups, which essentially treats the virtual machines as if they were standalone physical servers.
Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option and the Deduplication Option
The Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option includes SIS deduplication technology which is enabled by default. No additional licenses are required to enable the SIS deduplication technology within the Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option beyond the license for the Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option itself. However, this deduplication technology is limited to optimizing storage usage within the vault store, and does not extend to basic backup data storage.
The Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Exchange Mailbox Archiving Option can be used in conjunction with the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Deduplication Option to realize additional data storage savings.
When the Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Deduplication Option is added to the environment, deduplication technology is also employed against the deduplication disk storage device where backup sets are stored. The Backup Exec 2012 SP2 Deduplication Option enables several block-level deduplication capabilities that can greatly benefit administrators looking to control storage growth. There are three different methods of deduplication that are available with the Deduplication Option:
- Client-side deduplication
- Backup Exec server-side deduplication
- Appliance deduplication
Performance Notes and Recommendations
Configuring Backup Exec’s Deduplication Disk Storage Device
Backup Exec 2012 SP2’s Deduplication Option allows customers to create a single deduplication disk storage device per Backup Exec server. A deduplication disk storage device is where all deduplication blocks are stored, regardless of whether client-side or Backup Exec serve-sider deduplication was used for a specific backup. A Backup Exec server hosting a deduplication disk storage device can hold up to 32 TB of deduplicated data. Note that the deduplication disk storage device is not utilized for backups and restores when appliance deduplication is used. Appliance deduplication stores all backup data on the specific appliance.
Processor Utilization with Client and Server Deduplication
Depending on the type of deduplication used, processor utilization will vary. In general, the deduplication process is not gated or throttled in any way, and is geared towards accomplishing deduplicated backups and restores of deduplicated data as quickly as possible.
Client-side deduplication performs the bulk of deduplication calculations on the client (or source) system. The client-side deduplication process will consume as much of one (1) core of one processor as it can on that client system during deduplication calculations. While the actual amount of processor utilization will depend on the amount of data to be deduplicated and the speed of the processor, expect to see at least 75% processor utilization for that processor core for the duration of deduplication processing. During catalog operations, CPU utilization on the client is very low.
Backup Exec server-side deduplication performs the bulk of the deduplication calculations on the Backup Exec server. Similar to client-side deduplication, the Backup Exec server-side deduplication process will consume as much of one (1) core of one processor as it can on that Backup Exec server system. While the actual amount of processor utilization will depend on the amount of data to be deduplicated and the speed of the processor, expect to see at least 75% utilization for that processor core for the duration of any Backup Exec server-side deduplication backup job. For both client-side and Backup Exec server-side deduplication, initial backup jobs will be the slowest. As time goes on, backup speeds increase as more database fingerprints are created within the database.
For agents that cannot use client-side deduplication (Agent for Mac, etc.) there is no change to system requirements as outlined in the Backup Exec 2012 Administrator’s Guide. This is also true for Windows and Linux Agents that do not choose to use client-side deduplication.
Memory Utilization with Client-side and Backup Exec Server-side Deduplication
With both client-side and Backup Exec server deduplication, the majority of memory consumption takes place on the Backup Exec server. This is primarily a performance optimization geared towards fast and accurate calculation of deduplication fingerprints. On the Backup Exec server, both client-side and Backup Exec server-side deduplication require 8 GB (gigabytes) of free physical memory for the first 5 TB (terabytes) of deduplicated data stored by the Backup Exec server. For storage beyond 5 TB of deduplicated data, a formula of 1.5 x N, where N is the total number of deduplicated storage in terabytes, is used to calculate free memory requirements. For example, if 8 TB of deduplicated data is stored, the Backup Exec server would require at 1.5 x 8 GB, or 12 GB, of free physical memory.
Memory requirements for clients using client-side deduplication are not very stringent. Symantec requires 1.5 GB of free physical memory on each individual client that uses client-side deduplication.