Notes on a vSphere 4.0 to vSphere 5.0 Upgrade and Interoperability with Symantec NetBackup 7.5.1

A quick post for if you have a vSphere 4.0 Environment currently being backed up by Symantec NetBackup VMware Snapshot Based backups, and are wondering what impact upgrading to vSphere 5.0 will have on the NetBackup. The good news is hardly any!

Note: Symantec do not yet support vSphere 5.1 - ETA for support is first quarter 2013!

In a recent project, I had a vCenter 4.0U4 running on Windows Server 2003 32-bit with a remote SQL database on SQL2005 32-bit. The VMware environment was happily being backed up by NetBackup 7.5.1 VMware Snapshot based policies. Now, my main concern with the upgrade was for these backups to continue to function.

The process of the upgrading the vCenter was pretty much as followed in these previous posts (except this was to vCenter 5.0U1a)

After vCenter upgrade and reconnecting the old hosts back in, the NetBackup VMware Snapshot backups continued to function without any problem – all good!

Next step was to upgrade the hosts and this was done by importing an ESXi Image into Update Manager, creating an upgrade baseline, then attaching the baseline and running the remediation.

Image: Update Manager – Import ESXi Image…

After upgrading hosts, again the NetBackup VMware Snapshot backups continued to function without any problem – all good!

Finally, the VMware tools and Virtual Machine Hardware upgrades were performed, and again NetBackup VMware Snapshot backups were unaffected.

One other part of the project was to storage migrate the Virtual Machines from a legacy fibre channel SAN (Pillar Axiom) to an iSCSI SAN (EqualLogic) with Site-to-Site replication setup for Site Recovery Manager, and it was only here that the VMware Snapshot based backups experienced any failures, this being because the Symantec NetBackup server was configured with direct access to the FC SAN and VMFS volumes. Interestingly though, after recreating VMware Snapshot Policies, the backups (including full) actually ran quicker from the EqualLogic.


  1. Wow. Welcome to 5 years ago.

    For anyone who wants a product that keeps with the times, head over to Veeam.

  2. To quote kb# 1025279 - "Snapshots are not backups... if the base disks are deleted, the snapshot files are useless"


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