what are the difference for deploying management to windows or linux
We have mostly Windows 2008 R2 VMs running on ESXi. What do I need to consider when choosing the OS patform (Win 2008R2 or CentOS 7) for the Acronis 12 management installation? For Linux OS, is there reason to install X Windows or no-GUI at all? Thanks very much
The main (and practically the only) one limitation of the core Acronis Management Server (AMS) component running on Linux is that you won't be able to deploy backup agents remotely from it, i.e. you'll have to use either group policies or CLI to perform installation, plus Agent for VMware Virtual Appliance will have to be deployed from .ovf template.
There is no requirement to install X Windows on Linux for running AMS on it - there will be web server running, so you'll be able to connect to AMS from any Internet browser.
In v9, it was agentless backup. So with v12 for vmware, do I need to install agent to SQL, Exchange and AD? Or just the appliances? Also, do I need one appliance on each host? Also, what happen if I have scheduled backups on the same appliance and their scheduled time overlaping?
With v12 there is also an option to perform agent-less VM backups with application protection, so application agents are not required in general. There are additional scenarios covered with these agents however. For example:
1) Agent for SQL allows to perform recovery of SQL databases back into their original location (with Acronis Backup for VMware you could only extract the DBs)
2) Agent for Exchange allows protecting Exchange data separately from entire machine backup (i.e. backup just the databases).
Note: there is one specific here - app-aware VM backup is possible with appliance, but for recovery of Exchange items you'll need to have Agent for VMware (Windows) _OR_ Agent for Exchange installed anywhere, for example on the AMS machine - these agents can perform recovery into local or remote Exchange server. Appliance itself cannot use the same APIs for recovery, since these APIs are not available in Linux, which is why installation (there is even no need to configure) of either of the above-mentioned Windows agents is required.
What concerns your question about scheduling - the backup tasks are distributed among the agents by Acronis Management Server automatically. This means that when you create a backup plan for a VM - you don't specify the appliance which will be performing the task - this choice is done by AMS. Remember to check the "simultaneous backup" option under Scheduling - it will allow processing multiple VMs by the same agent (appliance) at the same time even if it's performed from different backup plans.
Thank you for your help. It sounds like the AMS on Windows is the best choice. I have few more questions below:
1. If I use vcenter appliance instead of on Windows, is there any problem/concern/limitation?
2. Support vsphere 6.5, yet? If not, what is ETA?
3. if backup with agent installed within the VM's guest, will this affect the backup performance?
1) From our perspective there is no difference between vCenter appliance and Windows-based install - the backup API set is exactly the same for both, so it doesn't really matter which one you use.
2) We've run tests on vSphere 6.5 while it was on alpha, beta and RC stages (now testing the official RTM build) with Acronis Backup 12 - so far the following problems were discovered:
a) ESXi configuration backup doesn't work for ESXi 6.5 hosts (ID: ABR-110965)
b) Backup of VM with NVME controller (introduced in 6.5) doesn't work (ID: ABR-111052)
Other than that backup, restore, appliances deployment, etc. works properly with Acronis Backup 12 on vSphere 6.5. Our plan is to fix these issues in the next update for Acronis Backup 12, so that we could officially announce support for it.
3) Agent-less and agent-based backups are performed in different context, so there may be backup performance difference, which depends on the network connection between the guest OS and the backup repository compared against the same path between ESXi host and backup repository. The guest OS performance in practice is better with agent running inside, since VMware snapshots with quiescing enabled may temporarily freeze VM on snapshot creation/removal stages (depends on guest OS load). Our general recommendation is to rely on agent-based backup if the VM is running highly loaded applications, while for other less busy VMs use agent-less approach.