CA Arcserve 12.5 backup fails while using VDDK and multiple VMDK’s with the same file name

<update August 02: it seems CA has a fix available for this! Keep you updated on this issue>

CA Arcserve for Windows r12.5 is able to backup virtual machine over the network (the tradional way of making backups) and using a direct SAN connection. In this case the virtual machine disk files (vmdk) are copied to the backup server. I believe Arcserve calls this a raw backup. This method delivers a much faster backup and faster and easier restore. Arcserve uses for direct SAN backup the Virtual Disk Development Kit of VDDK.

VDDK lets you access VM disks remotely on ESX Server systems without exporting the disks to the backup proxy system. Integrating with VDDK provides you with an alternative approach to using VCB Framework to back up VMs. This approach can be used only on ESX Server 4.0 systems, ESX Server 3.5 systems, vCenter 4.0 systems, and VirtualCenter Server 2.5 systems. VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit is a collection of APIs and management tools that let you create, manage, and access virtual storage systems. VMware VDDK is supported on x86 and x64 versions of Windows and Linux operating

There is an issue with Arcserve if your virtual machine has more than 1 vmdk file which are located in different datastores using the same name! if you are using VDKK instead of backups over the network the backup is likely to fail with error AE0521 VM Mount operation error

The solution to solve this problem is renaming your vmdk files. Not an easy job if you are having a lot of VM’s running.

See Arcserve Knowledgebase article for more information. You need a CA Support Online account for this. Download a PDF of the article  TEC512189 here.

“VM Mount operation failed backing up with VDDK a virtual machine having different disks spanned across different locations (data stores) but having same file name”

For more information see

About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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