Today is day one for Tech Field Day 5, and the first vendor to kick us off is Symantec. Myself, along with the other 11 Field Day Delegates (+ Stephen Foskett, the TFD Godfather) loaded into the shuttle this morning at 7:30 and headed to Symantec’s World Headquarters. My first impression of Symantec’s headquarters and people is super classy. They were very organized as they met us at the front door with our badges and led us into the boardroom where we found our name plates. We had a great hot breakfast, for which I was very grateful, plugged into the Internet and power and commenced taking notes from the 5 different presenters. Unexpectedly in the middle of the session, the CEO of Symantec, Enrique Salem, dropped in to make a quick introduction and presentation on the future of Symantec as well as his vision for the company. What I noticed from each and every one of the speakers as well as the CEO, is how seriously they take their job and how serious Symantec is about protecting your information no matter how big or small your enterprise.

NetBackup 7 for VMware vSphere 4
George Winter, Technical Product Manager, was the first speaker to kick off the Symantec session. George made the presentation for a great product from Symantec called NetBackup 7 for VMware vSphere 4. Some of the criteria that admins require when designing a backup solution for their virtual infrastructure are the backups must be better than physical backups, they must be scalable and there must be integration with vSphere technologies. With NetBackup 7 for VMware vSphere, Symantec has met all of these guidelines for building a backup solution for your virtual infrastructure, specifically for VMware vSphere. NetBackup 7 presents a significant enhancement over VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB). There is no additional hardware (aka holding tank) to configure and with change block tracking (CBT) employed it offers the capability for incremental backups.

There usually is a downside to most software, an Achilles heel if you will, but I think you will find with Symantec’s new 7.0 release of NetBackup you will be hard-pressed to find such a weakness. The only limitations you will find with this software is the reliance NetBackup 7 has on the available bandwidth, but then again, any I/O intense application would suffer from limited bandwidth.

What Do I Need To Install On Top of vSphere?
With most third-party VMware applications there is an agent or some sort of client that is required to be installed on top of your existing vSphere environment. Most of the time it would create a tab in your vCenter view that would allow you to manage that application. With NetBackup 7 there is not additional software the needs to be installed on top of vCenter. In fact, nothing needs to be installed on any VMware component to enable backups. How long does it normally take you configure a backup of your vSphere environment? With Symantec’s NetBackup 7, they estimate is won’t take any longer than 10 minutes to completely configure a backup of your environment. NetBackup 7 also offers you the ability to
granularly back up single files within your VM. It’s slightly unusual to need to back up your entire VM, with the use of snapshots within vCenter, you might not need an entire backup. Most of us need to restore only certain files such as Word documents, .pdfs, and more.

What I’ve taken away from my visit to Symantec’s headquarters is that they are at the forefront of the backup and security marketplace, and they have poised themselves not just as leaders but innovators in this arena. Everything was very classy and very organized, the presenters knew their products like the back of their hands and spoke of them like their children. The chief architect of NetBackup 7 gave a great presentation and answered all of our questions without leaving anyone unsatisfied. Thanks to Symantec for inviting us and sharing their knowledge and insight into the backup and security world of virtualization.

Greg W Stuart
Greg is the owner and editor of He's been a VMware vExpert every year since 2011. Greg enjoys spending time with his wife and 3 kids. He works as a Sr. Consultant at VMware and resides in Northern Virginia, 15 minutes west of Washington DC.

6 thoughts on “Symantec NetBackup 7 for VMware vSphere 4

  1. Thanks for such a great write-up of NetBackup. It was a pleasure meeting you and the other #Tech Field Day delegates and we look forward to future engagement.

  2. As a user of NBU 7 for more than a year I feel I have to weigh in. I’ve been trying to get it to work consistently, unsuccessfully for more than 12 months. Help from support had been spotty at best (usually consists or recommendations for registry changes that break something else) and the product has never performed as advertised. We spent $35k for support and maint this year and I truly don’t know what we paid for. We’re evaluating an alternative now and I’m looking forward to change.

    Is there anyone out there that uses NBU 7 for VMware that is happy with it?

    1. Sorry to hear we haven’t met your expectations. I am a NetBackup Product Manager, and I can assure you we have had many successful deployments, large and small. Please contact me ( and I will assist you. I’m confident we can resolve this matter.

    2. I work on the Symantec NetBackup team and am sorry you have not had a positive experience. Please send me an email to:

      with your contact information so we can help resolve your issues.

      Symantec Corp.

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