V11 SP8

Run IntelliSnap Backup and Backup Copy Operations Without a Proxy ESX Host

For VMware, you can perform backup copy operations without mounting the snapshot datastore to a proxy ESX host. Without mounting to a proxy ESX host, during backup copy operations, the following occurs:

  • IntelliSnap operations: All changed blocks (obtained through Changed Block Tracking incremental backups) will be stored in an XML file, which is then uploaded to the index server. File system APIs are used to read the data.
  • Backup copy operations: The snapshot datastores are mounted locally to the VSA proxy machine; the proxy ESX host mount does not occur. File system APIs are used to read the data.

The advantages of not mounting the snapshot datastore to a proxy ESX host are as follows:

  • Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) and Changed Block Tracking (CBT) information are retrieved during the snap backup operation rather than from the mounted snapshot.
    • The  IntelliSnap backup operation may take longer, but the time required to mount the datastore to the VSA proxy is considerably reduced. Overall, the backup is faster.
    • There are no rescan and refresh operations (which would occur after the mount and unmount operations).
  • There is no extra ESX host (hardware and license).
  • There is no need to repurpose a production ESX host computer as a proxy.

Without a proxy ESX host, only IntelliSnap backup and backup copy operations are supported.

Before You Begin

  • System Requirements

    The following virtual machine operating systems are supported:

    • ESX versions: 5.5, 6.0, 6.5 (includes all updates)
    • Proxy OS versions: Windows 2008 R2, 2012, 2016
    • Guest OS versions: all supported by VADP  
  • To the VSA proxy, add the nEnableESXProxylessBackup additional setting as shown in the following table.

    For instructions about adding additional settings from the CommCell Console, see Add or Modify an Additional Setting.

    Property Value
    Name nEnableESXProxylessBackup
    Category VirtualServer
    Type Integer
    Value 1

Considerations and Limitations

  • If the subclient content contains virtual machines from Network File System (NFS) datastores, then the backup copy will automatically use a proxy ESX host for mounting the snapshot datastores for all virtual machines (both VMFS and NFS datastores). You can view the job details in the Job Controller window.
  • With this feature enabled, IntelliSnap backup operations with the Enable Granular Recovery for IntelliSnap option are not supported.


After enabling support to execute backup operations without the use of a proxy ESX host, you can perform IntelliSnap backups and backup copies. For more information, see: