Converting Agent-based Servers to Agentless

I am currently converting some of our environment to the the agent-less style of backing up the machines. What I am not sure about is how to move the existing recovery points to the now agent-less protected machine. I have the recovery points still, and I was hoping that somehow they would recognize the hostname or something and automatically attach to the machine after it was re-protected agent-lessly, however that is not the case. Does anyone have any experience with this?

  • Hi aivanov_35976:

    First the warnings! Although the SQL/SharePoint/Exchange Servers are protected properly in an agentless manner, you loose some features such as mountability/attachability, the capability of having multiple protection groups per agent etc.

    As these may (or may not) be of importance for your environment, you need to do a thorough assessment of what agents should be protected agentlessly and which to be agent based. Moreover, as you have already noticed, changing the protection type from agent based to agentless triggers a base image. The reason is that the agent based protection keeps track of the changed blocks inside the protected machine (specifically in the aa_log files in the 'System Volume Information' folder on each volume) while the agentless protection does it -- in the VMWare case -- via CBT, in files located on the ESXi host.  

    Now, these being said there may be a way of combining the recovery points. Please note that this does NOT exclude the new base images.

    You need the agent id of the machines that you have already removed from protection. Assuming that you did not keep a copy of the RR registry either on the agent or on the core, the easiest way to find it out is via Powersshell using the command line below:

    PS C:\> (Get-RecoveryPoints -ProtectedServer <agentname>)[0].agentid

    once the agent ID is obtained, all you have to do is to identify the agentlessly protected agent in the registry  (HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\AppRecovery\Core\Agents) and replace the current agent ID with the one you got above and restart the core service.

    Please check the picture below. In my case the agent name is "Oracle 7". (I used an agent name containing a space to cover all possibilities).


    Hope that this helps.

    Please let us know how it goes.

  • How about going from an Agentless backup to an Agent based backup? I have a server that got started as an agent backup but now I want to be able to further protect an SQL server that is running inside of it.
  • The following steps should allow you to convert an agentless machine to an agent based machine and keep the recovery points inline with the newly protected agent. 

    1. Get the Agent ID for the agentless protected machine from the URL of the summary page for that agent. 

    2. Install the agent on the machine you are going to change protection for

    3. On the machine you just installed the agent on, change the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\AppRecovery\Agent\AgentId\Id to the Agent ID retrieved in step 1, and restart the agent service

    4. Remove the machine from agentless protection

    5. Protect the machine as an agent

    You should see the recovery points match up since they have the same unique ID as the agent that you just protected. A base image will be taken as you have changed methods for tracking changes from VMware to the agent filter driver.  


  • I was not able to link the recovery points from the old agent to the new one. I may have missed a step somewhere, but once I replaced the new ID with the Old ID the machine could not be reached from the core. I would imagine it thought that the old machine was gone so it would be unreachable. Not sure...
  • Ah nvm. I jumped the gun. It took some time but it appears to have migrated those recovery points. Thanks for your help.