V11 Service Pack 11
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IntelliSnap Backup and Backup Copy Operations Run Without a Proxy ESXi Host

VMware IntelliSnap and backup copy operations can run without mounting the snapshot datastore to a proxy ESXi host (proxyless backups). To use this feature, you must use a physical Virtual Server Agent proxy to perform IntelliSnap and backup copy operations.

The following processes are used to access virtual machine data without mounting the snapshot to a proxy ESXi host:

  • IntelliSnap operations: All changed blocks (obtained through Changed Block Tracking incremental backups) are 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 ESXi host mount does not occur. File system APIs are used to read the data.

Advantages of Running IntelliSnap Backup and Backup Copy Operations Without a Proxy ESXi Host

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

  • Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) and Changed Block Tracking (CBT) information are retrieved during the snapshot 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 ESXi host (hardware and license).
  • There is no need to repurpose a production ESXi host computer as a proxy.

Considerations and Limitations

  • Proxyless backups are not supported for guest VMs with disks that are 2 TB or larger.
  • To perform IntelliSnap backup or backup copy operations without mounting to a proxy ESXi host, you must use a physical VSA proxy that has HBAs (Host Bus Adapters) logged into the storage array or has mappings to storage volumes.

    Proxyless backups are not supported if the VSA proxy is deployed on a virtual machine. In that case, IntelliSnap backup or backup copy operations automatically use HotAdd or NBD mode and use a proxy ESXi host for the operation.

  • Backup copy operations that require a proxy ESXi host for mounting snapshot datastores will automatically use a proxy ESXi host to complete the backup copy job. You do not need to enable or disable this feature to accommodate specific backup copy jobs.
  • If the subclient content contains virtual machines from Network File System (NFS) datastores, then the backup copy will automatically use a proxy ESXi 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.
  • IntelliSnap backup operations for subclients with the Collect File Details for Snapshot Copy option enabled will automatically use a proxy ESXi host for mounting snapshot datastores.
  • IntelliSnap and backup copy operations of virtual machines that include Raw Device Maps (RDM) disks will automatically use a proxy ESXi host for mounting snapshot datastores. For more information, see Include RDMs and Independent Disks in IntelliSnap Backup Operations.
  • By default, if the VSA proxy used for the backup or backup copy operation has both Fibre Channel and iSCSI adapters configured, the operation uses the Fibre Channel adapter by default and uses a proxy ESXi host for mounting snapshot datastores.

    To force the operation to use iSCSI without mounting snapshot datastores to a proxy ESXi host, configure the sSNAP_IsISCSI additional setting on the VSA proxy.

    For instructions on adding additional settings from the CommCell Console, see Adding or Modifying an Additional Setting.

    Property

    Value

    Name

    sSNAP_IsISCSI

    Category

    iDataAgent

    Type

    String

    Value

    Y

  • To perform proxyless backups for virtual machines on a Dell EMC ScaleIO storage array, the Windows MediaAgent that is used for the backup must have the ScaleIP SDC driver installed. If the SDC driver is not installed on the Windows MediaAgent, the operation uses a proxy ESXi host for mounting snapshot datastores.

Before You Begin

The following software versions are supported:

  • ESXi versions: 5.5, 6.0, 6.5 (includes all updates)
  • Proxy operating system versions:
    • Windows Server 2016
    • Windows Server 2012 R2 x64 Editions
    • Windows Server 2012 x64 Editions
    • Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 Editions
  • Guest operating system versions: All operating systems that are supported by VADP.

Procedures

Last modified: 4/9/2018 8:55:09 PM