V11 Service Pack 10
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IntelliSnap Backup and Backup Copy Operations Run Without a Proxy ESXi Host

For VMware, IntelliSnap and backup copy operations, by default, run without mounting the snapshot datastore to a proxy ESXi host (proxyless backups). Without mounting to a proxy ESXi host, during IntelliSnap and backup copy operations, the following occurs:

  • 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 might 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

  • To perform IntelliSnap backup or backup copy operations without mounting to a proxy ESXi host, VSA proxy HBAs (Host Bus Adapters) must be logged into the storage array or have mappings to storage volumes. If the VSA proxy is deployed on a virtual machine, the job automatically uses HotAdd or NBD mode and uses 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 with the Enable Granular Recovery for IntelliSnap 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.

Before You Begin

The following virtual machine operating systems 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