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

VMware IntelliSnap backup operations 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.

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

  • IntelliSnap backup operations store all changed blocks (obtained through Changed Block Tracking incremental backups) in an XML file, which is then uploaded to the Index Server. The backup operation uses file system APIs to read the data.
  • Backup copy operations mount the snapshot datastores to the VSA proxy machine. The backup copy operation uses file system APIs to read the data.

Benefits

Performing operations without mounting the snapshot datastore to a proxy ESXi host provides the following benefits:

  • Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) information and Changed Block Tracking (CBT) information are retrieved during the snapshot backup operation rather than from the mounted snapshot. This approach provides the following benefits:
    • The IntelliSnap backup operation might take longer, but the time that is required to mount the datastore to the VSA proxy is considerably reduced. Overall, the backup is faster.
    • The operation does not need to perform any rescan operations or refresh operations, which would normally occur after mount operations and unmount operations.
  • You do not need to use a production ESXi host for mounting snapshot datastores.
  • You do not need an extra ESXi host for mounting snapshot datastores. You can avoid additional hardware and license costs.

Supported Software Versions

The following software versions are supported:

  • ESXi versions: 5.5, 6.0, 6.5 (includes all updates), 6.7 (includes all updates)
  • Proxy operating system versions:
  • Guest operating system versions: All operating systems that are supported by VADP.

Requirements

  • For guest VMs with disks that are 2 TB or larger, you can perform a proxyless backup operation only if the disk is on a single extent.

    You cannot perform a proxyless backup operation for guest VMs with disks on multiple extents if any of the extents are larger than 2 TB.

    Proxyless backups are not supported for guest VMs with disk sizes that are greater than 2 TB, on single or multiple extents, if the snapshot.redoNotWithParent parameter is set to true in the virtual machine configuration file (.vmx).

  • To perform IntelliSnap backup operations or backup copy operations without mounting to a proxy ESXi host, you must use a physical VSA proxy that has one of the following configurations:
    • HBAs (host bus adapters) that are logged into the storage array
    • Mappings to storage volumes
  • Backup copy operations that require a proxy ESXi host for mounting snapshot datastores 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 automatically uses a proxy ESXi host for mounting the snapshot datastores for all virtual machines (both VMFS datastores and NFS datastores). You can view the job details in the Job Controller window.
  • To perform proxyless backups for virtual machines on a Dell EMC ScaleIO storage array, ensure that the Windows MediaAgent that is used for the backup has the ScaleIP SDC driver installed. If the SDC driver is not installed on the Windows MediaAgent, then the operation uses a proxy ESXi host for mounting snapshot datastores.
  • If the VSA proxy that is used for a backup operation or a backup copy operation has both Fibre Channel and iSCSI adapters configured, see Forcing Operations to Use an iSCSI Adapter.

When Proxyless Backups Are Not Supported

In the following scenarios, a backup operation or backup copy operation mounts the snapshot datastore on an ESXi host:

Related Topics

Last modified: 9/12/2019 6:35:05 PM