Using Live Recovery for Virtual Machines

The Live Recovery feature enables virtual machines (VMs) to be recovered and powered on from a backup without waiting for a full restore of the VM. This feature can be used to recover a VM that has failed and needs to be placed back in production quickly, or to validate that a backup can be used in a disaster recovery scenario.

Live VM recovery is supported for recovery from the following types of backups:

  • Streaming backups and backup copies that use magnetic disk libraries
  • IntelliSnap backups that use NetApp snapshot engines

Live VM recovery is not supported for the following operations:

  • Backups to tape libraries
  • Archived VMs
  • Multiple VM restores
  • Simultaneous live recovery and live browse operations for the same virtual machine

The operating system of the MediaAgent used for live recovery does not need to match the operating system of the guest VM. For example, a Windows MediaAgent can be used to recover a Linux VM.

Before You Begin

  • To verify the version of VMware software that is required to support this feature, see System Requirements. VMware licensing must include a license for vMotion operations.
  • The Live Recovery feature uses a 3dfs cache on the MediaAgent that performs the Live Recovery. By default, the 3dfs cache is located in the Job Results folder for the MediaAgent; but you can change the path using the s3dfsRootDir additional setting. The 3dfs cache is circular; unused data are pruned from the cache as needed. By default 5% free space is maintained on the cache; but you can change the required percentage of free space using the n3dfsCacheMinFree additional setting.

    For each live recovery job, the 3dfs cache requires minimum free space equal to the larger of the following values:

    • 20 GB
    • 15% of the total VM size (the sum of the sizes of all VMDKs for the VM)

      Note: For faster recovery times, the 3dfs cache should be hosted on a solid state drive (SSD) using flash memory storage.

  • The user performing the live recovery operation must be an owner of the virtualization client and VSA proxy used for the operation. For more information, see Ownership and Permissions Needed for Virtual Machine Recovery.
  • The vCenter user account must have permissions set as described in Permissions for Custom User Accounts.
  • The destination ESX server specified in the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box identifies the ESX server where backup data is mounted and the virtual machine is restored. You cannot specify a different ESX server on the ESX Browse tab in the Advanced Restore Options dialog box.

    To enable non-NetApp engines to perform Live Recovery operations, add the additional setting to the client computer, as shown in the following table.

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






    Virtual Server





    To see a list of the non-NetApp engines that Live Recovery operations support, see IntelliSnap Backup - Support.


  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers > virtualization_client > Virtual Server > VMware > backup_set.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the data to restore and select Browse and Restore.
  3. In the Browse and Restore Options window, select the Full Virtual Machine option and click View Content.
  4. In the left pane, select the virtual machine to be restored and click Recover All Selected.
  5. On the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog, configure the restore operation:
    1. Select the Restore in place option or identify a new destination by providing values for the following fields:
      • Destination client
      • vCenter
      • Change VM display name to
      • ESX Server
      • Datastore
    2. To use the Live Recovery option, select Restore Virtual Machine using Live Recovery (vMotion).

      You can select the following options for Live Recovery:

      • Redirect Writes to Datastore - Select a datastore for any changes made to the virtual machine during the recovery process. This must be a different datastore than the destination datastores used by the VM or its disks.
      • Delay migration - Delay the migration of the VM to the destination location for the specified time (0-12 hours). You can still use the VM when delaying the migration.
    3. To start the VM immediately, select Power ON Virtual Machine During restore.
  6. Click OK.

Last modified: 1/14/2019 10:50:40 PM