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Restoring Full Virtual Machines for VMware

You can restore virtual machines to the original location or to a different location. By default, virtual machines are restored to the original hypervisor, using the same proxy as the backup.

If the hypervisor is configured to support vCloud Director, you can restore a virtual machine to vCloud.

You can initiate a restore operation from the VM groups page, from the Virtual machines page, or from the detail page for a VM. When you initiate a restore operation for a specific VM from the VM groups page or from the Virtual machines page, you can choose to restore the full VM, to use live recovery, or to perform a live mount operation.

Live Recovery

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.

Prerequisites

  • Requires VMware vCenter Server version 5.1, 5.5, 6.0, or 6.5. VMware licensing must include a license for vMotion operations.
  • The ESX server used to mount the NFS datastore for the browse and restore operations must be able to resolve the MediaAgent (which uses 3DFS components to perform the live recovery). To ensure connectivity, create a host file entry for the MediaAgent on the ESX server.

    Notes:

    • If a File Recovery Enabler for Linux is configured, the restore operation will use the default File Recovery Enabler for Linux for the live recovery operation. Otherwise, the MediaAgent that performed the backup is used.
    • The same requirements that apply to a MediaAgent also apply to a File Recovery Enabler when it is used for live recovery.
  • 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.
  • The vCenter user account must have permissions set as described in Permissions for Custom User Accounts.

Considerations

  • 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 using the Pure Storage array
  • Live VM recovery is not supported for the following operations:
    • Backups to tape libraries
    • Archived VMs
    • Multiple VM restores in the same job
    • 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.
  • For block-level restores, in addition to the restore job, the Job Controller launches a persistent recovery job that opens a common pipeline, enabling multiple extent recall requests to be submitted as a group. The default timeout for a persistent recovery job is 24 hours. For block-level restores using the Virtual Server Agent, the persistent recovery job remains open for 24 hours and can be used for subsequent block-level restores that use the same proxy.

Recovery Process

Data is restored from the backup as needed to enable the operations requested by the VM, and the full restore completes as resources allow. The backup is not modified by the restore process.

The process for a Live Recovery is:

  1. When this option is selected for a restore, the restore operation can use the MediaAgent that was used to perform the backup.
  2. Rather than reading the backup, the restore process exposes the backup to the destination ESX server as a network file system (NFS) export.
  3. The NFS export is mounted to the destination ESX server as an NFS datastore.
  4. When the NFS datastore is visible to the ESX server, the restore process retrieves the .vmx and catalog files for the VM.

    The .vmx file is modified to indicate that writes can be made to the VMDK files on the NFS datastore (or the VM can be modified to redirect writes to an alternate datastore).

  5. When the VM files are available to the NFS datastore, the VM is registered and can be powered on.
  6. Any reads for the virtual machine disks are handled by the File Recovery Enabler for Linux, which restores the requested data to the NFS cache and presents it to the ESX server.
  7. After the initial reads needed to make the VM usable, a storage vMotion is initiated to migrate the virtual machine to the destination datastore specified for the restore.
  8. When the migration is complete, the ESX server unexports the backup and unmounts the datastore (if there are no other paths exported to the ESX server). When the cleanup is done, the restore job is marked as complete.

Procedure

  1. From the navigation pane, go to Solutions > Virtualization.

    The Hypervisors tab appears.

  2. Click the hypervisor.

    The hypervisor page appears.

    The VM groups area displays summary information for any existing VM groups.

  3. In the VM groups area, under the Actions column, click the action button action_button in the row for the group, and then click Restore.

    The Select restore type page appears.

  4. To restore from a specific copy of backup data, choose the copy from the Select source list in the upper-right corner of the page.

    If you select Automatic (default), the restore operation searches for the requested data in the primary copy, and automatically selects a different copy if the data is not found in the primary copy.

  5. Select Full virtual machine to restore one or more full virtual machines.

    The Restore page appears.

    Note: When you initiate a restore operation for a specific VM from the VM groups page or from the Virtual machines page, you can choose to restore the full VM, to use live recovery, or to perform a live mount operation.

  6. Expand the tree on the left and select the objects to be restored on the right. Select an item or click on an entry in the Name column to browse within an item.

    In the top right corner of the page, a "Showing" message indicates what backup data is being displayed. You can click the down arrow beside this message and select any of the following options:

    • Show latest backups: Only display data for the most recent backups.
    • Show backups as of a specific date: Only display data up to the date you specify.
    • Show backups for a date range: Only display data within the data range you specify.
  7. Click Restore.

    The Restore options dialog box appears.

  8. To restore to a different hypervisor, select the target environment from the Restore as list.

    By default, the Restore as list shows the source hypervisor.

    The options for the restore vary depending on the hypervisor type.

    Amazon:

    • Destination client: Select the virtualization client for the cluster from the list.
    • Proxy client: By default, the preferred VSA proxy for the hypervisor is used for the restore.

      If you select a proxy that is outside of Amazon, the restore uploads volume information to S3 and uses the volumes to create the instance.

    • Power on instance after restore: Select this option to start the instance automatically.
    • Unconditionally overwrite if it already exists: Select this option to delete an existing instance and replace it with the restored instance.
    • Change instance display name to: Enter the new display name for the instance.
    • Availability zone: Select the destination zone.
    • Instance type: Select an instance type that provides the available CPU cores and memory for the instance.
    • Network: Click Browse to select an EC2 or a VPC network for the restored instances.
    • Security groups: Select a security group for the specified network.

    VMware vCenter:

    • Destination hypervisor: To restore to a different vCenter, select the hypervisor for the vCenter from the list.
    • Proxy: (Optional) To use a different proxy, select the proxy from the list. 
    • Select a different vCenter: To restore to a different vCenter, select this option and provide the vCenter name and credentials.
      1. In the vCenter box, enter the IP address of the vCenter or an ESX server.
      2. Provide the user credentials in the Username and Password boxes.
    • Restore in place: This option is selected by default. Clear the selection to provide information for an out-of-place restore.
    • VM display name: Type a new virtual machine name in the box.

      If an existing VM with the same name exists on the destination host and you do not select Overwrite VMs if they already exist, the restore job fails.

    • Destination host: To restore to a different host, click Browse and select the host. By default, the original host is shown as the destination host.
    • Datastore: To use a different data store for the restored VM and disks, select the new data store from the list.
    • Resource pool: To restore to a resource pool, select the destination from the list.

      Note: The Resource pool list is only displayed when you are restoring to a vCenter.

    • VM folder path: To restore to a folder, click Browse and select the destination folder.
    • Network settings: The Network settings dialog box shows the source source and destination networks for the VM being restored.

      Click the pencil icon to edit a network mapping, or Add to add a new mapping.

      • Source network: Select the source network, or select Any Network to map all network connections for the source VM to a different network for the restored VM.
      • Destination network: Select a network connection for the restored VM, or select No Connection to restore without a network connection.

      Click OK to save changes.

    • IP address settings: Click the pencil icon to edit a IP address mapping, or Add to add a new mapping.

      The Edit IP address settings or IP address settings dialog box appears.

      Specify address mappings as needed:

      IP address mapping

      Click OK to save changes.

    vCloud restores: If the hypervisor supports vCloud Director, select Restore to vCloud to display additional vCloud options.

    • Show vCloud options: Select this option to display vApp configuration settings.
    • Restore vApp configuration: Select this option to restore the vApp configuration.

      Selecting this option restores the vApp network configuration, lease configuration, and virtual machine startup order of the source VM to the new vApp.

    • Provide the following information:
      • Organization: Enter the name of the target organization.
      • Org vDC: Enter the name of the organization vDC to be used for the restored VM.
      • vApp name: Enter the name of the vApp to which the VM should be restored. If the specified vApp does not exist, one will be created using the name you enter.
      • vApp owner: Enter the name of the user who owns the destination vApp.
      • Network adapter: Select a network adapter for the restored VM.
  9. Click Next.

    The second page of the Restore options dialog box appears.

    Provide the following information:

    • Power on VMs after restore: Select this option to start the VM automatically.
    • Unconditionally overwrite if it already exists: Select this option to delete an existing virtual machine and replace it with the restored VM.
    • Disk Provisioning: Use the default value (Original) to retain the provisioning method used at the time of backup. Select a value from the Disk Provisioning list to force a specific disk provisioning method: Thick Lazy Zero, Thin, or Thick Eager Zero.
    • Transport mode for VMware: Select one of the following options:
      • Auto: The transport mode is selected automatically based on the backup environment:

        If the datastore is accessible to a physical proxy, SAN is used.

        If the datastore is accessible to the ESX server for a virtual proxy, HotAdd is used.

        Otherwise, NBD is used.

      • SAN: For directly connected storage using Fibre Channel (FC) or Internet SCCI (iSCSI) protocols. The Virtual Server Agent must have access to the datastore LUNs (logical drives) that provide storage for virtual machine disks. Data is read directly from the storage where virtual machines reside, without going through the ESX host or transferring data over the local area network (LAN). The ESX host is contacted only to coordinate access to the LUN. SAN transport mode cannot be used if the proxy computer is a virtual machine.
      • Hot Add: The Virtual Server Agent is installed on a virtual machine residing on an ESX server. In HotAdd mode, the data volumes containing the virtual machines to be backed up are automatically mounted to the proxy, so they can be accessed by the proxy as a local disk. The ESX host the proxy is running on must have access to all datastores for the virtual machine. If the virtual machine and the proxy are not on the same host, all datastores must be shared between the hosts.
      • NBD: Data is transferred using the TCP/IP connection between the ESX server and the proxy computer. The local area network (LAN) can be the production network or a dedicated backup network.
      • NBD SSL: Similar to NBD mode, but data transfer between the proxy computer and the ESX server is encrypted. Encryption should be used for sensitive information, even within a private network.
      • NAS: NAS (network attached storage) transport mode enables the virtual server agent (VSA) proxy computer to read data directly from the network file server (NFS), without going through an ESX host or transferring data over the local area network (LAN).
    • Restore virtual machine using live recovery (vMotion): Select this option to use the live recovery option.

      Note: If you initiated the restore operation for a specific VM from the VM groups page or from the Virtual machines page, and then selected Live recovery on the Select restore type dialog box, this option is selected and cannot be cleared.

      • Redirect writes to datastore: (Optional) Select a datastore for redirect writes. The redirect writes datastore must be different from the destination datastore for the restored VM.
      • 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.
  10. Click Submit to run the restore job.

Last modified: 5/17/2019 7:27:49 PM