V11 SP8
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Configuring Live Sync

Configure Live Sync on the backup set or on the subclient for the virtual machines that you want to replicate.

If a virtual machine in a Live Sync schedule is protected by multiple subclients or backup sets, then the VM is replicated from the subclient that has the most recent backup.

The best method for scheduling backups of source VMs is to use the “Incremental Forever” method, which includes the following steps:

  • Use Live Sync to create destination VMs from an initial full or synthetic full backup.
  • After the Live Sync operation creates destination VMs, run regular incremental backups to keep the destination VMs current.
  • Run a synthetic full backup periodically to consolidate incremental backups into full backups without affecting production VMs.  Synthetic full backups initiate a Live Sync operation but apply changes only from incremental backups that have not yet been replicated.

Note: Do not schedule full backups, because a Live Sync from a full backup re-creates the destination VM completely.

Before You Begin

  • The destination server must be running Windows Server 2012 R2 or later.
  • You can use Live Sync to replicate virtual machines from a streaming backup, an auxiliary copy, or a backup copy. You cannot replicate virtual machines from  IntelliSnap backups.
  • You can add virtual machines that have been backed up at least one time to the Live Sync schedule.
  • To validate destination virtual machines, you must install Hyper-V integration services on the source virtual machines, and you must select the Validate Destination VM (Power ON & OFF) option when configuring the Live Sync operation.
  • To enable multiple jobs to run for each Live Sync schedule, add the maxJobsPerSyncSchedule additional setting for CommServeDB.GxGlobalParam. This additional setting specifies the maximum number of jobs that you can run for each Live Sync schedule. When the value for this setting is greater than 1, multiple Live Sync jobs run simultaneously for each schedule, with each job using a separate stream. With this additional setting, schedules with large numbers of virtual machines complete more quickly.

Procedure

  1. From the CommCell Console, expand Client Computers > virtualization_client > Virtual Server > instance > backup_set.
  2. Initiate the configuration from a backup set or subclient that contains the virtual machine data:
    • From a backup set, right-click the backup set, and then select All Tasks > Live Sync > Configuration.
    • From a subclient, right-click the subclient, and then select Live Sync > Configuration.

    The Live Sync Options dialog box appears.

  3. On the General tab, click Add VMs.

    VMs that are already selected for the same schedule are dimmed.

    The Select VMs for Live Sync dialog box appears.

  4. Select virtual machines that have been backed up, and then click OK.
  5. In the Live Sync Options dialog box, specify the following options:
    Option Description and steps
    Virtualization Client

    This list displays the name of the virtualization client for the source VM.

    To create a replicated VM on a different virtualization client, select the virtualization client from the list. You can replicate only to an existing virtualization client.

    You cannot create a VM with the same name on the original virtualization client:

    • If you are replicating the virtual machine to the original virtualization client, enter a new name in the Destination VM column.
    • If you use the same name as the source VM for the replicated VM, select a different destination from the Virtualization Client list.
    Proxy Client

    This list displays the name of the proxy computer that performs the Live Sync operation. By default, the proxy computer that you specify at the instance level replicates changes to the destination VM.

    To use a different proxy, select the name of the proxy from the list.

    Instance Details This area displays the user account for the source virtual machine.
    Restore Location Select one of the following options:
    • New folder: Select this option to specify the location on the destination client where you want to restore the virtual machine, and then enter the path in the Destination Path column. The VM files and disks are restored to the location that you specify.
    • Hyper-V default folder: Select this option to restore the virtual machine to the Hyper-V default folder. Select this option when you do not know which location on the destination client has sufficient space to restore a virtual machine.
    Add VMs Click to browse for backed-up virtual machines that you can replicate.
    Remove VMs Click to remove VMs from the replication schedule.
    Source VM and Disk This column displays the list of all the virtual machines and disks that are selected for replication.

    Expand each virtual machine to view the disks in that virtual machine.

    Destination VM This column displays the name of each destination virtual machine.

    To change the name of any virtual machine, click in the corresponding row and enter the new name. If you use the same name as the source VM for the replicated VM, select a different destination from the Virtualization Client list.

    If the destination VM name matches the name of an existing virtual machine in the target location, the destination VM is not replaced unless a) it was created in a previous Live Sync operation, or b) you use the Unconditionally overwrite VM with the same name option. 

    Destination Path Enter the path for the destination virtual machine on the specified restore location.
    Settings

    You can configure destination VMs directly in the Live Sync Options dialog box:

    • Enter a new name in the Destination VM column.
    • Specify a path in the Destination Path column.

    You can also select one or more virtual machines, and then click Configure to provide any of the following information for the virtual machines:

    • Edit Destination VM Name (displayed only if you select multiple VMs):
      • Prefix: Enter a prefix to add to the destination VM names for the VMs you selected.
      • Suffix: Enter a suffix to add to the destination VM names for the VMs you selected.
    • Destination VM (displayed only if you select a single VM): You can change the name of the destination VM in this box.
    • Register Virtual Machine(s) with Failover Cluster: Automatically register the restored virtual machines to the failover cluster.  If you select this option, restored virtual machines can migrate to another Hyper-V server.

      To register virtual machines with the failover cluster, the user that you specified when you created the virtualization client must be part of the Hyper-V Administrators group.

      For a Hyper-V cluster, the user account must have full Cluster Permissions (Read and Full Control).

      When the virtual machine is created, it is automatically registered with the failover cluster.

    • Network Adapter: Select a network adapter to use for the restored VMs. If you select Not Connected, then the virtual machine is restored without a network connection.
    Validate Destination VM (Power ON & OFF) Verify that the destination VM is bootable by turning it on and then turning it off. Changes that result from turning the VM on are not preserved. If Hyper-V integration services were not installed on the source VM at the time of the backup, then the destination VM is not validated, even when this option is selected.

    If validation fails, then the Sync Status for the VM is marked as Sync Failed.

    Unconditionally overwrite VM with the same name Replace an existing virtual machine with a virtual machine that has the same name in the target location.

    If the destination VM is currently turned on, then the Live Sync fails, regardless of whether you select this option.

  6. To replicate changes from an auxiliary copy or backup copy, perform the following actions:
    1. Click Advanced.

      The Advanced Live Sync Options dialog box appears.

    2. On the Copy Precedence tab, select Restore from copy precedence, and then enter the number of the storage copy properties for the auxiliary copy or the backup copy.

    When you configure Live Sync to use an auxiliary copy or a backup copy, the Live Sync operation uses the copy as the source rather than the primary backup.

  7. To create a schedule for replication, on the Job Initiation tab, complete the following steps:
    1. Select Schedule.

      The Schedule Details dialog box appears.

    2. Enter a schedule name; then select one of the following options:
      • To copy changes to the destination VM automatically after each backup job, select After Backup Job Completes.
      • To replicate changes periodically, select Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly, and then specify the Live Sync schedule to control how often changes are replicated to the destination VM.

        If no new backups have run since the most recent Live Sync, then the scheduled Live Sync runs but does not replicate any data.

Results

For Live Sync jobs, the Job Controller tab shows the Operation Type value as Replication. Separate Live Sync jobs run for virtual machines in different subclients.

For destination virtual machines that are created by Live Sync, any changes on the destination virtual machine are discarded, and the most recent changes from the source VM are applied so that the source and destination machines remain in sync. Any snapshots for the source VM are also replicated.

If the destination virtual machine is turned on, then the Live Sync fails.

If a Live Sync job does not complete successfully after three attempts, then the job fails. The software retries Live Sync jobs three times. After three failures for a virtual machine, the software disables Live Sync for that virtual machine.

After each successful replication for a virtual machine, Live Sync creates a snapshot named __GX_Backup__ that the software uses with validation for the VM. Do not delete the __GX_Backup__ snapshot. If no __GX_Backup__  snapshot is found for a VM and you specify the overwrite option, then a full Live Sync is performed. If you do not specify the overwrite option, then the Live Sync job fails.  

In the Job Details dialog box, which is available from the Job Controller or from restore history, the Virtual Machine Status tab provides status information for VMs. Double-click the row for a VM to view the following information for that virtual machine:

Destination VM
The name of the destination virtual machine.
Source Server
The host name for the machine where the source virtual machine resides.
Status
The job status of the Live Sync operation for the VM (such as Completed, Waiting, Pending, or Failed).
Failure Reason
For failed Live Sync operations, a brief description of the reason for the failure.
Destination Server
The host name for the machine where the destination virtual machine resides.
Integration Services
Whether Hyper-V integration services are installed on the source VM.
Validation Status
The result of validation for the destination VM by turning the VM on and off:
  • Success: The destination VM is usable.
  • Failure: The destination VM failed validation.
  • Not Validated (VM Tools Not Installed): Validation was not performed because Hyper-V integration services were not installed on the source VM at the time the backup was performed.
Restored Size
The size of the destination VM.
Sync Status
The replication status of the destination virtual machine.
Last Synced Backup Job
The job ID of the most recent backup job that was applied to the destination VM.