V11 SP8
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Requirements for Application-Aware Backups

To perform application-aware backups, the workflow engine must be installed with the CommServe system.

License Requirements

In addition to the license requirements for the Virtual Server Agent, application-aware backups require the following licenses:

  • Application backups that are performed as a part of a VSA application-aware backup require the Hardware Snapshot Enabler license.
  • Application-aware backups consume an Application Class Virtual license for each protected VM. application-aware backups of virtual machines are counted against the Application Class Virtual license and do not count toward capacity usage or traditional application agent licenses.

Upgrades

If the CommServe system has been upgraded to V11, VSA proxies must also be upgraded.

Communications

The CommServe system, VSA proxies, and the virtual machine running the application must be able to communicate with each other.

VM Credentials

The credentials specified for application-aware backups at the instance, subclient, or virtual machine level are used to install application plug-ins and to perform backups of virtual machines and application data. If application credentials are different from the credentials that were specified to access the virtual machine, the application backup fails.

Virtual Server Agent (VSA) Proxy

The VSA proxy used for an application-aware backup must meet the following requirements:

  • MediaAgent software must be installed.
  • For VMware streaming backups, the proxy can be a VM or a physical machine.
  • For VMware IntelliSnap backups, the proxy must reside on a virtual machine on the same vCenter server as the virtual machines that will be backed up.
  • For Hyper-V, the VSA proxy must be a Hyper-V server.

Important: A list of VSA proxies can be configured at the instance or subclient level, with the list of proxies at the subclient taking precedence. Multiple proxies can be added to provide load balancing and failover capabilities. Ensure that all of the proxies that are configured to be available for application-aware backups meet these requirements, including the requirements for streaming or IntelliSnap backups.

Source VMs

  • Ensure that hypervisor guest tools are installed on the source VMs.
  • When a virtual machine is discovered during backup, a client for the VM is created in the CommCell Console if one does not already exist. If a virtual machine with spaces or special characters in its name is discovered during backup, the spaces or special characters are replaced with underscores ('_') when creating the VM client name that is displayed in the CommCell Console. The VM name with spaces or special characters is still displayed on the Virtual Machine Status tab for the backup job, in the backup job summary, and in reports that include the VM name. The following special characters are replaced:

    [ \ \ | ` ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * + = < > ? , { } ( ) : ; ' \ " \ \ s / ]

Shadow Storage for Volume Shadow Copies

The shadow storage for a VSS snapshot of an application volume must be associated to the same volume as the volume being snapped.

Use the vssadmin add shadowstorage command to set the shadow storage association for a volume on guest VMs. The following example for an application that resides on volume D: specifies that volume D: is to be used for storage and that the maximum size for storage space should be 900 MB:

vssadmin add shadowstorage /for=D: /on=d: /maxsize=900mb

Storage Policy

Create a Snap copy for the storage policy to be used with the VSA subclient. For the Snap copy, specify non-zero retention criteria (not spool copy settings) and ensure that the primary copy is retained for the same period. Application restores read application data from the Snap copy defined for the storage policy.

You can create Vault or Mirror copies for a storage policy that is associated with a VMware subclient that is configured for IntelliSnap and application-aware backups, and restore data from a Snap, Vault, or Mirror copy.

Important: Both the VSA job and the associated application job must be available when restoring data for an application. The point-in-time software snapshot created by the application backup is part of the data that is stored for the VSA backup job. Ensure that both the VSA job and the application job are retained in the same storage policy copy that will be used for restores.

Subclient Configuration

Create a separate VSA subclient for application-aware backups.

Create a different subclient for each set of VMs in the same domain.

Ensure that all VMs and applications in a subclient can be accessed using the same domain credentials.

A subclient can contain VMs running any applications that are supported for application-aware backups. For ease of management, use different subclient for each application.

Note: For Microsoft SharePoint, the targets for application-aware backups are the SQL Server databases that support SharePoint operations, not the web servers that serve SharePoint data to users.

Remote Installation

For the first application-aware backup of a virtual machine, the backup must be able to access the virtual machine to install required components.

Application-aware backups install the following components into the guest VMs that are being backed up, if the components are not already present.

  • File System Core package (to ensure that other components can be installed remotely)
  • MediaAgent (includes binaries that are used by application-aware backups, but does not enable MediaAgent role on the guest VM)
  • Application plug-in (to enable backup of application data)

Note: Guest VMs running Windows 2003 do not support .NET 4.5. Commvault  packages on those guest VMs will remain on Service Pack 6 and will not be upgraded to Service Pack 7 or later, unless you upgrade the guest operating system to Windows 2008 or later.

See Remote Installation Requirements for Application-Aware Backups.