Full System Recovery: Virtual Server Agent for VMware


In the event of a disaster, recovery time can be minimized by having a stand-by site for disaster recovery. The following features support disaster recovery for virtual machines protected by the Virtual Server Agent (VSA) for VMware:

  • Full system recovery to a stand-by server

  • Live Mount for validation of virtual machine backups

  • Live Sync for automatic replication of virtual machines from backups to a disaster recovery site

Note: For the vCenter server, see Protecting and Recovering a vCenter Server.

Preparing for a Full System Recovery

While virtual machines can be restored at any time, restoring multiple virtual machines in a single operation can take a significant amount of time. Disaster recovery scenarios may require large numbers of virtual machines to be readily available at the moment they are needed.

To achieve this, a disaster recovery plan includes creating a stand-by server at a disaster recovery (DR) site to which virtual machines are restored on a routine basis. In the event of a disaster, the stand-by server is readily available with the virtual machines. After the initial creation of virtual machines on the stand-by server, incremental backups from the production site update only new or changed blocks (dash copy) for virtual machines on the stand-by server.

A stand-by server consists of the following:

  • The VMware application

  • Sufficient memory and disk space to hold all the virtual machines you may need to recover in a disaster scenario.

  • Both the primary and disaster recovery sites must include a MediaAgent and VSA proxy:

    • Add the VSA proxy for the primary site to the VMware instance and the subclient that is used for backups.

    • Specify an appropriate storage policy for the subclient. The primary copy for the storage policy specifies the primary site backup location, and the secondary copy specifies a backup copy location that is used for disaster recovery.

Recovering Full Virtual Machines

To recover full virtual machines in the event of a disaster, see Recovering Virtual Machines for VMware.

Reverting to the Production Server

After failing over to a disaster recovery site, you can restore services at the original production site or identify a new production site. To fail back to the production site, you can use one of the following approaches:

  • If you failed over to a standby server, you can reverse the failover operation by performing the following steps:

    1. Back up the virtual machines on the standby server to capture any changes that were made after the failover.

    2. Perform full VM restores to the production server. If you are restoring to the original production server, use the unconditional overwrite option for the restores.

  • If you set up the disaster recovery site using the Live Sync feature, perform a failback operation.

Disaster Recovery