4 4 3:VMware Single File Restore

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Copyright © SEP AG 1999-2017. All rights reserved.

Any form of reproduction of the contents or parts of this manual is allowed only with the express written permission from SEP AG. When compiling and designing user documentation SEP AG uses great diligence and attempts to deliver accurate and correct information. However, SEP AG cannot issue a guarantee for the contents of this manual.

Docs latest icon.png Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 4.4.3/4.4.3 Tigon. For previous documentation version(s), check VMware archive.


Overview

It is estimated that about three quarters of the typical VMware virtual machine restore cases only require a single file restore rather than a restore of an entire virtual machine. As of version 4.4.3, SEP sesam introduces simple and flexible single file restore that enables you to restore an individual item without any special backup preparation from full/differential/incremental backups. Hence, it is no longer required to use the dedicated GUI option VM single file and instant recovery during backup. To learn what applies to SF and IR, which backup type supports it and how it relates to the disk size usage, see SF & IR support matrix.

This article provides information for restoring an individual item from a vSphere backup. For details on how to a restore a single VMware virtual machine, see VMware Restore. For details on how to perform a VMware virtual machine instant recovery, see VMware Instant Recovery.

You can restore individual items from any successful VMware backup by using any of the following procedures:

Before starting a restore, check the supported file systems and restrictions.

Supported file systems

SEP sesam can restore all file systems for which the respective operating system provides a read/write support. For example, a restore of files on Windows ReFS is only possible if the data mover is able to read ReFS data. Or, if the file system on OES Linux is NSS, the data mover must be able to read the NSS file system data. However, some limitations apply when restoring files from the NSS file system:

  • The restore process itself does not differ from the restore of native Linux or Windows files, but the proxy VM must be an OES11 Server. For prerequisites, check Recommendations for Linux proxy.
  • Files from a native NetWare VM can be restored only to an OES Linux or native Linux target.
  • To restore trustees, the extended attributes on NSS must be enabled before backup. For details, refer to Novell OES documentation for NSS.
  • If you restore NSS files to a server in the original tree and on an NSS file system, the restored files will keep the original trustees (regardless of the tree of the proxy OES VM you used for restore).
  • Trustees from native NetWare VMs cannot be restored because native NetWare has no extended attributes to store the trustees into the file system.

Restrictions

  • SEP sesam does not support a restore of files from the DOS boot partition of a native NetWare server.
  • The attach method does not work with a virtual SEP sesam Server or a virtual RDS to itself. For example, a virtual SEP sesam Server stores the virtual disk(s) on the SEP sesam data store. It is not possible to attach VMDK to the respective virtual SEP sesam Server; another VM must be used for this.

Best practices for individual file restore for Windows and Linux VMs

SEP sesam provides simple restore of individual files without any special backup preparation from VMware CBT snapshot. The following steps represent best practices and latest recommendations from SEP sesam support. Detailed instructions on VMware requirements and backup configuration can be found in related articles VMware Requirements & Restrictions and VMware Backup.

Quick steps overview

  1. For version 4.4.3 use a Linux SEP sesam Server or RDS. SEP sesam Server/RDS on Windows is currently not supported. See all requirements at VMware Requirements & Restrictions.
  2. Enable the NFS server on the SEP sesam Server or RDS as described in section Preparing the NFS share.
  3. Install SEP sesam Client to a Linux VM (sandbox for Linux single file restore). VDDK is only required if this VM is also the data mover. In this case, check VMware Requirements & Restrictions.
  4. Add the Linux VM as a client as described in Step 1: Configuring a virtual host as a SEP sesam client. Make sure that you select the check box Client is a virtual machine.
  5. Information sign.png Note
    • Any operating system can be used except in case that you need a sandbox for Netware single file restore. Search the wiki for Netware reference.
    • Do not use a productive system as a sandbox!
  6. Install SEP sesam Client to a Windows VM (sandbox for Windows single file restore). No specific Windows version is required. VDDK is only required if this VM is also the data mover. In this case, check VMware Requirements & Restrictions.
  7. Add the Windows VM as a client as described in Step 1: Configuring a virtual host as a SEP sesam client. Make sure that you select the check box Client is a virtual machine.
  8. Follow Step 3: Restore a VM using the attached VMDK : Select the VMware snapshot and select the check box Attach virtual disk(s) (VMDK) to a Proxy-VM via NFS server. Then click Next and under Select VM use the drop-down list to select Linux or Windows sandbox VM.

Attaching VMDK to a virtual machine

Attaching VMDK to a virtual machine is the recommended option for single file restore for Windows and Linux that requires only one SEP sesam Server or Remote Device Server (RDS).

Conceptual view of a single item restore with the attached VMDK

SEP sesam instant-recovery and single-file-restore 04 attach 03.png


Prerequisites

Before attempting to attach VMDK and performing a single file restore, all preparation steps have to be performed properly, including configuration and VM backup. Depending on your SEP sesam version, see the relevant VMware guide for details.

The VMware single file restore prerequisites differ slightly depending on your SEP sesam version. For example, 4.4.3 Tigon already supports all backup level types and provides selective restore. Make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • SEP sesam Server version ≥ 4.4.3. For the list of supported systems, see SEP sesam OS and Database Support Matrix.
  • A SEP sesam data store Path or SEP sesam Si3 data store is required for single file restore.
    • In SEP sesam v. 4.4.3, data store via UNC path is not supported. A volume must be visible as a locally attached storage (not as a network drive letter). Only iSCSI, SAN and locally connected drives can be used as a locally attached storage.
    • SEP sesam v. 4.4.3 Tigon supports the UNC path (e.g., \\server\folder) for data store.
  • Backups must not be encrypted or compressed, and they must not be migrated to another media – only the original backup on SEP sesam data store can be used for restore.
  • At least one virtual host of VMware vCenter needs to be added as a SEP sesam Client v. 4.4.3 to attach VMDKs.
  • Encrypted file systems within the virtual machine can only be read if the system (proxy VM) with the attached virtual disk is able to decrypt the data.
  • The system that stores the VMDK files to SEP sesam data store (either SEP sesam Server or SEP sesam RDS) must provide NFS (network file system) services. If the NFS service is on Windows, for SEP sesam v. 4.4.3 it is recommended to use Windows 2012 (R2) for providing a higher level of NFS support; v. 4.4.3 Tigon already includes the NFS server and does not require the regular NFS server provided by Windows.
  • A proxy server (either Windows or Linux VM) should be a non-production environment. For more details, see Recommendations for Linux proxy below.
  • When using both, virtual Linux and Windows hosts, it is recommended to add one virtual Linux and one virtual Windows host to ensure file system compatibility.
Information sign.png Note

SEP sesam can restore all file systems for which the respective operating system provides a read/write support. For example, a restore of files on Windows ReFS is only possible if the system with the attached disk is able to read ReFS data. Or, if the file system on OES Linux is NSS, the system with the attached disk must be able to read the NSS file system data.

Step 1: Configuring a virtual host as a SEP sesam client

To be able to attach a VMDK file to a virtual host, SEP sesam needs to know where to attach the VMDK file(s). You have to add at least one virtual host as a SEP sesam client and this system must be assigned to the virtual host.

  1. From Main Selection -> Components -> Topology, select your location and click the New client button. The New client window opens.
  2. In the New client window, configure the following options:
    • Enter the name of the virtual host in the Client name field.
    • Select the relevant platform from the Platform drop-down list and the relevant OS under Operating system.
    • Choose the Access mode (SMSSH) for the SEP sesam server-client communication (the default setting is CTRL).
    • On the left, under the SBC Version info, select the check box Client is a virtual machine.
    • From the drop-down list on the right,select the name of your vCenter under VM host.
    • Then select the virtual machine from the VM name list and click Create.
  3. Add client VH.png

Your new client is displayed in the Topology content pane.

Step 2: Preparing the NFS share on Linux

NFS (Network File System) is a client/server application that allows to share files across a network. You have to set up the NFS service on the Linux SEP sesam Server or RDS system, which stores the VMDK files.

Information sign.png Note
SEP sesam Server/RDS on Windows is currently not supported. For all requirements, see VMware Requirements & Restrictions.

SEP sesam automatically creates a VMware data store to attach the VMDK file(s) to a virtual host.

VSphere SF Datastore en.jpg


The following overview provides only basic information for configuring NFS on Linux. For details, see relevant Linux documentation, for example, the article How to configure NFS on Linux.

  • NFS server must be installed and NFS service must run.
  • Exports will be created dynamically during restore by SEP sesam. Note that exports can also be created manually by editing the /etc/exports file. The exported path has to match the location of the SEP sesam data store or any of its parent directories on the same file system.
  • All ESX servers must be allowed to mount the directory.
  • Read/write permission should be set.

Recommendations for Linux proxy

OES Linux proxy VM (for restore from NSS file systems)

  • VM with OES11 SP2 or higher
  • OES pattern to install: NSS (all other dependencies will be selected automatically)
  • Recommended to install the NetIQ eDirectory as a separate tree.
  • Static IP address (required by NetIQ eDirectory).
  • Only minimal system is required, X server is not required.
  • Size of file system only for SLES11 SP3 + OES11 SP2 (or higher versions).
  • Current SEP sesam client for SLES11.

OES Linux

  • Use a separate, non-production OES VM
  • Install the NetIQ eDirectory as a separate tree.
  • Do not add NSS pools and volumes to the OES server – all non-active pools are automatically avtivated and deactivated after restore
  • Do not change the mounted NSS file systems – they are your backup!

Step 3: Restore a VM using the attached VMDK

Create a new restore task for individual file(s) you want to restore.

  1. From the SEP sesam GUI menu bar, select Activities -> Restore. The New restore task window opens.
  2. Select what you want to restore. You can search save sets by task name or by filename or path.
    • When searching by task name, use the drop-down list of available tasks and select the one you want to restore from. This option is selected by default.
    • If you are searching by filename/path, select the option Filename or path in save set and enter your search expression in the search pattern field.
  3. Under the Saved in period drop-down lists, specify the time frame for which you want to conduct the search. Click Next.
  4. The search results are displayed. From the list of save sets matching your query, select the version from which you want to restore an individual file. Then select the check box Attach virtual disk(s) (VMDK) to a Proxy-VM via NFS server. Click Next.
  5. VSphere SF attach mount 4.4 en.jpg


  6. Under the Select VM, use the drop-down list to select the relevant vSphere server, Sesam client name of the proxy VM and vSphere internal name of proxy VM. The vSphere server is the vCenter where the virtual host – vSphere internal name of proxy VM – is running, which is assigned as a SEP sesam Client – Sesam client name of the proxy VM. If the host that attaches the disk(s) uses multiple network cards, you must also specify NFS interface; otherwise this option does not need to be specified. Click Next.
  7. VSphere SF select vm 4.4 en.jpg


  8. On the page Select Files only the drives of the chosen VMDK(s) are shown. Note that it might take form 5 to 20 seconds to load the drive list. SEP sesam automatically enables the automount function of Windows on host, which attaches the VMDK(s). The automount function of Windows assigns a drive letter to a new disk drive without interaction of a user. SEP sesam automatically sets all connected drives on this particular host to Online.
    If no drives are shown, either an invalid partition was chosen (for example, if a Windows host tries to attach Linux partitions) or the drives did not start in expected time. You can use the refresh button (on the right side of the table) to display the list of all drives, local and the attached ones. Click Next.
  9. VSphere SF list drives en.jpg


  10. On the last Save and Start page of the restore wizard, you only need to select the client and the destination.
  11. VSphere SF restore options en.jpg


  12. You can start your VM restore immediately by clicking Start. If you want to save the restore task, click Save.

You can view the status of your restore jobs by selecting Job state -> Restore from the Main selection. Restore overview provides detailed information on the last run of restore jobs, including the task name, status (successful, error, in queue ...), start and stop time of the last backup, data size, throughput, client and message.

Mounting VMDK to a SEP sesam RDS

You can mount any non-compressed VMDK save set stored to default data store Path or to Si3 data store to the local system, which is used as a VMware data mover and SEP sesam RDS with a data store. The target VMDK is mounted to the SEP sesam home directory var\tmp\mnt, e.g., C:\Program Files\SEPsesam\var\tmp\mnt\save_set_ID. This way the VMDK is instantly accessible for browsing and searching before the actual restore is even triggered, providing you with quick access to your data. The mounted VMDK is basically a virtual read-only file system, therefore it cannot be altered or otherwise damaged.

Mounting is not possible if the save sets are stored to tapes or if the save sets are compressed. Comparing to the attach method, mounting has the advantage of much easier setup and requires less configuration steps.

Conceptual view of a single item restore with mounted VMDK

SEP sesam instant-recovery and single-file-restore 03 mount 03.png


Prerequisites

Before attempting to mount VMDK and performing a single file restore, all preparation steps have to be performed properly, including configuration and VM backup. Depending on your SEP sesam version, see the relevant VMware guide for details. Make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • SEP sesam Server version ≥ 4.4.3. For the list of supported systems, see SEP sesam OS and Database Support Matrix.
  • A SEP sesam data store Path or SEP sesam Si3 data store is required for single file restore. SEP sesam data store via UNC path is not supported. Volume must be visible as a local attached storage (not as a network drive letter). Only iSCSI, SAN and local connected drives can be used as a local attached storage.
  • Backups must not be encrypted or compressed, and they must not be migrated to another media – only the original backup on SEP sesam data store can be used for restore.
  • VDDK 5.5.x must be installed on the system, which is used as a VMware data mover and SEP sesam RDS with a data store. On Windows, VDDK is a part of the SEP sesam installation from 4.4.1.x onwards. SEP sesam version 4.4.3 is using VDDK version 6. If you are using a Linux system or any of the previous SEP sesam versions, you have to install the VDDK manually. For details, see VDDK installation.
  • When using a Linux data mover to mount the VMDK, it must be able to read Linux and Windows systems. Note that mounting Windows VMDKs with Linux data mover might result in ACL-related problems and is therefore not recommended.
  • When using a Windows data mover to mount the VMDK, it is required to have a second data mover on Linux with installed VDDK 5.5.x which is also a SEP sesam RDS. Virtual Windows hosts must be stored on Windows RDS and Linux virtual hosts must be stored on Linux RDS.
Information sign.png Note

SEP sesam can restore all file systems for which the respective operating system provides a read/write support. For example, a restore of files on Windows ReFS is only possible if the data mover is able to read ReFS data. Or, if the file system on OES Linux is NSS, the data mover must be able to read the NSS file system data.

Restore a single file using the mounted VMDK

Create a new restore task for individual file(s) you want to restore.

  1. From the SEP sesam GUI menu bar, select Activities -> Restore. The New restore task window opens.
  2. Select what you want to restore. You can search save sets by task name or by filename or path.
    • When searching by task name, use the drop-down list of available tasks and select the one you want to restore from. This option is selected by default.
    • If you are searching by filename/path, select the option Filename or path in save set and enter your search expression in the search pattern field.
  3. Under the Saved in period drop-down lists, specify the time frame for which you want to conduct the search. Click Next.
  4. The search results are displayed. From the list of save sets matching your query, select the version from which you want to restore an individual file. Then select the check box Mount virtual disk(s) via VMware API. A mount action is triggered and your VMDK is mounted to the SEP sesam home directory var\tmp\mnt, e.g., C:\Program Files\SEPsesam\var\tmp\mnt\save_set_ID. Click Next.
  5. VSphere SF attach mount 4.4 en.jpg


  6. On the page Select Files only the mounted VDMK drives are shown (the local drives are not displayed). Select the files you want to restore and click Next.
  7. On the last Save and Start page of the restore wizard, select where you want to restore your files.
  8. You can start your single file restore immediately by clicking Start. If you want to save the restore task, click Save.

You can view the status of your restore jobs by selecting Job state -> Restore from the Main selection. Restore overview provides detailed information on the last run of restore jobs, including the task name, status (successful, error, in queue ...), start and stop time of the last backup, data size, throughput, client and message.

See also

SF & IR support matrixVMware Requirements & RestrictionsVMware BackupVMware RestoreVMware Instant RecoveryScheduling RestoreTroubleshooting