4 4 3 Grolar:Citrix XenServer Backup

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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 Grolar. For previous documentation version(s), check Citrix XenServer archive.


Overview

SEP sesam provides efficient data protection for virtual machines (VMs) running on a Citrix XenServer. Virtual machine-consistent backup requests a snapshot of the VM. After creation, the snapshot is exported to a SEP sesam backup medium. VSS writers on Windows VMs are notified before snapshot creation, so all VSS aware applications like MS SQL are brought into a consistent state.

Backup levels

With SEP sesam version 4.4.3 Grolar, backup levels FULL, INC and DIFF are introduced for Citrix XenServer backup. Note that COPY backup is no longer suported.

  • FULL: Back up the entire VM.
  • INC: Back up VM data that has changed since the most recent backup.
  • DIFF: Back up VM data that has changed since the most recent full backup.
Information sign.png Note
When backing up via hypervisor and using external disk, SEP sesam cannot back up the data on the RDM disks or on a VM without attached SCSI controller(s). The data of such disks is silently skipped from backup, hence the backup saveset contains no data for the external disk, while the backup succeeds and no warning about the missing data is issued. If a restore of a VM with external disk is performed to the original VM by using the option overwrite, the disk is re-created and all existing data on the restore target is lost.

To back these hypervisors, you have to add one or more SCSI controller to the virtual machine before performing a backup, even if there are no devices to use the SCSI, or you have to install a SEP sesam Client in the virtual machine and perform an additional file or application backup to back up this data.

Backing up the VMs and Xen templates

Create a new backup task for the Citrix Xen client containing the virtual machines. When backing up a Citrix XenServer, you can perform a hot (online) or cold (offline) backup of one VM per task.

  1. From Main Selection -> Tasks -> By clients, select Citrix client and click New backup task. The New backup task window opens.
  2. As backup Source specify the display name of the virtual machine. The VM can be selected with the client file system browser under Citrix XenServer. By selecting the source, the task type and task name are set automatically.
  3. Information sign.png Note
    Citrix XenServer allows you to have more virtual machines with the same name, however, if you select one of these as a backup source, backup fails. The following error appears: Backup failed. A virtual machine with the same name already exists.

    Citrix source Grolar.jpg
    You can also get the name from Xen center or on the XenServer by executing command:

     xe vm-list
    
    Information sign.png Note
    You can only configure one VM per backup task.
  4. The following additional options pre/post backup and restore commands, set encryption or compress data are not functional for the task type Citrix XenServer. You can consolidate individual tasks under a specific task group, assign a task to the schedule, click the corresponding tabs in the New backup task window.
  5. Citrix bck task Grolar.jpg

  6. Click OK to create the task.
  7. If you want to start the newly created task immediately, right-click the name of the task and click Immediate start. If you want to schedule the task, click New schedule under Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules.
  8. Schedule bck task citrix.png

    SEP Tip.png Tip
    You can also add your backup task to an existing schedule by double-clicking the backup task, selecting the tab Schedules and adding it to one or more schedules.
  9. Once you have configured a schedule, you must create a new backup event for it. Go to Main Selection -> Scheduling -> New Backup Event, click the Parameter tab and select FULL, INC or DIFF backup from the Backup Level drop-down list.

The backup is done online. If XenServer tools are installed on VM, VSS-Writers are executed before making the snapshot.

For details about backup configuration, see Standard Backup Procedure.

Metadata backup

Backup includes the XenServer pool database and the needed metadata of the pool.

Create a new backup task for the Xen master.

  1. From Main Selection -> Tasks -> By clients, select Citrix client and click New backup task. The New backup task window opens.
  2. As backup Source select meta-data. By selecting the source, the task type and task name are set automatically.
  3. Citrix meta data bck Grolar.jpg

  4. If you want to add a comment, enter it in the Notes field.
    Click OK to create the task.
Information sign.png Note
Citrix recommends to run the metadata backup via the Citrix native backup options as often as necessary.

Host data backup

This is a file backup of the Xen hypervisor without the VMs. This is required in special cases for the Citrix support. You cannot recover this host backup directly via SEP sesam back to the hypervisor.

Create a new backup task for each Xen host.

  1. From Main Selection -> Tasks -> By clients, select Citrix client and click New backup task. The New backup task window opens.
  2. As backup Source select host-backup. By selecting the source, the backup type and task name are set automatically.
    Citrix host bck Grolar.jpg
  3. If you want to add a comment, enter it in the Notes field.
    Click OK to create the task.

Known issues

If you have problems with Citrix XenServer, check the Troubleshooting Guide.

See also

Citrix XenServer Requirements and ConfigurationCitrix XenServer Restore