Archive:Instant Recover from VMware vSphere Backup

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Introduction

This article is relevant for SEP sesam version 4.4.1/4.4.2 and describes how to perform instant recovery of a VMware machine from a vSphere backup. Note that this is not the latest version of SEP sesam VMware documentation and, as such, does not provide information on features and procedure introduced in 4.4.3 and described in VMware Instant Recovery.

With Instant Recovery a VMware machine can be started instantly, without restoring the data. Instead the machine starts directly from backup source and will be relocated via vMotion.


Prerequisites

In order to use VMware Instant Recovery with SEP sesam, please read the prerequisites carefully, which are.

  • SEP sesam server version 4.4
  • Backup must be done to SEP sesam Datastore (not to Si3 Datastore)
    • SEP sesam Datastore via UNC path is not supported. Volume must be visible as local attached storage (not as network drive letter). Just iSCSI, SAN and local connected drives can be used as local attached storage.
  • Backup must be split into several savesets (see below at Configure task)
  • Backup must not be encrypted or compressed
  • Backup must not exist on migrated medium only. Just the original backup on SEP sesam Datastore can be used
  • Two VMware DataStores must exist to use VMware Instant Recovery at the moment. There is no need to create additional VMware DataStores.
  • System, which stores the VMDK files to SEP sesam Datastore (could be SEP sesam server or SEP sesam RDS) must offer NFS (network file system) services
    • In case of NFS service on Windows SEP recommends to use Windows 2012(R2)

Configure task

The task must be configured to split the backup to separate savesets, which is described here.

VSphere SF separate savesets 4.4 en.jpg


The check box VM Single File and Instant Recovery option must be ticked to use VMware Instant Recovery.

Restriction with ticked check box

If this check box is ticked, backups of this task in mode FULL will be done in mode COPY automatically, which means no CBT (change block tracking) will be used for this task in COPY or FULL backup mode. Backup modes INC and DIFF can be used CBT for this task. If COPY and FULL backups are requested, two tasks have to be configured. One task with ticked check box and one task without.
NOTE: VMs backed up with mode COPY are stored with the configured size of the disks despite of the used disk space!

Prepare NFS share for VMware Instant Recovery with SEP sesam

SEP sesam automatically creates a VMware Datastore, where the virtual machine will be started by SEP sesam. On Windows 2012 SEP sesam creates the required NFS share automatically. On Windows 2008(R2) the NFS share needs to be added manually, which is described in next section. Add a new NFS share via Windows Server Manager. The name of the NFS share needs to be the equal to the name of the SEP sesam Datastore, where the VMDK files are stored. Also the path of the NFS share needs to be equal to the path of the SEP sesam Datastore.

VSphere SF Datastore en.jpg


The name of the NFS share according the screen shot above must be "NFS-Store1" and the path must be set to "E:\nfs". Also the "No server authentication" option with sub option "Enable unmapped user access" and radio button "Allow unmapped user access by UID/GID" must be set as authentication for the NFS share. The share permission must be set to "Read/Write" and Root Access must be allowed. The share permissions can be set for all machines or just for the vCenter server. On Windows 2012 adding this share should be done automatically by SEP sesam. If the NFS share is not added automatically, adding it manually as described below should solve the problem.


NFS server on SEP sesam server or SEP sesam RDS on Windows 2008(R2)

  • This example references to the SEP sesam DataStore, which is described above
  • Log on to system, which is used to store VMware backups (either SEP sesam server or SEP sesam RDS)
  • Run "sm_installnfs.ps1" as administrator via Powershell at <sesam-root>\bin\sesam to install NFS server role. Powershell Version 2 is necessary to install NFS role automatically.
  • On Windows 2008(R2) open Windows Server Manager and select "Roles", "File Services" and then "Share and Storage Management" (see screen shot)

NFS Server share.jpg

  • Click "Provision Share" to create a new NFS share step by step
  1. "Shared Folder Location": Use browse button to select share location. This is the path where SEP sesam DataStore is located.
  2. "NTFS Permissions": Use predefined NTFS permissions
  3. "Share Protocols": Select NFS and set share to the name of the SEP sesam DataStore.
  4. "NFS Authentication": Use predefined settings -> next
  5. "NFS Permissions": Set Access to Read/Write and allow Root-Access -> next
  6. "Review Settings and Create Share": Leave as it is -> next
  7. "Confirmation": Close Window


NFS server on SEP sesam server or SEP sesam RDS on Linux

  • NFS v3 server has to be installed and NFS service must run
  • Exports will be created dynamically by SEP sesam

OR

  • Exports can be created manually by editing /etc/exports file too. Exported path has to match location of SEP sesam DataStore or any of it's parent directories on same file system
  • All ESX servers must be allowed to mount the directory
  • Read/Write permission should be set

Restore procedure

First the specified backup has to be chosen, which is requested to be used for VMware Instant Recovery. Just if the options "Attach virtual disk(s) (VMDK) to a Proxy-VM via NFS server" and "Mount virtual disk(s) via VMware API" are shown, Instant Recovery can be used. But none of these options must be selected.

VSphere SF attach mount 4.4 en.jpg


In next step the new VM name has to be specified (if necessary) and also the final and the temporary VMware DataStore. The specified VMware DataStore at this step is used as final destination. In this case the name of the VM will be "slc-dc01-2.sep.de" and the final VMware DataStore will be "EternusSAN1". This is the VMware DataStore, where the virtual will run after Instant Recovery finished.

VSphere IR restore options 4.4 en.jpg


After clicking at "Instant Recovery / Restore VM Options" the selected radio button at "Instant Recovery" has to be chosen as shown below.

VSphere IR recovery options 4.4 en.jpg


At this step the temporary VMware DataStore has to be specified, which is "esxramfix-local" in this case.