4 4 3 Beefalo:Proxmox VE Backup

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Docs latest icon.png Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 4.4.3 Beefalo/Beefalo V2. For previous documentation version(s), check documentation archive.


SEP sesam provides efficient data protection for Proxmox VE, an open-source server virtualization environment that supports a variety of guest operating systems. Proxmox VE is based on Debian GNU/Linux and supports two virtualization technologies – KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) for VMs and LXC for containers (CT). Introduced in SEP sesam v. 4.4.3 Beefalo, Proxmox integration is based on using the Proxmox API and vzdump to provide a consistent backup of VMs and container-based virtuals running in Proxmox environments.

The VMs/CTs in Proxmox VE have to be backed up individually by configuring a backup task for each VM/CT; however, you can assign individual backup tasks to a task group and then trigger the start of all tasks belonging to that group with a single event. For details, see Adding a task to the task group.

SEP sesam supports a variety of storage devices, allowing you to back up your Proxmox VE to any virtual machine-supported storage. By using the integrated Si3 target deduplication for Proxmox backups, you can benefit from reduced disk capacity and increased overall storage performance.

Supported backup level

Currently Proxmox VE only supports FULL backup level and cannot perform any granular file backup from a VM or container (CT). Proxmox FULL backup includes the VM/CT configuration and all data. SEP sesam supports running full backups by using the snapshot Proxmox mode.

Snapshot backup mode for VMs
This mode performs a Proxmox VE live backup, in which data blocks are copied while the VM is running (is not suspended or stopped). Since a backup occurs while the VM is running, it provides the lowest operation downtime even though a backup can take a bit longer.
Snapshot backup mode for CTs
It uses the snapshotting facilities of the underlying storage, therefore, all backed up volumes must be on storage that supports snapshots. The CT is suspended to provide consistent container backups and the temporary snapshot is then automatically deleted. By default, vzdump backs up only the root disk mount point, while additional mount points are not included in backups; it also skips the following files:

Only one VM can be restored at a time and no single file restore is supported.

SEP sesam Proxmox VE integration advantages

  • Online backup of running VMs/CTs using snapshot technology.
  • Online backup of VM/CT configuration.
  • Restore of complete VMs and their configuration.
  • Restore of VM configuration.
  • Restore into new VM instances.


To ensure error-free operation of SEP sesam and to improve performance, please make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • Check the support matrix for the list of supported Proxmox VE versions.
  • Download the SEP sesam Client version ≥ 4.4.3 Beefalo according to your distribution. For installation via Debian package archives, see the article about Debian Repository. As of SEP sesam version 4.4.3 Beefalo, SEP sesam Client already contains all needed components for backing up the Proxmox VMs/CTs.
  • SEP sesam backup client package must be installed on a Proxmox server or, in case of a Proxmox cluster, on each cluster node.
  • Working name resolution for the Proxmox nodes and the Proxmox resource (for Proxmox cluster). Each node must be able to resolve every other node.
  • Make sure your Proxmox VE is configured properly; while backup of the Proxmox VMs does not require the underlying storage to support snapshots, this is not true for the container backups where all backed up volumes must reside on storage that supports snapshots.
  • Make sure that there is enough space on your storage to store the backed up data.

Adding the Proxmox client to SEP sesam environment

Once you have downloaded the SEP sesam package, configure Proxmox VE as new client by adding it to the SEP sesam environment: Main selection -> Components -> Topology -> New Client -> add your Proxmox server. For details, see Configuring Clients.

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Before proceeding, you should validate that you can back up to SEP sesam. Run a test Path backup manually to ensure that the backups work. For details on typical backup configuration, see Standard Backup Procedure.

Configuring Proxmox backup

Configuring a Proxmox backup on the SEP sesam Server involves creating a Proxmox backup task, setting up a backup schedule (specifying when you want to back up your data) and linking the schedule to a backup event (specifying how and where to back up the data). For general details on backup configuration and prerequisites, see Standard Backup Procedure. However, configuring a Proxmox backup differs slightly from the standard procedure and requires some Proxmox-specific steps, which are described below.

Information sign.png Note
  • The virtual machine that you want to back up must not have any defined internal or external snapshots.
  • 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.
  1. From Main Selection -> Tasks -> By Clients, select Proxmox client and click New Backup Task. The New Backup Task window opens.
  2. Select the Source. Click the Browse button (big arrow) and select the Proxmox virtual machine/container that you want to back up from the list of VMs/CTs detected on the host system. By selecting the source, the task type and task name are set automatically.
  3. Proxmox bck task.jpg

  4. To access the Proxmox VE, switch to the Proxmox-VE tab, and specify your user account (e.g., root@pam), and password required to access the proxmox management frontend.
  5. If you want to define other options (such as pre/post backup and restore commands, set encryption or compress data, consolidate individual tasks under a specific task group, or assign a task to the schedule), click the corresponding tabs in the New Backup Task window.
    Click OK to create the task.
  6. 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 create a periodic backup, you have to create a schedule for your backup task: Click New Schedule under Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules and set up a schedule. For more details, see Creating a Schedule.
  7. 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.
  8. Once you have configured a schedule, you must create a new backup event for it. For general information on creating a backup event, see Creating a backup event. Note that Proxmox VE only supports FULL backups.
Information sign.png Note
You can assign individual backup tasks to a task group and then trigger the backup of all tasks belonging to that group with a single event. The tasks are processed according to the number of available channels. The remaining tasks are placed in the execution queue and are started sequentially. For details, see Adding a Task to the Task Group.

You can view the status of your backup jobs by selecting Last Backup State in the Main Selection window. The backup status overview provides detailed information on the last run of backup jobs, including the task name, start and stop time of the last backup, backup level, data size, throughput, assigned media pool, etc.

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As of 4.4.3 Beefalo V2, you can check the details of your backups online by using new Web UI. For details, see SEP sesam Web UI.