Advanced Restore - Virtual Server Agent for VMware

Table of Contents

General Considerations for Restores

Metadata Collection and Granular Recovery

To restore files and folders, you must be able to access metadata about files and folders during the browse and restore operation. This can be accomplished in two ways:

  • If the Enable Granular Recovery option is selected when performing the backup of the virtual machine, metadata about files and folders is collected during the backup process. Collecting metadata adds to the time required for the backup. The granular recovery option supports NTFS, ext2, and ext3 file systems, and can  be used for Windows file restores or (for streaming backups only) Linux file restores that do not use the File Recovery Enabler for Linux.

    When file and folder metadata is collected during a backup, that information is used for browse and file recovery operations, and you cannot perform a Live Browse.

  • If metadata was not collected during a backup, file and folder information can be discovered during a Live Browse operation. Collecting metadata during the browse operation adds to the time required for the browse and restore.

    MediaAgents include 3DFS components to enable Live Recovery and Live Mount operations for virtual machines running on Microsoft Windows. You can use the same MediaAgent that was used to perform a backup to restore full virtual machines or guest files and folders, without requiring granular recovery during backups.

    The File Recovery Enabler for Linux provides UNIX file system support for ext2, ext3, ext4, XFS, JFS, Btrfs, and NTFS. To enable extended file system recovery for UNIX-based virtual machines, deploy a File Recovery Enabler for Linux or convert a Linux MediaAgent to a File Recovery Enabler.

Notes:

  • If granular recovery is enabled but some file information could not be read (for example, ext4 data for a Linux VM), partial metadata is collected during the backup, and you can only browse files and folders for which metadata was successfully captured. To enable Live File Recovery to be used in such situations, you can add the bAllowPartialVMMetadata additional setting to the Virtual Server Agent proxy and set the value to false. With that setting, partial metadata for a virtual machine is discarded, enabling Live File Recovery to be used for browse and restore operations. For steps, see Add or Modify an Additional Setting.
  • Logical volume manager (LVM) metadata processing for volumes encrypted using BitLocker is currently not supported. Decrypting contents of such volumes may not be feasible during backup because decryption requires a recovery password or a decryption key. Because metadata collection for the volume fails, a file-level browse operation for the encrypted volume cannot display file information.

Restore with Changed Block Tracking (CBT)

Changed Block Tracking (CBT) is a VMware feature that enables efficient backup of virtual machines by tracking changes and only backing up changes rather than complete virtual machines. After you enable CBT restores, CBT is used automatically for restoring a full virtual machine when the Restore in place and Unconditionally overwrite VM with the same name restore options are used, providing significant performance improvements.

Since only changed blocks are restored, a CBT restore is much faster and more efficient than a classic restore. If a CBT restore cannot be performed or if the restore job is restarted, the restore reverts to a classic restore.

CBT restores must be enabled as described in Enable Restores Using Changed Block Tracking

To initiate a CBT restore, use the restore option to overwrite an existing VM.

  • CBT restores are supported for virtual machines using hardware version 7 or higher.
  • CBT restores are not supported for attaching a disk to an existing virtual machine.
  • Only the first restore from a backup can use CBT. To perform another CBT restore, another backup must be performed first.
  • If you perform an incremental backup after performing a CBT restore, the incremental backup uses the changed block tracking IDs from the last backup that ran before the restore; the query of changed sectors fails and the CBT status is set to Failed in the CommCell Console.

    You can ignore the CBT status; new changed block tracking IDs are generated and can be used for the next incremental backup job or for CBT restores.

Disk Provisioning

When performing a restore of a full virtual machine or attaching VM disks to an existing virtual machine, you can change the disk provisioning on the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog. The following disk provisioning types are available:

  • Original: (default) Use the same disk provisioning that the source virtual machine used at the time of backup.
  • Thick Lazy Zero: Use thick lazy zero provisioning to allocate disk space for all disks. This method only writes to sectors of the disk that contain data.

    When this option is used to restore a thick eager zero disk, empty extents are written. In the vSphere client, the resulting restored disk will still be displayed as a thick eager zero disk.

  • Thick Eager Zero: Use thick eager zero provisioning to allocate disk space for all disks. This method writes zeros to any unused sectors of the disk.

    If the original source disk was provisioned as thin or thick eager zero, a restore that specifies thick eager zero provisioning can skip any empty sectors of the disk, because the empty sectors are already written with zeros. In this case, restore logs may indicate that the disk provisioning method was thick lazy zero.

    When restoring from a thick lazy zero disk using thick eager zero provisioning, zeros are written to all empty sectors.

  • Thin: Use thin provisioning to allocate disk space for all disks in the virtual machine.

    When you restore a virtual machine that has thin disks on a NFS datastore, empty blocks on the disk are not restored; only the actual data on the disk is restored.

If Change Block Tracking was not functioning properly at the time of backup, disk data is still restored and empty blocks are not restored. As a result, disks are restored with the correct data size and the restore operation takes considerably less time.

Transport Modes

The following transport modes can be selected on the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog:

  • Auto: (default) The most suitable transport is selected automatically based on the setup.

  • SAN: For directly connected storage using Fibre Channel (FC) or Internet SCSI (iSCSI) protocols; only available if the proxy is on a physical machine.

  • HotAdd: Used when the Virtual Server Agent is installed on a virtual machine on an ESX server.

  • NBD: Data is transmitted over a TCP/IP connection between the ESX server and proxy.

  • NBD SSL: Uses the TCP/IP connection with encrypted data transfer.

In most scenarios, restores using SAN and HotAdd transport are faster than NBD or NBD SSL operations; but SAN restores using thin disk provisioning can be slower than LAN restores. Performance can be improved by using NBD for thin disk provisioning, or by setting the transport mode to SAN and specifying thick eager zero disk provisioning.

Use Cases for Restoring Full VMs or Guest Files

Using standard Commvault components and configurations with the Virtual Server Agent (VSA), you can restore full VMs, VMDK files, and guest files and folders, or attach a restored virtual machine disk to an existing VM.

Depending on your requirements for restoring VM data, you can deploy different components and use different configurations or backup strategies.

The following table provides an overview of additional use cases for restoring VM data, including any required components, configuration options, or backup requirements. Unless otherwise noted, these features are available for restores of data for VMs running any guest operating system supported by VMware (for example, Windows and Linux VMs).

Live Features

Use case Required Components Configuration Backup More Information
Live VM Recovery – Recover and power on a VM directly from backup without waiting for a complete restore. MediaAgent (includes 3dfs support)

ESX server to mount NFS datastore for browse and restore

Standard (client, proxies, and subclient) Streaming backups, SnapProtect backup copies, or SnapProtect backups using NetApp snapshot engines. Using Live Recovery for Virtual Machines
Live Mount – Run a temporary VM directly from stored backup. Operations Manager

MediaAgent (includes 3dfs support)

Refresh Datacenters

Live Mount provisioning policy

Streaming backups or SnapProtect backup copies Live Mount
Live Browse or Live File Recovery – Browse and restore files without requiring metadata collection during backup (granular recovery option). ESX server to mount NFS datastore for browse and restore

VSA installed on MediaAgent

For Windows VMs, NTFS file system

File Recovery Enabler for Linux required for expanded UNIX file system support: ext4, XFS, JFS, or Btrfs file systems

Proxy ESX Server

Default File Recovery Enabler for instance (if deployed)

Backups residing on magnetic disk libraries

Only used when there is no metadata available for a backup job (fails if partial metadata was collected for any VMs in a subclient)

Live File Recovery

Additional File Recovery Options

The following options can be used with granular recovery or Live File Recovery.

Use case Required Components Configuration Backup More Information
Guest agent restores of files and folders– Supports recovery of larger amounts of data and provides best performance. File system agent installed on destination client (in full or restore-only mode) Standard (client, proxies, and subclient) Any backup type Guest Agent Restores
Agentless restores – Restore small files and folders into a virtual machine. VMware tools or open-vm-tools on destination VM Standard (client, proxies, and subclient) Any backup type Agentless Restores

Initiating a Restore

You can initiate a restore in the following ways:

  • From a backup set:  Right-click the backupset and select All Tasks | Browse and Restore.
  • From a subclient:  Right-click the backupset and select Browse and Restore.
  • From a completed backup job:  Right-click the job from the Backup Job History tab and select Browse and Restore. For more information, see Restore by Jobs.

Choosing Restore Types

When restoring VMware data, you can select one of the following restore types.

  • Full Virtual Machine

    This restore type is selected by default. This restore type is useful in the following scenarios:

    • You are unable to turn on the virtual machine, but the disks (VMDK files) are available for the machine.
    • You want to restore an entire virtual machine to a specific point in time.
    • You want to move the virtual machine to a new host.
    • If at least one Hyper-V node is configured on the CommServe host, a Restore as option is displayed. The default selection is VMware; but you can use this option to convert a VMware virtual machine to Microsoft Hyper-V. This option enables you to duplicate a VMware virtual machine for the Hyper-V environment, or to migrate a virtual machine from VMware to Hyper-V.

    Backup and restores of entire virtual machines are supported for all guest operating systems supported by VMware.

  • Virtual Machine Files

    Use this restore type to restore disks (VMDK files) from a virtual machine. This restore type is useful in the following scenarios:

    • The virtual machine is running, but one of its disks has errors.
    • The storage device hosting the disks has errors or is not available.

  • Attach Disk to Existing VM

    Use this restore type to attach one or more disks of a backed up virtual machine to an existing virtual machine.

    This restore type is useful in the following scenarios:

    • A virtual machine has multiple disks and you want to restore only some disks.
    • You want to copy and add disks from one virtual machine into another virtual machine.
    • You want to quickly restore a disk and access the data on the disk.
  • Guest Files or Folders

    Use this restore type to restore files or folders from a virtual machine.

    This restore type is useful in the following scenarios:

    • A file or folder on the virtual machine has errors and you are unable to open the file or the folder.
    • You want to restore a file or a folder to a specific point in time.

Full Virtual Machine

When restoring a full virtual machine, you can restore data to the same destination host and place all disks back to their original datastores; this is an in-place restore.

Virtual machines can also be restored to a different location than where they existed at the time of backup; this is an out-of-place restore. The following options can be used for an out-of-place restore:

  • Different vCenter: An entire virtual machine can be restored to a different vCenter. This feature provides the flexibility to distribute restored virtual machines to a location with greater space and resource availability. This will be useful when the virtual machine's original location does not provide optimal space and resources.
  • Different ESX server: By default, a virtual machine is restored to the ESX server where it was at the time of backup; but you can choose to restore to a different ESX server. Specifying a different location provides the flexibility to distribute restored virtual machines to a location with greater space and resource availability.
  • Different datastore: You can specify a different datastore on the destination host. After the restore, the virtual machine is automatically associated to the new datastore.
  • Different Resource Pool or vApp: By default, a virtual machine is restored to its original resource pool; but you can select a specific resource pool or vApp on the host. vApp is a customized form of a resource pool.
  • Different VM name: By default, a virtual machine is restored with the original name used at the time of backup; but you can change the name when the VM is restored.
  • Restore to a VM folder: Select a destination folder on the datacenter.
  • Restore with different network adapter: Select a network adapter that is available for the destination.

  • If virtual machine disks (VMDKs) were created at the root level in vCenter, backed up, and restored, those disks will be restored with the associated virtual machine in a folder using the name of the virtual machine.
  • Restore or Live Sync jobs will fail if the destination ESX server has no access to the snapshot path configured in the VMX file for a virtual machine. This can be an issue if a virtual machine is recovered to a disaster recovery site that does not have access to a software snapshot that was redirected to a different datastore.

    Create the snapshotWorkingDir additional setting on the VSA proxy to enable restore and Live Sync jobs to use the specified path if the path configured in the VMX file is not accessible. If neither of those paths is available, the default snapshot location is used.

    Enter the value in the following format:

    datastore_name/folder_path

    For example: Datastore1/TestSnapshotPath

Restoring Full Virtual Machines

Perform the following steps to restore a full virtual machine:

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers > virtualization_client > Virtual Server > VMware.
  2. Right-click the backup set that contains the data to restore and select All Tasks > Browse and Restore.

    In the Browse and Restore Options dialog box, Full Virtual Machine is selected by default.

  3. Click View Content.

    A Client tab shows the contents of the most recent backup for the backup set.

  4. Select one or more virtual machines in the left pane. The configuration and VMDK files for the selected virtual machines are displayed in the right pane.
  5. Click Recover All Selected at the bottom of the window.
  6. In the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box, select values for the restore:
    Option Steps
    Restore to a different vCenter or ESX server: The vCenter Client list shows the name of the vCenter to which the VM is to be restored.
    1. To restore to a different vCenter, select the destination vCenter from the vCenter Client list.
    2. If the Restore in place option is cleared, you can select Add vCenter from the drop-down list and provide credentials.

      Enter the name of the destination vCenter and the user credentials on the Enter User Name and Password dialog; then click OK.

    When restoring a VMware virtual machine from disk backup in SAN environments, restore directly to an ESX server rather than to a vCenter. Otherwise NBD transport mode may be used instead of SAN, with slower data writing and events in the VMware client GUI displaying "clear lazy zero".

    To restore directly to an ESX server, click Add vCenter from the drop-down list. In the Enter User Name and Password dialog box, enter the IP address for the ESX server in the vCenter box, and provide the user credentials for the ESX server.

    Select a proxy: By default, each virtual machine is associated to the proxy that was used to back up the virtual machine. The same proxy is used to perform the restore of the virtual machine, but you can select a different proxy from the Destination Client (proxy client) list when performing the restore.

    You can choose a different proxy in the following scenarios:

    • The proxy used for the backup is no longer available.
    • Using the proxy on the destination host for the restore is faster.
    • If you are using a specific transport mode such as HotAdd or SAN, you can choose a proxy that facilitates the required transport mode.

    Note: For restores of virtual machine files or guest files, this client is the destination where files are restored. For restores of full VMs of attaching virtual disks to an existing VM, this client manages the restore to the host ESX server.

    Restore in place (destination host same as source):

    If the source VM was contained in a folder on the datacenter, the same destination folder is automatically selected for an in-place restore. (The destination folder is not populated for backups run prior to Service Pack 11.)

    Restore to vCloud: If you have configured vCloud credentials on the VMware instance properties, you can back up and restore virtual machines in the vCloud. Virtual machines can be restored in place (to the same location in the vCloud datacenter where the VM resided at the time of the backup) or out of place with a new VM name, a different vApp, or a different organization virtual data center (vDC) for the same organization. 
    1. Select the vCloud check box. This option only appears if vCloud credentials were configured on the VMware instance.
    2. To restore to a different ESX server, click Change and select the destination server.
    3. To change the VM name, click in the Change VM display name to column for the VM and enter a new name.
    4. To enter other options for the restore destination, click Configure in the vCenter Options column for the VM, and provide the following details on the VMware vCloud Director Options dialog box:
      • ESX Server: Click ... to select a new destination ESX server.
      • Datastore: Click ˅ to select a datastore to be used for virtual disks.
      • Org vDC: Enter the name of the organization vDC to be used for the restored VM.
      • vApp Name: Enter the name of the vApp to which the VM should be restored. If the specified vApp does not exist, one will be created using the name you enter.
      • vApp Owner: Enter the name of the user who owns the destination vApp.
      • Network Adapter Configuration: Enter the names of network adapters to be used for the restored VM. To restore without network connectivity, you can leave the Network Adapter boxes blank.
      • Restore vApp Configuration: Restore the vApp network configuration, lease configuration, and virtual machine startup order of the source VM to the new vApp.
    5. Click OK to save the options.
    Restore out of place (different ESX server, datastore, folder, network adapter, resource pool, or vApp): By default, virtual machines are restored with the same VM name and to the same ESX server, datastore, and resource pool or vApp where the VM was at the time of backup.
    • You can change the name when restoring a VM.
    • You can restore a VM to a different vCenter or ESX server to distribute restored virtual machines to locations with greater space and resource availability. This is useful when the virtual machine's original location does not provide optimal space and resources.
    • If a new datastore is selected, the virtual machine is automatically associated to the new datastore selected.
    • You can select a specific resource pool or vApp on the destination host. (vApp is a customized form of resource pool.)
    • You can filter a disk so that it is not restored by selecting Do Not Attach for the row showing the disk under the Datastore column.

    When restoring multiple VMs, you can select rows for multiple VMs, then click the ESX Server or Datastore column to change the ESX host or datastore for all of the selected VMs.

    To restore out of place:

    1. Clear the Restore in place check box.
    2. As needed, change the VM name and enter new destination values or other options on this dialog.

    To change the ESX server or datastore, to specify placement options for vCloud or a resource pool, or to restore a virtual machine to a folder, click Configure in the vCenter Options column for the VM. See Restore to vCloud or Restore to a different resource pool for details.

    Configure > VMware vCenter Options

    To change multiple settings for one or more VMs, click Configure in the vCenter Options column for the VM. You can enter the following information on the VMware vCenter Options dialog box, then click OK to save the options.

    • Edit Destination VM Name (only displayed when multiple VMs are selected)
      • Prefix: Enter a prefix to be added to the destination VM names for all selected virtual machines.
      • Suffix:  Enter a suffix to be added to the destination VM names for all selected virtual machines.
    • VM Display Name: (only displayed when a single VM is selected) Displays the name for the destination VM
    • ESX Server: Click ... to select a new destination ESX server.
    • Datastore: Click ˅ to select a datastore to be used for virtual disks.
    • Resource Pool: Click ... to select a destination resource pool.
    • VM Folder: Click ... to select a destination folder on the datacenter.
    • Network Settings: Click Add to change the network configuration for restored VMs.

      In the Network Settings dialog box, you can map each network in the Source Network list to a network in the Destination Network list. These mappings enable restored VMs to connect to appropriate networks in the location where they are restored.

      Select a network from the Source Network list or type the network name as it is displayed in the vSphere client. Select Any Network to create a default rule for network adapters that are not covered by another rule. 

      If you select Not Connected for the Destination Network value, virtual machines are restored with network interfaces in disconnected state.

    • IP Address settings: If source VMs running Windows use static IP addresses, you can configure IP address mapping for destination VMs:
      1. Click Add to display the IP Address settings dialog box.
      2. Enter the IP Address, Subnet Mask, and Default Gateway for the source VM (either a full address or a matching pattern).
      3. Use one of the following methods to specify settings for the destination VM:
        • Select Use DHCP to automatically assign an available IP address for the specified network connection at the destination.
        • Enter values for the IP Address, Subnet Mask, and Default Gateway  (either a full address or a matching pattern) to identify the desired IP address mappings for the destination VM. You can also specify preferred and alternate DNS servers and WINS servers.

      For more information, see IP Address settings.

    Change the VM name: The VM name can be changed for an in-place or out-of-place restore:
    • Enter a new name in the Change VM display name to column.
    Restore to a different ESX server:
    1. In the ESX Server column, click in the row for the virtual machine.
    2. Click the browse button () and select the destination ESX server for the virtual machine.

      Ensure that the ESX server supports the hardware version of the virtual machine. If the hardware version of the virtual machine is not supported by the ESX server, the restore job will complete successfully but the virtual machine will be inaccessible.

    3. Select a datastore on the ESX server where you want to restore the disks of the virtual machine.
    4. Click OK.
    Restore to a different datastore:
    1. Each row of the Datastore column displays the datastore of a virtual machine disk.
    2. To change the datastore of any disk, click in the corresponding row and select a datastore from the list of available datastores.

      The list displays all datastores available on the specified ESX server.

    Filter a disk: To filter a disk so that it is not restored, select Do Not Attach for the row showing the disk under the Datastore column.
    Restore to a different resource pool: If you are not restoring to vCloud, you can specify options for the restore destination:
    1. Click Configure in the vCenter Options column for the VM.
    2. Provide the following details on the VMware vCloud Director Options dialog box:
      • ESX Server: Click ... to select a new destination ESX server.
      • Datastore: Click ˅ to select a datastore to be used for virtual disks.
      • Resource Pool: Click ... to select a destination resource pool.
      • VM Folder: Click ... to select a destination folder on the datacenter.
      • Network Adapter: Select an available network adapter from the list. If you select Not Connected, the virtual machine is restored without a network connection.
    3. Click OK to save the options.
    Automatically power on restored virtual machines: Select Power On Virtual Machine after restore to power on the virtual machine automatically after the restore operation completes.
    Overwrite an existing VM: When a destination host has virtual machines with the same names as the virtual machines being restored, you can choose to overwrite the existing virtual machines. This option can be used to restore one or more virtual machines to their states at the time of the backup.
    • If a virtual machine with the same name exists on the destination, select the Unconditionally overwrite VM with the same name check box.

    • If the Unconditionally overwrite VM with the same name option is used when restoring a virtual machine that has independent disks, the independent disks and their VMDKs are removed from the datastore and are not restored.
    • When this option is selected and the restore does not use Changed Block Tracking, the original VM is deleted and a new VM is created from the backup. Any configuration settings for the original VM, such as SRM or OpenStack settings, are not retained.

    Disk provisioning:
    • Use the default value (Original) to retain the provisioning method used at the time of backup.
    • Select a value from the Disk Provisioning drop-down to force a specific disk provisioning method: Thick Lazy Zero, Thick Eager Zero, or Thin.
    Transport mode:
    • Use the default value (Auto) to let the Virtual Server Agent determine the most suitable transport mode based on the setup.
    • Select a value from the Transport Mode drop-down to force a specific transport method: SAN, HotAdd, NBD, or NBD SSL.
  7. Click OK.

Restoring vCloud Virtual Machines Out of Place

When restoring a virtual machine that was backed up from vCloud, you can restore the VM in place, or out of place with the following options:

  • New VM name
  • To the same vApp or a different vApp
  • To the same organization virtual data center (vDC) or to a different organization vDC for the same organization

You can also restore the vApp configuration of the source VM, including the network configuration, lease configuration, and VM startup order.

You cannot restore to a vDC for a different organization.

If the network name for the original VM is available in the destination vApp, the virtual machine NIC  is connected to that network in vCloud; otherwise the restored VM will not have network connectivity.

If you enter a name for a destination vApp that does not exist in the vCloud, the vApp is created in the same vDC as the original VM; since the new vApp does not have any network associations, the restored VM will not have network connectivity.

To display vCloud restore options, the vCloud host name and user credentials must be configured on the virtual server instance as described in Configuring a VMware Instance for vCloud Backup.

For detailed steps, see Restoring Full Virtual Machines and Restore to vCloud.

Using Live Recovery for Virtual Machines

The Live Recovery feature enables virtual machines (VMs) to be recovered and powered on from a backup without waiting for a full restore of the VM. This feature can be used to recover a VM that has failed and needs to be placed back in production quickly, or to validate that a backup can be used in a disaster recovery scenario.

Prerequisites

  • The CommServe host must have SnapProtect Version 10 installed with Service Pack 7 or later for streaming backups, and Service Pack 8 or later for SnapProtect backups.
  • To verify the version of VMware software that is required to support this feature, see System Requirements.
  • The ESX server used to mount the NFS datastore for the browse and restore must be able to resolve the MediaAgent (which uses 3DFS components to perform the live recovery). To ensure connectivity, create a host file entry for the MediaAgent on the ESX server.

    If a File Recovery Enabler for Linux is configured as described in Deploy a Virtual Machine for UNIX-Based File Restores and the default File Recovery Enabler is configured for the instance, the restore will use the default File Recovery Enabler for Linux for the live recovery operation.  Otherwise the MediaAgent that performed the backup is used.

    The same requirements that apply to a MediaAgent also apply to a File Recovery Enabler when it is used for live recovery.

  • The Live Recovery feature uses a 3dfs cache on the MediaAgent that performs the Live Recovery. By default, the 3dfs cache is located in the Job Results folder for the MediaAgent; but you can change the path using the s3dfsRootDir additional setting. The 3dfs cache is circular; unused data are pruned from the cache as needed. By default 5% free space is maintained on the cache; but you can change the required percentage of free space using the n3dfsCacheMinFree additional setting.

    For each live recovery job, the 3dfs cache requires minimum free space equal to the larger of the following values:

    • 20 GB
    • 15% of the total VM size (the sum of the sizes of all VMDKs for the VM)

    Note: For faster recovery times, the 3dfs cache should be hosted on a solid state drive (SSD) using flash memory storage.

  • The user performing the live recovery operation must be an owner of the virtualization client and VSA proxy used for the operation. For more information, see Ownership and Capabilities for Virtual Machine Recovery.
  • The vCenter user account must have permissions set as described in Permissions for Custom User Accounts.

Considerations

Live VM recovery is supported for recovery from:

  • Streaming backups and backup copies using magnetic disk libraries
  • SnapProtect backups using NetApp snapshot engines.

Live VM recovery is not supported for:

  • Backups to tape libraries
  • Archived VMs
  • Multiple VM restores
  • Simultaneous live recovery and live browse operations for the same virtual machine

Recovery Process

Data is restored from the backup as needed to enable the operations requested by the VM, and the full restore completes as resources allow. The backup is not modified by the restore process.

The process for a Live Recovery is:

  1. When this option is selected for a restore, the restore operation can use the MediaAgent that was used to perform the backup. 
  2. Rather than reading the backup, the restore process exposes the backup to the destination ESX server as a network file system (NFS) export.
  3. The NFS export is mounted to the destination ESX server as an NFS datastore.
  4. When the NFS datastore is visible to the ESX server, the restore process retrieves the .vmx and catalog files for the VM. The .vmx file is modified to indicate that writes can be made to the VMDK files on the NFS datastore (or the VM can be modified to redirect writes to an alternate datastore).
  5. Once the VM files are available to the NFS datastore, the VM is registered and can be powered on.
  6. Any reads for the virtual machine disks are handled by the File Recovery Enabler for Linux, which restores the requested data to the NFS cache and presents it to the ESX server.
  7. After the initial reads needed to make the VM usable, a storage vMotion is initiated to migrate the virtual machine to the destination datastore specified for the restore.
  8. When the migration is complete, the ESX server unexports the backup and unmounts the datastore (if there are no other paths exported to the ESX server). Once the cleanup is done, the restore job is marked as complete.

Restoring a VM Using the Live Recovery Option

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers > virtualization_client > Virtual Server > VMware > backup_set.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the data to restore, and then select Browse and Restore.
  3. In the Browse and Restore Options window, select the Full Virtual Machine option and click View Content.
  4. In the left pane, select the virtual machine to be restored and click Recover All Selected.
  5. In the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box:
    1. Select the Restore in place option or identify a new destination by providing values for the following fields:
      • Destination client
      • vCenter
      • Change VM display name to
      • ESX Server
      • Datastore
    2. To use the Live Recovery option, select Restore Virtual Machine using Live Recovery (vMotion).

      You can select the following options for Live Recovery:

      • Redirect Writes to Datastore - Select a datastore for any changes made to the virtual machine during the recovery process. This must be a different datastore than the destination datastores used by the VM or its disks.
      • Delay migration - Delay the migration of the VM to the destination location for the specified time (0-12 hours). You can still use the VM when delaying the migration.
    3. To start the VM immediately, select Power ON Virtual Machine During restore.
  6. Click OK.

Virtual Machine Conversion

Converting VMware Virtual Machines to Microsoft Hyper-V

When restoring a VMware full virtual machine, you can restore as Microsoft Hyper-V to create a new Hyper-V virtual machine from the last successful full backup. This option enables you to duplicate a VMware virtual machine for the Hyper-V environment, or to migrate a VM from VMware to Hyper-V.

To get the most up-to-date instance of a virtual machine, power off the source VM and perform a backup before initiating the conversion.

Prerequisites

  • At least one Hyper-V node must be configured on the CommServe host; otherwise the Restore as field is not displayed.
  • The destination client must be a Hyper-V server that has the Virtual Server Agent installed.

Procedure

Perform the following steps to access a VMware backup and create a Hyper-V virtual machine:

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers | virtualization_client | Virtual Server | VMware | backup_set.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the backup for the VMware virtual machine to convert and select Browse and Restore.
  3. In the Browse and Restore Options window, select Full Virtual Machine.
  4. Select Microsoft Hyper-V from the Restore as list under Full Virtual Machine.
  5. Click View Content.

    A Client tab shows the contents of the most recent backup for the subclient.

  6. Select a virtual machine in the left pane.

    The configuration and VMDK files for the selected virtual machine are displayed in the right pane.

  7. Click Recover All Selected at the bottom of the window.
  8. On the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog, select values for the conversion:
    Option Steps
    Select a destination client: The destination client must be Hyper-V server that is running Windows Server 2012 R2 and has the Virtual Server Agent installed.
    • Select a Hyper-V server from the Destination Client list.

      The new Hyper-V virtual machine is automatically mounted to the Hyper-V server you select.

    Restore location: Select one of the following options:
    • New folder

      Select a location for the VM on the destination client:

      1. Click in the first row of the Destination Path column and click the browse button (...).
      2. Select a folder on the destination client where you want to restore the virtual machine and click OK.

      The destination path can be the path of a cluster shared volume (CSV).

      All virtual machine disks are restored to this path unless you specify different paths for each disk.

    • Hyper V default folder

      Create the virtual machine on the default location of the Hyper-V server when you do not know which volume on the server has the space required to restore the virtual machine.

    VM and Disk: The VM and Disk column displays the name of the virtual machine and lists the virtual machine disks.
    Change the VM display name: To avoid overwriting an existing virtual machine with the same name on the Hyper-V server:
    •  Click in the first row of  the Change VM display name to column and enter a new name.
    Destination Path:
    • To restore each virtual machine disk in a different location, click each row in the Destination Path column and select a location for the corresponding disk.
    Automatically power on restored virtual machines: Select Power On Virtual Machine after restore to power on the virtual machine automatically after the restore operation completes.
    Overwrite an existing VM: If a virtual machine with the same name exists on the destination, select the Unconditionally overwrite VM and VHDs in destination path check box to overwrite the existing virtual machine.
    Register Virtual Machine with Failover Cluster:

    Select Register Virtual Machine with Failover Cluster to register the virtual machine with the failover cluster immediately after the restore. Once the virtual machine is registered, you can migrate it to any Hyper-V server in the cluster.

    To register the Virtual Machine with the failover cluster, the user name entered when creating the virtualization client must part of the following two administrator groups:

    • Cluster Administrator group
    • Hyper-V Administrators group

    When the virtual machine is created, it is automatically registered with the failover cluster.

    If UAC (User Account Control) is enabled on a virtual machine running on 2008 R2 Hyper-V server, you must register the VM with the failover cluster manually.

  9. Click OK.
  10. To ensure that the converted VM is fully functional, continue with Updating a Virtual Machine Converted to Hyper-V.

Updating a Virtual Machine Converted to Hyper-V

The conversion from VMware to Hyper-V only moves the virtual machine data and configuration to the Hyper-V format, and does not change any settings inside the virtual machine. As a result, you may need to update the converted virtual machine for the Hyper-V environment. This is especially true for virtual machines with older operating systems.

After conversion, you may need to perform the following additional tasks:

  • For virtual machines running Windows versions earlier than Windows 2008 R2, install the latest version of Hyper-V integration services tools on the virtual machine.
  • If the source virtual machine used IDE 0:0 for a non-OS disk, you might not be able to boot the converted virtual machine.  This issue can occur on a virtual machine with a legacy operating system, such as Windows 2003 with SP1, that does not have the IDE driver loaded. If you are still unable to boot the converted VM, repair the virtual machine using the operating system disk.
  • If a non-OS disk that was attached to SCSI controllers in the source VM is offline after conversion, bring the disk online manually using disk management.
  • After VM conversion when a source VM had dynamic disks using simple disk spanning, RAID, striped, or mirrored layouts, the disks in the converted VM might be marked as Failed in Disk Management. You must bring these disks online manually using Disk Management. Perform an Import Foreign Disks operation on the guest VM for the disk group that contains failed disks to bring the disks back online. As noted in Description of Disk Groups in Windows Disk Management, import the entire disk group in one operation rather than performing a partial import.

  • Network connections are not configured automatically. If the virtual machine has more than one network adapter and none of the adapters can match the source network name, you must manually configure the network adapter after conversion.
  • After converting a UNIX VM:
    • Xserver might not be configured correctly. You can set up Xserver manually after conversion.
    • Starting the VM fails with the error Kernel Panic - not syncing: IO-APIC + timer doesn't work! Boot with “noapic” option. To resolve this issue, pass the no_timer_check argument to the kernel command line at the boot prompt.
    • For operating systems such as SUSE Linux 11.2 or Ubuntu 10.4, the eth0 setting is preserved but the network interface card (NIC) may not be operational. To enable network connections:
      • For SUSE Linux:
        1. Start YaST and remove the existing NIC device.
        2. Add a legacy network adapter.
        3. Use YaST to configure a new network card.

        When you install a new Suse Linux operating system, on a Hyper-V machine. you can use a regular network adapter, detected as "Virtual Ethernet controller." After converting a VMware VM, the legacy NIC is detected as "DECchip 21140."

      • For Ubuntu 10.4:
        1. Run the ip addr command to find the network adapter.
        2. Edit the /etc/network/interfaces to add a legacy NIC and IDE disks.

Converting VMware Virtual Machines to Azure

When restoring a VMware virtual machine from backup, the virtual machine can be restored as an Azure VM in the Azure management portal.

Considerations

SnapProtect considerations:
  • Conversion of virtual machines to Azure is not supported from SnapProtect backups, but is supported from SnapProtect backup copies.

  • If the AUTO option is selected and the disk operating system type cannot be determined from the configuration file, the job will fail. The job can be resubmitted by selecting the proper OS on the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog.

  • The Create and Power ON Virtual Machine option is selected by default. If this option is not selected when the VM is restored, only the operating system disk is registered, and any remaining disks are uploaded to the Azure storage account. In this case, VHDs must be created manually through the Azure management portal, using the Create VHD option on the Disk tab:

    1. For each disk, browse to the storage location and open the disk from which the VHD is to be created. Opening the disk registers it as a VHD, so that it can be attached to a new or existing VM.
    2. Select the VM to which the VHD is to be attached, and attach one or more registered VHDs from the storage location.
Azure VM considerations:
  • The VM name can only contain alphanumeric characters or the '-' character; the name cannot contain any Unicode Transformation Format (UTF) characters.
  • The RAM and disk specification for the source VM should match the format of the Azure destination VM. For example, if the source VM RAM is less than 1.75 GB, only two disks will be uploaded to Azure if AUTO is selected as the VM size for the conversion, because of Azure restrictions.
  • Virtual machines with a VM size of A8 or A9 can only be created in new Azure cloud services without any instances. You cannot create A8 or A9 VMs in existing cloud services.

Before You Begin

Before performing backups of source VMs:

  • Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) must be enabled on the source VM and the user performing the conversion should be able to log in to the VM.
  • The source virtual machine must have a user account other than administrator or admin, because those names are reserved in Azure. If necessary, create an additional user account on the source virtual machine.
  • For Linux VMs, integration services should be enabled on the source VMs if they will be powered on automatically after conversion.

Procedure

To access a backup of a VMware or Hyper-V virtual machine and create an Azure virtual machine:

  1. From the CommCell Console, go to Client Computers > virtualization_client > Virtual Server > VMware > backup_set.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the backup for the VMware virtual machine to convert; then select Browse and Restore.
  3. On the Browse and Restore Options dialog, select Full Virtual Machine.
  4. Select Azure from the Restore as list under Full Virtual Machine.
  5. Click View Content. A Client tab shows the contents of the most recent backup for the subclient.
  6. Select a virtual machine in the left pane. The configuration and VMDK files for the selected virtual machine are displayed in the right pane.
  7. Click Recover All Selected at the bottom of the window.
  8. On the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog, select values for the conversion:
    Options Steps
    Azure Subscription Select the virtualization client created for Azure.
    Destination client Select a destination client to act as a staging machine. Disk and configuration files for the Azure virtual machine are copied to the job results folder on the staging machine, then uploaded to Azure.
    VM and Disk The VM and Disk column displays the name of the virtual machine and lists virtual machine disks.
    Change VM display name to To avoid overwriting an existing virtual machine with the same name on the Azure management portal, click in the first row of the Change VM display name to column and enter a new name.
    Cloud Services Select one of the cloud services created in the Azure management portal from the list.
    Storage Accounts This list displays the storage account created under the selected cloud services. A different storage account can be selected for each virtual machine disk.
    Filter a disk To exclude a virtual machine disk, select Do Not Attach in the row for the disk under the Storage account column. When this option is selected, the specified disk is not uploaded to Azure and attached to the created VM.
    VM size Select one of the following VM size options:
    • AUTO: Size is selected automatically based on the RAM for the source VM.
    • A1:  1 core, 1.75 GB, 2 disks
    • A2:  2 cores, 3.5 GB, 5 disks
    • A3:  3 cores, 7 GB, 9 disks
    • A4:  4 cores, 14 GB, 17 disks
    • A5:  2 cores, 14 GB, 5 disks
    • A6:  4 cores, 28 GB, 9 disks
    • A7:  8 cores, 56 GB, 17 disks
    • A8:  8 cores, 56 GB, 17 disks
    • A9:  16 cores, 112 GB, 17 disks
    Operating System Select Windows or Linux to match the operating system of the source VM.

    If necessary, you can select the AUTO option to automatically detect the operating system of the source VM.

    Create and Power ON Virtual Machine This option is selected by default; disks are uploaded to Azure and the virtual machine is deployed in the Azure management portal.

    If this option is cleared, only the disk is uploaded; the operating system disk is registered in the Disks tab and the virtual machine is not deployed in the Azure management portal.
    Unconditionally overwrite VM and VHDs in destination path If a virtual machine with the same name exists on the Azure management portal, select this option to overwrite the existing virtual machine.
  9. Click OK.

Results

After VM conversion when a source VM had dynamic disks using simple disk spanning, RAID, striped, or mirrored layouts, the disks in the converted VM might be marked as Failed in Disk Management. You must bring these disks online manually using Disk Management. Perform an Import Foreign Disks operation on the guest VM for the disk group that contains failed disks to bring the disks back online. As noted in Description of Disk Groups in Windows Disk Management, import the entire disk group in one operation rather than performing a partial import.

Live Mount

The Live Mount feature enables you to run a virtual machine directly from a stored backup.

You can use this feature to validate that backups are usable for a disaster recovery scenario, to validate the content on the backup, or to access data from the virtual machine directly instead of restoring guest files. 

About This Task

Virtual machines that are live mounted are intended for short term usage and should not be used for production; changes to live mounted VMs or their data are not retained when the virtual machine expires. The VM expiration period is set through a VM Lifecycle Management policy.

The following considerations apply:

  • Live Mount is only supported from streaming backups and SnapProtect backup copies.
  • A MediaAgent can perform up to five Live Mount operations at a time.
  • The Live Mount feature uses a 3dfs cache on the MediaAgent that performs the Live Mount. By default, the 3dfs cache is located in the Job Results folder for the MediaAgent; but you can change the path using the s3dfsRootDir additional setting. The 3dfs cache is circular; unused data are pruned from the cache as needed. By default 5% free space is maintained on the cache; but you can change the required percentage of free space using the n3dfsCacheMinFree additional setting.

    For each live mount job, the 3dfs cache requires minimum free space equal to the larger of the following values:

    • 20 GB
    • 15% of the total VM size (the sum of the sizes of all VMDKs for the VM) plus the expected writes to VMDKs during the live mount operation

    Note: For faster recovery times, the 3dfs cache should be hosted on a solid state drive (SSD) using flash memory storage.

Before You Begin

  • To verify the version of VMware software that is required to support this feature, see System Requirements.
  • Operations Manager must be installed on the CommServe computer.
  • Perform a Refresh Datacenters operation on the VMware instance:

    Under Client Computers > virtualization_client > Virtual Server, right-click VMware, point to All Tasks, and then click Refresh Datacenters. In the Refresh Datacenters dialog box, the Refresh VM Status and Discover VMs check boxes are not required for Live Mount; ensure that those check boxes are cleared and click OK.

  • Define a Live Mount provisioning policy to limit the impact that live mount operations can have on the operating environment. See Creating a Provisioning Policy for Live Mount.
  • The virtual machine owner or the user group associated with the VM owner (client computer) must have Browse and Live Browse capabilities assigned. See User Administration and Security - Getting Started.
  • The vCenter user account must have permissions set as described in Permissions for Custom User Accounts, including Virtual Machine > Interaction > Device connection as well as all permissions for streaming backups and restores.
  • If a firewall is used, provide settings as described in Entering Required Firewall Settings.

Using Live Mount to Run a Virtual Machine

The Live Mount wizard enables you to run a virtual machine directly from a stored backup for that VM.

  1. In the CommCell Console, display virtual machines under Client Computers as described in Show Virtual Machines in Client Computers List.
  2. Navigate to Client Computers.
  3. Right-click the virtual machine and select All Tasks | Live Mount.

    The Live Mount wizard launches.

  4. On the Select Recovery Points page:
    1. Select one of the following:
      • Mount VM from the latest backup and configuration: Use the most recent backup and configuration data to mount the virtual machine.
      • Select Point in Time: Select date and time values to indicate the backup for which the live mount should be performed.
    2. Copy Precedence (SnapProtect only): To restore from a backup copy, enter the number of the storage policy copy associated with the backup copy. If you leave the default value of 0, the copy with the highest precedence number is used.
    3. Click Next.
  5. On the Virtual Machine Location page:
    1. VM Lifecycle Policies: Select the live mount provisioning policy to be used.
    2. VM Name: The name of the virtual machine is used automatically, with 'VM' appended at the end of the name to distinguish the live mounted VM from the original VM. If you change the name, use a name that is unique on the destination vCenter.
    3. Select a network connection for the VM:
      • No Network: Mount the VM without a network connection.
      • Original Network: (Not recommended) The live mounted VM has the same configuration as the original VM and might conflict with it if they are both on the same network.  If you select this option, you must confirm that you want to proceed with this option.
      • Select Network: Choose an available network from the list (as configured in the provisioning policy). 
  6. On the Submit Job/Alert page:
    1. Select one of the following Job Initiation options:
      • Immediate: Run the job immediately when the live mount request is submitted.
      • Schedule: Next to Configure Schedule Pattern, click Configure to enter a schedule pattern for running the live mount job on a regular basis.
    2. Under Configure Alert, click Add Alert to add an alert for the live mount job.
    3. Click Finish to submit the live mount job.

Results

When a live mount is initiated, an ESX server is selected to host the virtual machine, based on the criteria set in the live mount provisioning policy. The backup is exposed to the ESX server as a temporary datastore. The configuration file for the live mounted VM is updated to reflect the name of the new VM, disks are redirected to the datastore, and network connections are cleared and reconfigured to the network selected for the live mounted VM. When this reconfiguration is complete, the VM is powered on. The virtual machine can be launched from vCenter or the Web Console.

The live mount expires automatically based on the decommission setting in the live mount policy, resulting in cleanup of the snapshot on the ESX server. You cannot manually unmount the VM from the CommCell Console or vCenter; but you can remove the live mounted VM by using the Web Console to power down and delete the VM. The temporary datastore is removed when the last VM for that datastore is unmounted.

The VM Management Job Summary report shows the virtual machine name, policy name, and user for live mounted virtual machines.

Expiration

Live mounted virtual machines expire automatically based on policy settings. Users are notified of expiring VMs at 30-minute intervals, and virtual machines are unmounted automatically when they expire.

Virtual Machine Files

Restoring VMDK Files

You can restore single or multiple virtual machine disk (VMDK) files from a virtual machine.

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers | virtualization_client | Virtual Server | VMware.
  2. Right-click the backup set that contains the data to restore and select All Tasks | Browse and Restore.
  3. In the Browse and Restore Options window, select Virtual Machine files and click View Content.
  4. Select a virtual machine in the Content tab.

    The configuration and VMDK files of the virtual machine are displayed in the right pane.

  5. Select the required VMDK files from the right pane.
  6. Click Recover All Selected at the bottom of the window.
  7. On the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog:
    Option Steps
    Select a proxy: Select a new proxy to change the target machine for the restore. By default, VMDK files are restored to the same proxy that was used to back up the virtual machine.

    When you are attaching disks to an existing virtual machine, the restore operation will be faster if you use the proxy on the same host where the target virtual machine exists.

    To select a proxy:

    1. Select a proxy from the Destination Client list.
    2. Click Browse under Specify Staging Path and select the folder where files should be restored.
    Convert virtual machine disk: See Converting Virtual Machine Disks. If you select a disk to restore that is not in VMDK format, the conversion option is not presented.
    1. Under Virtual Disk Conversion, select the Convert Disk to option and choose one of the following values:
      • VHDX - Dynamic virtual hard disk format.
      • VHD - Legacy virtual hard disk format.

    After conversion, you can attach the converted disk to an existing Hyper-V virtual machine, or create a Hyper-V virtual machine from the disk using Hyper-V Manager. When creating a virtual machine with a converted disk, see Updating a Converted Virtual Machine.

  8. Click OK.

The VMDK file will be restored to the destination client in the folder specified for the staging path.

Converting Virtual Machine Disks

As part of the process of restoring virtual machine disk files, you can convert disks to a new format:

  • VMware virtual machine disks in the VMDK format can be converted to VHD or VHDX.
  • Hyper-V disks in the VHDX format can be converted to VMDK or VHD.

After converting a disk, you can attach it to an existing VM or use it to create a new VM. Disk conversion can be used to move data from one platform to another, or as the first step in migrating a virtual machine from one platform to another.

Virtual machines created from converted disks can be backed up and restored using the same processes as virtual machines created directly in VMware or Hyper-V.

Considerations

  • Disk conversion is supported for both Windows and Linux VMs and for disks using thin or thick disk provisioning, and can be initiated from full or incremental backup jobs.
  • Disk conversion is not supported from differential backups, or for virtual machines with multiple snapshots.
  • You can initiate a disk conversion when performing a Browse and Restore operation on a subclient from a full, synthetic full, or incremental backup job.

    Instead of browsing a subclient, you can also view backup history and select a specific backup job to browse for a disk; but when using this method you can only initiate a disk conversion from a full or synthetic full backup job.

     

Attach Disk to Existing VM

You can attach one or more virtual machine disks of a backed up virtual machine (source virtual machine) to an existing virtual machine (target virtual machine). This feature is useful in the following scenarios:

  • A virtual machine has multiple disks, but you only want to restore some of the disks.
  • You want to copy and add disks from one virtual machine into another virtual machine.
  • You want to quickly restore a disk and access the data on the disk.

Before attaching any disks from a virtual machine to another virtual machine, verify that you have not used the VMware Consolidated Backup (vcbmounter) method to perform the backup of the source virtual machine.

Note the following considerations:

  • You can restore disks to a virtual machine when the target VM is powered off.
  • If a virtual machine is archived, you cannot restore disks to that virtual machine.
  • A virtual RDM is restored as a regular thick disk.
  • You cannot attach disks to a virtual machine if the fault tolerance option is enabled for that virtual machine

Attaching Disks to Existing VMs

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers | <VirtualizationClient> | Virtual Server | VMware.
  2. Right-click the backup set that contains the data you want to restore and select All Tasks | Browse and Restore.
  3. In the Browse and Restore Options window, select Attach Disks to Existing VM and click View Content.
  4. Navigate to the source virtual machine in the left pane.

    All VMDK files of the virtual machine are selected automatically in the right pane.

    • To restore all disks, leave the default selections for the VM in the right pane.
    • To restore selected disks, clear the selections in the right pane for disks that should not be restored.
  5. Click Recover All Selected.
  6. On the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog:
    Option Steps
    Select a proxy: When you are attaching disks to an existing virtual machine, the restore operation will be faster if you use the proxy on the same host where the target virtual machine exists.
    • Select a proxy from the Destination Client list.
    Restore all disks from source virtual machine: You can restore all disks from the source VM and attach them to a target VM:
    • Click in the first row of Restore to Existing VM column, then click the browse button (...) to select the target virtual machine.
    Restore selected disks: Restore only selected disks and attach to the target VM:
    • Click in the first row of Restore to Existing VM column, then click the browse button (...) to select the target virtual machine.
    Overwrite disks in the source or target VM: You can overwrite disks in the target virtual machine. You can also restore a disk to its original location.
    1. Click in the first row of the Restore to Existing VM column, then click the browse button (...) to select the target virtual machine.
      • To restore a disk to its original location, select the source virtual machine in the Restore to Existing VM column.
      • To overwrite a disk on the target virtual machine, ensure that the VMDK file name on the target VM is the same as the VMDK file name on the source VM.
      • To overwrite the disk attached to the SCSI (0:0) port of a virtual machine, you must turn off that virtual machine.
    2. Select the Unconditionally overwrite Disks with the same name check box. The disk on the target machine is overwritten by the disk from the source machine.
    Select a datastore: For each restored disk, select the target datastore from the Datastore column.
    Disk provisioning:
    • Use the default value (Original) to retain the provisioning method used at the time of backup.
    • Select a value from the Disk Provisioning drop-down to force a specific disk provisioning method: Thick Lazy Zero, Thick Eager Zero, or Thin.
    Transport mode:
    • Use the default value (Auto) to let the Virtual Server Agent determine the most suitable transport mode based on the setup.
    • Select a value from the Transport Mode drop-down to force a specific transport method: SAN, HotAdd, NBD, or NBD SSL.
  7. Click OK.

The source virtual machine disks are restored and attached to the target virtual machine.

Guest Files and Folders

You can restore guest files and folders from a virtual machine streaming backup or SnapProtect backup to a virtual machine or destination client.

You can restore files and folders:

Do not restore Windows backup data to a Linux destination client.

File Restore Methods

Guest files and folders can be restored to a physical client or to a virtual machine (VM) in the following ways:

To restore virtual machine files and folders when the total restore size is larger than 10 GB or has more than 20,000 files, use an agent installed in the destination client or virtual machine. For the fastest recovery time and the least space required for extent caching, use Live File Recovery with an agent in the guest.

General Prerequisites

General Considerations

  • For Windows file restores, the Enable Granular Recovery option can be selected to collect metadata when the backup is performed. The granular recovery option supports NTFS, ext2, and ext3 file systems.
  • When using the Enable Granular Recovery option for backups of Linux VMs, you cannot restore any file that has zero bytes, hard links, or symbolic links. Metadata collection using the Enable Granular Recovery option is not supported for SnapProtect backups of Linux virtual machines. To recover files and folders from SnapProtect backups of Linux virtual machines, use Live File Recovery.
  • To recover larger files or in other cases where you cannot restore a file, restore the complete virtual machine or the disk that contains the file.
  • If a backup set contains some subclients configured for regular backup and other subclients configured for SnapProtect backup, initiate browse and restore operations from each subclient rather than from the backup set.
  • If a virtual machine has a GPT partition, you can restore files from a streaming backup, SnapProtect backup, or backup copy.
  • For Windows:
    • Restores of symbolic link files and hard link files are not supported.
    • Metadata collection is not supported for Windows Storage Spaces. To retrieve guest files from Storage Spaces, restore the full virtual machine or virtual machine disk files.
    • You can restore files from NTFS file systems with the following limitations:
      • The formatted cluster size (allocation unit) must be 1024 or greater.
      • You cannot restore any archived (stubbed) files and folders.
      • Use Live File Recovery to restore files that have been dehydrated by Windows deduplication.

Guest Agent Restores

Using an agent installed in the destination client or virtual machine. This option supports recovery of larger amounts of data and generally offers the best performance, but it may not always be possible.

Prerequisites
  • For Windows clients:
    • The destination client must have a Windows File System iDataAgent installed (in full or restore-only mode). For more information, refer to Installing Restore Only Agents.
    • The version of the file system agent must be the same as the version of the Virtual Server Agent.
  • For Linux clients:
    • The destination client must have a UNIX File System Agent installed (in full or restore-only mode). Existing deployments using an Image Level Agent (deprecated) are also supported.
Considerations
  • For Linux clients:
    • The Preserve Source Paths option is not supported when you are restoring files or folders from a virtual machine.
    • The Restore ACLs option restores basic user/group/world permissions and timestamps; advanced permissions are only restored when using a guest agent together with a File Recovery Enabler for Linux.
    • If the original user for a folder does not exist on the destination, restored files will have the user ID instead of the user name. Otherwise, folder user names and permissions are preserved.
    • Symbolic links can be restored if the source files are also restored, but they will use the timestamp of the restore operation instead of the original timestamp. If the source files are not restored, symbolic link files are restored but without links; as a result the linked data cannot be read.
    • Hard link files can be restored; if source files are also restored any corresponding link files use the same index node (inode).

Agentless Restores

Agentless restores can be used to restore small files and folders into a virtual machine without installing an agent on the destination client. Using this option simplifies deployment and reduces the impact of backup and restore operations for virtual machines that do not have high transaction rates and large data requirements. This option is preferred in cases where the CommServe system or MediaAgent is not able to communicate with the VM (for example, in a restricted network).

Prerequisites
  • To verify the version of VMware software that is required to support this feature, see System Requirements.
  • The destination machine must meet the following prerequisites:
    • The virtual machine must be powered on.
    • The latest release of VMware Tools must be installed and running.

      You can use open-vm-tools on guest VMs running supported Linux releases; open-vm-tools must be installed and running.

Considerations
  • A proxy cannot make two or more simultaneous parallel connections to the same VM. The restore to the VM for the job that establishes the first connection succeeds, and subsequent jobs fail with a connection error because there is already an active connection between the proxy and the VM.
  • For Windows:
    • The Restore ACLs option is not supported for Windows VMs.
  • For Linux:
    • The Restore ACLs option only restores basic user/group/world permissions; advanced permissions are not restored.  Timestamps are only  restored when using agentless restores together with a File Recovery Enabler for Linux.
    • Permissions for guest files and folders are retained only when the user running the restore operation has permissions to change group ownership on the restored files and folders. If the user does not have change group ownership permissions, the restored files and folders are owned by the user who performed the restore.
    • You cannot restore an empty folder unless you restore the parent folder; when you restore a parent folder all other folders contained in the parent folder are also restored. 
    • Symbolic links can be restored if the source files are also restored, but they will use the timestamp of the restore operation instead of the original timestamp. If the source files are not restored, symbolic link files are restored but without links; as a result the linked data cannot be read.
    • Hard link files can be restored; if source files are also restored any corresponding link files use the same index node (inode).

Live File Recovery

Live File Recovery provides expanded file system support, including ext4, and enables live browse of backup data without requiring granular metadata collection during backups. This option supports restores of files and folders from backups of Windows VMs and of UNIX VMs that use ext2, ext3, ext4, XFS, JFS, or Btrfs file systems.

Live File Recovery can also be used when reducing backup times is a priority. This is a tradeoff; using this feature reduces backup time but increases the time required to browse files and folders.

To recover files or folders from a backup, you can enable backup data to be mounted as a temporary NFS datastore that can be used to browse and restore file and folders.

Prerequisites
  • To restore UNIX files for ext4, XFS, JFS, or Btrfs file systems, you must deploy and use a File Recovery Enabler for Linux to access the data in the backup. See Deploy a Virtual Machine for UNIX-Based File Restores.
  • The ESX server used to mount the NFS datastore for the browse and restore must meet the following requirements:
    • Be able to resolve the File Recovery Enabler for Linux. To ensure connectivity, create a host file entry for the File Recovery Enabler on the ESX server.
    • Provide support for the highest virtual machine hardware version supported for the environment.
  • Configure a default File Recovery Enabler for Linux to use for UNIX-based file restores as described in Specify the Default File Recovery Enabler for Linux for a Virtual Server Instance, and an ESX server to host the NFS datastore as described in Identify the Proxy ESX Server.
  • The vCenter user account must have permissions set as described in Permissions for Custom User Accounts.
  • To support Live File Recovery when the Virtual Server Agent and MediaAgent are deployed on different machines, the Virtual Server Agent must also be installed on the MediaAgent, even if a different MediaAgent is used for data movement. Otherwise, the MediaAgent is not included in the Use MediaAgent list in the Advanced Options tab of the Browse and Restore Options dialog box. The MediaAgent that performs the browse must have access to the library and media that are required for the restore operation.
Considerations
  • Live file recovery is only supported for recovery from backups using magnetic disk libraries, and is not supported from backups to tape libraries or virtual tape libraries.
  • Browsing fails if the file system on the source VM for the backup is not supported by the File Recovery Enabler for Linux.
  • Browsing speed is affected by network latency and the complexity of the file system being browsed.
  • Initial mount during browse may take some time if the VM snapshot contains an inconsistent file system that requires fsck (file system check). A restore that follows the browse in quick succession does not incur that overhead because it reuses the mount point.
  • Some special files from UNIX systems cannot be restored to a Windows system. These include symbolic link files, socket files, character device files, block files, and pipe files (FIFOs).
  • A virtual machine that contains the File Recovery Enabler for Linux can be included in backups, and the full VM can be restored; but you cannot recover files from the VM.
  • Use Live File Recovery to restore files that have been dehydrated by Windows deduplication. A MediaAgent running Windows 2012 or later, with the Virtual Server Agent installed and with the Windows deduplication role enabled, must be used as the VSA proxy when restoring the dehydrated files.
  • Logical volume manager (LVM) metadata processing for volumes encrypted using BitLocker is currently not supported. Decrypting contents of such volumes may not be feasible during browse or restore operations because decryption requires a recovery password or a decryption key. Because enumeration for the volume fails, a file-level browse operation for the encrypted volume cannot display file information.
  • Metadata collection is not supported for Windows Storage Spaces. To retrieve guest files from Storage Spaces, restore the full virtual machine or virtual machine disk files.
  • For Linux:
    • When used with agentless restores, the Restore ACLs option only restores basic user/group/world permissions and timestamps. Advanced permissions are only restored when using a guest agent together with a File Recovery Enabler for Linux.
    • The Preserve Source Paths option is not supported when you are restoring files or folders from a virtual machine.
    • Permissions for guest files and folders are retained only when the user running the restore operation has permissions to change group ownership on the restored files and folders. If the user does not have change group ownership permissions, the restored files and folders are owned by the user who performed the restore.
    • You cannot restore an empty folder unless you restore the parent folder; when you restore a parent folder all other folders contained in the parent folder are also restored. 
    • Symbolic links can be restored if the source files are also restored, but they will use the timestamp of the restore operation instead of the original timestamp. If the source files are not restored, symbolic link files are restored but without links; as a result the linked data cannot be read.
    • Hard link files can be restored; if source files are also restored any corresponding link files use the same index node (inode).
    • The following file systems are supported when using a File Recovery Enabler for Linux:
      • ext2
      • ext3
      • ext4
      • XFS
      • JFS
      • Btrfs (each volume spanning only a single disk)
      • NTFS
    Restore Process
    1. For UNIX files, the restore operation uses the default File Recovery Enabler for Linux that is specified for the virtual server instance.
    2. The restore process exposes the backup to a designated ESX server as a network file system (NFS) export.
    3. The NFS export is mounted to the designated ESX server as an NFS datastore.
    4. For UNIX file restores, the restore operation uses the File Recovery Enabler for Linux that hosts the backup (if one is available) or the default File Recovery Enabler for Linux.
    5. When the NFS datastore is visible to the ESX server, the restore process retrieves the .vmx and catalog files for the VM.

      Any reads for the virtual machine disks are handled by the File Recovery Enabler for Linux, which restores the requested data to the NFS cache and presents it to the ESX server. Performance will be better if the File Recovery Enabler for Linux has enough space to cache the entire VM for which files are being restored.

    6. When the VM files are available to the NFS datastore, the VM is registered and file level details of the VM are displayed for file level recovery.

    7. If there is no activity on the VM for a specified time (10 minutes by default), the browse times out, the VM is unregistered, and the NFS datastore is unmounted. Once the cleanup is done, the restore job is marked as complete.

    Restores from Backups Made Using a UNIX MediaAgent

    Prerequisites
    • The Index Cache must be on an NTFS disk.
    • You must enable restore jobs to use an alternative MediaAgent and drive pool to access the required media.
    • The MediaAgent package must be installed on the Virtual Server Agent proxy that is used for the restore.
    Considerations
    • For backups that use a UNIX MediaAgent, the index for the UNIX MediaAgent is copied to the Windows MediaAgent selected for the browse and restore. This enables all volumes, files, and folders to be displayed when browsing a virtual machine.
    Enabling Files and Folder Restores from Backups Made Using UNIX MediaAgents

    To enable file-level restores from disk-level backups that were made using any UNIX MediaAgent, perform the following steps:

    1. From the CommCell Console, click Control Panel.
    2. On the Control Panel, click Media Management under Storage.
    3. On the Media Management Configuration dialog, click the Resource Manager Configuration tab.
    4. For the Allow restore jobs to use alternative MediaAgent and Drive Pool to access required media parameter, click in the Value column and enter 1.
    5. Click OK.
    Restore Process

    When restoring files, you must select a Windows MediaAgent for the restore.

    Restoring Guest Files and Folders

    Follow the steps given below to restore files and folders:

    1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers | virtualization_client | Virtual Server | VMware | backup_set.
    2. Right-click the subclient that contains the data to restore and select Browse and Restore.
    3. In the Browse and Restore Options window:
      1. Select Guest Files and Folders.
        • If you are restoring from a backup made using a UNIX MediaAgent, click the Advanced Options tab and select a Windows MediaAgent from the Use MediaAgent list.
        • If the Virtual Server Agent and MediaAgent are not installed on the same machine, click the Advanced Options tab; then select a client that has the Virtual Server Agent installed from the Use MediaAgent field.
        • By default, Live File Recovery uses the default File Recovery Enabler for Linux for the VMware instance as described in Specify the Default File Recovery Enabler for Linux for a Virtual Server Instance. To override that setting, you can click the Advanced Options tab and select a File Recovery Enabler from the File Recovery Enabler for Linux list; in that case you must select the same File Recovery Enabler from the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog (Advanced | Data Path tab | Use File Recovery Enabler for Linux list).
      2. Click View Content.
    4. In the left pane of the Content tab, navigate to the required volume on the virtual machine with the files and folders to be restored. The guest files and folders on the volume are displayed in the right pane.

      You cannot sort the entries in the right pane when browsing snapshot data (Live Browse).

    5. Select the required guest files and folders in the right pane. To select a specific file version, right-click the file and select View All Versions; then select the version.
    6. Click Recover All Selected at the bottom of the window.
    7. On the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog:
      Option Steps
      Restore files to a proxy: When you are restoring guest files or folders for a virtual machine, by default they are restored to the proxy that was used to back up the virtual machine; but you can specify a different proxy during the restore operation.
      1. Select a proxy from the Destination Client list.
      2. Click Browse under Specify Destination Path and select the folder where files should be restored.
      Restore files to a VM without an agent For agentless restores:
      1. Select Restore to Virtual Machine.

        The Destination client field changes to Proxy Client.

      2. Ensure that an appropriate proxy is selected in the Proxy Client field.
      3. To restore to a virtual machine on a different vCenter, click Change and browse to select the vCenter.
      4. To specify a different target virtual machine, click ... and browse to select the target VM; then enter the user name and password for the target VM.

        The user credentials for the target VM must have administrative permissions sufficient to restore files to the VM.

      5. Click Browse under Specify Destination Path and select the folder where files should be restored.
      Specify a File Recovery Enabler for Live File Recovery: For Live File Recovery, the restore operation can use the default File Recovery Enabler for Linux that is configured for the instance; in this case you do not need to select a File Recovery Enabler during the browse or restore. If you specified a different File Recovery Enabler on the Browse and Restore Options dialog, perform the following steps to ensure that the same File Recovery Enabler is used for the restore:
      1. Click Advanced.
      2. Click the Data Path tab.
      3. Select Use File Recovery Enabler for Linux and select a File Recovery Enabler.

        Ensure that the File Recovery Enabler for Linux selected here is the same as the File Recovery Enabler used on the Browse and Restore Options | Advanced tab (or the default File Recovery Enabler if one was not specified for the browse).

      Restore files to a client with an agent:
      1. Under Restore Destination, select the target client from the Destination client list.
      2. Click Advanced, then click the Data Path tab.
      3. For the Use Proxy field, select the proxy to be used to mount the snapshot.
      4. Click OK to save the settings for Advanced Restore Options.
    8. Click OK to submit the restore request.

Viewing and Restoring a File Version

The View All Versions feature enables you to view multiple versions of a file that has changed across different backup jobs. Use this feature to restore a specific version of a file from a Browse and Restore or Find operation.

  • Backups must be performed using the Enable Granular Recovery option.
  • You can use this feature to recover a single version for an individual file. You cannot recover multiple versions of a file in the same request.
  • View All Versions is supported only for backups performed using SnapProtect Version 10, Service Pack 7 or higher.

  • To browse for a file version based on the time of the backup:
    1. Initiate a restore.
    2. Choose the following options on the Browse and Restore Options dialog:
      1. Select Guest Files and Folders.
      2. Click the Time Range tab.
      3. Select Absolute Time or Relative Time; then enter a time range or time period.
    3. Click View Content.

      A Client tab is displayed for the backup job.

    4. In the left pane, navigate to the required volume on the virtual machine with the file to be restored.

      The guest files and folders on the volume are displayed in the right pane.

    5. On the Client tab, right-click a file and select View All Versions.

      The available versions for the selected file are displayed in the right pane.

  • To find a file version:
    1. Execute a Find operation from a backup set or subclient:
      • Right-click the backup set and click All Tasks | Find.
      • Right-click the subclient and click Find.
    2. Enter the file name or pattern in the File Name box.

      To specify a file name pattern, use the following wildcards or a combination of wildcards:

      * Any number of characters (for example, Accounting*)
      ? Any one character (for example, user_group?)
      [] A range of characters (for example, [a-k]Lee)
      [!] A negation of a range of characters (for example, [!a-k]Lee)
    3. In the Search within these folders box, enter the location where you want to search for the file. Do not include the drive letter in the location.
    4. Click View Content.

      The files that match the criteria are displayed on the Search Results tab.

    5. Select a file on the Search Results tab; then right-click the file and select View All Versions.

      The available versions for the selected file are displayed in the right pane.

After displaying file versions on the Client or Search Results tab:

  1. Select the file version to restore.
  2. Complete the restore operation.

For details, see Restoring Guest Files and Folders.

Creating Virtual Machines from Restored VMX Files

You can use the vSphere Client to create a virtual machine from restored .vmx files.

  1. In the vSphere Client, select the target datastore for the virtual machine.
  2. Right-click the datastore and select Browse Datastore.
  3. Click the Upload files to this datastore button, then click Upload Folder.
  4. Browse to the folder where the VMs were restored, select the folder, and click OK.
  5. When the upload completes, browse into the newly uploaded folder.
  6. Right-click the .vmx file and select Add to Inventory.

    The VM is not registered automatically.

  7. Depending on the original configuration of the VM, it may be necessary to re-associate the disks of the VM by right-clicking the VM and selecting Edit Settings.
  8. Disks that are not associated to the newly uploaded .vmdk file need to be removed and re-added using the option Use an existing virtual disk.

Scheduling a Restore

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers | <VirtualizationClient> | Virtual Server | VMware.
  2. Right-click the backup set and click All Tasks | Browse and Restore.
  3. In the Browse and Restore Options window, select the type of restore and click View Content.
  4. On the Content tab, select the data to be restored.

    Virtual machines are listed in the left pane; the configuration and VMDK files of the virtual machine are displayed in the right pane.

  5. Click Recover All Selected in the bottom of the window.
  6. On the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog, click the Job Initiation tab and click Schedule.
  7. Click Configure.
  8. Select the appropriate scheduling options.  For example:
    • Click Weekly.
    • Select the days to run the restore job.
    • Change the Start Time to 9:00 PM.
    • Click OK to close the Schedule Details dialog.
    • Click OK to close the Restore Options dialog.

    The restore job will execute as specified in the schedule.

Browse and Restore by Job History

You can restore full virtual machines or guest files and folders from a specific backup job:

  • Full Virtual Machine - Restore a full virtual machine by restoring from a Full backup job.
  • Guest Files or Folders - Restore guest files and folders to the file system of any client that supports file and folder restores. You can restore guest files and folders from incremental or differential backup jobs, but only if the Enable Granular Recovery option was selected when performing the backup or a File Recovery Enabler for Linux is used for the browse and restore.

Perform the following steps to restore data by jobs:

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers | <VirtualizationClient> | Virtual Server | <InstanceName> | <BackupSet>.
  2. Right-click the subclient and select Backup History.
  3. On the Backup History Filter dialog, click OK.
  4. From the Backup Job History tab, right-click the backup job to be restored and select Browse and Restore.
  5. From the Restore Options dialog box, select the type of restore and click View Content.
  6. On the Content tab, select the data to be restored.
  7. Click the Recover All Selected button at the bottom of the window.
  8. Select the desired restore options and click OK.

Manage Restore Jobs

Once you initiate a restore operation, a restore job is generated in the Job Controller. Jobs can be managed in a number of ways. The following sections provide information on the different job management options.

Restart Jobs

Jobs that fail to complete successfully are automatically restarted based on the job restart configuration set in the Control Panel. This configuration can be changed at any time; but changes to this configuration affect all jobs run in the entire CommCell.

You can also override the default CommServe configuration for individual jobs by configuring retry settings when initiating the job. This configuration only applies to the specific job.

Restore jobs for the Virtual Server Agent are restarted from the beginning.

Configure Job Restarts at the CommServe Level

  1. In the CommCell Console, click the Control Panel icon, then under System click Job Management.
  2. In the Job Restarts tab of the Job Management dialog, select a job type from the Job Type list, then select the Restartable option.
  3. To change the maximum number of times the Job Manager tries to restart a job, select a number in the Max Restarts box.
  4. To change the time interval between attempts by the Job Manager to restart the job, select a number of minutes in the Restart Interval (Mins) box.
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

Configure Job Restarts for an Individual Job

  1. From the Browse and Restore Options dialog, click Advanced, then select the Job Retry tab and specify the following as needed:
    • Total Running Time - The maximum elapsed time, in hours and minutes, from the time that the job is created.
    • Number of Retries - The number of times that Job Manager attempts to restart the job.
    • Kill Running Jobs When Total Running Time Expires - Option to kill the job when the specified Total Running Time has elapsed, even if its state is "Running".
  2. Click OK.

Resubmit Jobs

If a restore job fails to complete successfully, you can resubmit the job without the need to reconfigure the original job's restore options using the Resubmit Job feature. When a job is resubmitted, all the original options, restore destinations, and other settings configured for the job remain intact.

Resubmit a Restore Job

  1. From the CommCell Browser, right-click a client computer and select View | Job History.
  2. From the Job History Filter dialog, select the Data Recovery Operations and Browse and Restore options.
    • To view more advanced options, click Advanced.
    • From the Data Recovery History Advanced Filter dialog, select the destination client to view for restore jobs, then click OK.

    The system displays the results of the options you selected in the Data Recovery Job History window.

  3. Right-click any job and select Resubmit.
  4. Select the job options.
  5. Click OK.

Control Jobs

The following controls are available for running jobs in the Job Controller tab of the CommCell Console:

Suspend

Temporarily stops a job. A suspended job is not terminated; it can be restarted at a later time. Only preemptible jobs can be suspended.

Resume

Resumes a job and returns the status to Waiting, Pending, Queued, or Running, depending on the availability of resources or the state of the operation windows and activity control settings.

Restore jobs for the Virtual Server Agent are resumed from the beginning.

Kill

Terminates a job.

These controls can be applied to:

  • All jobs in the Job Controller.
  • All selected jobs in the Job Controller, providing you have security associations at the required level for each job selected.
  • All data protection operations running for a particular client, or for a client and agent.
  • All data protection operations running for a particular MediaAgent.

Control a Job

From the Job Controller tab of the CommCell Console, right-click the job and select Kill, Suspend, or Resume.

  • When killing a job:

    If you are sure you want to kill the job, click Yes on the confirmation prompt. The job status may change to Kill Pending for a few moments while the operation completes. Once completed, the job status changes to Killed; after five minutes the job is removed from the Job Controller window.

  • When suspending a job:

    The job status may change to Suspend Pending for a few moments while the operation completes. The job status then changes to Suspended.

  • When resuming a job:

    As the Job Manager attempts to restart the job, the job status changes to Waiting, Pending, or Running.

Job Startup Options

The Job Manager uses the startup priority setting when allocating required resources. This is useful if you have jobs that are very important and must complete, or jobs that can be moved to a lower priority.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, click Client Computers | <VirtualizationClient> | Virtual Server | <InstanceName> | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the data to restore and select Browse and Restore.
  3. Select the type of restore in the Browse and Restore Options dialog and click OK.
  4. Select the data to be restored and click Recover all Selected.
  5. From the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box, click Advanced.
  6. From the Advanced Restore Options (Startup) tab, select the Use Default Priority option.
  7. Select the Change Priority option to change the priority for a job, between 0 (highest priority) and 999 (lowest priority).
  8. Select the Start up in Suspended State option to start the selected job in a suspended state.
  9. Click OK.

For more information, refer to Job Priority and Priority Precedence.

Job Retry Options

Restore jobs can be restarted either by a user or automatically by the Job Manager. You can specify the maximum elapsed time before a job can be restarted or killed and the maximum number of restart attempts.
  1. From the CommCell Browser, click Client Computers | <VirtualizationClient> | Virtual Server | <InstanceName> | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the data to restore and click Browse and Restore.
  3. Select the type of restore in the Restore Options dialog and click OK.
  4. Select the data to be restored and click Recover all Selected.
  5. From the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box, click Advanced.
  6. From the Advanced Restore Options (Job Retry) tab, select the Enable Total Running Time option.
  7. Select the Enable Number of Retries option.
  8. Select the Kill Running Jobs When Total Running Time Expires option.
  9. Click OK.

For more information, refer to Job Management.

Advanced Restore Options

Several advanced options are available to further refine restore operations.

Prior to using a feature, read any overview material provided as a link.

Impersonate User

User impersonation is needed only when restoring data to a mapped network drive, shared network drive, or directory to which you do not have access privileges. You can impersonate a Windows account that has access rights to restore data.

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers | <VirtualizationClient> | Virtual Server | VMware.
  2. Right-click the backup set, then click All Tasks | Browse and Restore.
  3. Select the type of restore and click View Content.
  4. From the Content tab, select the data to be restored and click Recover all Selected.
  5. From the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box, click Advanced.
  6. From the Advanced Restore Options (General) tab, select the Impersonate User option.
  7. In the User Name and Password boxes, enter the credential for a user who has access privileges. In the Confirm Password box, type the password again.
  8. Click OK.

Copy Precedence

When you select the Restore from copy precedence option, the system recovers or retrieves data from the selected storage policy copy (Synchronous Copy or Selective Copy). If data does not exist in the specified copy, the data recovery or retrieve operation fails, even if the data exists in another copy of the same storage policy.

When cleared (the default), the system recovers or retrieves data from the storage policy copy with the lowest copy precedence. If the data was pruned from the primary copy, the system automatically recovers or retrieves from the other copies of the storage policy in the lowest copy precedence to highest copy precedence order. Once the data is found, it is recovered or retrieved, and no further copies are checked.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, click Client Computers | <VirtualizationClient> | Virtual Server | <InstanceName> | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the data to restore and select Browse and Restore.
  3. Select the type of restore from the Restore Options dialog box and click OK.
  4. From the Content tab, select the data to be restored and click Recover all Selected.
  5. From the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box, click Advanced.
  6. From the Advanced Restore Options (Copy Precedence) tab, select the Restore from copy precedence option.
  7. Select the number to change the selected copy's precedence. The numbers will move a copy to a higher or lower precedence in increments of 1.
  8. Click OK.

For more information, refer to Recovering Data From Copies.

Data Path Options

Data Recovery operations use a specific data path (Library, MediaAgent, Drive Pool, and Drive) to perform restore operations as configured in the CommCell. By default, the system automatically identifies the data path for restore operations. You can change the data path in the Advanced Restore Options dialog by selecting a different MediaAgent, library, drive pool, or drive.

The following are some of the important situations where you may need to change the data path:

  • To free heavily loaded resources such as MediaAgents and libraries.
  • To move media to a different library after a library suffers severe hardware damage, in order to access data secured by data protection operations.
  • To assign a storage policy copy from a more active drive pool to a less active one, when one drive pool within a library is being used much more frequently than another.
  1. From the CommCell Browser, click Client Computers | <VirtualizationClient> | Virtual Server | <InstanceName> | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the data to restore and select Browse and Restore.
  3. Select the type of restore in the Restore Options dialog box and click OK.
  4. From the Content tab, select the data to be restored and click Recover all Selected.
  5. From the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box, click Advanced.
  6. From the Advanced Restore Options (Data Path) tab, select the MediaAgent and Library that you wish to use for the restore.
  7. Select the Drive Pool and Drive for tape library.
  8. To restore using a specific proxy server, select the name of the Proxy server.
  9. Click OK.

For more information, refer to Change Data Path.

Encryption

You can configure encryption for a subclient during the data recovery operation. To encrypt data during data recovery operations using the CommCell Console, you must configure encryption at the client level first, then at the subclient level.

If you configure data encryption with a pass phrase and do not elect to export the pass phrase to destination clients, you must enter the pass phrase during immediate data recovery operations. Scheduled data recovery operations require you to export the pass phrase.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, click Client Computers | <VirtualizationClient> | Virtual Server | <InstanceName> | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the data to restore and select Browse and Restore.
  3. Select the type of restore on the Restore Options dialog box and click OK.
  4. Select the data to be restored and click Recover all Selected.
  5. From the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box, click Advanced.
  6. From the Advanced Restore Options (Encryption) tab, enter a pass phrase in the Pass Phrase dialog box.
  7. Enter the pass phrase again in the Re-enter Pass Phrase dialog box.
  8. Click OK.

For more information, refer to Data Encryption.

Alerts

The Alert option is used to set criteria for notifications or alerts that are triggered by job status, such as failure, success, or any other conditions triggered by the restore job. Adding alerts helps the user or the user group get automatic notification about the status of a restore job.
  1. From the CommCell Browser, click Client Computers | <VirtualizationClient> | Virtual Server | <InstanceName> | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right-click the subclient that contains the data to restore and click Browse and Restore.
  3. Select the type of restore in the Restore Options dialog box and click OK.
  4. Select the data to be restored and click Recover all Selected.
  5. From the Restore Options for All Selected Items dialog box, click Advanced.
  6. From the Advanced Restore Options (Alert) tab, click Add Alert.
  7. From the Add Alert Wizard dialog, select Threshold and Notification Criteria Selection and click Next.
  8. Select the Notification Type(s) Selection option and click Next.
  9. Select the User(s) and User Group(s) Selection and click  Next.
  10. Verify the Summary.
  11. Click Finish.

For more information, refer to Alerts and Notifications.

CommCell Readiness Report

The CommCell Readiness Report provides you with important information about potential problems that can impact your restore operations.

For more information, refer to CommCell Readiness Report.

Restore Job Summary Report

The Restore Job Summary Report provides a summary of all restore jobs during a specified time period for each client. To view the Restore Job Summary Report, select the Restore option from the Job Summary Report Selection dialog.

For more information, refer to Restore Job Summary Report.

Related Topics

Scheduling

Provides comprehensive information on scheduling jobs.

Job Management

Provides comprehensive information on managing jobs.

List Media

Provides comprehensive information on media management and prediction.