Manage Virtual Machines Using Explorer Plug-In

Table of Contents

End users can use the Windows Explorer Plug-In to create new virtual machines (VMs), manage VMs, and restore files or full VMs from backups.

The Explorer Plug-In creates a library named My Data with a My VMs folder that contains a list of the Windows virtual machines (VMs) owned by the logged in user. Each VM under the folder contains a virtual view of the VM disk structure that has been backed up by a virtualization client, obtained by performing an indexing browse on the MediaAgent that was used to back up the VM. The contents of the VM can only be accessed when the computer where the plug-in is used has connections to the CommServe system and MediaAgent.

  • The Explorer Plug-In is only supported for VMware virtual machines.
  • Unix VMs are not shown in the Explorer Plug-In.

Prerequisites

VM Management Options

The following management options are available for virtual machines:

  • Expand the volumes and folders to browse the contents of the virtual machine.

  • On a computer where Explorer Plug-In is newly enabled, the information about computers and virtual machines under My Data is automatically populated in the background; this operation may take some time. To manually refresh the My Data library, go to Libraries | My Data; right-click My Data and select Edge | Refresh. The library is automatically refreshed on a periodic basis.
  • To power off a virtual machine, right-click a virtual machine and select Edge | Shutdown (not shown if the VM is already powered off). A status dialog indicates that the operation was successful.
  • To restart a virtual machine, right-click a virtual machine and select Edge | Restart. A status dialog indicates that the operation was successful.
  • To create a virtual machine snapshot for point-in-time recovery, right-click a virtual machine and select Edge | Create Snapshot; then enter the snapshot name and description on the Create Snapshot dialog and click OK.  A status dialog shows the job ID.

Creating a Virtual Machine

Users who are included in a VM Lifecycle Policy can use the Explorer Plug-In to create virtual machines.

  1. Go to Libraries | My Data.
  2. Right-click My VMs and select Edge | Create VM.

    The Create New Virtual Machine wizard guides you through the creation process. From each page after the first, you can use the back arrow in the title bar to return to a previous page of the wizard.

  3. On the Select Virtual Machine Pool page, select the name of a pool from the Virtual Machine Pool list, then click Next.
  4. On the Enter VM Name and Expiration page:
    1. In the VM Name field, enter a name for the virtual machine.

      The name must follow the pattern displayed.

      For example, if the pattern displayed is MyVM*, your virtual machine name must consist of the characters 'MyVM' followed by one or more additional characters. For example:

      MyVMBob1

    2. In the Description field, enter a description for the virtual machine.
    3. In the Expiration field, enter or select the date when the virtual machine will expire.

      The virtual machine will not be available past the expiration date.

    4. In the VMs to create field, enter or select the number of virtual machines to create.

      If you choose to create multiple VMs, the name entered in the VM Name field is used as the base name, with a number added to make each VM name unique (for example, MyVM1, MyVM2, and so on).

    5. Click Next.
  5. On the Select Template page, select a template, then click Next.
  6. On the Enter User Details page, enter a password for the virtual machine, then click Next.

    The user name "administrator" is entered by default.

  7. On the Configuration page:
    1. In the Memory field, enter or select the amount of memory (in GBs) for the virtual machine.
    2. In the Number of CPUs field, enter or select the number of CPUs for the virtual machine.
    3. In the Number of NICs field, enter or select the number of NICs for the virtual machine.
    4. The Max Disk Size field displays the maximum amount of disk space for the virtual machine as set in the VM Lifecycle Policy.

    5. For each disk, enter or select the size of the disk in GBs.

      If the VM Lifecycle Policy grants the permission to add disks, the option to add disks is shown below Disk One (GB). You can add disks up to the maximum number of disks specified in the policy.

    6. Click Next.
  8. On the Summary page, verify the information entered for the new VM, then click Finish.

    A job is submitted to create the new virtual machine.

Once the virtual machine is created, it appears in the My VMs list. The creation process may take several moments to complete.

An email that confirms the creation of your virtual machine is automatically sent to you.

Restore Virtual Machines and Files

The following restore operations are supported:

  • Full VMs can be restored in place (to the same vCenter, datastore, and ESX server). You can choose to power the VM on after recovery.
  • Files and folders can be restored to a specified folder on the local machine.
  • Files and folders can be restored into a VM you own and have backed up.

Requirements and Restrictions

  • When browsing virtual machine files and folders, the Explorer Plug-In does not support Live Browse; the Enable Granular Recovery option must have been used for the backup.
  • To restore files and folders to the local machine, the computer where the Explorer Plug-In is being used must have the Windows File System iDataAgent installed.
  • Restoring files into a virtual machine is only supported for destinations that are VMware VMs. To restore files into a virtual machine, the destination VM must have VMware Tools installed and the VM must be powered on.
  • To ensure that the view of virtual machines is current, perform a refresh: right-click My VMs and select Edge | Refresh.

Restoring a VM

  1. Go to Libraries | My Data | My VMs.
  2. Right-click a VM and select Edge | Full VM Restore.
  3. On the Full VM Restore dialog, set any of the following options:
    • VM Name - A default name is entered; you cannot change the name.
    • Power On Virtual Machine after restore - Select to automatically power on the VM after it is restored.
    • Unconditionally overwrite VM with same name - Automatically selected and cannot be changed; it there is an existing VM with the same name, the VM is replaced.

A status dialog shows the job ID.

Restoring Folders or Files to the Local Machine

  1. Go to Libraries | My Data | My VMs.
  2. Right-click a VM and select Edge | File/Folder Restore to local machine.
  3. On the VM File Level Restore dialog, enter the following information:
    • Destination - Select Local Machine.
    • Folder Path - Enter the full path of the folder where files should be restored or use the Browse button to select a folder.

A status dialog shows the job ID.

Restoring Folders or Files to a Virtual Machine You Own

  1. Go to Libraries | My Data | My VMs.
  2. Right-click a VM and select Edge | File/Folder Restore to VM.
  3. On the VM File Level Restore dialog, enter the following information:
    • Destination - Select the virtual machine where data should be restored. You can only view and select VMware virtual machines that you own.
    • Folder Path - Enter the full path of the folder on the destination VM where files should be restored or use the Browse button to select a folder.
    • Credentials - Enter the User Name and Password for the VM.

A status dialog shows the job ID.