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Adding Subclient Content

Automatic discovery rules can discover virtual machines in the vCenter and automatically select virtual machines for backup. Automatic discovery is useful in environments where virtual machines are added, removed, or relocated on a routine basis, or when you want to manage groups of similar virtual machines using different subclients.

You can also browse for and select virtual machines or other vCenter objects.

Notes:

  • If you have deployed MediaAgents, VSA proxies, or vCenter on virtual machines, filter those virtual machines from VSA backups. (If you need to protect files on those virtual machines, install in-guest agents on those virtual machine to perform file backups.)
  • Ensure that names of virtual machines and datastores do not contain the following special characters:

    +   &   @   %   =   #   %   *   $   #   !   \   /   :   *   ?   "   <   >   |   ;   '

You can use wildcard characters when adding a pattern to define a rule.

Missing Content

If an automatic discovery rule for a subclient identifies an entity that cannot be found, a backup job for the subclient fails. For example, if a rule points to a datastore that has been retired, that is treated as a failure during discovery, and the backup job fails.

To enable backup jobs to continue when an entity is not found, add the bAllowMissedContent additional setting on the Virtual Server Agent proxy and set the value to true.

To generate a warning message when a content entity or rule does not return any results, add the bWarnEmptyContentRule additional setting on the Virtual Server Agent proxy and set the value to true.

For steps to add an additional setting, see Add or Modify an Additional Setting.

vSphere Tag Support

With vSphere 5.5 and later, you can identify virtual machines based on vSphere tags and categories. When you browse and select a tag or category, or when you add a rule that identifies a tag or category, you can automatically discover and select all virtual machines under any VMware entities that are marked with that tag or category.

In order to use vSphere tags, you must install PowerCLI 6.0 or later on the VSA proxy (the latest version that is compatible with your vSphere version).

The following tags are supported:

  • Cluster
  • Datacenter
  • Datastore
  • Datastore Cluster
  • Folder
  • Host
  • Resource Pool
  • vApp
  • Virtual Machine

The following tags are not supported:

  • Distributed Port Group
  • Distributed Switch
  • Library
  • Library Item
  • Network

Procedure

For an existing subclient, perform the following steps. You can also modify subclient content when creating a new subclient.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, expand Client Computers > virtualization_client > Virtual Server > VMware > backup_set.
  2. Right-click the subclient and then click Properties.
  3. In the Subclient Properties dialog box, click the Content tab.
  4. Browse or define a rule to select an object:
    • To browse for an object:
      1. Click Browse.
      2. Select a view from the list at the top left of the Browse dialog box:
        • Hosts and Clusters: Select a cluster, host, or resource pool.
        • Datastores and Datastore Clusters: Select a datastore or datastore cluster.
        • VMs and Templates: Select a virtual machine, datacenter, VM folder, or vApp.
        • Tags and Categories: Select a tag or category to identify all virtual machines under VMware entities that are marked with the tag or category.
      3. To define a rule:
        1. Click Add.
        2. In the Rule Group box, select the rule type from the drop-down list and enter the appropriate information in the box on the right:
          VM Name/Pattern Enter the display name of the virtual machine or a pattern using wildcards (for example, Test* to identify VMs for which the VM name begins with "Test"). You can also click ... to browse for a VM.
          Host Enter the host name as it appears in vCenter, the IP address of the host, or a host name pattern using wildcards. You can also click ... to open the Browse dialog box. When you add a host, all virtual machines on the host are included in the backup.
          Datastore Enter the datastore name or a pattern. You can also click  ... to open the Browse dialog box.
          Guest OS Enter the exact name of the operating system or a pattern to identify an operating system group (for example, Microsoft* to identify any virtual machine that has a version of the Windows operating system).
          Guest DNS Hostname Enter a hostname or a pattern to identify a hostname or domain (for example, myhost.mycompany.com to identify a specific host or *mycompany.com to identify all hosts on that domain).
          Power State Select the power on status of virtual machines to be included in the subclient content. You can select one of the following options:
          • Powered On - to identify VMs that are powered on.
          • Powered Off - to identify VMs that are powered off.
          • Other - to identify VMs with a different power on status, such as Suspended.
          Notes Enter a pattern to identify virtual machines based on notes text contained in vCenter annotations for the VM summary (for example, Test* to identify VMs with a note that begins with "Test").
          Custom Attribute Enter a pattern to identify virtual machines based on custom attributes in vCenter annotations for the VM summary. You can enter search values for the names and values of custom attributes. For example:
          • Name Contains *resize* to identify VMs where the name of a custom attribute contains the word "resize").
          • Value Contains *128* to identify VMs where the value of a custom attribute contains the number "128").
          Tags and Categories Select a tag or category to identify all virtual machines under VMware entities that are marked with that tag or category.
        3. To define multiple rules in a rule group, click + and define another rule. The following options are available for a rule group with multiple rules:
          • If you define multiple rules, you can indicate whether virtual machines are selected when they match all of the rules, or when they match any of the rules. For rule groups that include Power State, Notes, or Custom Attribute rules, you can only select virtual machines that match all of the rules.
          • To exclude virtual machines based on any of the criteria, you can use the Does Not Equal operator for one or more of the rules in a rule group. (For rule groups with a single rule, the only operator you can use is Equals.)
          For simple rules defined in the Contents of subclient list (not in a rule group), virtual machines are selected if they match any of the rules defined for the subclient. 
        4. Click OK.
      4. Click OK.

      The rules you defined and the objects you selected appear in the Contents of subclient list on the Content tab.

  5. Click Preview to view all virtual machines identified by the rules or selections you have made. These virtual machines will be backed up when you perform a backup for the subclient.
  6. Click OK.

Results

Virtual machines:
If you browse to select a specific virtual machine or template based on the display name, the rule for that virtual machine uses the VM GUID. If you change the display name later, the virtual machine will still be included in the subclient as long as its GUID remains the same. For example, if you select a virtual machine with the display name "Test-VM1" and later change the display name of the virtual machine to "Test-VM3", the next backup of the subclient will back up the virtual machine "Test-VM3" because the GUID of the virtual machine has not changed.
Datastores:
  • If a vCenter has the same datastore names under different datacenters, all virtual machines are discovered, even if they are on datastores that have duplicate names.
  • If you add a rule to back up virtual machines from a specific datastore and one of the VMs has virtual machine disks on multiple datastores, all of the virtual machine disks are backed up. The VMX file (primary configuration file) for the VM tracks the locations of virtual machine disks.
  • All virtual machines that have VMX files on the selected datastore will be added to the subclient. If any virtual machine has disks on the selected datastore but the VMX file for the VM is located on a different datastore, that virtual machine will not be selected for backup. If you want to select all virtual machines with disks on the datastore, even if the VMX file is on another datastore, you must configure the DiscoverAllVMsOnDatastore additional setting on the client computer where you have installed the Virtual Server Agent.
DNS hostnames:
If you change the DNS hostname of any virtual machine, you must power on the virtual machine before performing the backup. Otherwise, the virtual machine will not be discovered and included in the backup of a subclient.
Resource pools:
If you delete and recreate the resource pool or change the location of the resource pool, you must define the rule again. Otherwise, the resource pool will not be included in the backup of a subclient.
Datacenters:
If you delete and recreate the datacenter or change the location of the datacenter, you must define the rule again. Otherwise, the datacenter will not be included in the backup of a subclient.
Clusters:
If you delete and recreate the cluster or change the location of the cluster, you must define the rule again. Otherwise, the cluster will not be included in the backup of a subclient.
 Datastore clusters:
If you delete and recreate the datastore cluster or change the location of the datastore cluster, you must define the rule again. Otherwise, the datastore cluster will not be included in the backup of a subclient.
vApps:
If you delete and recreate the vApp or change the location of the vApp, you must define the rule again. Otherwise, the vApp will not be included in the backup of a subclient.
VM folders:
If you delete and recreate the folder or change the location of the folder, you must define the rule again. Otherwise, the folder will not be included in the backup of a subclient.