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Druva Documentation

Quick reference guide to Phoenix deployment

If you are new to Phoenix, and want to understand the how-to's of Phoenix deployment, this guide will help you get started.

Phoenix deployment workflow

Phoenix deployment workflor

Note: Ensure that you have the valid licenses. For more information, see License consideration

Phoenix concepts related to deployment 

Before you deploy Phoenix, get acquainted with the following key concepts:

Storage

Phoenix stores data backed up from different servers in Phoenix Cloud. You can pre-purchase Phoenix storage using credits depending on your data needs and location preferences, and in-effect pay only for the storage that you consume. The purchased storage is translated into credit allocation. For example, if you have purchased a 10-TB Phoenix storage for a contract term of one year, 120 credits (TB months) are allocated to your account.

You can effectively track the purchased credits and storage consumption using Dashboard. For more information about credit usage, see Phoenix credits

Organizations

Organization is an access-based control mechanism to configure servers for backup and restore. Organizations create a logical partitioning of the entities, such as servers, backup policies, retention policies, and so on. Servers, server groups, and policies in one organization cannot be accessed by another organization. An organization administrator is assigned to each organization. The organization administrator has complete control only over the assigned organization and not over other organizations.

Phoenix provides a default organization, the Default Site, to configure servers in your environment. You can also add a new organization based on your requirements. For more information about organization, see Organizations.

Server Groups

Server groups provide logical categorization of servers based on common characteristics, such as operating systems, data sources, backup paths, storage location, backup policies, retention policies, administrators, and so on. Phoenix configurations are assigned to server groups instead of individual servers for better management and to eliminate the need for configuring individual server for backup. For more information about server groups, see Server group.

Phoenix Administrators 

  • Cloud administrators perform activities, such as configuring, managing, and monitoring the Phoenix setup.
  • Organization administrators manage one or more organizations assigned by cloud administrator. Organization administrators create and manage group administrators for the assigned organizations.
  • Group administrators have necessary permissions for server group-related activities, such as editing server groups, detaching and attaching backup policies, and managing servers belonging to the server groups.

Backup policy

Backup policy is a set of rules to back up your physical and virtual servers as per your data requirements. The rules include the content to be backed up, the files and folders to be included or excluded from backup, the backup schedule, the backup frequency, and the workload-specific backup settings. For more information about the backup policy, see Backup policy.

Retention policy

A retention policy is a set of rules for retaining your data within the storage. In a retention policy, you define how long do you want to retain the backed-up data for a server group. For example, do you want to retain backed up data for 90 days or more?

Druva Phoenix uses the Grandfather–Father–Son (GFS) retention method for maintaining hierarchical restore points. For more information about retention policy, see Retention policy.

CloudCache

Phoenix CloudCache is a software application installed on Windows server. For supported version of Windows server, see Supported matrix.

CloudCache temporarily stores the backed-up data from Phoenix agents, and then periodically syncs data with Phoenix Cloud. You can use CloudCache to back up large volume of initial data, accelerate or optimize the backup process, perform faster restores, and optimize your network bandwidth consumption. For more information about CloudCache deployment, see Phoenix CloudCache deployment process workflow.

Disaster recovery plan

Disaster recovery plan is a set of rules for recovering your data in case of emergency or disaster. In a disaster recovery plan, you configure your AWS account and a schedule to create AMI from Phoenix storage to the AWS account. For more information, see About disaster recovery plan.

Initial configuration for deployment

Phoenix account login

Log in to Phoenix Cloud. Phoenix provides a centralized management console to manage all your configurations and administration of the server-side and the client-side resources. 

Add a new organization

Based on your requirements, add one or more organizations, or use the default organization, the Default Site, to configure servers in your environment.

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Create administrator accounts and roles

Create cloud administrators, organization administrators, and server group administrators to perform the Phoenix tasks.

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Configure single sign-on for Phoenix

Single sign-on is a mechanism that allows users to access multiple resources using a single action of authentication and authorization. If you are planning to use single sign-on for Phoenix administrators, configure single-sign on.

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Configure physical servers

Configure your servers for backup and restore. This step provides information about File servers and MS-SQL servers. For information about configuring VMware setup, click here.

Register servers

To enable data backup from your physical servers, you must register the servers with Phoenix. 

The complete server registration process consists of the following steps:

  1. Install the Phoenix agent
  2. Generate the activation token
  3. Activate the registered server

Install the Phoenix agent

Phoenix agent is the client component that you need to install and activate on each server that you want to backup and restore. The Phoenix agent communicates with the Phoenix Cloud.

The Phoenix agent installer is available at http://downloads.druva.com/phoenix/.

Generate the activation token

When you are registering a server, you can generate an activation token and use that activation token to register the server. You can generate a single token to register multiple servers.

Activate the registered server

Use the activation token to activate your registered servers installed with the Phoenix agent.

Activation ensures that Phoenix agents establish a persistent connection with Phoenix Cloud to enable backups from the servers on which the agents are installed.

Define retention policy

Use retention policies to define the length of the time for which you want to retain your historic data for future access, depending on how critical it is, and how often it will be required. A retention policy also ensures that the data that is no longer required is periodically cleaned from your storage.

Define backup policy

Use backup policy to define the type of files and folders you want to include and exclude in the backup and the schedule for automatic backups. After you assign servers to server groups, the selected files and folders from these servers are backed up according to the schedule defined in the backup policy.

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Create server groups

Create appropriate server groups for your servers to enable better management of your backup and restore jobs. While creating server groups, you can configure separate groups for MS-SQL servers and File servers.

Phoenix also allows you to backup your servers that run mixed workloads of File server and MS-SQL server. To backup your server with mixed workloads, you must configure the server and create a new server group for that server. For the server group, you can select the backup policy type as File/ MS-SQL and select backup policies for both File server and MS-SQL server. You can either attach an existing backup policy of type File/MS-SQL or create a new one. When you backup your server, Phoenix creates backup sets containing mixed workloads and writes them on the storage. For more information about how to backup servers with mixed workload, see Backup servers with mixed workload.

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Attach server to the server group

After you create server group and assign policies to it, attach your registered server to a server group. Your server is registered under the organization, and when you select the organization from the menu bar, it shows registered and configured servers. Select your server, click Configure Server for Backup, and perform the following steps:

  1. In the Assign a Server Group section of the wizard, select Attach to an existing server group.
  2. Select a server group from the drop-down against the option you selected in the last step and click Next.

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Configure VMware setup

Register your VMware setup, deploy backup proxy, and configure a virtual machine for backup and restore. Phoenix supports the following versions of VMware infrastructure:

  • Standalone ESXi
  • Geographically distributed ESXi hosts managed by single vCenter server

Register VMware setup

To enable data backup from your VMware setup, you must register the VMware setup with Phoenix. 

The complete VMware setup registration process consists of the following steps:

Backup proxy setup

Set up the backup proxy to back up virtual machines from your VMware setup. Backup proxy setup includes the deployment of the OVF template on your hypervisor. You can download the backup proxy at the time of generating activation token or from the downloads page.

Generate activation token

When you are registering a VMware setup, you can generate an activation token and use that activation token to establish the connection between backup proxy and Phoenix. You can generate a single token to activate multiple backup proxies.

Copy the activation token that is generated.

Deploy backup proxy for VMware

Use the OVF template that you have download while registering VMware setup and deploy it either on standalone ESXi or central vCenter server.

  • Deploy backup proxy on vCenter

Log on to your vCenter Server using vSphere Client and then use the Deploy OVF Template option from there to deploy and configure backup proxy. Activate the backup proxy at the time of configuration. Activation ensures that backup proxies establish a persistent connection with Phoenix Cloud, thereby enabling backups from the virtual machines on which backup proxies are installed.

  • Deploy backup proxy on standalone ESXi

For standalone ESXi servers, deploying and configuring backup proxy are two separate processes.

  1. Log on to your ESXi using vSphere Client and use the Deploy OVF Template option to deploy backup proxy.
  2. Log on to each ESXi server and start the backup proxy application.
  3. Follow the screen prompts and specify the valid information.
  4. Activate the backup proxy at the time of configuration. Activation ensures that backup proxies establish a persistent connection with Phoenix Cloud, thereby enabling backups from the virtual machines on which backup proxies are installed.

Create a new backup proxy pool

Backup proxy pool is a collection of backup proxy servers. The backup proxy pool eliminates the need to manually map virtual machines to an individual backup proxy server. All backup requests from the virtual machines are assigned to the backup proxy servers from the mapped backup proxy pool based on the load balancing mechanism.

Tip:

For geographically distributed ESXi servers managed by single vCenter, create one backup proxy pool per geographic organization or remote location. Add the backup proxies deployed locally in that organization or location to the backup proxy pool. Assign the backup proxy pool to virtual machines locally present in that geographic organization .

For example, an XYZ company has a main organization in Switzerland and three remote locations, one in Singapore, one in Germany, and one in China. At each of the location, an ESXi host is deployed that manages different virtual machines implemented at that location. A vCenter server is deployed at the main organization at Switzerland, which manages the ESXi host at each remote location.

To efficiently perform backup and restore activities, we recommend to deploy backup proxy at each remote location. Create a backup proxy pool at each organization and add the locally deployed backup proxy to the respective backup proxy pool. Finally, assign this backup proxy pool to the virtual machines locally present at each location.

For a data center, single backup proxy pool is sufficient. However, you can create multiple backup proxy pools if you want to assign dedicated backup proxy resources to certain virtual machines.

Add new backup proxy to the pool

After creating the backup proxy pool, you can add the backup proxies to that pool so that these backup proxies can handle the backup and restore jobs for various virtual machines.

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Assign the backup proxy pool

When configuring the virtual machines, you must assign the virtual machine to the backup proxy pool. The backup proxy from the assigned backup proxy pool performs the backup of all VMDK and VMX files from this virtual machine.

Configure virtual machine for backup

In Phoenix, you can configure:

  • Single virtual machine for scheduled backup
  • Single group of virtual machines so that they share a backup schedule
  • Multiple groups of virtual machines such that each group shares a backup schedule

The configuration of virtual machine for backup is a simple, two-steps process. Open the Configure VM for Backup wizard and follow the prompts.

  1. Select an existing server group or create a new server group.
    The backup policy assigned to the server group is selected for the backup.
  2. Select the backup proxy pool.

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Configure CloudCache

This step is required only if you want to use CloudCache for your environment.

CloudCache temporarily stores backup data before it syncs the data with Phoenix Cloud. You need to install CloudCache on a Windows server in your own environment.

While adding CloudCache server, Phoenix generates an activation token for it. Use this activation token when installing Phoenix CloudCache server and register the CloudCache server with Phoenix Cloud.

The registered CloudCache server is added on the Unconfigured CloudCache page in Phoenix Management Console.

Configure your newly added CloudCache server to set up CloudCache server data volumes, set the schedule to sync CloudCache data to Phoenix Cloud, and do the bandwidth settings for uploading and downloading data.

Once you successfully configure you CloudCache server, you can map your servers to the CloudCache server by attaching the respective server groups.

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Configure disaster recovery plan for VMware

This step is required only if you want to use disaster recovery for your VMware setup.

Phoenix provides the disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) feature for your VMware servers to extend the cloud-based data protection for enterprise infrastructure. Disaster recovery is based on the data that is already backed up. 

To manage the backed up virtual machines for disaster recovery, configure the DR plan. The DR plan is a set of rules for recovering your data in case of emergency or disaster.

A DR plan defines the following:

  • AWS account: Your account in AWS that acts as a secondary site for Phoenix DRaaS. The account maintains the AMI for the virtual machines. At the time of disaster, you can launch EC2 instance from these AMI, in-turn spinning up to production in minutes.
  • AWS region: The storage region where you want to create AMIs for your virtual machines. The region of the DR plan and region of the storage to which the virtual machine is backing up the data to must be same.
  • AMI update frequency: The frequency at which the AMI is updated. Based on the defined frequency, on each schedule, the existing AMI, if present, is replaced with an AMI based on the latest restore point available for the virtual machine.

Note: To configure the DR plan, you must need at least one registered Phoenix AWS proxy in the same region.

Deploying Phoenix DRaaS for VMware consists of the following tasks:

  1. Deploy Phoenix AWS proxy in the customer’s AWS account.
  2. Create a new DR plan.
    In a DR plan, you can define the AMI creation attributes, such as the AWS account and region where you want to create AMIs for the virtual machines, schedules to update AMIs, and so on.

    You can also select virtual machines from multiple registered vCenters/ESXi hosts and server groups, and provides the settings required during failover for disaster recovery.
  3. Attach a DR plan to server group.
    To recover your virtual machines in the event of a disaster, you must add virtual machines to the DR plan. You can add virtual machines from multiple registered vCenters/ESXi hosts and server groups to the DR plan.

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Monitor backup, restore, and disaster recovery activities

After configuring all your required Phoenix components you can monitor the progress of the backup and restore activities on the Jobs page.

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You can access various reports to view the details of backup and restore activities. You can also download the report to your system or send the report through email in HTML or CSV format.

You can track the following reports and alerts:

  • Backup Activity
  • Restore Activity
  • Server Status
  • Alerts History
  • Disaster Recover Activity
  • Storage Consumption by Servers

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Additional resources and help