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Druva Documentation

Understanding Phoenix workflows

These workflow diagrams explain the backup and restore processes for File servers, MS-SQL servers, and VMware infrastructure:

Data backup workflow

The following diagram illustrates how data flows within the Phoenix setup at the time of data backup. 

Step Description

Step 1

 

Phoenix agents installed on servers, back up server data according to the schedule defined in the backup policy that is attached to the server group. At the scheduled time, Phoenix Cloud initiates backups from servers on which Phoenix agents are installed.

Step 2

Phoenix agents attempt to communicate with Phoenix Cloud following a response-request messaging pattern over WAN.

Step 3

Phoenix Cloud validates agent communication requests. Upon successful validation, Phoenix Cloud assigns agent requests to storage.  

Step 4

Phoenix agents back up data to storage. 

Warm restore workflow 

A warm restore is a restore of data using snapshots that date back to 90 days in time (also referred to as warm snapshots). 

The following diagram illustrates how data flows within the Phoenix setup at the time of warm restore. 

Step Description

Step 1

Phoenix agents installed on servers send restore requests for data dating back to 90 days in time over WAN.

Step 2

Phoenix Cloud validates the requests and assigns them to storage. 

Step 3

Phoenix agents restore data from the storage that Phoenix Cloud assigned.  

Cold restore workflow 

A cold restore is a restore using snapshots that date back to more than 90 days in time (also referred to as cold snapshots). 

The following diagram illustrates how data flows within the Phoenix setup at the time of cold restore. 

Step Description

Step 1

Phoenix agents installed on servers send restore requests for data dating back to more than 90 days in time over WAN.

Step 2

Phoenix Cloud validates the requests and assigns requests to archival storage. The archival storage starts a defreeze operation to prepare data for restore. Phoenix sends an email to administrators to inform about the defreeze operation that is in progress. 

Step 3

The data is thawed and is ready for restore. This data is available in the warm storage that the Phoenix Cloud assigned. 

Step 4 

Phoenix agents restore data from the warm storage that Phoenix Cloud assigned. 

File server backup workflow 

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This article provides the workflow diagrams and the steps for data backup from the following operating systems:

Note:  If you restart or reboot your servers during backups, the backup operation is aborted. Phoenix agent starts a fresh backup following the backup schedule. Alternatively, you can start a manual backup at any time. 

File servers with Windows operating system

This topic explains how data flows during data backup from the File servers with Windows operating system.

File server backup on Windows

Backup workflow

Step Operation

Step 1

A backup request is initiated and forwarded to the Phoenix agent. 

Step 2

 

Phoenix checks if Phoenix agent is running. 

  • If the agent is running, Phoenix performs the backup operation.
  • If the agent is not running, Phoenix performs the backup operation based on the type of backup job.
    • For a backup now job, queues the backup request. The backup request is executed after Phoenix agent starts.
    • For a scheduled job, skips the backup request.

Step 3

 

Phoenix determines the type of backup.

If you or another administrator starts a backup, and this is the first backup, Phoenix performs a full backup. For succeeding backups that are triggered by administrators, Phoenix performs an incremental backup.

Step 4

Phoenix agent verifies that the VSS service is running. If the VSS service is not running, Phoenix agent starts the VSS service and instructs VSS to create a snapshot.

Step 5

Phoenix agent estimates the time required for performing the backup.

Step 6

Phoenix agent validates if snapshots are created successfully.

Step 7

 

  1. If snapshots are created successfully, Phoenix agent uses the VSS snapshots as the filesets for data backup to Phoenix cloud.
  2. If the snapshots are not created successfully, Phoenix agent scans the live files and folders to create filesets for data backup to Phoenix cloud.

Note: In case of VSS snapshots, Phoenix includes the locked files in the backup. However, in case of live folders and files scan, Phoenix considers locked files as missed files, and attempts to back up such files at the time of the next scheduled backup.

Step 8

After the backup completes, Phoenix agent deletes the created snapshots.

File servers with Linux operating system

This topic explains how data flows during data backup from the File servers with Linux operating system.

File server backup on Linux

Backup workflow

Step Operation

Step 1

A backup request is initiated and forwarded to the Phoenix agent.

Step 2

Phoenix checks if Phoenix agent is running. 

  • If the agent is running, Phoenix performs the backup operation.
  • If the agent is not running, Phoenix performs the backup operation based on the type of backup job.
    • For a backup now job, queues the backup request. The backup request is executed after Phoenix agent starts.
    • For a scheduled job, skips the backup request.

Step 3

Phoenix determines the type of backup. 

If you or another administrator start a backup, and this is the first backup, Phoenix performs a full backup. For succeeding backups that are triggered by administrators, Phoenix performs a full file scan and performs an incremental backup.

Step 4

Phoenix agent performs the full scanning of live files and folders on the File server.

Step 5

Phoenix agent estimates the time required for performing the backup. 

Step 6

Phoenix agent uses the scanned folders and files as the fileset for data transmission. 

Note: Phoenix considers locked files as missed files, and attempts to back up such files at the time of the next scheduled backup. 

 

File server restore workflow

Step Operation

Step 1

You or another administrator initiates a restore operation.

You can restore the data at the original location or an alternate location. The alternate location can be the same server and different path or different server and different path.

You can select the destination server where restore can happen for the selected File server restore point. For example, Windows server for Windows restore and Linux server for Linux restore.

Step 2

Phoenix checks if Phoenix agent is running. 

  • If the agent is running, Phoenix performs the restore operation.
  • If the agent is not running, Phoenix queues the restore request and performs the restore operation after Phoenix agent starts.

Step 3

Phoenix validates the restore destination. 

Step 4

Phoenix checks the free space available at the restore destination.

Step 5

Phoenix identifies the file sets for restore.

Step 6

Phoenix starts the restore operation and sequentially downloads filesets to the restore destination.

 Note: For more information about restoring file servers, see Restore a File server to the same serverRestore the File server to a different server.

Virtual machine backup workflow 

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Phoenix performs backup on virtual machines based on the schedule defined in the backup policy associated with the server group, that virtual machine is a part of or an on-demand backup triggered from Phoenix Management Console. This involves interaction of Phoenix components and VMware components.

The following diagram depicts the data flow at the time of backing up virtual machines.

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Virtual machine backup workflow

Step Operation

Step 1

Virtual machine backup request is initiated based on,

  • Schedule defined in the backup policy.
  • Manual backup

Phoenix forwards the backup request to backup proxy pool.

  • Based on the load balancing algorithm, Phoenix automatically identifies the backup proxy that will run the backup request.
  • If the identified backup proxy is busy, the backup request is queued and initiated when the backup proxy becomes free.

Step 2

  • In an environment where virtual machines are deployed on ESXi hosts managed by vCenter server, backup proxy contacts vCenter Server to locate the virtual machine and obtains its configuration.
  • In an environment where virtual machines are deployed on standalone ESXi hosts, backup proxy contacts ESXi host to obtain the virtual machine configuration.

Backup proxy queries the ESXi hypervisor or the vCenter server for the VMDK files, and the VMX files of the virtual machines.  

Step 3

Phoenix determines the type of backup. 

  • If this is the first automatic backup, Phoenix performs a full backup. 
  • For all subsequent backups, Phoenix performs an incremental backup. 

Backup proxy takes a snapshot of the virtual machine and prepares for backup.

Step 4

VDDK connection is established with the virtual machine with SSL transport mode.

Step 5

Backup proxy contacts the virtual machine and establishes a read-only connection to backup virtual machine data.

Step 6

Backup proxy uses the snapshots of the virtual machines to read the VMDK files for the backup. It copies virtual machine data and prepares to send it to Phoenix CloudCache (if configured) or Phoenix Cloud.

Encrypted vmdk backup through NBD mode is not supported. Encrypted vmdk disks can be backed up either using NBDSSL or HotAdd. Here are the supported transport modes for virtual machine disk backup:

Backup proxy Virtual Machine Transport mode
Encrypted Encrypted HotAdd
Unencrypted Encrypted NBD-SSL
Encrypted Unencrypted HotAdd

Step 7

Backup proxy transfers the snapshot data in a continuous stream to Phoenix Cloud. Before transferring the data to the Phoenix Cloud, backup proxy performs the de-duplication.

After the backup completes, backup proxy deletes the snapshot. 

To know more about virtual machine backup, see Backup and Restore VMware Virtual Machines.

Virtual machine restore workflow

 

 

Step Operations

Step 1

Phoenix administrator initiates virtual machine restore. Phoenix forwards the restore request to backup proxy pool.

  • Based on the load balancing algorithm, Phoenix automatically identifies the backup proxy that will fulfill the restore request.
  • If the identified backup proxy is busy, the restore request is queued and initiated when the backup proxy becomes free.

Step 2

Phoenix performs a check to ensure that the restore location is not a Network-attached Storage (NAS).

  • In an environment where virtual machines are deployed on ESXi hosts managed by vCenter Server, backup proxy contacts vCenter server to locate the virtual machine.
  • In an environment where virtual machines are deployed on standalone ESXi hosts, backup proxy contacts ESXi host and locate the virtual machine.

Step 3

VDDK connection is established with the virtual machine with SSL transport mode.

Step 4

Backup proxy checks if it is a full virtual machine restore or a VMDK file restore. Backup proxy contacts the virtual machine and establishes a write connection to restore virtual machine data.

  • For a full virtual machine restore, Phoenix creates a new virtual machine with an identical configuration (that is, the configuration of the virtual machine at the time of backup) at the similar location, with the following syntax: 
    <Name of the original virtual machine>_<counter>
  • For a disk restore, Phoenix creates a new virtual machine with minimum configuration (100 MB RAM, 1 CPU, 1 video card, and the disk to be restored) at the location specified, with the following syntax: 
    <Name of the original virtual machine>_<counter>.
Note: For disk restore, create a minimum configuration virtual machine because VMware does not allow to create a disk without creating the virtual machine.

Step 5

Backup proxy obtains the virtual machine data from Phoenix Cloud.

Step 6

Restore operations starts.

Phoenix checks if the restore completes successfully. 

  • If the restore completes successfully, a new virtual machine is available.
  • If the restore fails, Phoenix deletes the newly-created virtual machine.

Phoenix AWS proxy setup workflow 

Phoenix Editions: File:/cross.pngBusiness         File:/tick.png Enterprise     File:/tick.pngElite
(Purchase Separately)

Phoenix AWS proxy is an Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance that runs a Phoenix service. It orchestrates copying of data from the Phoenix backup storage to your AWS account and creates an AMI copy at a frequency specified in the DR plan. The Phoenix AWS proxy runs in your AWS account. The proxy is launched in the same AWS region where the backup storage for the virtual machine is located. The AMI that is instantiated for disaster recovery is created in the same region. 

Phoenix AWS proxy setup workflow

To set up Phoenix AWS proxy, you must first download the .json policies from the Phoenix portal. These policies are used to create IAM policy and VMimport policy on the AWS portal, and establish trust relationship for VMimport role. After you create IAM policies and roles, you must retrieve the AMI ID based on your AWS region to launch the proxy. The following diagram depicts the workflow to set up Phoenix AWS proxy and the corresponding portal to perform the setup. 

The following table summarizes the steps to set up Phoenix AWS proxy.

Step Portal Description
Download Policies Phoenix portal Downloads policies that are used to create IAM Policy, and VMimport Policy, and establish trust relationship for VMimport Role in AWS.
Create IAM Policy and Roles AWS portal Creates IAM Policies and Roles.  IAM Policies allow you to define permissions for users, groups, roles, and resources. IAM Role provides access capabilities to the AWS users. VMimport Policy defines the trusted permission attributes to import virtual machine images from your virtual environment to Amazon EC2, as AMIs. VMimport Role allows access to Amazon EC2 for creating AMI in your AWS account.
Get AMI ID Phoenix portal Retrieves AMI ID based on your AWS region.
Launch Phoenix AWS proxy AWS portal Launches Phoenix AWS proxy in the AWS region where virtual machines are backed up.
Register Phoenix AWS proxy AWS portal Registers and activates the Phoenix AWS proxy.

Phoenix disaster recovery workflow 

With Phoenix DRaaS, Amazon Machine Image (AMI) copies are created based on the virtual machine backup and maintained in your AWS account. At the time of disaster, you can launch EC2 instance from these AMIs, in-turn spinning up to production in minutes. The AMI copies are updated with the latest virtual machine backup based on the defined schedule. The Phoenix DRaaS workflow is depicted in the following diagram:

Data backup with CloudCache deployment workflow 

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The following diagram illustrates how data flows during backup in a Phoenix CloudCache deployment.

Data Backup Workflow

Step Description

Step 1

 

Phoenix agent backs up the server data according to the schedule defined in the backup policy, which is attached to the server group. At the scheduled time, Phoenix Cloud initiates the backup request and forwards it to Phoenix agent.

Note: Phoenix CloudCache maintains a persistent connection with Phoenix Cloud.

Step 2

 

  1. Phoenix agent backs up the data to Phoenix CloudCache.
  2. Phoenix agent saves the metadata to the storage that Phoenix Cloud assigns for backup.

Step 3

 

As per the predefined schedule, Phoenix CloudCache synchronizes the backup data to the storage that Phoenix Cloud assigns. 

Note: Phoenix CloudCache establishes an on-demand connection with cloud storage. After a synchronization is complete, the connection with Phoenix cloud storage is terminated. For the next synchronization operation, Phoenix CloudCache establishes a connection with the cloud storage that Phoenix Cloud assigns. 

Note: Administrators must configure the synchronization schedule and a bandwidth that Phoenix CloudCache can consume. For more information, see Configure Phoenix CloudCache.

Data restore with CloudCache deployment workflow

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The following diagram illustrates how data flows within the Phoenix setup at the time of hot restore.

Data Restore Workflow

Step Description

Step 1

Phoenix Cloud initiates the restore request and forwards it Phoenix Agent.

Step 2

 

  1. Phoenix agent fetches the metadata from the storage in Phoenix Cloud.
  2. Phoenix agent queries the Phoenix CloudCache to restore the data.

Ports and communication protocols for VMware

Phoenix communicates with your virtual infrastructure to backup and restore virtual machine data. This communication happens via ports and communication protocols that are secure for communication and transition of data.

Phoenix uses combination of Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocols for establishing connection and initiating communication between Phoenix components and your virtual infrastructure components such as vCenter Server, ESXi hosts, and virtual machines.

The following diagram depicts the ports and communication protocols that are used by Phoenix for secure connection and communication during the backup and restore operations.

Following table describes the port and communication protocols used for communication between Phoenix and various VMware components.

Port/Communication Protocol Description

443

Phoenix uses Port 443 to establish secure connection and communication between the following:

  • Backup Proxy to Phoenix Cloud
  • Backup Proxy to Phoenix CloudCache
  • Backup Proxy to vCenter Server
  • Backup Proxy to ESXi host
    Note: Backup proxy establishes connection with ESXi host over Port 443 only if it registered with Phoenix as Standalone ESXi. If the ESXi host is registered with Phoenix through vCenter Server, backup proxy communicates with the ESXi host over Port 902.

902

Phoenix uses Port 902 to establish connection between backup proxy and ESXi host registered with Phoenix through vCenter Server.

TLS

Phoenix uses TLS for secure connection that happens between the following:

  • Backup proxy and Phoenix Cloud
  • Backup proxy and Phoenix CloudCache
  • Phoenix CloudCache and Phoenix Cloud

SSL

Phoenix uses SSL for secure connection that happens between the following:

  • Backup proxy and vCenter Server
  • Backup proxy and ESXi hosts

Ports and communication protocols for File server

Phoenix communicates with your File servers to backup and restore the data from your File servers. This communication happens through ports and protocols that are secure for communication and transition of data.

Phoenix uses Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol for establishing connection and initiating communication between Phoenix components and your File servers.

The following diagram depicts the ports and communication protocols that are used by Phoenix for secure connection and communication during the backup and restore operations.

Ports and communication protocols for Phoenix CloudCache

Phoenix communicates with your virtual infrastructure to backup and restore virtual machine data. This communication happens via ports and communication protocols that are secure for communication and transition of data.

Phoenix uses combination of Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocols for establishing connection and initiating communication between Phoenix components and your virtual infrastructure components such as vCenter Server, ESXi hosts, and virtual machines.

The following diagram depicts the ports and communication protocols that are used by Phoenix for secure connection and communication during the backup and restore operations.

Following table describes the port and communication protocols used for communication between Phoenix and various VMware components.

Port/Communication Protocol Description

443

Phoenix uses Port 443 to establish secure connection and communication between the following:

  • Backup Proxy to Phoenix Cloud
  • Backup Proxy to Phoenix CloudCache
  • Backup Proxy to vCenter Server
  • Backup Proxy to ESXi host
    Note: Backup proxy establishes connection with ESXi host over Port 443 only if it registered with Phoenix as Standalone ESXi. If the ESXi host is registered with Phoenix through vCenter Server, backup proxy communicates with the ESXi host over Port 902.

902

Phoenix uses Port 902 to establish connection between backup proxy and ESXi host registered with Phoenix through vCenter Server.

TLS

Phoenix uses TLS for secure connection that happens between the following:

  • Backup proxy and Phoenix Cloud
  • Backup proxy and Phoenix CloudCache
  • Phoenix CloudCache and Phoenix Cloud

SSL

Phoenix uses SSL for secure connection that happens between the following:

  • Backup proxy and vCenter Server
  • Backup proxy and ESXi hosts