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Druva Documentation

Configure virtual machines for backup

Phoenix Editions: File:/tick.png Business File:/cross.png Enterprise File:/tick.png Elite

After registering your VMware setup with Phoenix, Phoenix discovers the virtual machines that are available in your VMware environment with the help of backup proxy and lists it in the Phoenix Management Console.

It is up to you, the Phoenix Administrator, to choose the virtual machines you want to configure for backup. You can either:

  • Configure a standard virtual machine backup, that does not involve application-aware backups, or
  • Configure an application-aware backup. (Phoenix can perform SQL Server aware backups at the moment.)

Configuring a virtual machine for backup involves the following steps:

  1. Assign a credential if you want to run application-aware backups on it.
  2. Select a storage
  3. Select an administrative group
  4. Select a backup policy
  5. Assign a virtual machine to a backup proxy pool.

You can configure virtual machines for backup in any of the following patterns:

  • A single virtual machine for a scheduled backup.
  • A group of virtual machines that follow the same backup schedule

Prerequisites

  • Backup proxy pool, to which the virtual machines must be assigned, should be pre-created. For more information, see Backup proxy pool.

You can also create a new administrative group while configuring a virtual machine for backup. However, pre-creating a group helps you quickly configure virtual machines for backup.

Configure a backup of virtual machines without application-aware processing

  1. Log in to the Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. From the top menu bar, select your organization from the drop-down menu. 
  3. After the organization is selected, click Protect > VMware from the top menu bar. 
    A page appears that lists all the registered hypervisors. The registered hypervisors list includes all registered vCenter and ESXi servers.
  4. Select the hypervisor from the listings page. A page appears that lists all the virtual machines the hypervisor hosts. The heading of the page is the IP address of the hypervisor or its fully qualified domain name (FQDN). The hypervisor page contains the following tabs:
    • All Virtual Machines
    • Configured Virtual Machines
    • Backup Proxy Pools
    • Auto Configuration
  5. Under the All Virtual Machines tab, select the virtual machines you want to configure and click Configure VMs for Backup.
    A configuration wizard appears with the following sections:
    • Backup Settings
    • Backup Content
    • Backup Proxy Pool
    If you select one virtual machine, the title of the configuration wizard is Configure 1 VM(s) for Backup
  6. In the Backup Settings section of the configuration wizard, provide the following options:
    Field Description
    Storage Region where you want to store the snapshots. You cannot change storage later.
    Administrative Group Phoenix lets you create a group for better management of resources. For example, you can create an administrative group for all virtual machines with Linux as the guest operating system. Later, you can directly access all servers using the administrative group page. 

    In this field, you can:
    • Choose an existing administrative group, or
    • You can create a new administrative group
    If you click Create New Group, Create New Administrative Group window appears. Provide a name and description for the administrative group. For example,
    • In the Name field, enter Linux Virtual Machines
    • In the Description field, enter an administrative group for all virtual machines with Linux Guest OS.
      After you provide a name and description for the administrative group, click Save. After you click Save, the configuration wizard reappears with the group you created as an option for you to select. 
    Backup Policy The Backup Policy in Phoenix specifies:
    • Backup Schedule
      Settings in the backup schedule are:
      • The day, date, and time when Phoenix should trigger a backup
      • The backup duration that specifies for how long Phoenix should run a backup job 
      • The bandwidth available for backup job
    • Ignore backup duration for the first backup
      Defines whether Phoenix should ignore backup duration for the first job. Typically, a lot of data is scanned and uploaded in the first job, and it lasts longer than the subsequent incremental backup jobs. The default and recommended setting for this option is Yes.
    • Automatic Retry
      Lets you specify the behavior if a backup job fails. Phoenix can retry triggering a backup job if a backup fails for an issue like network failure. You can choose the number of retries and specify the interval after which Phoenix retries triggering the backup job. 
    • Retention
      Specifies the period for which Phoenix retains a snapshot in the cloud.
    • Auto-enable CBT
      Phoenix uses VMware Changed Block Tracking (CBT) capabilities to optimize data scanning. Phoenix can attempt to turn on CBT if the Auto-enable CBT setting is enabled. Yes is the default and recommended setting. 
    • Enable VMware tools quiescing
      VMware tools quiescing brings a virtual machine to a backup ready state. Tools quiescing avoids unnecessary errors when Phoenix creates a snapshot. Phoenix can attempt to turn on VMware tools quiescing if the setting is enabled. Yes is the default and recommended setting. 
    • Enable application-aware processing
      Phoenix provides you an option to run application-aware backups. You can use this feature to backup and restore data that an application generates, as long as Phoenix can detect the application running inside the guest OS. At the moment, Phoenix provides SQL Server aware backups. However, leave this field disabled if you don't plan on running an application-aware backup at the moment.

    You can either select an already created backup policy or create a new backup policy using the Create New button. 

    If you click the Create New button, the Create New Backup Policy: VMware wizard appears with the following tabs:

    • Summary
      Provide a name and description for the backup policy. For example,
      • Name: Ubuntu VM policy
      • Description: Backup policy for all the Ubuntu VMs on the Sunnyvale vCenter. 
    • Backup Schedule
      Lets you specify the backup schedule, ignore backup duration for the first backup, and automatic retry settings described above. 
    • Retention
      Lets you specify the period for which you want Phoenix to retain snapshots for virtual machines. 
    • VMware Settings
      Lets you enable following VMware functionalities
      • Auto-enable CBT
      • VMware Tools Quiescing
      • Application-aware processing
        At the moment, Phoenix supports the backup of SQL Server databases. When you enable application-aware processing, you get an option to enable transaction log backups and specify an interval for log backups. Leave this field disabled if you don't want Phoenix to run SQL Server aware backups. 
    After you select your options in the Backup Settings section, click Next
  7. You can leave the Backup Content section empty to include all virtual disks for backup.
    Or, in the Backup Content section, enter the virtual disks that you don't want Phoenix to backup.  Phoenix does not list the virtual disks automatically. Manually enter the virtual disks you want to exclude. To exclude virtual disks, provide:
    • Entire path to the virtual disk location if you want to exclude a specific virtual disk. For example:
      [datastore] virtual_machine_name/folder/virtual_disk.vmdk
      Note: To exclude a virtual disk, Phoenix recommends that you copy the virtual disk name or path from the vSphere web client. For more information, see VMware backup and restore FAQs.
    • A wildcard with a string. For example, enter *test* to exclude virtual disks that contain the string test in the path of the virtual disk. 
    • For more information on how to use the wildcard character, see VMware backup and restore FAQs.
  8. In the Backup Proxy Pool section of the configuration wizard, select a backup proxy pool. A backup proxy pool is a collection of backup proxies deployed in the vCenter or ESXi server. Phoenix provides a default backup proxy pool, and when you deploy a backup proxy to the hypervisor, Phoenix adds the backup proxy under the default backup proxy pool. If multiple backup proxies are available under a pool, Phoenix optimizes backup jobs by concurrently scanning and uploading data using different backup proxies available. You can select the default backup proxy pool, or you can select a user-created pool. For more details on backup proxy pools, see Backup Proxy Load Balancing
  9. After selecting a backup proxy pool, click Finish. The selected virtual machines are now configured for backup. 

Configure an application-aware backup of a virtual machine

To run an application-aware backup, Phoenix requires guest OS credentials of the virtual machine. Perform the following steps to assign credentials to the virtual machine. 

  1. Log in to the Phoenix Management Console. 
  2. From the top menu bar, select your organization from the drop-down menu. 
  3. After the organization is selected, click Protect > VMware from the top menu bar. 
    A page appears that lists all the registered hypervisors. The registered hypervisors list includes all registered vCenter and ESXi servers.
  4. Select the hypervisor from the listings page. A page appears that lists all the virtual machines the hypervisor hosts. The heading of the page is the IP address of the hypervisor or its fully qualified domain name (FQDN). The hypervisor page contains the following tabs:
    • All Virtual Machines
    • Configured Virtual Machines
    • Backup Proxy Pools
    • Auto Configuration
  5. Under the All Virtual Machines tab, select the virtual machines on which you want to configure the application-aware backup.
  6. After you select the virtual machines, click Manage Credentials.
    manage_credentials.png
  7. In the Manage Guest OS Credentials dialog that appears, either:
    1. Select a credential and then click Assign.
      assign_credentials.png
    2.  Or click New Credential, provide new credentials in the Add Credential dialog that appears. 
      save_new_credential.png
      Field Description
      Label Enter a label to uniquely identify a credential that you want to store with Phoenix. 
      Username Enter the username of the credential you want to store with Phoenix. If your account uses a domain, enter the username as domain\username. For example,  DruvaCorp\JohnDoe. 
      Password Enter the password of the credential you want to store with Phoenix. 
      Confirm Password Re-enter the password of the credential you want to store with Phoenix. 
      After providing the details click Save. Then select the credential you have added and click Assign.
      assign_new_credentials.png

After you have assigned the credentials to the virtual machines, perform the following steps to configure the application-aware backups.

  1. Under the All Virtual Machines tab, select the virtual machines you want to configure and click Configure VMs for Backup.
  2. A configuration wizard appears with the following sections:
    • Backup Settings
    • Backup Content
    • Backup Proxy Pool
    If you select one virtual machine, the title of the configuration wizard is Configure 1 VM(s) for Backup
  3. In the Backup Settings section of the configuration wizard, provide the following options:
    Field Description
    Storage Region where you want to store the snapshots. You cannot change storage later.
    Administrative Group Phoenix lets you create a group for better management of resources. For example, you can create an administrative group for all virtual machines with Linux as the guest operating system. Later, you can directly access all servers using the administrative group page. 

    In this field, you can:
    • Choose an existing administrative group, or
    • You can create a new administrative group
    If you click Create New Group, Create New Administrative Group window appears. Provide a name and description for the administrative group. For example,
    • In the Name field, enter SQL Server Virtual Machines
    • In the Description field, enter An administrative group for all virtual machines that host SQL Servers.
      After you provide a name and description for the administrative group, click Save. After you click Save, the configuration wizard reappears with the group you created as an option for you to select. 
    Backup Policy The Backup Policy in Phoenix specifies:
    • Backup Schedule
      Settings in the backup schedule are:
      • The day, date, and time when Phoenix should trigger a backup
      • The backup duration that specifies for how long Phoenix should run a backup job 
      • The bandwidth available for backup job
    • Ignore backup duration for the first backup
      Defines whether Phoenix should ignore backup duration for the first job. Typically, a lot of data is scanned and uploaded in the first job, and it lasts longer than the subsequent incremental backup jobs. The default and recommended setting for this option is Yes.
    • Automatic Retry
      Lets you specify the behavior if a backup job fails. Phoenix can retry triggering a backup job if a backup fails for an issue like network failure. You can choose the number of retries and specify the interval after which Phoenix retries triggering the backup job. 
    • Retention
      Specifies the period for which Phoenix retains a snapshot in the cloud.
    • Auto-enable CBT
      Phoenix uses VMware Changed Block Tracking (CBT) capabilities to optimize data scanning. Phoenix can attempt to turn on CBT if the Auto-enable CBT setting is enabled. Yes is the default and recommended setting. 
    • Enable VMware tools quiescing
      VMware tools quiescing brings a virtual machine to a backup ready state. Tools quiescing avoids unnecessary errors when Phoenix creates a snapshot. Phoenix can attempt to turn on VMware tools quiescing if the setting is enabled. Yes is the default and recommended setting. 
    • Enable application-aware processing
      Phoenix provides you an option to run application-aware backups. You can use this feature to backup and restore data that an application generates, as long as Phoenix can detect the application running inside the guest OS. At the moment, Phoenix provides SQL Server aware backups. When you enable this setting, Phoenix takes a backup of the SQL Server instances on the virtual machine. In addition, Phoenix provides you an option to run transaction log backups of the databases on the SQL Server instances. For more information on how Phoenix runs SQL Server aware backups, see Workflow of application-aware backups on VMware virtual machines.

    You can either select an already created backup policy or create a new backup policy using the Create New button. 

    If you click the Create New button, the Create New Backup Policy: VMware wizard appears with the following tabs:

    • Summary
      Provide a name and description for the backup policy. For example,
      • Name: Backup policy for SQL VMs.
      • Description: Backup policy for VMware virtual machines on which we want to run SQL Server aware backups. 
    • Backup Schedule
      Lets you specify the backup schedule, ignore backup duration for the first backup, and automatic retry settings described above. 
    • Retention
      Lets you specify the period for which you want Phoenix to retain snapshots for virtual machines. 
    • VMware Settings
      Lets you enable following VMware functionalities
      • Auto-enable CBT
      • VMware Tools Quiescing
      • Application-aware processing
        At the moment, Phoenix supports the backup of SQL Server databases. When you enable application-aware processing, Phoenix runs a backup of SQL Server instances on the virtual machine. In addition:
        • You get an option to enable transaction log backups and specify an interval for the log backups.
        • You get an option to specify the bandwidth for a log backup. 
          log_backup_VMware_policy.png
          Here, if you specify an interval of 10 minutes in the transaction log backup frequency field, and the full virtual machine SQL Server aware backup got completed at 12:00 PM, the first log backup happens at 12:00 PM. If the first log backup completes at 12:05 PM, the next log backup starts according to the schedule at 12:10 PM. If the log backup runs until 12:45 PM, the next log backup starts immediately as soon as the current log backup ends.  
    After you select your options in the Backup Settings section, click Next
  4. You can leave the Backup Content section empty to include all virtual disks for backup. For application-aware backups, ensure that you don't exclude the disks on which the application stores the data. 
    Or, in the Backup Content section, enter the virtual disks that you don't want Phoenix to backup.  Phoenix does not list the virtual disks automatically. Manually enter the virtual disks you want to exclude. To exclude virtual disks, provide:
    • Entire path to the virtual disk location if you want to exclude a specific virtual disk. For example:
      [datastore] virtual_machine_name/folder/virtual_disk.vmdk
      Note: To exclude a virtual disk, Phoenix recommends that you copy the virtual disk name or path from the vSphere web client. For more information, see VMware backup and restore FAQs.
    • A wildcard with a string. For example, enter *test* to exclude virtual disks that contain the string test in the path of the virtual disk. 
    • For more information on how to use the wildcard character, see VMware backup and restore FAQs.
  5. In the Backup Proxy Pool section of the configuration wizard, select a backup proxy pool. A backup proxy pool is a collection of backup proxies deployed in the vCenter or ESXi server. Phoenix provides a default backup proxy pool, and when you deploy a backup proxy to the hypervisor, Phoenix adds the backup proxy under the default backup proxy pool. If multiple backup proxies are available under a pool, Phoenix optimizes backup jobs by concurrently scanning and uploading data using different backup proxies available. You can select the default backup proxy pool, or you can select a user-created pool. For more details on backup proxy pools, see Backup Proxy Load Balancing
  6. After selecting a backup proxy pool, click Finish. The selected virtual machines are now configured for backup. 

Validating credentials

Phoenix does not validate virtual machine credentials until it runs a backup job on a VM. If credential validation fails, it shows the error on the VM listing page:
credential_validation_failed.PNG

You can use the steps above to update the VM credentials. Phoenix, however, will validate the new credentials when it runs the next backup job.

Next step

The selected virtual machines are configured for backup. Phoenix backs up virtual machines based on the backup policy. In case a recovery is needed, you can restore your virtual machines. To learn more about virtual machine restore, see:

If you have deployed CloudCache, you can attach virtual machines to CloudCache. For more information, see Attach a new backup set to CloudCache.