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Druva Documentation

Automatically configure virtual machines for backup

Overview

An auto configuration rule maps to a view or entities in the vCenter to a specified storage (Phoenix storage in the AWS region), an administrative group, a backup policy, and a backup proxy pool. You can automatically configure virtual machines for backup by creating rules in the Phoenix Management Console. Based on the auto configuration rule, any entity that is not configured in the view gets automatically configured as per the rule definition. 

Note: The auto configuration feature is applicable to both VMware On-premise and VMware on AWS (VMC) setup.

Phoenix applies the auto-configuration rule to the entities within a view you specify. Once the rule is created and applied to an entity or multiple entities,  the new virtual machines added under the view is automatically configured. If a virtual machine is configured using rules:

  • It is automatically attached to an administrative group and backup proxy pool, and  
  • The storage is allotted to the virtual machine, and  
  • A backup policy is applied to the virtual machine

An auto-configuration rule applies to the following views and entities within these views. Select a view to its associated entities.

Resource_view.png

Note: You can use the auto configuration feature if you have deployed backup proxy version 4.6.7. To view the newly supported views: Datastore, Host and Clusters, and Tags, you must update the backup proxy version to 4.8.3 or later.

VM Folders
  • Administrators can create rules that map to an entity or multiple entities in the VM Folder.

Note: Any rule defined at the parent entity will be applicable to all children entities by default unless the child entity has a rule created for it. In that case, the child entity rule will override parent entity rule. The only exception to this behavior is when  the vSphere tags are used for auto-configuration.

Datastore
  • Administrators can create rules that map a specific datastore or a datastore cluster to storage, backup policy, backup proxy pool, and administrator group.
  • The virtual machines with .vmx files located in the datastore on which the rule is defined will only be considered for auto configuration.
Hosts and Clusters
  • Administrators can create rules that map a specific cluster, an ESXi host, a resource pool, or a folder to storage, backup policy, backup proxy pool, and administrative group.
Tags
  • Administrator can create rules that map a specific vSphere tag to storage, backup policy, backup proxy pool, and administrative group.
  • If the tag is assigned to a non-VM object, the virtual machines that are associated with the object are considered for auto configuration. For example, If the tag is attached to a cluster, all the virtual machines on that cluster are eligible for auto configuration.

Note: Tags are supported for VMware vCenter 6.5.0 or later. Currently, the auto configuration feature does not support the tags on the following objects: Content library, Library item, and Distributed switch.

View automatic configuration options

To see the automatic configuration options:

  1. Log on to the Phoenix Management Console and select an organization.
  2. On the menu bar, click Protect > VMware
  3. Select the required vCenter.
    If you select a vCenter with the latest backup proxy, the vCenter page opens where you can see the Auto Configuration tab for the vCenter.

Create an auto configuration rule

Watch the following video to create an auto configuration rule.

 

Create an auto-configuration rule to back up virtual machines without application-aware processing

To create a configuration rule for a vCenter:

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console and select an organization.
  2. On the menu bar, click Protect > VMware
    A page appears that lists all the registered VMware vCenters using their IP addresses or domain names.
  3. Select a vCenter from the list.
    Note: When you select a VMware setup, ensure that you select a vCenter. Automatic configuration is applicable for vCenter only. Standalone ESXi is not supported at the moment. 
    When you select a vCenter, the vCenter page appears. In the vCenter page, you can see the following tabs:
    • All Virtual Machines
    • Configured Virtual Machines
    • Backup proxy Pool 
    • Auto Configuration
  4. Select the Auto Configuration tab and then click Add Rule to create a new auto configuration rule.
  5. In the Create Auto Configuration Rule wizard, specify the required values in each section:
    • General Information
    • Mapping Details
    • Inclusions/Exclusion
      AutoConfig.png
  6.  In the General Information section, provide a name and description for the rule. Ensure that you provide a unique name for each rule you create. 
  7. In the Mapping Details section:
    • Select entities in a view to which you want to apply the rule 
    • Select a storage  
    • Select a backup policy
    • Select a backup proxy pool
    • Select an administrative group
      Autoconfig_Mapping.png
    Note: When an administrative group and backup proxy pool is attached to a virtual machine, it is configured for backup.The configuration rule automatically attaches the administrative group and backup proxy pool to the new virtual machine created in the vCenter view that you select. So, the new virtual machine created under the selected view is automatically configured for backup.
    After you select a folder, administrative group, and backup proxy pool, and then click Next.
  8. In the Inclusions/ Exclusions tab, you specify the virtual machines you want to include or exclude from getting backed up. You can:
    • Include the virtual machines whose name matches the specified virtual machine name patterns.
    • Exclude the virtual machines that are already configured for backup.
    • Provide patterns to include or exclude virtual machines.
    • Exclude virtual machines that are powered off.
    • Exclude virtual machines that are suspended.
    Autoconfig_incexclusion.png
  9. Click Finish to save your settings and create the rule. 
Create an auto-configuration rule to run application-aware backups of virtual machines

To create an auto-configuration rule for a vCenter:

  1. Log on to the Phoenix Management Console and select an organization.
  2. On the menu bar, click Protect > VMware
    A page appears that lists all the registered VMware vCenters using their IP addresses or domain names.
  3. Select a vCenter from the list.
    Note: When you select a VMware setup, ensure that you select a vCenter. Automatic configuration is applicable for vCenter only. Standalone ESXi is not supported at the moment. 
    When you select a vCenter, the vCenter page appears. In the vCenter page, you can see the following tabs:
    • All Virtual Machines
    • Configured Virtual Machines
    • Backup proxy Pool 
    • Auto Configuration
  4. Select the Auto Configuration tab and then click Add Rule to create a new auto-configuration rule.
  5. In the Create Auto Configuration Rule wizard, specify the required values in each section:
    • General Information
    • Mapping Details
    • Inclusions/Exclusion
      AutoConfig.png
  6.  In the General Information section, provide a name and description for the rule. Ensure that you provide a unique name for each rule you create. 
  7. In the Mapping Details section:
    • Select entities in a view to which you want to apply the rule 
    • Select a storage  
    • Select a backup policy
    • Select a backup proxy pool
    • Select an administrative group
    • Select guest OS credentials (you can see this option only if you select a backup policy that has application-aware processing enabled)
      auto_config_rule_app_aware.png
    Note: When an administrative group and backup proxy pool is attached to a virtual machine, it is configured for backup.The configuration rule automatically attaches the administrative group and backup proxy pool to the new virtual machine created in the vCenter view that you select. So, the new virtual machine created under the selected view is automatically configured for backup.
    After you select a folder, administrative group, and backup proxy pool, and then click Next.
  8. In the Inclusions/ Exclusions tab, you specify the virtual machines you want to include or exclude from getting backed up. You can:
    • Include the virtual machines whose name matches the specified virtual machine name patterns.
    • Exclude the virtual machines that are already configured for backup.
    • Provide patterns to include or exclude virtual machines.
    • Exclude virtual machines that are powered off.
    • Exclude virtual machines that are suspended.
    Autoconfig_incexclusion.png
  9. Click Finish to save your settings and create the rule. 

After you create a rule, you can either:

  • Click Apply Rules to manually apply the rules and let the system configure eligible virtual machines, or
  • Wait for the periodic automatic configuration. Phoenix triggers auto-configuration every 24 hours after Phoenix updates the virtual machines list, and you cannot modify this setting. Phoenix does not let you configure the interval or specify a particular time for the auto-configuration job to run. 

When you create a rule, you can see it under Auto Configuration tab of the selected vCenter. Click Apply Rules to manually apply the rules and let the system configure virtual machines. When you click Apply Rules, all rules are applied, and all eligible virtual machines for each rule are configured. You cannot select some of the rules and apply them. When rules are applied, the Apply Rules button is disabled until all the rules are applied and all eligible virtual machines are configured. Depending on the number of virtual machines eligible for configuration/reconfiguration, this operation may take some time. 

Update an existing rule

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console and select an organization.
  2. On the menu bar, click Protect > VMware.
  3. Select a vCenter from the list.
    Note: When you select a VMware setup, ensure that you select a vCenter. Automatic configuration is applicable for vCenter only. Standalone ESXi is not supported at the moment.
  4. Select the Auto Configuration tab and then click on the rule name that you want to edit.
  5. In the rule page, click Edit Details. The Edit Auto Configuration dialog pops up. You can change the name and description of the rule in this dialog. Ensure that you use a unique name for each rule and click Save
  6. The rule page appears where you can see the Mapping Details, Exclusions, and configured virtual machines. Click Edit in the Mapping Details section to select a entities within a view in the vCenter. You can select:
    • A different storage 

      Note: Whenever you select a new storage, only the newly configured virtual machines in the view are mapped to the new storage. The existing  virtual machines remain mapped to the old storage.

    • A different backup policy
    • A different backup proxy pool
    • A different administrative group
    • A different guest OS credential (if you have selected a backup policy that enables application-aware processing)
    Click Save. Your auto configuration rule is updated, and the rule page appears.
  7.  Click Edit in the Inclusion/Exclusions section to specify the virtual machines you want to include or exclude from getting backed up. You can:
    • Include the virtual machines whose name matches the specified virtual machine name patterns.
    • Exclude the virtual machines that are already configured for backup. 
    • Provide patterns to exclude virtual machines.
    • Exclude virtual machines that are powered off.
    • Exclude virtual machines that are suspended
  8. Click Save. Your auto configuration rule is updated, and the rule page appears.

Delete an existing rule

You can delete a rule from the rules list itself, or by selecting the rule. 

To delete an existing rule by selecting it:

  1. Log on to Phoenix Management Console and select an organization.
  2. On the menu bar, click Protect > VMware
  3. Select the vCenter from the list for which you created an auto-configuration rule.
  4. Click Auto Configuration.
  5. In the Auto Configuration tab, click on the rule name that you want to delete.
    The rule page appears.
  6. In the rule page, click Delete and select Yes from the confirmation dialog. 
    Delete_autoconfigrule.png

In addition to the steps above, you can also delete a rule from the rules list itself. When you select an organization and navigate to vCenter, select your vCenter under which you configured your rules. In the Auto Configuration tab, select your rule(s) and click Delete.

Autoconfig_delete_rule.png

Invalid rules

The auto configuration rule becomes invalid in the following scenarios:

  • If a backup proxy pool is deleted, and an auto-configuration rule is using it, the rule becomes invalid.
  • If an administrative group is deleted, and an auto-configuration rule is using it, the rule becomes invalid.
  • If you rename or delete an entity in the vCenter on which you applied a rule, the rule becomes invalid.

conflict_vm_info.png

You can also see the red icon in the rule page.

Note: In the Auto Configuration tab, if you see rules that you cannot select or edit, then the rule uses an administrative group that you cannot access.

Conflicting virtual machine scenarios

Following are the scenarios when the virtual machines are not configured.  In these scenarios, an alert notification is generated and an email is sent to the administrator with a list of virtual machines that are not auto configured.

Scenario 1: Virtual machines that are eligible for auto configuration are under more than one auto configuration rule across different views. 

Autoconfigurationconflictscenarios.PNG

For example, You have a folder (Folder1) in your VM Folders vCenter hierarchy (VM Folders view) containing two virtual machines - VM 1 and VM 2. An auto configuration rule, Rule 1, is applied on the entities in the VM Folder view. You have the same virtual machines (VM 1 and VM 2) in another vCenter hierarchy, say, in a datastore (Datastores view). And, an auto configuration rule, Rule 2, is applied on the entities in the datastore view. In this case, the virtual machines are not considered for auto configuration since VM 1 and VM 2 are are under more than one rule.

Scenario 2: In a tag view, conflicting virtual machine scenarios can happen:

  • If a tag is assigned to a parent container and has a rule associated with it and another tag is assigned to the child container and has a rule assigned to it, this results in a conflict for the virtual machines in the child container.
  • If a virtual machine has multiple tags assigned to it and each tag has a different auto configuration rule associated with it, then it results in a conflict and the virtual machine is not configured.