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Druva Documentation

Automatically configure virtual machines for backup

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You can automatically configure virtual machines for backup by creating rules in the Management Console. An auto-configuration rule maps to a view or entities in the vCenter to a specified storage (Druva storage in the AWS region), an administrative group, a backup policy, and a backup proxy pool. 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.

Druva applies the auto-configuration rule to the entities within a resource view you specify. Once the rule is created and applied to an entity or multiple entities,  the new virtual machines added under the view are automatically configured. 

If a virtual machine is configured using rules:

  • It is automatically attached to an administrative group and backup proxy pool. 

  • The storage is allotted to the virtual machine. 

  • A backup policy is applied to the virtual machine.

  • If any newly discovered virtual machine matches a rule, it will be auto-configured.

Supported entities in the resource view

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

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 and Virtual App.

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.

  • 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.
  • Administrators can create rules that map a specific vSphere tag to the 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.

The following video provides a quick process overview.

Before you begin

  • Decide to use the default or create a new administrative group.
    Administrative groups are formed to simplify server management. It is a logical categorization of servers and virtual machines that share similar attributes. Servers can be grouped based on similar attributes like server type, server location, and operating system.
    See, Manage administrative groups.

  • Decide to use the default or create a new backup policy
    A backup policy is a set of rules that defines the schedule for automatic backups that occur on virtual machines configured for backup.
    See, Manage backup policy.

  • Review the prerequisites for configuring virtual machines for backup.

    Note:  The discovered virtual machine list is refreshed every 24 hours . You can also manually refresh the list by clicking the Refresh button. 
  • Ensure that you provide the VM credentials to Druva when you configure application-aware backups on virtual machines. Go to All Virtual Machines > Manage Credentials.  See Manage credentials for VMware servers for details.

  • 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. 

  • If you want to store your backups in local storage, configure the CloudCache. For more information, see  Configure CloudCache.
  • If you want to configure a virtual machine for Instant Restore, make sure that you map the virtual machine to Linux CloudCache.
  • Migrate to production job for a VM cannot reuse the staging datastore used for the instant restore job of that VM. If you want to migrate a virtual machine to production, ensure you have another datastore on the same or different ESXi host, depending on whether you are migrating to the same or alternate host.


  1. Log in to the Management Console
  2. From the top menu bar, select your organization if organizations are enabled. 
  3. Click Protect > VMware
    The All vCenters/ESXi Hosts page appears that lists all the registered vCenter/hypervisors. 
  4. You can either select the registered vCenter/ESXi host from the card view or list view or select it from the vCenter/ESXi host list in the left navigation pane. 
  5. In the left pane, click Auto Configuration
  6. Click New Rule.
  7. In the Create Auto Configuration Rule wizard, specify the required values:
    Tab Description
    Overview Provide a name and description for the rule. Ensure that you provide a unique name for each rule you create.
    Mapping Details

    In the Resource View pane, select entities in a view to which you want to apply the rule. For more information, see Supported entities in the resource view.

    In the Map to pane: 

    • Select a cloud storage
    • Select an administrative group  
    • Select a backup policy
    • Select a backup proxy pool
    • Select guest OS credentials
    • Select a local storage.
      • Map to CloudCache: Select the option to store the backups in local storage configured as part of the CloudCache. To use this option you must first configure the CloudCache.  For more information, see Configure CloudCache
      • CloudCache: Select the CloudCache you want to use. You must select a CloudCache that belongs to the same data center. 
      • If you want to restore the virtual machine instantly, select a Linux CloudCache.
        If you dissociate the virtual machine from CloudCache, the subsequent backups are directly stored to the Druva Cloud and instant restore of the virtual machine is not possible.
      • Retain backups for: Select the number of days you want to retain the backups in the local storage. 
      • Instant restore: Select this option to instantly restore virtual machines from CloudCache. If this option is disabled, map the selected virtual machine to Linux CloudCache.


        If you switch to a Windows CloudCache after enabling Instant Restore, the Instant Restore is disabled for the selected VMs.

    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.

    Inclusions/ Exclusions

    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.
  8. Click Finish. The rule is added.
  9. 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. Druva triggers auto-configuration every 24 hours after Druva updates the virtual machines list, and you cannot modify this setting. Druva does not let you configure the interval or specify a particular time for the auto-configuration job to run. 
  10. Click on the rule to view its details and to update it. For more information, see Reconfigure rules.

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.

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

Note: In the Auto Configuration page, 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

The 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. 


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 to 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 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.

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