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How to Create VMware Backup Set







Backup Requirements for


Backup Requirements for VMware ESX or ESXi server/vCenter

Backup Requirements for Hypervisor

Please ensure that the following requirements are met by the Hypervisor:


  1. ESXi / vCenter Patch Release: Make sure that the latest supported patch release is installed on the vCenter / ESXi hosts to prevent critical issue, such as corruption to change tracking data in certain situation.
    Please refer to the following article for details: https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2090639

  2. License Specification

    • Paid License (VMware Essentials License or above): VMware ESXi and vCenter v5, v6 and v6.5

    • Free License: VMware ESXi v5, v6 and v6.5



  3. ESXi Shell Access: ESXi Shell access must be enabled on the ESXi servers. Please refer to the following article for details: https://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004746

  4. SSH must be enabled on the Hypervisor. To enable root SSH login on an ESX/ESXi host, please follow the below instructions from VMware:http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=8375637

  5. The root account must be enabled as AhsayOBM ESX / ESXi backup set requires the root account for backup and restore.

  6. The following TCP ports must be opened on the hypervisor: Port 22, 80, 111, 443, 902.
    Please refer to the following articles for details:

    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2012773

    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2106283

    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2039095

    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2131180

    !

    Please kindly note that:


    • Ports 443 and 902 are default ports for VMware.

    • If these have been changed from the default in your VMware environment, the firewall requirements will change accordingly.


  7. It is recommended that the datastore have disk space of the largest sized virtual machine to be backed up.


Backup Requirements for Backup Account and Backup Client Computer:

AhsayOBM cannot be installed on the hypervisor (ESX or ESXi server). For best performance, AhsayOBM should be installed on a separate dedicated physical machine – Backup Client Machine – for backup of your virtual machines.

Please ensure that the following requirements are met by the backup client computer:


  1. Add-on Module Requirement: Make sure that the VMware VM backup add-on module is enabled for your AhsayOBM user account, and that sufficient number of guest / socket is assigned. Please contact your backup service provider for more details.

  2. Backup Quota Requirement: Make sure that your AhsayOBM user account has sufficient quota assigned to accommodate the storage for the guest virtual machines. Please contact your backup service provider for details.


  3. Port Requirement:






  4. For better performance, AhsayOBM is recommended to be installed on a 64 bit computer, with multiple CPUs and cores.

  5. Consider to increase the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) memory allocation to improve performance of the backup operation.

  6. Sufficient disk space must be allocated for the temporary directory, and the formula of calculation of disk space is as following:

    (Total File Size * Delta Ratio) * number of backup destinations = Maximum Free Space Required
  7. !

    The calculation is based on the current guest VM size, and it does not take into account guest VM growth over time. It is recommended for fast growing guest VM the maximum free space required should be reviewed on regular basis to avoid potential backup problems.

  8. It is recommended that the temporary directory be configured on a local drive.

  9. It is recommended that the temporary directory is not configured on the same partition which the operating system is installed on.

  10. For backup of virtual machine with snapshot, backup of the whole VM instead of individual disk is highly recommended.

  11. Consider to perform routine recovery test to ensure your backup is setup and performed properly.

  12. Please consider the maximum file size allowed for different ESX/ESXi version.


    For ESXi 5.0, error will be displayed if any individual flat .vmdk file selected for backup exceeds 2,181,972,430,848 bytes. This is the size generated when ‘Adding a virtual disk’ with size of 1.984492366201720 TB is specified.


    For different block size setting on VMFS, the maximum file size may be different, please refer to the following articles for details:



    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1012384

    http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1003565


    The absolute maximum snapshot file size is limited to roughly 2 TB. However, different block size setting on the VMFS datastore may have a smaller size limit, adjust the block size setting when necessary.



  13. Consider to disable the memory snapshot or quiesce guest options when taking snapshot for VMware VM backup, to shorten the time required for the process.




    • Snapshot the virtual machine’s memory

    • Quiesce guest file system (Needs VMware Tools installed)





Backup with VDDK mode

AhsayOBM supports VDDK backup mode (Virtual Disk Development Kit) for ESX/ESXi and vCenter setup. The backup speed is enhanced because the generation of the delta file of the VM are performed directly by the ESX/ESXi or vCenter itself. With VDDK backup mode, it supports:



  • Backup / restore of the resource pool and ‘roles’ settings, and support of restoration to another name or alternation location on the ESX/ESXi platform.

  • VM hardware version upgrade, change tracking option and change tracking data option when a new backup set is created.

  • Add or remove VM hard disk without uploading the existing hard disk again on the vCenter backup.


Limitations

The following are limitations of the VMware VM backup module:



  1. VMware ESX or ESXi Server with Raw Device Mapping (RDM) is not supported.


    Snapshots are not available when the Raw Device Mapping (RDM) is used in physical compatibility mode.



  2. For backup of individual virtual disk, the restored virtual machine does not support the reversion of previous snapshots, if the snapshot contains disks which are not previously backed up by AhsayOBM.

  3. For virtual machines with Independent Disks:




    • If Independent Disks are to be included in the virtual machine backup, the virtual machine must be powered off first, before running the backup job.

    • If the virtual machine is powered on, the Independent Disk will not be backed up.



    AhsayOBM will skip the snapshot creation of any Independent Disk on the virtual machine.



  4. If the file name of the virtual machine contains the following special characters, https access to the files will fail:


    ` ^ ~ = ; ! / ( [ ] { } @ $ \ & # % +


    This is due to the percent-encoding specified in the URL standard is not supported for ESXi based HTTP(S) file access. To resolve the issue, please rename the corresponding file to avoid special characters. For instructions on renaming a virtual machine, please refer to the following knowledge base article from VMware:



    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2031763



  5. For the VDDK mode, no VM’s snapshot, memory or the suspend status will be able to backup and restore. If the backup and restore of the snapshot, memory or the suspend status is required, do not turn on the ‘Change Block Tracking’ option when you create the ESX/ESXi or vCenter backup set, select [No] for the creating the backup set in non-VDDK mode which allows the backup and restore of the snapshot, memory or the suspend status.

  6. VDDK mode will not be enabled if the independent disk or raw disk is configured in the VM.

  7. VDDK backup mode does not support ESX/ESXi server with free license.

  8. Once the backup job executed on a VM which change block tracking option was enabled by the VDDK, please do not off this option in the VM for consequence backup jobs. If you need to disable this option, you are suggested to create a new backup set with requires to disable this option.


Backup Requirements for VMware Server/Player/Workstation

As the backup and restore procedures for VM running on VMware Player and Workstation are very similar to that of VM running on VMware Server, the description in this section is mainly based on the VMware Server.


Backup Requirements for VMware Server

Please ensure that the following requirements are met by the VMware Server:


  1. AhsayOBM must be installed on the hypervisor.

    !

    Resource allocation for both VM hosting and backup operation must be taken into consideration.


  2. The following TCP ports must be opened on the hypervisor:

    • Port 902

    • Port 912

    • Port 8222

    • Port 8333


    Please refer to the following articles for details:
    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2012773

    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2106283

    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2039095

    https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2131180

  3. Consider to increase the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) memory allocation to improve performance of the backup operation.

  4. It is recommended that the datastore have disk space of the largest sized virtual machine to be backed up.

  5. Sufficient disk space must be allocated for the temporary directory, and the formula of calculation of disk space is as following:

    (Total File Size * Delta Ratio) * number of backup destinations = Maximum Free Space Required
  6. !

    The calculation is based on the current guest VM size, and it does not take into account guest VM growth over time. It is recommended for fast growing guest VM the maximum free space required should be reviewed on regular basis to avoid potential backup problems.

  7. It is recommended that the temporary directory be configured on a local drive.

  8. It is recommended that the temporary directory is not configured on the same partition which the operating system is installed on.

  9. Consider to perform routine recovery test to ensure your backup is setup and performed properly.


Limitations

The following are limitations of the VMware VM backup module:



  1. For backup of individual virtual disk, the restored virtual machine does not support the reversion of previous snapshots, if the snapshot contains disks which are not previously backed up by AhsayOBM.


  2. Independent Disk is not supported. For virtual machines with Independent Disks, those disks will not be backed up.


Run Direct Requirements

Run Direct is a feature introduced since AhsayOBM version 7.5.0.0, that helps reduce disruption and downtime of your production VMs.

To utilize the Run Direct feature, ensure that the following requirements are met:


  1. VDDK Backup Mode: Run Direct restore is only supported for virtual machine that is backed up in VDDK mode. Make sure that the VDDK backup mode requirements are met.

  2. Backup Destination Requirement

    • When a Run Direct restore is performed, the backup destination containing the guest VM files is mounted on the VMware host as NFS datastore.

    • Please ensure that the following requirements are met by the backup destination of the VMware VM backup set:

      • Destination Type of the backup destination must be set to a Single storage destination.

      • Destination must be accessible to the VMware host.

      • Destination must have sufficient disk space available for the Run Direct restore. There should be 1.5 x total provisioned size of all VMs selected for backup.

      • For Run Direct restore of 1 VM with provisioned size of 100GB, there should be 150GB (e.g. 1.5 x 100GB) of free space available in the Destination.





  3. No Compression and Encryption: Data backed up to a Run Direct enabled destination is not compressed or encrypted to optimize restore performance as Run Direct will make the VM restored by running the data directly from the backup files in the backup destination.

  4. Restore to Alternate Location:

    • When performing a Run Direct restore to Alternate Location, only one VM can be selected per restore session.

    • Consider to create separate VMware VM backup set for each VM that you intend to perform Run Direct restore (e.g. VMs that you may restore to alternate location).



  5. Dedicated NFS Service

    Starting from AhsayOBM version 7.9.0.0, a dedicated AhsayOBM NFS Windows service is introduced to allow Run Direct session to continue even if the AhsayOBM user interface is closed.

    By default, the AhsayOBM NFS service is started as Local System, which does not have sufficient permission to access any network resources (e.g. the AhsayOBM NFS service does not have sufficient permission to access the VM backup files on network drive).

    Make sure that the Log on setting of the according NFS Service is configured with an account with sufficient permission to access the network backup destination where the backed up VM data are stored.


Granular Restore Requirements

Please ensure that the following requirements are met for Granular Restore to use:


  1. Granular restore is only supported on VMware backup sets created and backed up using AhsayOBM v7.13.0.0 or above on Windows platforms with Granular Restore feature enabled.
  2. Granular restore is only supported on VMware backup sets created and backed up using AhsayOBM v3.1.0.0 or above on Windows platforms with Granular Restore feature enabled.
  3. Granular Restore add-on module is required per backup set for this feature to work. Contact your backup service provider for more details.
  4. Both compression and encryption are not enabled for Granular restore backup sets to optimize restore performance, so the storage quota required will be higher than non-Granular Restore backup sets. Contact your backup service provider for details.

  5. AhsayOBM must be installed on a 64 bit Windows machine as libraries for VMware Granular restore only supports 64bit Windows.

  6. Temporary Directory Folder should have at least the same available size as the backup image to be restored.

  7. One spare drive letter must be available for the granular restore process as the VMDK or VDDK image is mounted on Windows as a logical drive by %edition_name% and it will automatically take the next available drive letter in alphabetical order for the mounted volume. (Drive letters A, B, and C will not be used.)

  8. Recommended minimum network speed is at least 100Mbits download speed per second. Network bandwidth should be increased in proportion to the delta chain to ensure optimal performance. Working with limited network bandwidth may severely affect the granular restore performance. You can use an online speed connection testing site (e.g. http://www.speedtest.net) to test your connection speed.

  9. The following dependencies are restore related and therefore they will be checked by AhsayOBM only when an granular restore is performed. Absence of these elements will not affect the backup job but would cause the restore to fail.


  10. The Windows login account used for installation and operation of the %edition_name% client machine requires Administrator privileges.
  11. Set the name of the backup set

    Name This is the name of the backup set. You can create a meaningful name for it.
    Backup Type Enter the correct backup type from the drop down box.
    Version This is the version of the VMware product.
    Username This is the username with system or sufficient privilege to access the VMware product.
    Password This is the password for the user login.
    Host This is the host of the VMware product.
    Port This is the listening port of the VMware product.
    SSH Port This the SSH port of the VMware product.

    To create a backup set name:



    1. Type in a meaningful backup set name.

    2. Enter correct backup type, eg: VMware Backup.

    3. Enter the version of VMware product.

    4. Enter the username.

    5. Enter the password.

    6. Enter the host.

    7. Enter the port.

    8. Enter the SSH port.

    9. Click [Next] button to continue.
    10. Note: Click [Next] button will start the verifying process.