Today, organizations completely depend on the virtual machines for storing their critical data as well as applications and need them to always remain available. This is where the virtual disaster recovery comes into the picture. Virtual disaster recovery focuses on taking the backups of the virtual machines instead of the physical servers. VM backup can be taken in three ways – image-based, agent-based and server-less backup. Data replication helps the workloads to move independently between VMs and arrive rapidly after recovery, without the need of manual re-launching of OS and application on a physical server.
Let’s take a look at the steps involved in Virtual Disaster Recovery –
Virtual disaster recovery can be performed to the following targets –
• VMware vSphere/VMware ESXi version 4.1, 5.0, 5.1, 5.5 and 6.0
• Hyper-V versions 2 and 3
The range of platforms you can recover for VMware are Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
For Hyper-V are Windows 8 / 8.1, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
Backup Selection Requirements –
You should backup the following in order to start using the Virtual Disaster Recovery feature –
• Take the System State data source backup of your computer. You can start from version 15.10 and can back up a system containing dynamic disks (these disks will be converted to basic disks during recovery).
• Backup the complete system disk – C:\ or some other depending on your system configuration (the Files and Folders data source).
• Also, take the backup of some other data you feel is important. Supported data sources: Files and Folders, MS Exchange and MS SQL.
• If you are confused on selection of files, perform a test restore or contact customer support for help.
Requirements to the system virtual disaster recovery is performed from
You can start data recovery from the following versions of Windows:
• Windows 7
• Windows 8
• Windows Server 2008 R2
• Windows Server 2012
• Windows Server 2012 R2
Note: The system from which virtual disaster recovery is performed isn’t older than the system you are restoring. For example, if you need to restore Windows 8, use Windows 8 or a newer version.
Software Options –
Virtual disaster recovery can be performed using either of the below tools –
The Backup Manager – allows you to recover data from one device.
The Recovery Console – allows you to recover data from multiple devices simultaneously.
Both tools support one-time as well as continuous restores. In the Backup Manager, continuous restore is possible when the device is in the restore-only mode.
Note: If you want to perform virtual disaster recovery to VMware vSphere/VMware ESXi vs. 5.5 or 6.0 your recovery software must be 64-bit and not 32-bit.
Backup Manager –
• Start the Backup Manager.
• Click Restore -> Virtual Disaster Recovery.
• Select the virtual machine type you want to recover the data to.
• Fill the settings for the virtual machine you selected.
• Click Restore to start a recovery process.
Wait until the recovery process is completed. The duration required relies on the system’s size you are restoring, the speed of data transfer and your computer performance.
Recovery Console Guidelines –
• Start the Recovery Console.
• Choose a device and click Configure. Add the device prior to configuring if it isn’t visible in the list.
• Choose “Virtual disaster recovery” from the list of data sources.
• Select the type of VM you want to recover your system to from the Restore target list.
• Fill out the settings for the virtual machine you selected.
• Click OK.
The Recovery Console will provide you to start data recovery for the device. Click Yes if you want to continue or click No to add device without recovering data.
MS Exchange and MS SQL Notes –
If MS Exchange and MS SQL are included to the virtual disaster recovery, the data resources’ recovery will be completed automatically after the new virtual machine is launched.
If MS Active Directory is detectable, you will observe an additional system restart.
Virtual machines start automatically on remote ESXi servers. Hyper-V machines need a manual restart.