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NetVault Plug-in for VMware 11.3 - User Guide

Introducing NetVault Backup Plug-in for VMware Installing the plug-in Configuring the plug-in Defining a backup strategy Using the image-level backup method Using the file-level backup method Restoring image-level backups Restoring file-level backups Troubleshooting

Supported transport modes

Plug‑in for VMware supports the following methods for accessing virtual machine disks:

To use the SAN transport mode, the plug-in must be installed on a physical machine.

The SAN transport mode supports virtual machine disks stored on Fibre Channel SAN, iSCSI SAN, or Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) storage devices. This mode allows you to offload backups to a physical NetVault Backup Client.

During SAN restores, disable CBT on the virtual machine.

To use the HotAdd transport mode, the plug-in must be installed in a virtual machine.

The HotAdd method involves creating a linked clone of the target virtual machine and attaching the virtual drives to the backup proxy, which allows the disks to be read locally. However, these operations incur some overhead on the ESXi host, so the HotAdd mode is not as efficient as the SAN mode.

The HotAdd mode supports all types of storage devices. This mode does not require you to expose SAN LUNs to the NetVault Backup Client.

To use the LAN mode, the plug-in can be installed either on a physical machine or in a virtual machine.

The LAN mode uses the Network Block Device (NBD) or NBDSSL protocol to access virtual drives. The ESXi Server host reads data from the storage device, and sends the read data across a network channel to the plug-in. The NBD transport mode performs unencrypted data transfers and can be used if the ESXi Server and Plug‑in for VMware reside on a secure isolated network. NBD is faster than NBDSSL, and takes fewer resources on the ESXi Server and backup proxy. The NBDSSL transport mode uses SSL to encrypt all data passed over the TCP connection and can be used to protect sensitive data.

The LAN transport mode supports all types of storage devices. You can use the LAN transport mode if the ESXi Server uses local storage devices or NAS to store its virtual machine disks.

To use secure communication channels (NBDSSL), enable SSL certificate verification in your virtual environment. This option is disabled by default.

Configuring default settings

In the navigation pane, click Create Backup Job, and then click Create New next to the Selections list.
In the Actions list, click Configure.
If the plug-in is installed on a NetVault Backup Client, click Client Settings; in the clients table, select the client, and click Next.
Under Plugins, click Plugin Options.
Under Plug‑in for VMware, configure the following settings:

Transport Mode

Select the transport mode for accessing virtual machine disks. The supported modes are:

For more information about transport modes, see Supported transport modes.

To use the most suitable transport mode automatically, select Auto. On new plug-in installations, the Auto transport mode is selected by default.

Fallback Transport Mode

In the Fallback Transport Mode list, select the transportation mode that is used when the primary transportation mode fails. The available options are nbd, nbdssl, and none. If no alternative is available, select none.

On new plug-in installations, the fallback transport mode is set to nbd by default.

On upgrade installations, the fallback transport mode is set to nbdssl if the mode was set to san or hotadd mode before upgrade.

Default Inventory View

Plug‑in for VMware provides two View Types to browse the VMware inventory objects on the NetVault Backup Selections page:

Hosts and Clusters: The Hosts and Clusters view is the default inventory view for the Plug‑in for VMware.
The Hosts and Clusters view provides a hierarchical view of the hosts, clusters, and their child objects. In a cluster setup managed by a vCenter Server, the virtual machines are displayed under the Cluster node. In a standalone ESXi Server setup, the virtual machines are displayed under the individual hosts.
The Hosts and Clusters view does not display the folders created on the vCenter Server.
VMs and Templates: The VMs and Templates view provides a flat view of all virtual machines and templates in the inventory; the virtual machines are grouped by Datacenters and folders.
NOTE: To switch between the two views, select the ESXi or vCenter Server on the NetVault Backup Selections page, and in the Actions list, click Toggle Inventory View. This option is only available when the server node is open.

Progress Statistics Update Interval

This setting determines the interval at which the plug-in updates progress statistics on the Monitor Job page. The default value for this option is 10 seconds. To change the default interval for progress updates, type or select a new value. The progress interval is specified in number of seconds.

Read Block Size

This setting specifies the number of disk sectors to read or write per operation. The default value is 65536 sectors (one sector = 512 bytes; 65536 sectors = 32 MiB). Setting a large block size for read and write operations can improve backup performance.

Enable virtual machine locking

If a virtual machine is migrated — for example, through Storage vMotion — while a backup or restore job is in progress, it can cause a job to fail. It can also create orphaned virtual drives on the datastores.

You can use this option to enable locking of virtual machines against Storage vMotion during backup and restore operations. The virtual machines are locked before a job starts and unlocked after the job completes.

This check box is selected by default.

Attempts to acquire lock

This option specifies the maximum number of attempts that are made to lock a virtual machine against Storage vMotion.

The default value for this option is 10.

Continue without lock

By default, the backup of a virtual machine fails if it cannot be locked against Storage vMotion.

When you select this check box, the plug-in continues to try to back up the virtual machine after the attempts to acquire a lock fail.

Working Directory

The Working Directory is used for the following purposes:

The default path for the Working Directory is <NetVault Backup home>\tmp on Windows and <NetVault Backup home>/tmp on Linux. To change the location, specify the full path. If you specify a path that does not exist, the plug-in automatically creates it on the NetVault Backup machine.

Enabling or disabling CBT on virtual machines

This section includes the following topics:

About CBT

The VMware Changed Block Tracking (CBT) feature allows virtual machines to track changed disk sectors. When CBT is enabled on a virtual machine, a “Change ID” is assigned to each disk when a snapshot is generated for backups. The Change ID identifies the state of a virtual drive at a specific point in time. Subsequent snapshots capture only the blocks that have changed since the last snapshot.

CBT offers the following advantages:

CBT is only supported on virtual machines that use virtual hardware 7 or later. CBT is not supported on virtual machines that use Physical compatibility Raw Device Mapping (RDM) virtual drives, Virtual compatibility RDM (Independent Disks), or virtual drives attached to a shared virtual SCSI bus.

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