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NetVault Plug-in for VMware 12.3.2 - 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

Understanding the Distributed Jobs feature

Plug‑in for VMware includes a Distributed Jobs feature that supports the load balancing of image-level backup and restore jobs. Using this feature, you can run jobs across multiple NetVault Backup Clients that are acting as backup proxies. All Plug‑in for VMware backup and restore jobs are eligible for distribution, however, you can disable the feature for specific jobs.

NOTE: The jobs of the VMware proxy from Plug‑in for VMware version 12.0 do not distribute to VMware proxies from Plug‑in for VMware 12.1 or later when they do not have vCenter credentials. Likewise, jobs of the VMware proxy from Plug‑in for VMware 12.0 do not distribute to other VMware proxies from Plug‑in for VMware 12.0 if the server is running NetVault Backup 12.1 or later, regardless of vCenter credentials.

The following list describes some of the ways in which the plug-in behaves when this feature is used:

To use the Distributed Jobs feature, the NetVault Backup Server and Clients must be using NetVault Backup 12.0 or later, and the Plug‑in for VMware version must be 12.0 or later.

Click Server Settings, and then click Job Manager.
On the Job Manager dialog box, select the Allow VMware plugin jobs to be distributed on other VMware backup proxy option.
If you want to change the default threshold from 2, enter the applicable number for the Jobs threshold for VMware Backup Proxy setting.

Performing image-level backups

In the Navigation pane, click Create Backup Job to start the configuration wizard.
In the Navigation pane, click Guided Configuration, and then on the NetVault Configuration Wizard page, click Create Backup Jobs.
In Job Name, specify a name for the job.
In the Selections list, select an existing Backup Selection Set, or complete the following steps to create a set:
To open the NetVault Backup Selections page, click .
NOTE: To switch between the two views (Hosts and Clusters and VMs and Templates), click the ESXi or vCenter Server, and select Toggle Inventory View from the context menu. This option is only available when server node is open.
Back up all virtual machines within a container: Select the container node. Data selection is possible at all levels, starting from the Datacenter node. For example, to back up all virtual machines hosted on an ESXi server, select the host node; in the VMs and Templates view, select the corresponding folder node.
Back up individual virtual machines: Open the applicable container nodes, for example, Datacenter, Cluster, and Resource Pool, and select the virtual machines that you want to back up. In the VMs and Templates view, open the folder node, and select the virtual machines that you want to back up.
Back up individual virtual drives: Open the virtual machine node, and select the disks that you want to back up. The virtual drives are named “Hard Disk 1,” “Hard Disk 2,” … “Hard Disk n.” The plug-in only lists those disks for which it can generate a snapshot.
Click Save, and in the Create New Set dialog box, type a name for the set.
In the Plugin Options list, select an existing Backup Options Set, or complete the following steps to create a set:
IMPORTANT: On Windows, when you create a Backup Options Set for image‑level backups, you must use the default set “Default Backup Options — VMware Plugin — Windows” as the template. If you use any other set as the template, the backup may fail.
To open the VMware Plugin Backup Options page, click .
Under Backup Type on the Plugin Options tab, select one of the following options.


To back up all allocated sectors on a virtual drive, select this option.


To back up disk sectors that have changed since the last Full, Differential, or Incremental Backup, select this option.


To back up disk sectors that have changed since the last Full Backup, select this option.

Under Virtual machine disk selection options, select one of the following options.

Back up all disks

To back up all available virtual drives for the selected virtual machines, use this option.

Exclude boot disk

To back up only the data disks and exclude the boot disks for the selected virtual machines, use this option.

Exclude data disks

To back up only the boot disk and exclude the data disks for the selected virtual machines, use this option.

Under Other Options, configure the following settings:

Enable Change Block Tracking for virtual machine

By default, CBT is disabled for a virtual machine. If you want to perform Incremental or Differential Backups of virtual machines, you must enable CBT for the Full Backup that serves as the base backup for subsequent Incremental and Differential Backups.

To enable CBT on all virtual machines included in the backup job, select this check box. (You can also enable CBT on specific virtual machines by using the Enable Change Block Tracking method. For more information, see Enabling CBT on individual virtual machines.)

If you select this check box and the plug-in fails to change this setting on a virtual machine, a warning message is logged.

If you do not select this check box, the plug-in does not change the CBT setting on the virtual machines during backups. Depending on whether CBT is enabled or disabled, the plug-in uses the appropriate backup method (CBT-based Full, Incremental, or Differential or non-CBT Full Backup) to back up the virtual machines.

Note the following:

Perform File Level Indexing

To generate file-level indexes for all supported volumes that are included in the backup snapshot, select this option. File-level indexing lets you restore individual files and directories from Full, Incremental, and Differential image-level backups of virtual machines. For more information on how file-level indexing affects backups, see Configuring default settings.

If you selected an existing Backup Selection Set that was created using a version of the plug-in before 11.4.5, this option reflects the setting that you chose when you created the set. Before 11.4.5, this option was selected by default. If you want to use the new default setting, which clears this selection, you must browse the plug-in once on the NetVault Backup Selections window.

To do so, complete the following steps:

Click Create Backup Job.
Click VMware Plugin, and select Open from the context menu.
Click Cancel.

Enable Active Block Mapping

ABM technology provides filters to remove unused blocks during backups. Removing the unused blocks reduces the backup size and the amount of data transferred over the network. You can use ABM with CBT to back up only active and changed blocks during Incremental and Differential Backups.

ABM is supported on the NTFS file system on basic disks and EXT file systems. ABM is not supported with XFS.

ABM is disabled by default. Selecting this check box enables ABM, which allows the plug-in to back up only those sections of the virtual drives that are active. ABM scans the disk and detects inactive blocks; these blocks are then omitted during backups.

If a backup job includes any unsupported disk types, this option is ignored for those disks.

Remove snapshots from previous backups

When you run a backup job, the plug-in creates a snapshot named “BKB_SNAP” on the virtual machine to back up the selected data. Regardless of whether the backup completes successfully or fails, the plug‑in removes the snapshot on job completion. The plug-in also removes the snapshot if the job is stopped or the parent or child processes are terminated for any reason. However, if a job exits abnormally, the cleanup process may fail to remove the snapshot. To address such cases, the plug‑in provides an option to delete the snapshot when you run the job next time.

You can select the Remove snapshots from previous backups check box to remove any existing snapshots when you run the current job. Only the snapshots named “BKB_SNAP” are removed from the virtual machines. This option does not remove any other snapshots that exist on the virtual machine.

Maximum Number of Parallel Streams

By default, the plug-in generates a single data stream for a backup job, and backs up the selected virtual machines in a sequential manner. To increase throughput and reduce overall backup time for image-level backups, you can configure the plug-in to perform parallel backups of multiple virtual machines.

This setting determines the maximum number of parallel data streams that can be generated for an image-level backup job. For example, if 10 virtual machines are included in a job, and you set this parameter to four, the plug-in tries to back up four virtual machines in parallel.

The actual number of parallel streams for a job depends on the following factors:

For parallel backups, the plug-in generates a parent process that coordinates the overall backup and individual child processes that perform the actual task of backing up the virtual machines. The maximum child processes that can be generated for a backup job is equal to the Maximum Number of Parallel Streams configured for the job. The parent and the child processes are all created on the NetVault Backup Client on which the plug-in is running.

When a child process acquires a backup device and creates a backup stream, it is assigned a task to back up a virtual machine. After the task completes, the process is assigned the next task if there are any more virtual machines to be backed up. Each task is assigned a Task ID. A snapshot is generated only when a virtual machine is assigned to a child process.

When configuring Maximum Number of Parallel Streams, consider the following:

Automatic diagnose virtual machine on backup failure

To run predefined tests that can identify the cause of a virtual machine backup failure, select this check box.

For more information about the Diagnose method, see Diagnosing virtual machine issues.

You can access the Diagnostic Results dialog box from the View Logs page. The details are stored as log context objects.

Enable Restartable backups

This option allows you to restart a job that completes with some failed virtual machines. The restarted instance backs up only those virtual machines that failed previously; virtual machines that are backed up successfully are not included in the restarted instance.

When a restartable backup completes with some failed virtual machines, the plug-in generates a backup index for the completed virtual machines and sets the job status to Job Stopped. The log messages and log context show which virtual machines have failed for the job. When you restart the job later, the plug-in runs an Incremental Backup job to back up the failed virtual machines.

You can restart a job from the Job Status page. For more information about this method, see Restarting a backup job. A restarted instance does not back up virtual machines that are added to the host after the initial job is run.

NOTE: If all virtual machines fail for a job, the job status is set to Backup Failed. You cannot restart a failed backup job.

Disable distribution of backup job to other VMware Backup Proxy

If you configured your environment to use the Distributed Jobs feature, select this check box to turn off the feature for a specific job. This option is disabled by default.

Enable Job Level Transport Mode

If you are using the Distributed Jobs feature and you want to set the transport mode manually at the job level, select this option, and then select the applicable Primary Transport Mode and Fallback Transport Mode.

Click Save, and in the Create New Set dialog box, type a name for the set.
For more information about these sets, see the Quest NetVault Backup Administrator’s Guide.
NOTE: When performing multistream backups, do not select the Ensure backup is the first on the target media check box. If you select this check box for multistream backups, each data stream targets a separate piece of media to exist as the first backup on the media item. Thus, if a backup generates five streams, the job tries to obtain five blank or new media items.

This option does not apply to disk-based storage devices.

To save the job definition without scheduling it, click Save. You can view, edit, or run this job from the Manage Job Definitions page. This job is not displayed on the Job Status page until you submit it.
You can monitor the job progress from the Job Status page and view the logs from the View Logs page.
For more information about Job Status, View Logs, and Manage Job Definitions, see the Quest NetVault Backup Administrator’s Guide.

Additional notes

Virtual machine ‘<VM_name>’ with secondary role
in its fault tolerance group will not be backed up.
Because VMware does not support CBT for virtual machines with FT enabled, all sectors on the disks are always backed up for such a virtual machine even if Enable Change Block Tracking for virtual machine is selected. This behavior is true for both Full and Incremental Backup jobs.
Creates a non-CBT Full Backup, unless CBT is already enabled for the virtual machine or you have selected the Enable Change Block Tracking for virtual machine check box for the Incremental or Differential Backup.
When you select Differential Backup, the plug-in creates a Full Backup of MyVM2 in Step 4 and Step 5 because these backups are based on the last Full Backup created in Step 2.
Log message: Failed to write index of backup to the database.
Log context: The index for this backup may be retrieved and added to the database by scanning the backup media.

Backup selection tree icons

vCenter Server

Datacenter Server

ESXi Server Cluster

Closed folder

Open folder

ESXi Server

ESXi Server in maintenance mode

Inaccessible ESXi Server

Virtual Appliance (vApp)

Resource pool

Virtual machine (turned on)

Inaccessible virtual machine

Mounted virtual machine

Suspended virtual machine

Turned off virtual machine

Virtual machine (turned on, CBT enabled)

Inaccessible virtual machine (CBT enabled)

Mounted virtual machine (CBT enabled)

Suspended virtual machine (CBT enabled)

Turned off virtual machine (CBT enabled)

Primary virtual machine (turned on) in a Fault Tolerant group

Inaccessible primary virtual machine

Suspended primary virtual machine

Turned off primary virtual machine

Secondary virtual machine in a Fault Tolerant group

Inaccessible secondary virtual machine

Suspended secondary virtual machine

Turned off secondary virtual machine

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