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Rapid Recovery 6.0.2 - User Guide

*** Legend Introduction to Dell Data Protection | Rapid Recovery Understanding the Rapid Recovery Core Console Working with repositories Managing Rapid Recovery Core settings Using custom groups Working with encryption keys Protecting machines using the Rapid Recovery Core Working with Microsoft Exchange and SQL Servers Protecting server clusters Exporting protected data to virtual machines Managing protected machines Understanding replication Managing events Generating and viewing reports Restoring data Understanding bare metal restore for Windows machines Retention and archiving Managing cloud accounts Working with Linux machines Understanding the Local Mount Utility Central Management Console Understanding the Rapid Recovery Command Line Management utility Understanding the Rapid Recovery PowerShell module
Prerequisites for using PowerShell Working with commands and cmdlets Rapid Recovery PowerShell module cmdlets Localization Qualifiers
Extending Rapid Recovery jobs using scripting Rapid Recovery APIs Glossary

Protecting vCenter/ESXi virtual machines without the Rapid Recovery Agent

Complete the following procedure to agentlessly protect ESXi virtual machines.

Note: Rapid Recovery recommends that VMware Tools be installed on virtual machines (VMs) you want to protect on vSphere or ESXi hosts. When VMware Tools are installed on a VM using a Windows operating system (OS), the backups that the Rapid Recovery Core captures use Microsoft Volume Shadow Services (VSS). For information on the behavior of agentless VMs with or without VMware Tools, see Benefits of installing VMware Tools for agentless protection.
CAUTION:
Dell recommends that you limit agentless protection to no more than 200 VMs at once. For example, do not select more than 200 VMs when using the Protect Multiple Machines Wizard. Protecting more than 200 VMs results in slow performance. There is no limit to how many VMs a Core can agentlessly protect over time. For example, you could protect 200 VMs today and another 200 VMs tomorrow.
  1. On the Rapid Recovery Core Console, click the Protect drop-down menu, and then click Protect Multiple Machines.
    The Protect Multiple Machines Wizard opens.
  2. On the Welcome page, select one of the following options:
    • Typical
    • Advanced (show optional steps)
  3. Click Next.
  4. On the Connection page of the wizard, from the Source drop-down list, select vCenter / ESX(i).
  5. Enter the host information and logon credentials as described in the following table.
    Table 1. vCenter/ESX(i) connection settings
    Text Box Description
    Host The name or IP address of the VMware vCenter Server/ESX(i) virtual host.
    Port The port used to connect to the virtual host.

    The default setting is 443.

    User name The user name used to connect to the virtual host; for example, Administrator or, if the machine is in a domain, [domain name]\Administrator.
    Password The secure password used to connect to this virtual host.
  6. Ensure that Protect selected VMs Agentlessly is selected. (This option is selected by default).
  7. On the Select Machines page, select the VMs you want to protect. You can use the drop-down menu to display a list of Hosts and Clusters or a list of VMs and Templates.
    Note: VMware Changed Block Tracking (CBT) must be enabled on each of the VMs you want to protect. If it is not enabled, Rapid Recovery automatically enables CBT to ensure protection.
  8. If you want to automatically protect new VMs when they are added to the host, select Auto protect new machines, and then complete the following steps.
    1. Click Next.
    2. On the Auto Protection page, select any containers in which you expect to add new machines.
  9. Click Next.
  10. On the Protection page, select one of the following protection schedules as appropriate:
    • If you want to use the default protection schedule, then in the Schedule Settings option, select Default protection (hourly snapshots of all volumes).
    • If you want to define a different protection schedule, then in the Schedule Settings option, select Custom protection.
  11. Proceed with your configuration as follows:
    • If you selected a Typical configuration and specified default protection, then click Finish to confirm your choices, close the wizard, and protect the machine you specified.

      The first time you add protection for a machine, a base image (a snapshot of all data on the protected volumes) transfers to the repository on the Rapid Recovery Core according to the schedule you defined, unless you specified to initially pause protection.

    • If you selected a Typical configuration and specified custom protection, click Next to set up a custom protection schedule. For details on defining a custom protection schedule, see Creating custom protection schedules.
    • If you selected Advanced configuration for the Protect Machine Wizard, and default protection, then click Next and proceed to Step 13 to see repository and encryption options.
    • If you selected Advanced configuration for the Protect Machine Wizard and specified custom protection, then click Next to set up a custom protection schedule. For details on defining a custom protection schedule, see Creating custom protection schedules.
  12. Click Next.
  13. On the Repository page, the following:
    • If you already have a repository and want to store the data from this machine for protection in the existing repository, then do the following:
      1. Select Use an existing repository.
      2. Select an existing repository from the list.
      3. Click Next.

      The Encryption page appears. Skip to Step 19 to optionally define encryption.

    • If you want to create a repository, select Create a Repository, and then complete the following steps.
      1. On the Repository, enter the information described in the following table.
        Table 2. Add New Repository settings
        Text Box Description
        Repository Name Enter the display name of the repository.

        By default, this text box consists of the word Repository and a number, which corresponds to the number of repositories for this Core. For example, if this is the first repository, the default name is Repository 1. Change the name as needed.

        Repository names must contain between 1 and 40 alphanumeric characters, including spaces. Do not use prohibited characters or prohibited phrases.

        Concurrent Operations Define the number of concurrent requests you want the repository to support. By default the value is 64.
        Comments Optionally, enter a descriptive note about this repository. You can enter up to 254 characters. For example, type DVM Repository 2.
      2. Click Add Storage Location to define the specific storage location or volume for the repository. This volume should be a primary storage location.
        CAUTION:
        Define a dedicated folder within the root for the storage location for your repository. Do not specify the root location. For example, use E:\Repository\, not E:\. If the repository that you are creating in this step is later removed, all files at the storage location of your repository are deleted. If you define your storage location at the root, all other files in the volume (e.g., E:\) are deleted, which could result in catastrophic data loss.

        The Add Storage Location dialog box appears.

      3. Click Add Storage Location to define the specific storage location or volume for the repository. This volume should be a primary storage location.
      4. In the Storage Location area, specify how to add the file for the storage location. You can choose to add a locally attached storage volume (such as direct attached storage, a storage area network, or network attached storage). You could also specify a storage volume on a Common Internet File System (CIFS) shared location.
        • Select Add file on local disk to specify a local machine, and then enter the information as described in the following table.
          Table 3. Local disk settings
          Text Box Description
          Data path Enter the location for storing the protected data.

          For example, type X:\Repository\Data.

          When specifying the path, use only alphanumeric characters, the hyphen, and the period (only to separate host names and domains). You can use the backslash character only to define levels in the path. Do not use spaces. No other symbols or punctuation characters are permitted.

          Metadata path Enter the location for storing the protected metadata.

          For example, type X:\Repository\Metadata.

          When specifying the path, use only alphanumeric characters, the hyphen, and the period (only to separate host names and domains). You can use the backslash character only to define levels in the path. Do not use spaces. No other symbols or punctuation characters are permitted.

        • Or, select Add file on CIFS share to specify a network share location, and then enter the information as described in the following table.
          Table 4. CIFS share credentials
          Text Box Description
          UNC path Enter the path for the network share location.

          If this location is at the root, define a dedicated folder name (for example, Repository).

          The path must begin with \\. When specifying the path, use only alphanumeric characters, the hyphen, and the period (only to separate host names and domains). The letters a to z are case-insensitive. Do not use spaces. No other symbols or punctuation characters are permitted.

          User name Specify a user name for accessing the network share location.
          Password Specify a password for accessing the network share location.
      5. In the Storage Configuration area, click More Details and enter the details for the storage location as described in the following table.
        Table 5. Storage configuration details
        Text Box Description
        Size Set the size or capacity for the storage location. The minimum size is 1 GB. The default is 250 GB. You can choose from the following:
        • GB
        • TB
          Note: The size that you specify cannot exceed the size of the volume.

          If the storage location is a New Technology File System (NTFS) volume using Windows XP or Windows 7, the file size limit is 16 TB.

          If the storage location is a NTFS volume using Windows 8, 8.1, Windows 10, or Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, the file size limit is 256 TB.

          Note: For Rapid Recovery to validate the operating system, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) must be installed on the intended storage location.
        Write caching policy The write caching policy controls how the Windows Cache Manager is used in the repository and helps to tune the repository for optimal performance on different configurations.

        Set the value to one of the following:

        • On
        • Off
        • Sync

          If set to On, which is the default, Windows controls the caching. This is appropriate for Windows 10, and for versions of Windows Server 2012 and later.

          Note: Setting the write caching policy to On could result in faster performance. If you are using Windows Server 2008 SP2 or Windows Server 2008 R2 SP2, the recommended setting is Off.

          If set to Off, Rapid Recovery controls the caching.

          If set to Sync, Windows controls the caching as well as the synchronous input/output.

        Bytes per sector Specify the number of bytes you want each sector to include. The default value is 512.
        Average bytes per record Specify the average number of bytes per record. The default value is 8192.
      6. Click Next.
    If you chose the Advanced option in Step 1, the Encryption page appears.
  14. Optionally, on the Encryption page, to enable encryption, select Enable Encryption.

    Encryption key fields appear on the Encryption page.

    Note: If you enable encryption, it is applied to data for all protected volumes for this agent machine.

You can change the settings later from the Configuration tab in the Rapid Recovery Core Console.

For more information about encryption, see the topic Working with encryption keys.
    CAUTION:
    Rapid Recovery uses AES 256-bit encryption in the Cipher Block Chaining (CBC) mode with 256-bit keys. While using encryption is optional, Dell highly recommends that you establish an encryption key, and that you protect the passphrase you define. Store the passphrase in a secure location as it is critical for data recovery. Without a passphrase, data recovery is not possible.
  15. If you want to encrypt these protected machines using an encryption key that is already defined on this Rapid Recovery Core, select Encrypt data using an existing Encryption key, and select the appropriate key from the drop-down menu.

    Proceed to Step 17.

  16. If you want to add an encryption key to the Core and apply that key to these protected machines, then enter the information as described in the following table.
    Table 6. Encryption key settings
    Text Box Description
    Name Enter a name for the encryption key.

    Encryption key names must contain between 1 and 130 alphanumeric characters. You may not include special characters such as the back slash, forward slash, pipe, colon, asterisk, quotation mark, question mark, open or close brackets, ampersand or hash.

    Description Enter a comment for the encryption key.

    This information appears in the Description field when viewing encryption keys from the Core Console.

    Passphrase Enter the passphrase used to control access.

    The best practice is to avoid special characters listed in the Name description of this table.

    Record the passphrase in a secure location. Dell Support cannot recover a passphrase. Once you create an encryption key and apply it to one or more protected machines, you cannot recover data if you lose the passphrase.

    Confirm Passphrase Re-enter the passphrase you just entered.
  17. Click Finish.

    Rapid Recovery adds the selected VMs and their host to the list of Protected Machines.


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Benefits of installing VMware Tools for agentless protection

When protecting virtual machines (VMs) without the using Rapid Recovery Agent, Dell recommends installing VMware Tools on protected VMs on vSphere or ESXi hosts to take full advantage of Microsoft Volume Shadow Services (VSS) functionality.

Agentless protection uses the snapshot technology native to VMware to back up protected data. When VMware Tools are installed on a VM with a Windows operating system (OS), the backups that the Rapid Recovery Core captures can also use VSS. When VMware Tools are not installed, Rapid Recovery still collects snapshots, but the absence of VMware Tools can adversely affect the state of data on your protected VM.

There are two possible data states:

  • Crash-consistent. The VM OS starts and can read and understand the file system.
  • Application consistent. The VM OS starts and can read and understand the file system. Also, files for transactional applications are in a consistent state. For example, with SQL Server, the logs match the database files, and the database opens quickly and easily.

If you recover a transactional application from a crash-consistent state, the database returns to the last valid state. That most recent valid state may be from the time of the crash, or it may be from earlier than the crash. If it is from earlier, then the database must roll forward some work to make the data files match the information in the logs. This process takes some time when you first open the database, which causes a delay when starting up the machine.

The following conditions apply based on whether VMware Tools are installed and on the powered-on state of the VM:

Table 1. Backup type conditions for VMs
VMware Tools VM Powered On Backup Type
Not installed Yes Crash-consistent
Not installed No (dirty shut-down) Crash-consistent
Not installed No (clean shut-down) Application-consistent
Installed Yes Application-consistent
Installed No (dirty shut-down) Crash-consistent
Installed No (clean shut-down) Application-consistent

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Working with Microsoft Exchange and SQL Servers

This section discusses the functions and settings in the Rapid Recovery Core Console that are unique to protecting and managing Microsoft Exchange and SQL Servers in your environment.


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About managing Exchange and SQL Servers in Rapid Recovery Core

Options specific to Exchange server and SQL Server appear in the Rapid Recovery Core Console only when an instance of the software and related files are detected on protected servers. In those cases, additional options are available when you select the protected machine in the Core Console.

For example, if you select a protected Exchange server in the left navigation menu, then the menu options that appear for that protected machine include an Exchange drop-down menu option.

If you select a protected SQL Server in the left navigation menu, then the menu options that appear for that protected machine include a SQL drop-down menu.

While these options may work differently, there is some commonality. Functions you can accomplish for protected Exchange and SQL servers (and for no other protected machines) include:

  • Forcing server log truncation. Both SQL Servers and Exchange servers include server logs. The process of truncating SQL logs identifies available space on the server. When you truncate Exchange server logs, in addition to identifying the available space, the process frees up more space on the server.
  • Setting credentials for the relevant server. Exchange servers allow you to set credentials for the protected machine on the Summary page for the protected server. SQL Servers allow you to set credentials for a single protected SQL Server machine, or to set default credentials for all protected SQL Servers.
  • Viewing status for checks on recovery points from Exchange or SQL Server. Recovery points captured from a protected SQL or Exchange server have corresponding color status indicators. These colors indicate the success or failure of various checks relevant for SQL Servers or Exchange servers.

This section includes the following topics specific to managing protected machines that use Exchange Server or SQL Server:


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