Data and Applications Recovery from volume Storage Snapshots is certainly one of the features that greatly helps reducing times from an RTO and RPO perspectives. Veeam provides this feature by mean of the Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots. This article explores the options when performing an HPE StoreVirtual Restore from Storage Snapshots.
These explorers are baked into the Veeam console and offer the ability to quickly and easily perform different types of recoveries. They include Instant VM Recovery, Full VM Recovery, Guest Files Recovery and also Application Items for enterprise solutions like Microsoft Active Directory, SQL, Exchange, SharePoint and Oracle databases as well. In addition, the Explorers also work with multiple file systems including Linux, Unix, BSD, MacOS and more.
Storage Snapshots can be used for multiple purposes. Although the snapshot is not a backup definitely when coupled with backups offer a great level of protection by mitigating data loss and also providing an extra level of defense for the increasing number of threats. Both internal and external. From rogue apps to ransomware attacks, data these days needs always to stay protected and available. With HPE StoreVirtual Restore from Storage Snapshots, Veeam offers the options to cover all such scenarios.
What are the advantages of a restore from Storage Snapshots vs. a traditional Restore?
With traditional restore the Admins can mount the Point-In-Time volume snapshot and simply restore the desired files. The challenge is with virtual environments the same volume snapshot might contain multiple disks associated to several VMs. For this reason the restore cannot be simply a rollback operation. Rather, it’s a multi-task process which essentially involves the Admin to present, mount, rescan the HBA and browse the VM to finally register this to the hypervisor and extract the desired files. When the process is completed the same operations need to be executed backwards. Not an easy process.
With Veeam Explorer for Storage Snapshots all these steps are automated. In essence Veeam create a copy or clone of the volume snapshot. This copy is then automatically presented and mounted to a desired Host. Veeam also triggers the re-signature for the storage volumes. At this point the Admin can perform the restore operations. Once completed, Veeam will automatically delete the snapshot copy and perform the clean-up operations.
Next in the article the options for Instant VM Recovery and Guest File Recovery from a Linux machine which leverages the Veeam File Level Recovery (FLR) Appliance for a HPE StoreVirtual Restore from Storage Snapshot.
Veeam options for HPE StoreVirtual Restore from Storage Snapshot
From the Veeam Console > Storage Infrastructure the option to browse the Controllers, Volumes and Snapshots. This will show the content of the snapshot. In this case it is a Linux Ubuntu VM. From the ribbon the options to perform Instant VM Recovery, Guest Files Recovery and Application Items for enterprise apps.
In the case of Instant VM Recovery (IVMR) the options to restore back to the original location or a different one specifying different settings.
As per usual also the option to indicate a restore reason (which will appear in reports too).
In the case of a restore to a new location at this point it is possible to choose the Host, the VM Folder Name and eventually a Resource Pool.
The wizard has now all the info to perform the Instant VM Recovery. Very nicely the option to perform a storage vMotion as a finalization of the recovery process.
In the case of a File Level Restore (FLR) directly from the VM Guest an additional appliance is used to read the content for non-Windows native File Systems. And that’s the case when restoring content for example from a Linux VM. This VM in fact uses the ext4 file system. This step is important as it includes the option to create a temporary Linux appliance Veeam will use to “extract the data”. In a nutshell:
- Veeam creates a copy/clone of the volume snapshot and present to Host
- Virtual Disks in the copy snapshot will be mounted to the Proxy appliance
- The Proxy appliance uses the “Hot Add Mode” to read the content and present this in the Backup Browser
The Proxy appliance is an customizable Linux VM created on the fly by the Veeam wizard and deleted as soon as the restore operation is completed.
From the customize link, at this stage it is possible to configure which Host will run the linux appliance and includes the ability to enable the FTP service and Novell File System (NSS) for even advanced restores or other operating systems.
The wizard now shows the execution for all the required operations without requiring any further intervention from the user.
The content of the Linux Ubuntu VM is now accessible and can be quickly restored back to production VM.
If we take a look at datastore view in VMware vCenter there is a new temporary volume named after the HPE StoreVirtual volume. Actually this is the snapshot copy of that volume presented to the vSphere Host. This includes the virtual machine disks we want to restore data from.
The content of the temporary datastore is mounted to the linux appliance. Effectively this one will present / extract the content through the Backup Browser. When the HPE StoreVirtual restore from storage snapshot operations are completed the temporary copy snapshot and the linux appliance are automatically deleted as part of the cleanup process.