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Restore Nutanix AHV VM Guest with Veeam

In this article we are going to explore the options available to restore Nutanix AHV virtual machines using the Veeam Availability for Nutanix solution (VAN). At the time of writing this article is based on a Beta version. GA version is very close to be published as the official release of VAN 1.0.

In the previous articles we have already explored how to install VAN, run a quick configuration and also take a backup of a Nutanix AHV VM based on Windows Server 2016. In the future we’ll expand to other types of operating systems and also more on the application consistent backup, VSS interaction and native snapshots mechanism.

What kind of restores can we expect from a backup of Nutanix AHV VM? VAN provides different types of restores depending on different needs:

  • Restore Nutanix AHV entire VM
  • Restore Nutanix AHV VM virtual disks
  • Export the content to other hypervisors like VMware and Hyper-V
  • Item level restore for any file in the operating system (both Windows and Linux)
  • Enterprise Applications Items restore with Veeam Explorers (Active Directory, Exchange, Microsoft SQL, SharePoint and Oracle)

For the ones who are familiar with the Veeam Backup & Replication solution the way these restore option work is very similar to backups for VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines. So from this perspective no new learning curves.

Since the Backup and Restore operations for Nutanix AHV VMs are operated by VAN the restores of the entire VM and specific virtual disks are performed from the VAN appliance itself. For the other types of operations for more granular restores we can simply use the Veeam Backup Server to run exports or item level restores. The GUI is pretty much the same as to what we are familiar already in VBR and it couldn’t be any easier.

In addition, the integration of VAN with Veeam Backup & Replication allows the benefits of using Backup Copy Jobs to other repositories for longer retention and even data deduplication appliances like DellEMC Data Domain, HPE StoreOnce, ExaGrid and Quantum DXi to name a few.

Let’s take a look at different scenarios on how to restore Nutanix AHV VM with Veeam Availability for Nutanix.


How to recover Nutanix AHV VM with Veeam

From the Veeam Availability for Nutanix console we have the options to directly restore the entire Nutanix AHV VM or even specific virtual disks associated to them. In this first scenario all we have to do is use the VAN console and from the Protected VMs we have a view with associated status of AHV VMs previously backed up.

A second scenario consists in the ability to export content from Nutanix AHV to other formats that can be consumed with both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. For this use case we’ll use the integration with Veeam Backup & Replication Server.

A third scenario allows the option to perform both File Level Restores (FLR) for any file inside the Nutanix AHV VMs and Items Restores for Enterprise applications. The first one will use the Veeam Backup Server. The second will leverage the pertinent Veeam Explorers.


Entire VM or selected virtual Disks

The Restore option allows for an in-place recovery to the original location an out of place restore to a different one within the same clusters managed by Prism. In the latter case we are able to specify the new VM name and the Storage Container.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV VM

With Disk Restore option allows the recovery of specific virtual Disks associated to the AHV VM.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV select VM

During the wizard we can select for the desired VM and opt for any available Restore Point in time.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV select Restore Point

The wizard will show the current Disk configuration. We can leave this settings as default or change the virtual Disk configuration using the Remap disk option. Moreover, the ability to exclude selected virtual disk from the restore process.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV disk mapping

When remapping virtual disks we can see the actual configuration and change where required. For example by restoring this to a separate Nutanix Storage Container, change the storage controller Bus Type between IDE, SCSI and SATA and even assign the Disk Address depending on the Bus Type selected.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV virtual disk properties

Next is to specify the Reason for the restore. This is a free text input which will be saved in the sessions history and very useful for troubleshooting purposes.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV description

And finally a summary showing the main settings for the restore job.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV summary


Export content to other formats

In order to export content of the Nutanix AHV VMs into another format usable from both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V we need to browse to the specific Nutanix Backup performed with VAN. This backup will appear by default as a Backup to Disk showing the same options as per other Backups of VMware, Hyper-V and Physical Machines backups.

With a right click on the Nutanix Backup we have the options to:

  • Run Instant Recovery to Hyper-V VM
  • Export disk content as virtual Disk
  • Restore guest files
  • Direct Restore to Microsoft Azure
  • more..

To use the first option we need to make sure at least one Hyper-V or SCVMM Server is added to Veeam Backup Server. With the Restore to Micorsoft Azure a new wizard will start and setup the credentials and the storage subscription details for the intended Azure Tenant to use. In this case let’s go with the option to export disk content.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV options

As soon as we select the option a new wizard starts presenting the available Nutanix AHV VMs part of the same Backup job.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV point in time restore

Next is to select the desired Restore Point. Thue GUI will also show if it’s Full or incremental backup.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV export Disk

At this point we can select which virtual disks the wizard will use to convert the content. Of course the original Backup is always in read-only and not changes are applied to the Backup file.

domalab.com Restore Nutanix AHV select virtual disk

We are now ready to select which hypervisor Host will be assosciated to the newly created VM. Depending on the seleceted Host type will highlight only the comaptible options. VMware vSphere in this example. So the AHV VM content will be exported into a vmdk file we can then assosciate to a newly or existing VMware virtual machine.

We can also specify a reason for the export operation. Very useful for troubleshooting purposes. The more descriptive, the better.

And finally a quick summary with the main details for the export job to be performed.



Individual files and Application Items

In the case of a File Level Restore we can expect pretty much the same behavior. This will start a new wizard from where we can select the desired AHV VM.

A restore reason. This field is not mandatory but useful for reporting.

And a final summary showing the main options. The FLR Restore and Application Items Restore work exactly in the same way as the built-in ones for VMware and Hyper-V VMs.

The Backup will be mounted in Read-Only from a Veeam Mount Server and a File Explorer will show the content to restore. The same wizard can be used to restore Application Items for Active Directory, Exchange, SQL, SharePoint and Oracle.

We’ll dedicate specific articles exploring the VSS, snapshot integration and application consistent backups for Nutanix AHV virtual machines in a close future.

About the author

Michele Domanico

Passionate about Virtualization, Storage, Data Availability and Software Defined Data Center technologies. The aim of Domalab.com is sharing with the Community the knowledge and experience gained with customers, industry leaders and like minded peers. Always open to constructive feedback and new challenges.

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