Recover or Clone Virtual Machine using Datrium Protection Snapshots.

In my last post I talked about how easy it was to setup application consistent recovery points with Datrium DVX Protection groups.

In this post we will look at how to actually use these snapshots in the real world to recover or clone a VM, or a VM file.

Recover a Virtual Machine:

Ok, so you get the phone call “my VM is not accessible” or a patch install fails, and you get the dreaded “Please do the needful and revert with urgency.” You could pull from a backup, and wait hours for the restore to complete OR! You could restore a DVX snap and be back up in seconds! Lets look at how to do this.

Recovering an entire protection group:

Maybe we have an entire group of servers that all got the same bad MS update and all of them need to be rolled back to pre WSUS update. We start by powering off the VM guest. This will always be the first step in a VM restore with Datrium. If you are doing a single file restore, Guest file, or application restore that is a different process. After Powering off the VMs in the PG (protection group) we can then select the PG, and click Recover

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The following window will pop up with the latest snap selected.

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If the latest isn’t the one you want to restore from, click Select another snapshot and you will be given a list of all snapshots for that PG across all DVX systems you have replicated to including CloudDVX.

Click Restore, and you will see in the tasks pane the restore operation starting. This usually takes 30 seconds if all snapshots are on the on premise DVX. If the snapshots are on remote DVX systems or in CloudDVX the process could take longer as the data needs to be replicated cross premise.

Once the restore operation is complete, power on the VMs and you’re good to go! It’s that simple!

Recover an individual VM:

There are 2 places you can recover an individual VM from. The VMs tab in the DVX plugin, or under the Monitor > Datrium DVX > Protection tab on the individual VM. In this case we are going to use the Monitor > Datrium DVX > Protection route because usually when I am restoring or snapping a single VM I am already on the individual VM setting in VMware instead of being in the DVX plugin.

The VM I am selecting for this restore is a 1TB file server. Maybe you had crypto locker hit your main file share and need to recover the whole thing.

The first step is always to shut down the VM, and then select your recovery point. In VMs

Once offline, the next step is to select the snapshot you want to recover from. In most cases this will be the latest, but it could be older depending on when the encryption started and you need to go back 2-3 hours. Then click VM Snapshot Actions. You will notice that you have a lot of options here, but for now we are just going to worry about Restore VM From Snapshot.

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You will get the restore screen popping up and at this point you just need to click Restore. Side note. DVX takes a snapshot of the VM pre restore, so you’re able to restore or clone from the pre-restore condition if needed.

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In the Protection tasks column you will see that your restore has completed, and usually takes under 30 Seconds.

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Once the restore is complete, power on the VM and you’re good to go!

BUT WAIT! What if the snapshot you want is in your CloudDVX remote archive? Simple, select the sources drop down, select your CloudDVX instance or a remote replicated DVX and follow the same process!

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Recovering a VM File:

Sometimes we don’t need to recover a whole VM, sometimes we just need to recover a VMX or VMDK that has been corrupted. We follow the same process as above, but use the VM Files in Snapshot option.  We select the file we want to recover, and select whether we would like to clone or recover the file. Cloning is useful if you are trying to recover a file back out of a disk, where as recover is…well a recovery.

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Cloning a Virtual Machine:

There are a few common reasons an administrator might want to clone a virtual machine. Maybe they want to be able to clone a running VM to a development sandbox to test an update. Maybe you want to be able to rapidly deploy a new virtual machine from a template. Lets talk about how to do that.

If you want to clone a running VM, just select the VM, go to the Monitoring > Datrium DVX tab, and click Clone.

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The following screen will pop up to give you options on what to name the cloned VM to.

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If you want to clone from a snapshot, follow the same process as restoring, but click Clone from Snapshot instead of restore VM.

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Once you have cloned your Snapshot or VM, you will need to register the newly cloned VM to VMware.

Start by selecting your DVX Datastore in VCenter, click Actions and then Register VM.

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Find the folder that matches the cloned VM name, select the VMX, and click OK.

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Complete the registration wizard, to select the host and folder to register the VM to. Once finished you can find your VM in your VCenter inventory and power it on.

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So there we have it, multiple snapshot recovery or clone options in Datrium DVX. In the next segment we will discuss application restore options.

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