File Level Restores from VM Image Level Backups using Avamar and VMware vStorage API
After my last post, Performing Image Level Backups With Avamar 5, some of you may be asking "How can I go about restoring individual files from an Image Level Backup?" With Avamar this is definitely possible, but there are some prerequisites that you will need to address before this capability is unlocked.
The first thing you will need to do is work with Avamar support to install and configure the Avamar File System (AvFS) and to install and configure a Samba share on your Avamar server. (This is an advanced configuration option that is not typically implemented during the initial install unless you specifically request to have it configured. Since this is an advanced task, it is highly recommended that you work with EMC or your certified solutions provider to enable these features. As such, I will not get into the details of configuring AvFS/Samba for Avamar in this post.)
The second prerequisite is the deployment of a Windows File Level Restore Proxy. The purpose of the restore proxy is to browse the AvFS via a CIFS share that is created during the Samba configuration mentioned above. Browsing this CIFS share is what gives the Avamar server the ability (via the proxy) to restore individual files and folders from the image level backup. The file level restore functionality is only available on Windows servers.
To configure the proxy you will need to deploy a Windows File Level Restore Proxy. This server must be a Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition with SP2. Windows Server 2003 Standard R2 is not supportedbecause the tighter security in R2 will prevent the file level restore from completing. In addition, you should not make the proxy server a member of any domain. Adding the proxy to a domain could prevent you from successfully restoring files because of ACL issues. Leaving the restore proxy as a workgroup server will eliminate this issue. The proxy VM should have 1 CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of hard disk space.
Once you have deployed the restore proxy you will need to do the following:
1. Install VMware Tools and enable "Time synchronization between the virtual machine and the host operating system"
2. Download and install Microsoft .NET Framework v2.0
a. You can search for Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86) at www.microsoft.com/downloads
3. Install VMware VIX API Version 1.7.0-186713
a. Download from www.vmware.com/support/developer/vix-api
4. Download the Avamar Image Plugin ISO from the Avamar server
a. Point your web browser to your Avamar server
b. Scroll to bottom of the page and click the Documents and Downloads link
c. Under Windows for x86 (32bit) click the Microsoft Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, 7 link
d. Click on AvamarVmImage-windows-x86-5.0.105-169.iso and save to your local drive.
e. Once the download completes, upload the file to the ISO directory on your vCenter server.
f. Connect AvamarVmImage-windows-x86-5.0.105-169.iso to the Windows File Level Restore Proxy VM.
g. Once connected, the installation should start and run automatically, if it does not, simply browse the CD and run setup.exe.
h. Once the installation is complete you should see the Avamar Client icon in the system tray.
i. Disconnect the AvamarVmImage-windows-x86-5.0.105-169.iso from the server.
j. Right click the Avamar Client icon>>Actions>>Activate
k. The Activate Client dialog will appear
At this point you should be able to browse the files in your image level backups. You can now restore a file or folder from an image level backup by following the steps below.
- Login to the Avamar Console
- Click on the Backup and Restore
- Browse to the VM image level backup that you would like to restore, select the date, the backup you wish to restore from, and click the file level icon
4. Now select the file(s) that you would like to restore and click the restore button to initiate the restore.
You may be prompted for security credentials….
So there you have it. Using Avamar, you now have the ability to perform file level restores from you VM Image backups.