VMware Backup Plan (BETA)

MSP360 Managed Backup features virtual machine backup and restore on ESXi server (a part of VMware vSphere).

This chapter covers the following topics:

Create VMware Backup Plan

  1. Open the Management Console.
  2. In the Computers menu, select Remote Management.
  3. In the computer list, find the computer you want the image-based plan to be created, then click the Settings icon.
  4. Select Show Plans.
  5. In the side panel, click +, then select the VMware item.

Plan Name

Name the backup plan.

Click Next.

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Cloud Storage

Select the backup destination for the plan.

Click Next.

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Connect to ESXi Server

Specify the credentials to the ESXi server to back up.

Click Next.

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Select Virtual Machines

Select virtual machines to include in the backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • Back up all virtual machines. Select this option to include all virtual machines on the ESXi host in the backup plan
  • Back up only running virtual machines. Select this option to back up virtual machines running at the moment of the backup plan execution
  • Back up selected virtual machines. Select virtual machines to back up manually

Click Next.

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Select Virtual Disks

Select virtual disks to include in the backup plan. You can include all VM disks into the backup plan or select specific ones.

Click Next.

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Advanced Settings

Customize backup settings for virtual machines in the backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • Back up virtual machines with application-consistency issues. With this option selected, virtual machines are backed up subsequently one by one. VMware Tools utility installed on the virtual machine checks the state of applications running on a virtual machine, then a snapshot is created and an application-consistent backup is performed. In case an application-consistent snapshot is not created for some reason, an attempt of creating a regular snapshot of this virtual machine is made
  • Skip virtual machines with application-consistency issues. With this option selected, virtual machines with applications that did not flush pending I/O operations from memory to disks, are skipped, and an appropriate warning containing the list of these machines is reported
  • Do not use application-consistent backup. If you select this option, regular VM snapshots are created without quiescing

Click Next.

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Compression and Encryption Options

Specify compression and encryption options for the backup plan. The following options are available:

  • Enable compression. Enable this option to apply the compression mechanism for data in the backup plan. This may reduce the backup size significantly
  • Enable encryption. Select this option to use AES encryption for the backup plan
  • If you enabled encryption, select the encryption algorithm in the Algorithm drop-down menu. The following key lengths are available:
    • 128 bit
    • 192 bit
    • 256 bit
  • In the Password field, specify the encryption password, then confirm it. Mind to keep the encryption password in a safe place, otherwise, there will be no way to restore data.
  • In the Hint field, enter some information that could help you to recall the encryption password in case you forget it. Do not skip this field, it can help in case you forget the password

In case the backup destination is Amazon S3, some options related to AWS storage only are available:

Click Next.

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Backup Consistency Check

Enable or skip the full consistency check.

Read more about consistency checks in the Mandatory and Full Consistency Checks chapter

Click Next.

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Schedule Options

Specify the backup plan schedule settings.

The following schedule options are available:

  • If you intend to run the backup plan manually, select the No schedule (Run Manually) option
  • If you want the backup plan to run incremental backups on a constant periodic basis, select the Recurring (incremental) option, then specify the settings for incremental backup plan runs
  • If you want the backup plan to run full backups on a constant periodic basis, select the Execute full backup (synthetic full if possible) option, then specify the settings for full backup plan runs
  • To stop the backup plan in case it continues suspiciously long, select the Stop the plan if it runs for... option, then specify the backup plan maximum duration
  • Select the Run Missed Scheduled Plan Immediately When Computer Starts Up option to execute the overdue plan that was not executed while the computer was down

Recurring Schedule for Incremental Backups

You can set the periodic run intervals for incremental backups. Select if the backup plan runs on a daily or monthly basis, then specify the recurrence parameters and start time. Click Save. You can check your settings at the bottom of the step page.

Recurring Schedule for Full Backups

You can set the periodic run intervals for full backups. Specify if the full backup plan runs on a daily or monthly basis, then specify the recurrence parameters and start time. Click Save. You can check your settings at the bottom of the step page.

Click Next.

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Retention Policy

Specify the retention policy and GFS retention policy for the backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • Do not purge. Select this option to keep all your backup runs
  • Keep backup for. Select this option to limit the period while backup contents are kept in the backup storage, then specify the period

Learn more about the retention policy in the Retention Policy chapter

To apply the GFS retention policy for the backup plan, select the Enable GFS check box, then customize the GFS retention policy by enabling the required keeping periods (weekly, monthly and yearly purge delays).

Learn more about the GFS retention policy in the About GFS chapter

Also, check the GFS policy assignment examples in the GFS Policy Usage Examples chapter

If your backup destination supports the Immutability feature, you can enable it in this step. Select the Enable Immutability check box and confirm enabling this feature.

Use the Immutability feature with caution. Read more about it in the Immutability chapter

Click Next.

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Pre / Post Actions (optional)

Specify the actions to be executed before and/or after the backup plan run. Note that this step may be absent if pre/post actions are disabled by the provider.

  • To specify the action that will be performed before the backup plan starts, select Execute this command before backup runs check box
  • In the field below, specify the path to the script to be executed before the backup plan
  • Specify the conditions of the script's execution:
    • Select the Do not run the backup plan if the pre-backup action fails option if you do not want the backup plan to run if the pre-backup script fails
    • Select the Run the backup plan if the pre-backup action fails option if you want the backup plan to run regardless of the pre-backup script execution result
  • To specify the action to be performed after the backup plan is completed, select Execute this command after backup completes check box
    • Select the Execute post-backup action only if the backup completes successfully option if you want to run it only if the backup plan is completed without any errors or warnings (the Success status)
    • Select the Execute the post-backup action regardless of the backup result option if you want the script to execute regardless of the backup plan execution results
  • To chain the backup plan with another plan, select Execute following plan after backup completes: check box, then select the plan name in the drop-down menu
    • Select the Run the selected plan if this backup completes with success option if you want to run the specified plan only if the backup plan completes without error or warnings
    • Select the Run the selected plan regardless of this backup plan completion result to execute the chained plan in any case
    • Select the Force full backup option to execute a full backup for the chained plan

Click Next.

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Run Backup Plan

To Run the Existing Backup Plan

  1. In the Computers menu, select Remote Management item.
  2. Find a required computer, then click the Settings icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Show Plans.
  4. In the side panel, find the plan to run, then click on it.
  5. Click the Play button.

Edit Backup Plan

To Edit the Existing Backup Plan

  1. In the Computers menu, select Remote Management item.
  2. Find a required computer, then click the gear icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Show Plans.
  4. Click on the plan you want to edit, then click Edit.
  5. Once you made the required changes, click Save.

Clone Backup Plan

To Clone the Existing Backup Plan

  1. In the Computers menu, select Remote Management item.
  2. Find a required computer, then click the gear icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Show Plans.
  4. Click on the plan you want to edit, then click Clone.
  5. In the field below, specify the name for the plan clone.
  6. Click Save.

Delete Backup Plan

To Delete the Existing Backup Plan

  1. In the Computers menu, select Remote Management item.
  2. Find a required computer, then click the gear icon.
  3. In the drop-down menu, select Show Plans.
  4. Click on the plan you want to delete, then click Delete.
  5. In the dialog box, click OK to confirm the deletion.