4 4 3:VMware Instant Recovery

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Copyright © SEP AG 1999-2024. All rights reserved.

Any form of reproduction of the contents or parts of this manual is allowed only with the express written permission from SEP AG. When compiling and designing user documentation SEP AG uses great diligence and attempts to deliver accurate and correct information. However, SEP AG cannot issue a guarantee for the contents of this manual.

Icon archived docs.png This is not the latest version of SEP sesam documentation and, as such, does not provide information on features introduced in the latest release. For more information on SEP sesam releases, see SEP sesam Release Versions. For the latest documentation, check VMware Instant Recovery in v. ≥ Beefalo.


As of version 4.4.3, SEP sesam provides simple and flexible instant recovery for VMware based on almost any level of VMware backup, including differential and incremental. Hence, it is no longer required to use the dedicated GUI option VM single file and instant recovery during backup. To learn what applies to SF and IR, which backup level supports it and how it relates to the disk size usage, see SF & IR support matrix for the version you are using: v. ≥ 4.4.3 Tigon or version 4.4.3.

SEP sesam VMware instant recovery enables you to power on a virtual machine without having to wait to first restore it. This means that your VMware data is instantly accessible from your backup source. SEP sesam uses VMware's Storage vMotion to relocate your VM.

There are two ways to perform VMware instant recovery in SEP sesam: by using GUI restore wizard (described below) or through the web interface Restore Assistant (in v. ≥ 4.4.3 Beefalo). Even though most of the options are the same in both restore interfaces, the web Restore Assistant interface is designed to be more intuitive and offers additional advanced options. However, it cannot be used for scheduling restore, as scheduling is only supported in the GUI mode. For details, see Restore Assistant.


Before attempting to instantly recover your VM, all preparation steps have to be performed properly, including configuration and VM backup. Depending on your SEP sesam version, see the relevant VMware guide for details. Make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • SEP sesam Server version ≥ 4.4.3. For the list of supported systems, see SEP sesam OS and Database Support Matrix.
  • SEP sesam data store Path or Si3 data store can be used for backups. SEP sesam data store via UNC path is not supported. Volume must be visible as a local attached storage (not as a network drive letter). Only iSCSI, SAN and local connected drives can be used as a local attached storage.
  • Two VMware data stores are required for VMware instant recovery.
  • Backups must not be encrypted or compressed, and they must not be migrated to another media – only the original backup on SEP sesam data store can be used for restore.
  • The system that stores the VMDK files to SEP sesam data store (either SEP sesam Server or SEP sesam RDS) must provide NFS (network file system) services. If the NFS service is on Windows, SEP recommends using Windows 2012 (R2) for providing a higher level of NFS support.
  • SEP sesam is using Storage vMotion for instant recovery, which requires a special VMware license. Currently, two vSphere editions, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus, include Storage VMotion. VMware vCenter is also required.

Preparing the NFS share

NFS (Network File System) is a client/server application that allows to share files across a network. You have to set up the NFS service on the SEP sesam Server or RDS System, which stores the VMDK files. The procedure for creating a NFS share depends on your SEP sesam Server/RDS operating system, and on the Windows systems also on the SEP sesam version:

Information sign.png Note
SEP sesam automatically creates a VMware data store to attach the VMDK file(s) to a virtual host.

NFS on Windows

Depending on your SEP sesam version, you may need to prepare the NFS share manually.

V. 4.4.3 Tigon already includes the NFS server and does not require a regular NFS server provided by Windows. You can skip this step if you are using SEP sesam version > 4.4.3.
Information sign.png Note
If you are using Tigon and Windows RDS, make sure that no other NFS server is running. If another NFS server is running, disable the service Server for NFS and restart the system.
V. 4.4.3
For SEP sesam 4.4.3 with the NFS service on Windows, it is recommended to use Windows 2012 (R2) for providing a higher level of NFS support. SEP sesam creates the required NFS share on Windows 2012 automatically (if the NFS share is not added, follow the procedure below to add it manually). On Windows 2008 (R2), you have to set up the NFS share manually:
  1. Login to your SEP sesam Server or RDS which stores the VMDK files and for which you want to configure the NFS share.
  2. To install server for NFS services, execute the following command as administrator via Powershell version 2 at <SESAM_ROOT>\bin\sesam: sm_installnfs.ps1. The installation starts automatically.
  3. Create the NFS share by using Server Manager: Log on your SEP sesam Server or RDS as a member of the local Administrators group. Use Start menu to start servermanager.exe if it does not start automatically. Then click File Services -> Share and Storage Management -> Provision Share, and specify the following:
    NFS Server share.jpg
    • Shared Folder Location: Browse for the path where the SEP sesam data store is located.
      Information sign.png Note
      The path of the NFS share must be the same as the path of the SEP sesam data store and the name of the NFS share must be the same as the name of the SEP sesam data store where the VMDK files are stored.
      In our example, the name of the NFS share must be NFS-Store1 and the path must be set to E:\nfs (see above data store screenshot). Click Next.
    • NTFS Permissions: Leave default NTFS permissions. Click Next.
    • Share Protocols: Select NFS and specify a name for the new share – the name of the SEP sesam data store, e.g. NFS-Store1. Click Next.
    • NFS Authentication: Leave default settings.
    • NFS Permissions: Change the Type of access to Read-Write, and select the check box Allow root access. Click Next.
    • Confirmation: Review your configuration, and click Create to create the NFS file share.
  4. Once you created the share, right-click it and select Properties, select the tab NFS Sharing, and click on Manage NFS Sharing. In the NFS Advanced Sharing window, set the authentication for the NFS share: select option No server authentication with sub-option Enable unmapped user access and radio button Allow unmapped user access by UID/GID.
  5. NFS settings.jpg
  6. Then click the Permissions button to open the NFS Share Permission dialog. Check that the Type of access is set to Read-Write, and that the check box Allow root access is enabled to give the root user Administrative privileges. You can set the share permissions for all machines or just for the vCenter server.

For more details on NFS configuration, see Microsoft article Services for NFS – Step-by-Step Guide for Windows Server 2008 R2.

NFS on Linux

This section provides only basic information for configuring NFS on Linux. For more information, see relevant Linux documentation. You can also check the article How to configure NFS on Linux.

  • NFS v3 server must be installed and NFS service must run.
  • Exports will be created dynamically during restore by SEP sesam. Note that exports can also be created manually by editing /etc/exports file. Exported path has to match location of SEP sesam data store or any of its parent directories on the same file system.
  • All ESX servers must be allowed to mount the directory.
  • Read/Write permission should be set.

Starting instant recovery

Use the restore wizard to instantly start a VM recovery directly from your saveset.

  1. From the SEP sesam GUI menu bar, select Activities -> Restore. The New Restore Task window opens.
  2. Select what you want to restore. You can search savesets by task name or by filename or path.
    • When searching by task name, use the drop-down list of available tasks and select the one you want to restore from. This option is selected by default.
    • If you are searching by filename/path, select the option Filename or path in saveset and enter your search expression in the search pattern field.
  3. Under the Saved in period drop-down lists, specify the time frame for which you want to conduct the search. Click Next.
  4. The search results are displayed. From the list of savesets matching your query, select the version from which you want to restore an individual file. Under the list, the following options indicates that instant recovery can be performed but must stay unselected: Attach virtual disk(s) (VMDK) to a Proxy-VM via NFS server and Mount virtual disk(s). Again, leave the options unselected. If the options are not shown, check the Prerequisites. Click Next.
  5. VMware IR select task Beefalo V2.jpg
  6. In the Target Settings dialog, specify the new VM name, if required, and specify the target VMware data store, where the VM will run once instant recovery is finished. In our example, the target VMware data store is EternusSAN1. Then click the button Instant Recovery / Restore VM Options. A new window Instant Recovery / Restore VM Options is shown.
  7. VMware IR target Beefalo V2.jpg
  8. Select the first option Instant Recovery. Then select the temporary VM data store from the drop-down list (at the bottom). In our example, the temporary store is esxix-local. Click OK to perform VM instant recovery.
  9. VMware IR Beefalo V2.jpg