4 4 3 Beefalo:Proxmox VE Backup

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Copyright © SEP AG 1999-2022. 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.

Docs latest icon.png Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 4.4.3 Beefalo/5.0.0 Jaglion. For previous documentation version(s), check documentation archive.


Overview

SEP sesam provides efficient data protection for Proxmox VE, an open-source server virtualization environment that supports a variety of guest operating systems. Proxmox VE is based on Debian GNU/Linux and supports two virtualization technologies – KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) for VMs and LXC for containers (CT). The Proxmox integration is based on the use of Proxmox API and vzdump to enable consistent backup of VMs and container-based virtuals running in Proxmox environments.

The VMs/CTs in Proxmox VE have to be backed up individually by configuring a backup task for each VM/CT. However, you can assign individual backup tasks to a task group and then trigger the start of all tasks belonging to that group with a single event. For details, see Adding a task to the task group.

SEP sesam supports a variety of storage devices, allowing you to back up your Proxmox VE to any virtual machine-supported storage. By using the integrated Si3 target deduplication for Proxmox backups, you can benefit from reduced disk capacity and increased overall storage performance.

Supported backup level

Currently, only backup level COPY is supported for Proxmox VE, which means that all data defined by the backup job is backed up, regardless of when it was last changed. A granular file backup of a VM or a container (CT) cannot be performed.

The Proxmox COPY backup includes the VM/CT configuration and all data. SEP sesam supports running COPY backups using snapshot Proxmox mode. The different backup modes are described in the Proxmox documentation: Backup modes.

Snapshot backup mode for VMs
This mode performs a Proxmox VE live backup, in which data blocks are copied while the VM is running (is not suspended or stopped). Since the backup is performed while the VM is running, this mode provides the lowest operation downtime even though a backup may take a bit longer.
Snapshot backup mode for CTs
It uses the snapshotting facilities of the underlying storage, therefore, all backed up volumes must be on storage that supports snapshots. The CT is suspended to provide consistent container backups and the temporary snapshot is then automatically deleted. By default, vzdump backs up only the root disk mount point, while other mount points are not included in the backups; it also skips the following files:
/tmp/?*
/var/tmp/?*
/var/run/?*pid

Only one VM can be restored at a time. Restoring individual files (SFR – single file restore) is not supported.

SEP sesam Proxmox VE integration advantages

  • Online backup of running VMs/CTs using snapshot technology.
  • Online backup of VM/CT configuration.
SEP Tip.png Tip
With v. 5.0.0 Jaglion, you can simplify the backup of multiple VMs by automatically creating tasks for VMs that are connected to the same host; you can also automatically create clients for VMs to which the created tasks and ACLs can be assigned. It is recommended to use these features when a new hypervisor is added and many new VMs need to be backed up. For details, see Automating Backup Process.
  • Restore options:
    • Restore of complete VMs and their configuration.
    • Restore of VM configuration.
    • Restore into new VM instances.
  • You can restore your data via the GUI or via the web interface Restore Assistant. Although most of the options are the same in both restore interfaces, the web Restore Assistant is more intuitive and offers additional advanced options. For details, see Proxmox VE Restore.

Prerequisites

To ensure error-free operation of SEP sesam and improve performance, please make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • Check the support matrix for a list of supported Proxmox VE versions.
  • Download the appropriate SEP sesam Client version according to your distribution. For installation via Debian package archives, see the article about the Debian repository. SEP sesam Client already contains all necessary components for backing up Proxmox VMs/CTs.
  • The SEP sesam backup Client package must be installed on a Proxmox server or, in the case of a Proxmox cluster, on each cluster node.
  • All nodes have to be added as clients in the SEP sesam GUI, with a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) for all added nodes. You cannot use plain IP addresses, otherwise the backup will not work.
  • Make sure that the client’s hostname is exactly the same as the hostname returned by the Proxmox server.
  • Working name resolution for the Proxmox nodes and the Proxmox resource (for Proxmox cluster). The hostnames of the nodes must be resolvable from all nodes.
  • Make sure your Proxmox VE is configured correctly. While backing up Proxmox VMs does not require the underlying storage to support snapshots, this does not apply to container backups, where all backed up volumes must be on storage that supports snapshots.
  • Make sure that there is enough space on your storage for the backed up data.

Adding the Proxmox server to SEP sesam environment

Once you have downloaded the SEP sesam package, add your Proxmox server as a client to the SEP sesam environment.

Information sign.png Note
  • In the case of a Proxmox cluster, the SEP sesam backup Client package must be installed on each cluster node.
  • All nodes must be added as clients in the SEP sesam GUI (as described in the following procedure), where the hostname of the client must exactly match the hostname returned by the Proxmox server. You must not use plain IP addresses, otherwise the backup will not work.
  • The hostnames of the nodes must be resolvable from all nodes.

This section contains version-specific steps that you should follow. For more details on all available options, see Configuring Clients.

  1. From Main Selection -> Components -> Topology, select the appropriate location (e.g., Virtualization/Proxmox) and click New Client. The New Client window is displayed.
  2. Enter the name of the Proxmox server or, if you are adding a cluster node, the exact hostname of the client as returned by the Proxmox server.
    It is very important that the name of the client matches the hostname returned by the Proxmox server. For example:
  3.  "Proxmox-VE:109" fv - - - - 5368709120 - ,uuid=109,powerState=running,description=vm-on-node1,hostSystem=pxmx-node2,network=,guest_os=,ips=,cpu_cores_per_socket=,cpu_cores=,total_memory=,not_expandable,single_selection
    

    In this example, the VM named 109 is running on hostSystem=pxmx-node2. This information is returned by the Proxmox API and pxmx-node2 has to be configured in SEP sesam as a client with the name pxmx-node2. Or if, for example, one server is configured in SEP sesam as pxmx-node1.srv.qa.hk.sep.de, the other can be configured as pxmx-node2.srv.qa.hk.sep.de.

    SEP Tip.png Tip
    The name of the Proxmox node on which the VM resides can also be checked when creating a backup task. For details, see the steps of the backup tasks.
  4. From the Platform drop-down list, select Linux. By selecting the Platform the Operating system - Linux is set automatically.
    • As of v. ≥ 5.0.0 Jaglion, you first have to select the Virtualization server option. Then from the VM server type drop-down list, select Proxmox-VE.
    • Proxmox client-client.jpg

    • In v. 4.4.3 Beefalo V2, from the VM server type drop-down list, select Proxmox server.
    • This step is only neccessary for version 4.4.3 Beefalo V2: Switch to the OS Access tab and enter the credentials as administrator to access the respective systems.
  5. Switch to the Proxmox-VE Access tab and enter the credentials for Proxmox VE (user name, i.e., admin@internal and password).
  6. Proxmox client-access.jpg
    Click OK.

Information sign.png Note
Before proceeding, you should validate that you can back up to SEP sesam. Run a test Path backup manually to ensure that the backups work. For details on typical backup configuration, see Standard Backup Procedure.

Configuring Proxmox backup

Configuring a Proxmox backup on the SEP sesam Server involves creating a Proxmox backup task, setting up a backup schedule (specifying when you want to back up your data) and linking the schedule to a backup event (specifying how and where to back up the data). For general details on backup configuration and prerequisites, see Standard Backup Procedure. However, configuring a Proxmox backup differs slightly from the standard procedure and requires some Proxmox-specific steps, which are described below.

Information sign.png Note
  • The virtual machine that you want to back up must not have any defined internal or external snapshots.
  • When backing up via hypervisor and using external disk, SEP sesam cannot back up the data on the RDM disks or on a VM without attached SCSI controller(s). The data of such disks is silently skipped from backup, hence the backup saveset contains no data for the external disk, while the backup succeeds and no warning about the missing data is issued. If a restore of a VM with external disk is performed to the original VM by using the option overwrite, the disk is re-created and all existing data on the restore target is lost.
    To back these hypervisors, you have to add one or more SCSI controller to the virtual machine before performing a backup, even if there are no devices to use the SCSI, or you have to install a SEP sesam Client in the virtual machine and perform an additional file or application backup to back up this data.
  1. From Main Selection -> Tasks -> By Clients, select the Proxmox client and click New Backup Task. The New Backup Task window opens.
  2. Proxmox bck task-create.jpg

  3. Select the Source. Click the Browse button (large arrow) and select the Proxmox virtual machine/container that you want to back up from the list of VMs/CTs detected on the host system.
    If you click on the details, you can also see on which host system the VM is running.
  4. Proxmox bck task-source.jpg
    By selecting the source, the task type and task name are set automatically.

  5. To access the Proxmox VE, switch to the Proxmox-VE tab and specify your user account (e.g., root@pam) and the password required to access the Proxmox management frontend.
  6. If you want to define other options (such as pre/post backup and restore commands, set encryption or compress data, consolidate individual tasks under a specific task group, or assign a task to the schedule), click the corresponding tabs in the New Backup Task window.
    Click OK to create the task.
  7. If you want to start the newly created task immediately, right-click the name of the task and click Immediate Start. If you want to create a periodic backup, you have to create a schedule for your backup task: Click New Schedule under Main Selection -> Scheduling -> Schedules and set up a schedule. For more details, see Creating a Schedule.
  8. SEP Tip.png Tip
    You can also add your backup task to an existing schedule by double-clicking the backup task, selecting the tab Schedules and adding it to one or more schedules.
  9. Once you have configured a schedule, you must create a new backup event for it. For general information on creating a backup event, see Creating a backup event. Note that Proxmox VE only supports COPY backups.
Information sign.png Note
You can assign individual backup tasks to a task group and then trigger the backup of all tasks belonging to that group with a single event. The tasks are processed according to the number of available channels. The remaining tasks are placed in the execution queue and are started sequentially. For details, see Adding a Task to the Task Group.

Monitoring backup

You can view the status of your backup jobs in the GUI (Monitoring -> Last Backup State or Job State -> Backups) or SEP sesam Web UI. The backup status overview provides detailed information about the last run of backup jobs, including task name, start and stop time of the last backup, backup level, data size, throughput, assigned media pool, etc.