5 0 0:VMware Single File Restore

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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.

Draft.png WORK IN PROGRESS
This page is a draft. Treat the information on this page with caution as it may be incomplete.


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


Overview

Quick Start 3.png
Quick setup
  1. Attach VMDK to a virtual machine.
  2. Configure a virtual host as a SEP sesam client.
  3. Prepare the NFS share on Linux.
  4. Restore a VM using the attached VMDK.
  5. OR

  6. Mount VMDK to a SEP sesam RDS.
  7. Restore a single file using the mounted VMDK.


It is estimated that about thre-quarters of typical VMware virtual machine restore cases only require a single file restore rather than a restore of the entire virtual machine. SEP sesam provides simple and flexible single file restore that allows you to restore an individual item from copy/full/differential/incremental backups without any special backup preparation. To learn what applies to single file restore and instant recovery, which backup level supports it, and how it relates to the disk size usage, see SF & IR support matrix.

This article provides information on restoring an individual item from a vSphere backup. For details on how to restore single VMware virtual machine, see VMware Restore. For details on how to perform a VMware virtual machine instant recovery and sandbox restore, see VMware Instant Recovery and VMware Sandbox Restore.

You can restore single files via the GUI restore wizard or the web interface Restore Assistant. Although most options are the same in both restore interfaces, the web interface Restore Assistant does not currently support restoring a single file by attaching a VMDK to a virtual machine. For this, you have to use SEP sesam GUI.

You can restore individual items from a successful VMware backup by using one of the following procedures:

Before starting a restore, check the supported file systems and restrictions.

Supported file systems

SEP sesam can generally recover all file systems, as long as the respective operating system provides read/write support for it.

  • Example 1: A restore of files from ReFS on Windows is only possible if the data mover is able to read the ReFS file system, which is supported since Windows Server 2012.
  • Example 2: A restore of files from a Btrfs is only possible if the data mover is a Linux with Kernel support for it, for example SLES 12.
  • Example 3: If the file system on OES Linux is NSS, the data mover must be able to read the NSS file system data.

When restoring files from the NSS file system some limitations apply:

  • The restore process itself is no different than the restore of native Linux or Windows files, but the proxy VM must be an OES11 or higher Server. For prerequisites, check Recommendations for Linux proxy.
  • Files from a native NetWare VM can only be restored to an OES Linux or native Linux target.
  • To restore trustees, the extended attributes on NSS must be enabled before the backup. For details, see the Novell OES documentation for NSS.
  • If you restore NSS files to a server in the original tree and to an NSS file system, the restored files retain the original trustees (regardless of the tree of the proxy OES VM that you used for the restore).
  • Trustees from native NetWare VMs cannot be restored because native NetWare does not have extended attributes to store trustees in the file system.

Restrictions

  • SEP sesam does not support restoring files from the DOS boot partition of a native NetWare server
  • SEP sesam provides limited support for single file restore on Windows virtual machines with spanned volumes due to Microsoft restrictions. The following limitations exist:
    • Mounting VMDK to a SEP sesam Server/RDS is not supported.
    • Attaching VMDK to the original virtual machine is not supported if the original disks are still attached (which is the case in most scenarios).
  • The attach method does not work with a virtual SEP sesam Server or a virtual RDS to itself. For example, a virtual SEP sesam Server stores the virtual disk(s) on the SEP sesam data store. It is not possible to attach VMDK to the corresponding virtual SEP sesam Server; another VM must be used for this.

Best practice for individual file restore for Windows and Linux VMs

SEP sesam provides a simple single file restore (SFR) from a VMware CBT snapshot without any special backup preparation. It is generally recommended to use the web Restore Assistant for SFR. Note that whether you use the attach or mount procedure depends on which interface you use for the restore.

  • If you are using the Java GUI, the recommended procedure for SFR is attach.
  • If you are performing a web restore using the Restore Assistant, the only option is to mount the VMDK on a device server.

Which method is best also depends on your system environment and its configuration.

The following steps represent best practises and the latest recommendations from SEP sesam support. They depend on the method used, e.g. the NFS service is only required if you want to attach a VMDK to a virtual machine. More detailed instructions on VMware requirements and backup configuration can be found in the corresponding articles VMware Requirements & Restrictions and VMware Backup.

  • Enable the NFS server on the SEP sesam Server or RDS as described in the Preparing the NFS share section.
  • Install SEP sesam Client on a Linux VM (sandbox for Linux single file restore). VDDK is only required if this VM is also the data mover. In this case check the VMware Requirements & Restrictions.
  • Add the Linux VM as a client as described in Step 1: Configuring a virtual host as a SEP sesam client. Make sure that you select the Virtual machine and with SEP sesam Client installed check boxes.
  • Information sign.png Note
    • You can use any operating system unless you need a sandbox for NetWare single file restore. Search the wiki for a NetWare reference.
    • Do not use a productive system as a sandbox!
  • Install SEP sesam Client on a Windows VM (sandbox for Windows single file restore). No specific Windows version is required. VDDK is only required if this VM is also the data mover. In this case, check the VMware Requirements & Restrictions.
  • Add the Windows VM as a client as described in Step 1: Configuring a virtual host as SEP sesam Client. Make sure to select the Virtual machine and with SEP sesam Client installed check boxes.
  • Follow Step 3: Restore a VM using the attached VMDK: Select the VMware snapshot and select the Attach virtual disk(s) (VMDK) to a Proxy-VM via NFS server check box. Then click Next, and under Select VM, use the drop-down list to select a Linux or Windows sandbox VM.

Attaching VMDK to a virtual machine

Attaching a VMDK to a virtual machine (for Windows and Linux) requires only one SEP sesam Server or Remote Device Server (RDS). Note that attaching a VMDK to a virtual machine is currently only supported in the SEP sesam GUI.

Information sign.png Note
SEP sesam has limited support for single file restore on Windows virtual machines with spanned volumes due to Microsoft restrictions. Attaching VMDK to the original virtual machine is not supported if the original disks are still attached. You can only attach VMDK to another Windows host, because Microsoft does not allow to use the same volumes twice when having spanned volumes. Then the disks will be marked as Foreign in Disk Management. The only possible workaround is to bring these disks online manually through Disk Management. For details, see the section Managing virtual machines with spanned volumes.

Conceptual view of a single item restore with the attached VMDK
Attaching VMDK graphic.png

Prerequisites

Before attempting to attach a VMDK and restore a single file, all preparation steps have to be performed properly, including configuration and VM backup. For details, see VMware documentation.

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

  • SEP sesam Server version ≥ 5.0.0 Jaglion. For the list of supported systems, see SEP sesam OS and Database Support Matrix.
  • A SEP sesam data store (Path, SEP sesam Si3 deduplication store, HPE StoreOnce, etc.). The UNC path (e.g., \\server\folder) for the data store is supported.
  • 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.
  • At least one VMware vCenter virtual host has to be added as SEP sesam Client ≥ 5.0.0 to attach VMDKs.
  • Encrypted file systems within the virtual machine can only be read if the system (proxy VM) with the attached virtual disk is able to decrypt the data.
  • A proxy server (either Windows or Linux VM) should be a non-production environment. For more details, see Recommendations for Linux proxy below.
  • If you are using both Linux and Windows virtual hosts, it is recommended that you add one virtual Linux and one virtual Windows host to ensure file system compatibility.
  • For some versions, such as VDDK 6.5.x on Windows, it might be necessary to reboot the host after the update and then run the vstor2install.bat script. For details, see VMware Troubleshooting.
Information sign.png Note
SEP sesam can restore all file systems for which the respective operating system provides read/write support. For example, a restore of files on Windows ReFS is only possible if the system with the attached disk is able to read ReFS data. Or if the file system on OES Linux is NSS, the system with the attached disk must be able to read the NSS file system data.

Recommendations for Linux proxy

OES Linux proxy VM (for restore from NSS file systems)

  • The latest OES version is recommended (the proxy VM must support the NSS version within the VMDK).
  • OES pattern to be installed: NSS (all other dependencies will be selected automatically)
  • It is recommended to install NetIQ eDirectory as a separate tree.
  • Static IP address (required by NetIQ eDirectory).
  • Only a minimal system is required, an X server is not required.
  • File system size only for operating system + OES extension of the proxy VM.
  • SEP sesam Client for ≥ SLES12 (for OES2018, SEP NSS module already included in SLES12 client package).

OES Linux

  • Use a separate, non-production OES VM.
  • Install the NetIQ eDirectory as a separate tree.
  • Do not add NSS pools and volumes to the OES server – any pools that are not active will be automatically activated and deactivated after restore.
  • Do not change the mounted NSS file systems – they are your backup!

Step 1: Configuring a virtual host as a SEP sesam Client

To attach a VMDK file to a virtual host, SEP sesam needs to know where to attach the VMDK file(s). You have to add at least one virtual host as SEP sesam Client and this system must be assigned to the virtual host.

  1. From Main Selection -> Components -> Topology, select your VMware location and click the New Client button. The New Client window opens.
  2. Enter the name of the virtual host in the Name field.
  3. Select the Virtual machine and with SEP sesam Client installed check boxes.
  4. Select the name of your vCenter under Virtualization server name.
  5. Select the virtual machine from the Virtual machine name drop-down list.
  6. Select the relevant platform from the Platform drop-down list and the relevant OS under Operating System.
  7. Ensure that SMSSH access mode is selected for SEP sesam Server-Client communication.
  8. VMware new client Jaglion.jpg

  9. Switch to the OS Access tab and enter the credentials as administrator to access the respective systems. Use the format DOMAIN\USER for domain accounts or HOST\USER for local accounts.
  10. VMware OS access Jaglion.jpg

    Click OK.

Your new client appears in the Topology content pane.

An additional tab is available in the client properties, where you can set the client permissions (ACLs). Double-click the client to open its properties and set client permissions under the Permissions tab. For details, see Configuring Clients.

Step 2: Preparing the NFS share on Linux

NFS (Network File System) is a client/server that enables file sharing over a network. SEP sesam automatically creates the required NFS share on Windows, but on Linux you must manually set up the NFS service on the SEP sesam Linux Server or RDS system where the VMDK files are stored.

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

The following overview contains only basic information for configuring NFS on Linux. For details, see relevant Linux documentation, e.g. in the article How to configure NFS on Linux.

  • The NFS server must be installed and the NFS service must be running.
  • Exports are created dynamically by SEP sesam during the restore. Note that exports can also be created manually by editing the /etc/exports file. The exported path has to match the location of the SEP sesam data store or one of its parent directories on the same file system.
  • All ESX servers must be allowed to mount the directory.
  • The read/write permission should be set.

Step 3: Restoring a VM using the attached VMDK

You can restore individual files using the attached VMDK via the SEP sesam GUI in advanced UI mode (formerly expert mode). For details on switching UI mode, see Setting UI mode in the GUI.

Information sign.png Note
The operations and options available after login may differ depending on the user type. Other GUI and Web UI display restrictions may depend on the custom roles with specific permissions and the UI mode.
For details, see About Authentication and Authorization and User Roles and Permissions.

Via the GUI restore wizard

Make sure your UI mode is set to advanced (formerly expert) and create a new restore task for the individual item(s) you want to restore.

  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. In the Saved in period drop-down lists, specify the time period for which you want to conduct the search. Click Next.
  4. The search results are displayed. From the list of savesets that match your search query, select the version from which you want to restore an individual file. Then select the Attach virtual disk(s) (VMDK) to a Proxy-VM via NFS server check box. Click Next.
  5. VMware SF select task Jaglion.jpg

  6. Under Select VM, select the appropriate vSphere server from the drop-down list, SEP sesam Client name of the proxy VM, and vSphere internal name of proxy VM. The vSphere server is the vCenter where the virtual host – vSphere internal name of proxy VM – is running, which is assigned as SEP sesam Client – SEP sesam Client name of proxy VM. If the host that attaches the disk(s) uses multiple network cards, you must also specify the NFS interface; otherwise this option does not need to be specified. Click Next.
  7. VMware SF select VM Jaglion.jpg

  8. In the Select Files dialog, only the drives of the selected VMDK(s) are displayed. Note that it may take 5 to 20 seconds for the drive list to load. SEP sesam automatically enables the automount function of Windows on the host that attaches the VMDK(s). Windows automount function assigns a drive letter to a new drive without user intervention. SEP sesam automatically sets all attached drives on that particular host to Online.
    If no drives are displayed, either an invalid partition was selected (e.g. if a Windows host tries to attach Linux partitions) or the drives were not started in the expected time. You can use the Refresh button to view the list of all drives, local and attached. Click Next.
  9. In the Target Settings window, all you need to do is select the Target node from the drop-down list and New restore target by browsing.
  10. VMware SF target Jaglion.jpg

  11. In the final step of the restore wizard, you can review all the settings for your restore task. If you want to start your restore immediately, click Start. If you want to save the restore task, click Save.
  12. Click OK to detach the VMDK(s) from the VM and close your restore session.

Managing virtual machines with spanned volumes

SEP sesam provides limited support for single file restore on Windows virtual machines with spanned volumes due to Microsoft's restrictions. Attaching VMDK to the original virtual machine is not supported if the original disks are still attached.

You can only attach VMDK to another Windows host, because Microsoft does not allow to use the same volumes twice when having spanned volumes. Then the disks will be marked as Foreign in Disk Management. The only possible workaround is to bring these disks online manually via Disk Management.

Steps

  1. Open Computer Management -> Disk Management, and click the Import Foreign Disks option. This lists one or more disk groups, identified by the name of the computer on which they were created. If you expand the details of a disk group, the locally attached disks will be listed.
  2. Select the relevant Disk Group. The dialog box with a list of volumes in the Disk Group opens.
  3. Select the relevant volumes and click OK to add the foreign disks to your system configuration.

The operation differs slightly depending on whether foreign (dynamic) online disks already exist on the target computer. For details, see the Microsoft support article Description of Disk Groups in Windows Disk Management.

Mounting VMDK to a SEP sesam RDS

You can mount any non-compressed VMDK saveset stored on SEP sesam data store (Path, Si3, etc.) to the local system used as VMware data mover and SEP sesam RDS with a data store.

The target VMDK is mounted to the SEP sesam home directory var\tmp\mnt, for example, C:\Program Files\SEPsesam\var\tmp\mnt\save_set_ID. This way, the VMDK is immediately accessible for browsing and searching, even before the actual restore is triggered, and you have quick access to your data. The mounted VMDK is basically a virtual read-only file system, and therefore cannot be altered or otherwise corrupted. Compared to the attach method, mounting has the advantage that it is much easier to set up and requires fewer configuration steps.

Information sign.png Note
  • To be able to access and mount VM disk image on Linux, the guestfs-tools package must be installed on your SEP sesam Server or Linux RDS. If the guestfs-tools package is not installed, it is not possible to mount VMDK and perform SFR. Refer to Installing guestfs-tools on Linux.
  • Mounting is not possible if the savesets are stored on tapes or if the savesets are compressed.
  • Mounting is not supported on Windows virtual machines with spanned volumes due to a Microsoft restriction.

Conceptual view of a single item restore with mounted VMDK
Mounting VMDK graphic Jaglion.png

Prerequisites

Before attempting to mount a VMDK and restore a single file, all preparation steps have to be performed properly, including configuration and VM backup. For details, see VMware documentation.

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

  • SEP sesam Server version ≥ 5.0.0 Jaglion. For the list of supported systems, see SEP sesam OS and Database Support Matrix.
  • A SEP sesam data store (Path, SEP sesam Si3 deduplication store, HPE StoreOnce, etc.). The UNC path (e.g., \\server\folder) for the data store is supported.
  • 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.
  • To restore single files via the web interface Restore Assistant, appropriate permissions are required. For details, see About Authentication and Authorization.
  • Restoring a single file (SFR) is supported only in advanced UI mode (formerly expert mode in the GUI). For details on switching the UI mode, see Setting the UI mode in the GUI and Setting the UI mode in the Restore Assistant.
  • Before starting a restore, check the restrictions for mounting the virtual disk (VHD file).
  • Windows specific
    • The required VDDK version must be installed on the system, which is used as VMware data mover and SEP sesam RDS with a data store. On Windows, VDDK is part of the SEP sesam installation. If you are using a Linux system (see below) you have to install VDDK manually.
    • When using a Windows data mover to mount the VMDK, it is required to have a second data mover on Linux (which is also a SEP sesam RDS) with the required VDDK version installed. Windows virtual hosts must be stored on a Windows RDS and Linux virtual hosts must be stored on a Linux RDS.
  • Linux specific
    • You have to manually install the VDDK on Linux. For details, see Installing VDDK on Linux.
    • To access and mount the file system of an image on Linux, you have to install the guestfs-tools package. For details, see Installing guestfs-tools on Linux.
    • When using a Linux data mover to mount the VMDK, it must be able to read Linux and Windows systems. Note that mounting Windows VMDKs with a Linux data mover can cause ACL-related problems and is therefore not recommended.
Information sign.png Note
SEP sesam can restore all file systems for which the respective operating system provides read/write support. For example a restore of files on Windows ReFS is only possible if the data mover is able to read ReFS data. Or if the file system on OES Linux is NSS, the data mover must be able to read the NSS file system data.

Restoring a single file using the mounted VMDK

You can restore individual files using the mounted VMDK via the SEP sesam GUI or the web Restore Assistant.

Restoring a single file (SFR) is supported only in advanced UI mode (formerly expert mode in the GUI). For details on switching the UI mode, see Setting the UI mode in the GUI and Setting the UI mode in the Restore Assistant.

Information sign.png Note
The operations and options available after logging in may differ depending on the user type. Other GUI and Web UI display restrictions may depend on the custom roles with specific permissions and the UI mode.
For details, see About Authentication and Authorization and User Roles and Permissions.

Via the GUI restore wizard

Make sure your UI mode is set to advanced (formerly expert) and create a new restore task for the individual item(s) you want to restore.

  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. In the Saved in period drop-down lists, specify the time period 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. Then select the check box Mount virtual disk(s). A mount action is triggered and your VMDK is mounted to the SEP sesam home directory var\tmp\mnt, e.g., C:\Program Files\SEPsesam\var\tmp\mnt\save_set_ID. The RDS for mounting is selected automatically, but you can select another RDS from the drop-down list. You can also specify advanced mount options. Click Next.
  5. Information sign.png Note
    To be able to access and mount VM disk image on Linux, the guestfs-tools package must be installed on your SEP sesam Server or Linux RDS. If the guestfs-tools package is not installed, it is not possible to mount VMDK and perform SFR. Refer to Installing guestfs-tools on Linux.

    VMware SF mount Jaglion.jpg

  6. In the Select Files dialog, only the mounted VDMK drives are shown (the local drives are not displayed). Select the files you want to restore and click Next.
  7. In the Target Settings window, the Target node (RDS) is set automatically. You only need to select a New restore target by browsing.
  8. VMware SF target mount Jaglion.jpg

  9. In the final step of the restore wizard, you can review all the settings of your restore task. If you want to start your restore immediately, click Start. If you want to save the restore task, click Save.
  10. Click OK to unmount the VMDK(s) and close your restore session.

Via the web Restore Assistant

You can restore individual files of a VMware VM in the web interface in the advanced UI mode if you have the appropriate permissions. For more details on the UI mode, see Setting UI mode in the Restore Assistant.

To familiarise yourself with the concept of user permissions, see About Authentication and Authorization.

  1. Open the Restore Assistant in the browser. There are three ways to do this:
    • via the GUI: by clicking the Restore Assistant icon in the toolbar or from Activities -> Restore Assistant
    • from SEP sesam Web UI: left menu -> Restore Assistant
    • or by entering the following address in the browser bar: http://[sesamserver]:11401/sep/ui/restore/.
  2. In the Start window, select VMware. Then select the option Advanced View. The VM or single file restore option is selected by default. Click Next.
  3. Restore assistant SFR VM restore type Jaglion.jpg

  4. In the Virtual Machine window, under Selection of the server, select your target server to which the data will be restored.
  5. Then, under Selection of the virtual machine, select the VM you want to restore and click Next.
    Restore assistant SFR select VM RA Jaglion.jpg
  6. In the Task window, under Task selection, select your source task. A backup task defines the source data that was backed up by the client.
  7. Then, under the Backup selection, select the exact backup version you want to restore. You can use the calendar function in the upper right corner to set a date range for the backups. Select the Single file restore option (in the lower right corner) and click Next.
    Restore assistant SFR select VM backup RA Jaglion.jpg

  8. In the Files window, select an RDS to which you want to mount the backup. You can also specify an alternative mount path and/or advanced mount options. Then click the button Mount this backup in filesystem. A new window will appear showing the progress of the mount process.
  9. Information sign.png Note
    • To be able to access and mount VM disk image on Linux, the guestfs-tools package must be installed on your SEP sesam Server or Linux RDS. If the guestfs-tools package is not installed, it is not possible to mount VMDK and perform SFR. Refer to Installing guestfs-tools on Linux.
    • Mounting is not possible if the savesets are stored on tapes or if the data is compressed or encrypted. For mounting also some other XPRFS restrictions apply.

    Restore assistant SFR mount Jaglion.jpg

  10. Once a virtual disk is mounted to the device server, select the files you want to restore and click Next.
  11. Restore assistant SFR RA files Jaglion.jpg

  12. In the Target window, under Target selection, select your target environment for the restore. You can use the drop-down list to select or filter VMs by name. You can also select a custom target path by browsing.
  13. Under the Execution options, set additional restore options:
    Do not overwrite existing items: Files are only restored if they do not already exist on the target system.
    Create new version: Restore files under a new name.
    Overwrite existing items: If the data exists on the target server, it is replaced with the restored version.
    Then decide how you want to restore your data (keep the original tree structure or flat):
    Keep original tree structure: When restoring to the original location, the Keep original tree structure option is selected by default. The directory structure of the restored files is the same as the original directory structure of the backed up data.
    Restore all items flat in the selected target directory: The backup is simply restored to a file without recreating the directory structure.
    You can also select to skip ACL settings during restore.
    Click Next.
    Restore assistant SFR select VM target RA Jaglion.jpg

  14. In the Options window, you can specify additional advanced options, such as selecting a data source (media pool, drive, etc.), set include/exclude filters, etc. For details on the available options, see Online restore in advanced UI mode.
  15. Restore assistant SFR Citrix recovery options Jaglion.jpg

  16. In the last step, check the summary of your restore task (restore type (based on task type, selected backup, its date and details, restore options, etc.) and click Start restore.
  17. Restore assistant VMware SFR finish Jaglion.jpg

Monitoring restore

You can view the status of your restores in the GUI (Job State -> Restores) or SEP sesam Web UI (Monitoring -> Restores). Restore overview provides detailed information about the last run of restore jobs, including the task name, status (successful, error, in queue ...), start and stop time of the last backup, data size, throughput, client, and message.

Known issues

If you have problems with VMware, check the VMware Troubleshooting.

See also

SF & IR support matrixInstallation von guestfs-tools unter LinuxRestore AssistantVMware Documentation