5 1 0:VMware Instant Recovery

From SEPsesam

Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 5.1.0 Apollon. For previous documentation version(s), check documentation archive.

Virtualization Are you looking for an alternative for your VMware environment?

SEP supports a range of hypervisors, offering snapshot-based online backup of VMs.

Click HERE to get an overview of the available SEP modules and explore supported features like CBT, Single File Restore, and more.


SEP sesam provides simple and flexible instant recovery for VMware, allowing you to power on a virtual machine without waiting to restore it first. This means your VMware data is instantly accessible from your backup source. SEP sesam uses VMware's Storage vMotion to relocate your VM.

You can perform a VMware instant recovery using the GUI restore wizard or via the web interface Restore Assistant. Although most options are the same in both restore interfaces, the web interface Restore Assistant is more intuitively designed and offers additional advanced options.

To learn what applies to VMware Single File Restore (SF) and Instant Recovery (IR), which backup level supports it and how it relates to the disk size usage, see SF & IR Support Matrix.


Before attempting to instantly recover your VM, all preparation steps have to be performed properly, including configuration and VM backup. For details, see the VMware documentation.

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

  • SEP sesam Server version ≥ 4.4.3 Beefalo. For the list of supported systems, see VMware Support Matrix.
  • SEP sesam data store (Path, Si3, etc.) can be used for backups. SEP sesam data store via UNC path is not supported. The volume must be visible as a local attached storage (not as a network drive letter). Only iSCSI, SAN and locally 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 on SEP sesam data store (either SEP sesam Server or SEP sesam RDS) must provide NFS (Network File System) services to share files over a network. On Windows, the NFS service is already set up on the SEP sesam Server or RDS and does not require a regular NFS server provided by Windows. However, on Linux you need to configure the NFS manually as described in the section Preparing the NFS share on Linux.
  • SEP sesam uses 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.
  • To perform an instant recovery via the web interface Restore Assistant, appropriate permissions are required. For details, see About Authentication and Authorization.

NFS share

NFS (Network File System) is a client/server application that enables file sharing over a network. Note that SEP sesam automatically creates a VMware data store to attach the VMDK file(s) to a virtual host.

  • On Linux, you must set up the NFS service on the SEP sesam Server or RDS system where the VMDK files are stored.
  • On Windows, SEP sesam already includes the NFS server and does not require a regular NFS server provided by Windows. You may need to manually prepare the NFS share on Windows if you are using SEP sesam version > 4.4.3.
  • Note
    On Windows, NFS is set by default. However, if you are using 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.

Preparing the NFS share on Linux

This section contains only basic information about configuring NFS on Linux. For more information, see the relevant Linux documentation, such as the article How to configure NFS on Linux.

  • The NFS v3 server must be installed and the NFS service must be running. Exports are created dynamically by SEP sesam during restore.
  • Exports can also be created manually by editing the /etc/exports file. The exported path must 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.

Starting instant recovery

You can instantly recover your VM either via the SEP sesam GUI or via the web Restore Assistant. The web Restore Assistant offers two restore modes for instant recovery: basic and advanced. The advanced restore mode provides more advanced options that allow you to fine-tune the recovery. You can switch from basic to advanced restore mode in the Settings. For details, see Setting UI mode.

Using the GUI restore wizard

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.
    • If you are searching by task name, use the drop-down list of available tasks and select the one you want to restore. 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 frame for which you want to conduct the search. Click Next.
  4. The search results are displayed. From the list of savesets that match your query, select the version from which you want to restore. Below the list, the following options indicates that an 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 unchecked. If the options do not appear, check the Prerequisites. Click Next.

  5. In the Target Settings dialog, specify the new VM name if required and the target VMware data store on which to run the VM after the instant recovery is complete. In our example, the target VMware data store is EternusSAN1. Then click the Instant Recovery / Restore VM Options button. A new window Instant Recovery / Restore VM Options opens.

  6. 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 VMware instant recovery.

Using the web Restore Assistant

In v. ≥ 5.0.0 Jaglion, you can perform instant recovery only in advanced UI mode by selecting the Advanced View option.

  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 vSphere task type and then under Advanced View select Instant recovery. For details, see Setting UI mode in v. ≥ Jaglion.
    Click Next.

  3. In the Source (or Virtual Machine in v. Jaglion) window, under Selection of the server, select your target server.
  4. Then, under Selection of the virtual machine select the VM you want to recover.
    Click Next.

  5. In the Task window, under Task selection, select your source task. A backup task defines the source data that was backed up from the client.
  6. Then, under Backup selection, select the exact backup version you want to recover. You can use the calendar function in the upper right corner to set a date range for the displayed backups.

  7. Only in v. ≤ 4.4.3. Beefalo: Under the Virtual machine from backup review, check or uncheck the target saveset you want to recover.
  8. Click Next.

  9. In the Target window, under Target selection, select your target environment for recovery. You can use the drop-down list to select or filter VMs by name.
  10. Then, set additional restore options under the Execution options:
    • Do not overwrite an existing virtual machine: The VM is restored only if it does not already exist on the target system.
    • Overwrite an existing virtual machine: If the VM exists on the target server, it is replaced with the restored version. You can also choose to automatically shut down the running VM.
    Click Next.

  11. In the Options window, select data mover, and then under Instant recovery options, select the data store for instant recovery.

  12. Then click the Target options of the virtual machine option to set additional target options, such as target server, data store, network interface(s), folder, and Resource pool/vApp.

  13. If you perform the instant recovery in the advanced mode, you can also set the following options:
    • You can modify the Recovery options: By clicking the Edit button (in the upper right corner), you can enable/disable different recovery actions: conf, remove, start, etc. and perform VM-related checks: VM power state, VM guest tools state, and VM network IP address.
      In v. ≥ 5.0.0 Jaglion, click the Recovery options to open the recovery actions and modify them.

    • To add your custom action or check, select the template from the Actions or Checks drop-down lists or manually enter your action/check commands. To activate your custom action/check, click Save. You can easily remove any action/check by clicking the recycle bin icon.
    • Under the Optional data source selection, you can select your preferred media pool, drive, used media|barcode, and interface from the drop-down lists.

    • Under the Options for restore (or Advanced restore options in v. Jaglion), another set of options is available: you can specify the EOL parameter for the restore (how long (in days) the restore task will be kept), enable/disable a generation restore, and decide whether to apply a pre- or post-script to the restore task, see Pre/Post options.
      By clicking the Edit button, you can also select the desired transport mode from the list of available transport modes (HOTADD, SAN, NBD, or NBDSSL); click the transport mode that appears and reorder the modes to suit your needs. For details, see Selecting the best VMware transport mode for your environment.

    Click Next.

  14. In the last step, review your restore task and click Start restore.

See also

SF & IR Support MatrixRestore AssistantVMware Requirements & RestrictionsVMware Sandbox RestoreVMware Single File RestoreVMware Troubleshooting

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