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VDP Installation

The first step in our configuration of the VDP environment is to download and deploy the VDP appliance.  The VDP appliance is downloaded as a single appliance but is configured during deployment as either 0.5TiB, 1TiB or 2TiB.  This is the amount of backed up, compressed and deduplicated data that is going to be stored.  With a 1TB drive containing you have 0.91 tebibytes (TiB) of usable VM capacity.  The storage where the appliance is installed MUST have the following free disk space depending on the version being installed:

0.5 TiB 1 TiB 2 TiB
Processors Minimum four 2 Ghz processors Minimum four 2 Ghz processors Minimum four 2 Ghz processors
Memory 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB
Disk Space 873 GB 1,600 GB 3,100 GB

 

You should also be aware that the following disks are NOT supported by VDP:

  • Independent
  • RDM Independent – Virtual Compatibility Mode
  • RDM Physical Compatibility Mode

 

The instructions for deploying the VDP appliance are below:

  • Make sure that you have a valid IP Address and Computer Name assigned for the VDP appliance.  A DNS entry should also be created for the VDP appliance to allow for correct operation.
  • Download the VDP appliance from the VMware website.  The standard version that should be utilised is currently v5.5.5
  • Once the appliance has been successfully downloaded, you are now ready to deploy this out.
  • The deployment of the VDP appliance MUST be performed in the vSphere Web Client as the functionality is only available in this.
  • The vCenter user account MUST explicitly be added as administrator to the vCenter root node for VDP to function correctly.

vdp1

  • Log into the vSphere Web Client and browse to the host or cluster where you wish to deploy the appliance.
  • Right mouse click on the host or cluster and then select ‘All vCenter Actions’ and then ‘Deploy OVF Template’
  • Browse for the file that you downloaded earlier
  • Click ‘Next’ to step through the deployment wizard
  • You are asked to review the details of the appliance being deployed, click ‘Next’ to continue
  • Click the ‘Accept’ button to accept the license agreements and then click ‘Next’
  • Enter the name for the appliance, this should be the FQDN of the appliance, this is required by the appliance and should not be changed afterwards.
  • You should also select the cluster and folder to deploy this appliance to, then click ‘Next’
  • Select the disk where the appliance should be deployed to and change the virtual disk format to ‘Thin Provision’, click ‘Next’ to continue
  • Select the relevant network to place the appliance on, then click ‘Next’ to progress onto customising the template
  • Enter the default gateway, DNS servers, IP Address and Netmask for the appliance, then click ‘Next’
  • Review the configuration settings, tick the ‘Power on after deployment’ box and then click ‘Finish’ to begin the deployment process.
  • Once the appliance is deployed, it will automatically power up and finish its initial configuration
  • Click on the new appliance within the vSphere Web Client, then click ‘Launch Console’
  • You will now be presented with the console screen for the appliance
  • Follow the instructions on screen to finish the configuration of the appliance
  • The username for the web interface will be root with a password of:  changeme
  • Step through the Wizard accepting or modifying the configurations accordingly, changing the password as required, please note that the password MUST contain nine characters
  • If you require the 4TB or 8TB VDPA options, then you will be required to purchase a license from VMware.  No license is required for VDP
  • Once you have completed the wizard and the additional storage has been added to the environment, the appliance may then reboot and once this is completed, you should see the vSphere Data Protection entry appear in the ‘Home’ page of the vSphere Web Client.

 

Configure Backup

With the VDP appliance deployed, it is now time to go through and configure the required backups.

  • From within the vSphere Web Client, click the ‘vSphere Data Protection’ link. 
  • vdp2You will now be asked to select the VDP appliance to connect to, it should automatically populate with the appliance that has just been installed but if it doesn’t, select it from the drop down box and then click ‘Connect’
  • After a short time the VDP interface will appear

vdp3

 

  • The first thing to do, is to click the ‘Backup’ tab at the top of the screen.  You may receive a warning to say that there are no backup jobs configured.
  • Click the ‘Backup job actions’ link at the top of the screen and then click ‘New’

vdp4

  • In most cases you would want to select the ‘Full Image’ option for backups to take a full image of the virtual machine.  Alternatively you can back up just individual disks using the second option.
  • Click ‘Next’ to continue
  • From the next screen select the virtual machines that you wish to have backed up in the job by ticking the box next to the virtual machine (you may need to expand the infrastructure to see the virtual machines)
  • You are now requested to complete the days and times that you would like the backup to occur.  Click ‘Next’ once you have chosen your settings.
  • The next screen allows you to define the ‘Retention Policy’, adjust this according to you requirements and then click ‘Next’
  • Enter a name for the Job – this is required and must be unique.  Click ‘Next’ to continue
  • You will now be presented with a summary of the job, click ‘Finish’ to allow the job to be created.  This may take several minutes to complete.
  • You will receive a confirmation message once the job is created.
  • As Replication can only replicate fully completed backup jobs, you should select the newly created backup job and then click ‘Backup Now’ and then ‘Backup all sources’ to initiate a backup using the job that has just been created.  The backup will now run.

 

You can now go ahead and configure the replication tasks, although you should not run the replication task until the backup is completed.  You can see the progress of the backup task by looking in the ‘Tasks’ view from the left pane of the window.

 

Configure Replication to Avamar Grid

The Replication capability needs to be configured by the UK Server Team, as the details for the Avamar Grid need to be inputted during the job configuration.  The UK Server Team will need to know what the retention should be for the virtual machines in the Avamar Grid.

  • To create a replication job, go into the ‘vSphere Data Protection’ section of the vSphere Web Client and then click the ‘Replication’ tab.  You may receive a message to say that there are no replication jobs found.

Click ‘Replication job actions’ and then ‘New’ to create a new replication job
vdp5

  • The replication job will check to see what virtual machines are being backed up and will allow you to select ‘All clients’ automatically or to individually select the virtual machines.  Unless you need different replication jobs, I would advise using the ‘All Clients’ option as this should pick up new machines added to backups without reconfiguring the job.  Click ‘Next’ to continue
  • You are now asked to select the backup types that should be replicated offsite… if you have only performed Daily backups then you may only want to replicate Daily backups.  I would advise leaving the ‘User Initiated’ option ticked to pick up the ad-hoc backups.
  • Under the ‘Maximum backups to replicate per client’, you can limit the number of backups that should be replicated for each of the virtual machines – this can be handy for avoiding replicating lots of previous backups.  For the initial configuration, I would advise configuring this as 2 or 3 backups.
  • You also have an option to restrict the replications based on date, adjust this if required.
  • Click ‘Next’ to continue
  • You should enter the computer name of the Avamar Grid (using FQDN), the username and password.  I would suggest using the MCUser account.  Click ‘Next’ to continue
  • You are now asked to provide a time for the replication to occur, please note that you should make sure that the backups are completing before the replication begins as the replication will only replicate completed backup jobs.  Select the time as normal and then click ‘Next’
  • On the Retention screen you can identify whether you wish to use the same retention policy that is applied to the backup job or adjust the retention period.  I would advise to keep the same retention period as the backup jobs.  Click ‘Next’ to continue.
  • Finally enter a name for the job, again this is required and must be unique.  Click ‘Next’ to move onto the confirmation page and then click ‘Finish’ to create the replication job.
  • The initial replication is likely to take longer as there is more data to replicate.

 

Virtual Machine & File Restoration using Local Backup

One of the key things to be able to do with a backup, is to perform a restoration of files or the full virtual machine.  The following instructions will describe the task of performing a file or virtual machine restore.

Disk or Virtual Machine Restore

  • Go into the ‘vSphere Data Protection’ link in the ‘vSphere Web Client’
  • Click the ‘Restore’ tab
  • You may need to click the ‘Refresh’ button to show the latest information about backups.
  • You should now see a list of virtual machines that can be restored.
  • Click the virtual machine to be restored, this will then move down to a list of the backups for that client.  Tick the box if you wish to restore the whole virtual machine or click on the date area to step down a level again.
  • The next level down allows you to restore a single drive by ticking the box next to the drive.
  • Click the ‘Restore’ item at the top of the screen to begin the restoration wizard.
  • Step through the restore wizard to restore the virtual machine or disks.

File Level Restore

  • To perform a file level restore, you need to log onto a virtual machine that is in a VDP backup job and has already been backed up.  The virtual machine will also need to have up-to-date VMTools to be able to log into the interface to perform the restore.
  • Once you have logged onto the virtual machine, you need to go into a web browser.
  • You should browse to the servername or ip address of your VDP appliance using the following design:
    https://servername or ip address:8543/flr

You will now be presented with a log on screen similar to below:
vdp6

  • At this point you should log onto the client using local administrator credentials for the virtual machine that you are currently logged onto… usually this will be the administrator account.

You are now presented with the available restore points that can be mounted to perform a file level restore:
vdp7

  • Select a restore point and then click ‘Mount’, once mounted click the ‘Close’ button
  • The main file level restore window is now displayed allowing you to browse disks and folders in the left pane and files and folders in the right hand pane.
    vdp8

    • Place ticks next to the files or folders that you wish to restore and then click the ‘Restore selected files’ button at the bottom of the screen.
    • You will now be asked to decide on the destination for the restored files, you may wish to restore them to a ‘Restore’ folder prior to moving them into the correct location again.  Select the destination and then click ‘Restore’
    • Confirm the restore operation and then you can monitor the restore process by clicking the ‘Monitor Restores’ button at the top of the screen:

    vdp9

    • Once completed you should be able to confirm that the files have been restored as expected.
    • Before logging out of the system, I would advise that you click the cog icon next to ‘Mounted Backups’ and then select ‘Unmount All’

vdp10

  • The screen should return to being blank, at which point you can click the ‘Logout’ link at the top right of the screen.

 

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