Backing up and Restoring the vCenter Server 6.0 with vSphere Data Protection 6 – Part 1

Few days ago wrote blog about how to Back up and Restore the vCenter Server 6.0 embedded vPostgres database. I am extending same topic and will discuss here how to Back Up and Restore vCenter Server using  vSphere Data Protection.

One of the most critical aspects to any network, not only virtualized Infrastructure, is a solid backup strategy and VMware offers its own backup tool, VMware Data Protection to back up and restore a virtual machine (VM) that contains vCenter Server, a vCenter Server Appliance, or a Platform Services Controller.

vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is a robust, simple to deploy, disk‐based backup and recovery solution that is powered by EMC. VDP is fully integrated with the VMware vCenter Server and enables centralized and efficient management of backup jobs while storing backups in deduplicated destination storage locations.

The VMware vSphere Web Client interface is used to select, schedule, configure, and manage backups and recoveries of virtual machines.

VDP Provides fast and efficient data protection for all of your virtual machines, even those powered off or migrated between vSphere hosts.

VDP Reduces the cost of backing up virtual machines and minimizes the backup window by using Change Block Tracking (CBT) and VMware virtual machine snapshots.

VDP Allows easy backups without the need for third‐party agents installed in each virtual machine. To take a full image backup of vCenter Server or any VMs using vSphere Data Protection (VDP), minimum requirements is that VM must have VMware Tools installed and running and VM must use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) with correct DNS resolution, or must be configured with a static IP address.

The main purpose of this blog is that, vSphere Data Protection to restore a VM that contains vCenter Server instance directly on the ESXi host that is running the vSphere Data Protection Appliance when the vCenter Server service becomes unavailable or when you cannot access the vSphere Data Protection user interface by using the vSphere Web Client.

One VDP Appliance supports Up to 400 Virtual Machines and one vCenter Server can support Up to 20 VDP appliances.

VDP supports Image-level Backup and Restore, VMDK Backup and Restore, and Guest‐level backups for Microsoft SQL Servers, Exchange Servers, and Share Point Servers. With guest‐level backups, client agents (VMware VDP for SQL Server Client, VMware VDP for Exchange Server Client, or VMware VDP for SharePoint Server Client) are installed on the SQL Server, Exchange Server, or SharePoint Server in the same manner that backup agents are typically installed on physical servers.

vSphere Data Protection Architecture

VDP can be deployed to any storage supported by vSphere e.g. VMFS, NFS, and VSAN datastores. Management of VDP is performed by using the vSphere Web Client.

VDP0I’ll only discuss here how to deploy VDP, Initial Configuration of VDP, Scheduled Backup of vCenter Server VM and How to restore direct-to ESXi host when vCenter Server becomes unavailable or when the user cannot access the vSphere Data Protection user interface by using the vSphere Web Client.

vSphere Data Protection (VDP) installation

1. Connect the vCenter Server using vSphere Web Client: https://vcenter6.vcix.nv:9443/vsphere-client/ with Administrative privileges.

VDP12. Go to Home –> Hosts and Clusters –> Right Click the Cluster/ESXi Host and choose Deploy OVF Template.VDP2

3. It will open up Deploy OVF Template window. If you are deploying OVF first time it will ask to install the VMware Client Integration Plug‐in. Click on the Download the Client Integration Plug‐in to download, make sure you have Internet access or Download on machine has Internet Access and Install on the machine from you want to Deploy OVF.VDP3

4. Once you Click on the Download the Client Integration Plug‐in, it will ask you to save. Click Save File.VDP4

5. Once Download finished double click to start Client Integration Plug‐in Installation.VDP5

6. It is very Simple and Straight forward, Just follow the screen to finish the Installation.VDP6

VDP7

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VDP12
7. Once Client Integration Plug‐in Installation finished. Connect the vCenter Server using vSphere Web Client –> Home –> Hosts and Clusters –> Right Click the Cluster/ESXi Host and choose Deploy OVF Template.VDP13

8. It Will open up Deploy OVF Template Window, Select Local File and Click Browse to Navigate to the location of the VDP Appliance .ova file. Confirm that you select the appropriate file for the datastore and Click OK. Click Next to validate the .OVA file.VDP14

VDP159. It will validate the OVA file. Review the template details and click NextVDP16

10. On the Accept EULAs screen, read the license agreement (If you want 😉 and click Accept, and then click NextVDP17

11. On the Select name and folder screen, Enter VDP Appliance Name and Select folder or datacenter where you want to deploy the VDP Appliance, and then click NextVDP18

12. On the Select Storage screen, select the virtual disk format and select the Datastore to store VDP Appliance. Click Next.VDP19

13. On the Setup networks screen, select the Network Port Group for the VDP Appliance and click Next.VDP20

14. In the Customize template screen, Enter Default Gateway, DNS, Network 1 IP Address of VDP, and Network 1 Netmask/Subnet Mask. Click Next.

NOTE :- The VDP Appliance does not support DHCP.  A static IP address is required.VDP21

15. On the Ready to complete screen, confirm that all of the deployment options are correct. Check Power on after deployment box and click Finish.VDP22

16. It will take some time to Deploy OVF Template. You can monitor progress in Recent Tasks. VDP23

17. Once Deployment Completed, you can see the VDP VM under Host and Cluster, And on the Virtual Machine Summary for VDP.VDP24

18. vCenter deploys the VDP Appliance and boots into the install mode. VDP25

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VDP has been deployed and now ready for Initial Configuration.

Initial Configuration

1. Open Web Browser and type https://vdp6.vcix.nv:8543/vdp-configure/ to access the VDP console. Username is root and Default password – changeme.VDP26

2. The VDP Welcome screen appears, Click Next to start configuring VDP.VDP27

3. Next Screen is to configure Network Settings for VDP Appliance. Enter IP Address, Subnet Mask, Gateway, DNS IP address, Name and Domain name of VDP and Click Next.VDP28

4. On the Time Zone screen, Select the time zone for the VDP Appliance and Click Next.VDP29

5. On the VDP Credentials screen, Enter password for Root account and Click Next.VDP30

6. On the vCenter Registration screen, Enter vCenter Server User Name, Enter Password for User, Enter vCenter Server User Name you want to register VDP with and Click Test Connection to test connection with entered vCenter Server.VDP31

7. Click Ok on connection status box and Click Next.VDP32

8. Next is Create Storage Page, Select the type and Capacity for VDP and Click Next.VDP33

9. On the Device Allocation Page, Select Storage Provision type and Select the Datastore for VDP and Number of Disks. And Click Next.VDP34

10. On the CPU and Memory Page Select No of Virtual CPUs and Memory and Click Next.VDP35

11. On the Product Improvement Page, Select Enable Customer Experience Improvement Program if you want or leave that Uncheck and Click Next.VDP36

12. On the Ready to Complete page, Select the Run Perform Analysis and Restart Appliance if Successful check box and Click Next to Start the configuration of VDP as per provided details.VDP37

13. Click OK on the Warning dialog box and Wait for configuration to finish.VDP38

14. You can see on below screen it has started configuration of VDP.VDP39

15. Once Configuration done, On the Complete page click Restart Appliance to Finish the configuration and start the VDP Appliance.VDP40

16. As you can see we can Monitor in Resent Tasks.VDP41

17. Once VDP Appliance reloaded. You can Log in with root account with changed password. VDP42

That’s It. Deployment of VDP Appliance and Initial Configuration of appliance has been completed. In the Backing up and Restoring the vCenter Server 6.0 with vSphere Data Protection 6 – Part 2 will discuss how to Take Backup of VM and How to perform Emergency Restore of vCenter Server in the absence vCenter Server.

Thank You 🙂 Keep Learning and Keep Sharing !!

 

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