VMware Backup Plan

MSP360 (CloudBerry) Backup VM edition supports vSphere ESXi virtual machine backup and restore.

Note that to perform VMware backups and restore VMware backups, you have to purchase a special license. Refer to the MSP360 website to learn more

The following requirements apply to vSphere ESXi:

Component Requirement
Operating System 64-bit
vSphere version 5.1 to 7.0
MSP360 (CloudBerry) Backup VM Edition

This chapter cover the following topics:

Learn Backup Wizard steps:

Create Backup Plan

To create a new VMware backup plan, click the VMware icon in the horizontal menu bar.

The Backup Wizard starts.

Select Try New Backup Format (BETA).

Select Backup Storage

Select a storage account for the backup plan from the list of available backup storage. If no storage is available, click Add new Storage Account.

Once you selected backup storage, click Next.

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Plan Name

Specify the name for the backup plan.

Click Next.

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Select VMware Host Server

Specify VMware server credentials.

Click Next.

In case credentials are invalid or the VMware server cannot be accessed, you are not allowed to proceed to the next Backup Wizard step

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Select Virtual Machines

Select virtual machines for the backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • Back up all Virtual Machines. Select this option to include all virtual machines from the server to the backup plan
  • Back up only running Virtual Machines.
  • Back up selected Virtual Machines.

Note that if you switch the backup option from the Back up selected Virtual Machines to any other, the previously made selection is kept for the case if you change your mind and select back the Back up selected Virtual Machines option, but the selected option will be applied regardless the VM selection. An example below shows the case when all running VM will be included in the backup plan despite a previously made selection

  • Select the Use Changed Block Tracking check box to apply the changed block tracking feature. In most cases, this feature increases the backup speed

Changed Block Tracking is an incremental backup technology for VMware virtual machines. To learn more about CBT, refer to Change Block Tracking on Virtual Machines article at vmware.com.

  • To use quiesced snapshots for your backup plan, select Quiesce guest file system check box. In this case, you must have VMware Tools installed.

Quiescing a file system is a process of bringing the on-disk data of a physical or virtual computer into a state suitable for backups. This process might include such operations as flushing dirty buffers from the operating system's in-memory cache to disk, or other higher-level, application-specific tasks. To learn more about quiesced snapshotting, refer to Understanding VM snapshots in ESXi article at vmware.com.

Click Next.

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Compression and Encryption Options

Specify compression and encryption options for the backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • Select Enable compression check box to compress backup source contents for optimal backup storage space usage
  • To protect your backup contents with encryption, select Enable encryption check box. MSP360 (CloudBerry) Backup supports AES encryption of 128, 192 and 256 bit key length. Select the appropriate key length in Algorithm drop-down menu
  • Specify the encryption password in the Password field, then confirm the password in the Confirm field. To display password, select Display password check box

Note that the encryption password will NOT be stored in the backup plan configuration for security reasons. Keep this password in a safe place to be able to restore the backup contents afterward

Particular Options for Amazon S3 Storage

If your backup storage destination is Amazon S3, the following particular options are available on this Backup Wizard step.

  • Server-Side Encryption. Select this check box to enable encryption of your backup content on Amazon cloud storage.

If the Server-Side Encryption option is enabled, specify permissions a user is required to have to be able to access backup contents:

  • Use the Amazon S3 Service master key. Select this option for Amazon S3 decrypts data for anyone who is granted with permissions to access this backup content on the cloud
  • Use the Amazon Key Management Service master key. Select this option for Amazon S3 decrypts data for anyone who has the permissions to access this object in the cloud along with permissions to use a specified master key.

To learn more about Amazon master key, refer to the What is AWS Key Management Service article.

Amazon S3 Storage Classes

If your backup storage destination is Amazon S3, select the S3 storage class for the backup plan:

Using different storage classes for different backup needs to optimize your storage costs.

Learn more about Amazon S3 storage classes here

Microsoft Azure Blob Storage

If your backup storage destination is Microsoft Azure, select the required Azure Blob Storage.

The following options are available:

  • Archive Blob Storage. This is a low-cost storage option for infrequently accessed data. As opposed to hot and cool storage tiers, retrieving data from an Archive Blob Storage may take up to several hours
  • Cool Blob Storage. The cool storage tier has lower storage costs and higher access costs compared to hot storage. This tier is intended for data that will remain in the cool tier for at least 30 days.

Note that this feature is only supported for General Purpose v2 Azure accounts. If you are using another kind of account, you need to upgrade your account to be able to use this feature

Be aware of the additional charges and increased blob access rates after your Azure account upgrade

To learn more about the difference between Azure storage tiers, refer to the Azure Blob Storage - Hot, cool, and archive storage tiers article at docs.microsoft.com.

Click Next.

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Consistency Check

Select whether to run the full consistency for this backup plan.

To learn more about consistency checks, refer to the Mandatory and Full Consistency Checks chapter

Click Next.

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Schedule

Specify the backup plan schedule settings.

The following options are available:

  • If you intend to run the backup plan manually, select No schedule option
  • If you want the backup plan to run on a constant periodic basis using custom settings, select Recurring option, then specify the backup schedule

  • To perform a full backup (or synthetic full if possible), select the Execute full backup check box, then specify the full backup schedule

To learn more about the synthetic full backup and its limitations, refer to the Synthetic Full Backup chapter

  • To stop the backup plan in case if it continues suspiciously long, select Stop the plan if it runs for check box, then specify the backup plan maximum duration
  • To run the backup plan after the computer is on in case the backup plan run has been missed, select Run missed scheduled backup immediately when computer starts up check box.

Click Next.

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Retention Policy

Specify the retention policy for the backup plan.

The following options are available:

  • Do not purge. Select this option to keep all your backup runs
  • Keep backup for. Select this option to limit the period while backup contents are kept in the backup storage, then specify the period.

Click Next.

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Pre / Post Actions

Customize actions before and/or after the backup plan run.

Custom Scripts

You can execute custom scripts before or after running the backup plan.

  • To specify the script execution before the backup plan starts, select the Pre-backup action check box, then specify the path to the script in the field below. To open a standard Windows dialog box, click the button
  • Select the pre-backup script execution options:
    • Exit backup plan if pre-backup action failed. Select this option to cancel the backup plan in case the specified script fails
    • Continue backup plan if pre-backup action failed. Select this option to run the backup plan regardless of the specified script execution results
  • To specify the script execution after the backup plan terminates, select the Post-backup action check box, then specify the path to the script in the field below. To open a standard Windows dialog box, click the button
  • Select the post-backup script execution options:
    • Execute post-backup action only if backup plan has been successfully completed. Select this option to execute the post-backup script only in case of a backup plan success
    • Execute post-backup action regardless of the backup result. Select this option to execute the post-backup script in any case

Note that an absolute path to a script is required, i.e. if you specify the path to a script, it should be as follows:

c:\scripts\prebackup-script.bat

In case the absolute path to a script file is not specified, the default directory for script is "C:\Windows\System32"

The following script formats are supported: EXE, COM, BAT, CMD, or PIF

Mind that MSP360 (CloudBerry) Backup supports EXE files have several restrictions: EXE files must not use GUI and must close automatically upon termination.

For example, the following script will not succeed:

cmd.exe /F:ON

In this case, this command must be used with the /C parameter, as shown below:

cmd.exe /F:ON /C

The same restriction applies to applications executed by PowerShell scripts:

PowerShell.exe Start-Process cmd.exe exit

It is highly recommended to perform a test run for the created backup plan to ensure that MSP360 (CloudBerry) Backup properly executes specified scripts

Backup Plan Chains

In case you need to run another backup or restore plan once the backup plan is finished, use the Backup Chain feature. To create a backup chain, select the Backup chain check box, then select a backup or restore plan to be chained.

  • Execute the specified backup plan only if backup plan has been successfully completed. Select this option to execute the chained backup plan only in case of a backup plan success
  • Execute the specified backup plan regardless of the backup result. Select this option to execute the chained backup plan in any case
  • In case you chained a backup plan, you can enable the full backup for it regardless of the contents in the backup storage. To do this, select the Force full backup for the chained plan.

To learn more about the full backup type, refer to the Full Backup chapter

Click Next.

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Notification

Specify notification settings.

  • To receive the notification after the backup plan completion, select I want to receive notification email when backup completes check box.
    • Select When backup fails option if you want to receive the notification message only in case of the backup plan failure
    • Select In all cases option if you want to receive the notification message in any case.
  • In the fields Username, Email, Email subject specify the notification email details. You can specify one or more email recipients. Separate them by semicolon or comma, the recipient name (one for all of them). The email subject can also contain any of the following variables:
  • %COMPUTER_NAME% Indicates the name of a computer on which the routine was running
  • %RESULT% Indicates whether the routine was finished successfully or failed

%RESULT% variable has the following values:

  • Completed. This value is assigned when the plan is terminated with success
  • Completed with warnings. This value is assigned when the plan is terminated with errors, with warnings or has been interrupted
  • %PLAN_NAME% Indicates the backup plan's name.
  • If you want to use own SMPT server for notification emails, select the I want to use my SMTP server for email notifications check box, then specify the settings for the SMTP server
  • If you want the backup plan record to be added to Windows Event Log, select on Add entry to Windows Event Log when backup completes check box
    • Select When backup fails option if you want to receive the notification message only in case of the backup plan failure
    • Select In all cases option if you want the entry to be put in Windows Event Log in any case.

Click Next.

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Summary

Review the configuration of the backup plan.

Click Next to proceed to the last wizard page.

Select the Run backup now check box to run the backup plan immediately.

If you want to run the backup plan later, leave the Run backup now check box unselected, then click Finish.

Edit a Backup Plan

To edit the backup plan, proceed as follows:

  1. Switch to the Backup Plans tab.
  2. Open the plan to edit, expand it, then click Edit.

  1. Follow the Backup Wizard steps to save the backup plan configuration.

Note that some backup plan parameters you can edit without backup wizard. The editable parameters are marked with the Pencil icon next to them. To edit, click on this icon

Delete a Backup Plan

To delete the backup plan, proceed as follows:

  1. Switch to the Backup Plans tab.
  2. Open the plan to delete, expand it, then click Delete.

  1. Click Yes to confirm the backup plan deletion.