1 Backup and Restore
The Backup and Restore feature provides policy based backups for virtual machines. You can setup policies at Server pool level and apply to either all or selected subset of the virtual machines within the server pool. ConVirt allows backing up virtual machines even when they are not running. There is no additional backup software that needs to be installed and configured within each virtual machine.
1.1 Backup Policy
The backup policy governs how and when the backups are done. You can define one or more policy at the Server Pool level.
The backup policy consists of
- Backup Configurations
- Virtual Machines to be backed up
- Retention policy
Backup Policies at Server Pool
- Disk Image or Disk Content(Files/Directory) : ConVirt allows you to either back up entire disk image or allows you to copy specific content within the disk. Typically copying the content is done via mounting the virtual machine disk on the server (host) and the copying the content.
- Hot and Cold backup : The Cold backup shuts the virtual machine down before backing up the disks. While for hot backup to work, you need to have LVM. If you have other storage that supports snapshot, you can provide custom script for taking the snapshot.
- Tar and compression : ConVirt also has options to optionally create tar file for all disk and do compression.
- Destination : ConVirt supports two types of backup destinations where the backups would be stored.
- Managed Server : You can specify a directory accessible on all managed server. This would typically be a shared mounted file system.
- Remote backup server : A ssh accessible server with lots of disks space.
Backup Policy General Configuration
Backup Policy Destination
Schedule ConVirt provides a number of scheduling options that allow you to decide how frequently the backups run.
- Hourly : The backup would happen every hour at the specified minute of the hour.
- Daily : The backup would happen every day at the specified time.
- Weekly : The backup would happen on specified days of the week at specified time.
- Monthly : The backup would happen on the specified days of the month at specified time.
Backup Policy Schedule
Virtual Machines to be backed up You can specify either "All" virtual machines with in the sever pool or selected specific ones from the list. When you use the "All' option, the newly created virtual machines would also get backed up using this policy.
Backup Policy Virtual Machines
Retention Policy You can select from either infinite or specific number of days to retain the backups. All backups older than specified number of days would be deleted.
1.2 Specifying Content to be Backed up
When you select, Content Backup, you can specify what gets backed up from each disk. This is specified in the Storage area of Virtual Machine configuration. To specify content for a particular Virtual Machine disk :
- Select Virtual Machine
- Select "Edit Settings"
- Select Storage Page (If Virtual Machine is running, select "On Disk" option at the top"
- Select a disk and click Edit.
- At the bottom you will see Backup Content Details.
How to Specify Content
As a particular disk may contain partitions, following syntax should be followed to backup correct content.
- P1:/boot : boot directory from the first partition on the disk
- P2:/Joe : Joe directory from second partition.
- /grub : This is equivalent to P1:/grub
You can specify multiple locations separated by comma.
1.3 On Demand Backup and Restore
Once the policy is defined, the backup would happen on the schedule specified in the policy. Sometimes you want to take an immediate backup of a Virtual Machine for some maintenance reason. ConVirt allows you to take a backup simply by selecting "Backup Now" option available from the Virtual Machine menu.
Restoring a virtual machine can also be done on demand via a Restore From Recent backup, or clicking the restore icon from the dashboard. You can select which particular policy and date of backup from which you want to restore.
1.4 Backup Dashboard
To keep an eye on the backups in the enterprise, the dashboard includes a Backup tab at Data Center, Server Pool as well as Virtual Machine level. Here you can see the failing backups, Virtual Machines without any backup policies, last successful backups etc.
Here is a screen shot of such dashboard at Data Center level.