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Virtual Disaster Recovery

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Virtual Disaster Recovery, is a fast and efficient tool that automatically restores a machine's System State and file level backups to a virtual environment, creating a working mirror of the source computer along with all the necessary data to get back up and running.

 

As such Virtual Disaster Recovery can be used in the following situations:

 

Provide remote assistance to perform a Virtual Recovery at the end-customers location using the end-customer's' VMware or Hyper-V environment
Perform a Virtual Recovery to an ESX server. The recovered server becomes available to the clients for a short period of time
Perform a Virtual Recovery to a *.VMDK file and ship it on a physical media to a customer
Stage a Virtual Recovery to an ESX server and then perform daily incremental restores to keep a near-line copy for rapid Disaster Recovery purposes
Perform regular, non-disruptive DR testing without a significant hardware or time investment

 

Virtual Disaster Recovery can recover to the following targets:

 

VMware vSphere/VMware ESXi (all paid 64-bit versions are supported: 5.1, 5.5, 6.0 and 6.5)

 

Hyper-V (versions 2 and 3)

Microsoft Azure Cloud

 

Requirements

 

Supported platforms

The range of recovery platforms depends on the selected recovery target:

 

Recovery target

Windows 7

Windows 8

Windows 8.1

Windows 10

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2016

VMware

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Hyper-V

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Azure Cloud

No

No

Yes^

No

No

No

Yes^

 

^ Azure Cloud restore requires nested virtualization (allows you to run Hyper-V inside of a Hyper-V virtual machine) which is only available when creating Windows Server 2016 Datacenter or Windows 10 Pro virtual machines as restoration targets.

 

Backup selection requirements

To start using the Virtual Disaster Recovery feature, backup the following data sources:

 

1.    The system state of the computer (the System State data source).
2.    The whole system disk – C:\ or any other depending on the configuration of the computer (the Files and Folders data source).
3.    Any other important data. Supported data sources: Files and Folders, MS Exchange, and MS SQL.

 

If in doubt about the file selection, please perform a test restore.

 

Requirements: recoverable Operating Systems

Data recovery can be initiated for the following versions of Windows:

 

Windows 7

Windows 8

Windows 8.1

Windows 10

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 R2

Windows Server 2016

 

The source system the virtual disaster recovery is performed from must have the Virtual Disaster Recovery feature enabled and should not be older than the target system the restore is performed to. For example, when restoring a Windows 8 source, the target should only be Windows 8 or newer.

 

 

Software options

Virtual disaster recovery can be performed using either of these tools:

 

  Backup Manager – recover data from one device.

  Recovery Console – recover data from multiple devices simultaneously.

 

Both of the tools support one-time restores and continuous restores. In the Backup Manager, continuous restores are possible while a device is in the restore-only mode.

 

The following sections cover the available recovery options:

 

Backup Manager

Recovery Console

Virtual Disaster Recovery to Azure Cloud - Backup & Recovery 2015

 

MS Exchange and MS SQL Recovery

Where MS Exchange or MS SQL was included for Virtual Disaster Recovery, the recovery of the data sources is automatically completed after the new virtual machine is launched. Please be aware that where MS Active Directory is detected there will be an additional system restart.

 

How MS Exchange and MS SQL data source are recovered during Virtual Disaster Recovery:

 

Virtual Machine without Active Directory

Virtual Machine with Active Directory

 

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Virtual Machine Start Information

VMware machines are started automatically on remote ESX servers. Hyper-V machines should be started manually (open the Hyper-V Manager, right click on the target machine and choose Start from the context menu). Azure machines can be started manually or automatically.

 

To enable automatic starting, enter the VdrStartCloudVmAfterRestore=1 parameter in the [General] section of the config.ini file.

 

Backup Manager users should enter access details to the config.ini file found in the Backup Manager installation folder, for example C:\Program Files\Backup Manager

 

   Start the Services Console (services.msc).

   Right-click the Backup Service Controller service and choose Stop.

   Open config.ini, and then specify the name of the Azure virtual machine and the Cloud service it is powered by (the [General] section of the file). For example:

 

[General]

...

VdrStartCloudVmAfterRestore=1

 

   When finished, save the changes and start the Backup Service Controller.

 

Recovery Console users should create the config.ini file manually and place it in the Recovery Console installation folder for example C:\Program Files\RecoveryConsole\