Vembu is another Backup tool that I will test the tool features and provide some articles about how to install and fix some issues that you may encounter while using this tool.
We already did a resume of what is Vembu and a resume about Vembu products here What is Vembu.
VMBackup is supported in Windows Servers, but also in a Linux machine (Virtual or Physical). We will focus our first Vembu “How To” article in Windows (will come back to Linux in another article).
Note: If you wish to deploy the Vembu BDR backup server in Linux or as VMware/Hyper-V virtual appliance please contact email@example.com.
In addition, a good thing about VMBackup is that you can backup your VMware and Hyper-V environment with the same installation. No need to install the tool for VMware and/or a different one for Hyper-V, you can do both in the same installation.
Vembu VMBackup is a very easy and straight install.
First, you need to download your Vembu VMBackup for Windows HERE. For this article, we will use the latest version of Vembu BDR Suite v3.7.0.
Note: Downloaded files (VembuBDRSetup.exe) is around 500Mb. A full install should have 800Mb, so make sure you have at least 800Mb in you disk where you will install your Vembu BDR.
Vembu BDR Suite is supported in the following Windows/Linux Versions:
For our installation, we will use a Virtual Machine created in our VMware environment.
SO: Windows Server 2012 R2
CPU: 4 vCPU
Hard Disk: 60Gb
1st Backup iSCSI Storage Repository: 500Gb
2nd Backup ESXi host local Storage Repository: 199Gb
1st Network Interface: Management control
2nd Network Interface: iSCSI Storage
This a design of our VMware and Vembu test environment.
Let us initiate the installation, just run the VembuBDRSetup.exe.
- Step 1 – Install Vembu BDR
The installation will download and install all needed components.
Note: Vembu BDR v3.7 now uses PostgreSQL that replaced Mongo and MySQL Database in previous versions.
In this section, if you decide to customize the configurations, you will have extra steps to change the configurations and install Vembu.
As you see in the image, folders, user/Password, ports etc., entries are set by default. However, for this installation, we will choose to customize our install.
- Step 2 – Database Customization.
Here you can change the install folder, and also change the Database location (don’t forget that you will need at least 800Mb of free space to install Vembu BDR ).
In this case, we will leave both values with the default.
- Step 3 – Storage Repository Customization.
In this section, you will configure the Storage Repository for the VMs Backups. You can choose a local disk (for now in our case we will add a 200Gb ESXi host Local Storage that was presented to the Windows VM as a Virtual Disk), or you can choose a Network Drive (shared folder like NFS or CIFS).
We will choose our Local Disk presenting to the server (that is show as Windows Hard Disk, in this case, F:)
Note: Vembu BDR Supports any SAN or NAS devices connect using CIFS (SMB) or NFS share.
- Step 4 – User and Ports Customization.
In this section you configure the Ports and user name/password.
To change ports and use advanced configuration, click in the option “Advanced Configurations (Including HTTPS)”.
Then you have the option to change the ports numbers after just click “Check Ports”. So that Vembu installs verify all ports chosen are free.
Note: Default ports are the ones that you see in the next images.
- Step 5 – Install Vembu BDR and finish.
After all configuration finishes, Vembu BDR will start the installation.
As you can see, Vembu BDR install is very easy and simple.
After you have installed Vembu BDR, config your Backup infrastructure and Backup jobs.
The url for Vembu BDR Web Console is: https://localhost:6061 (if connecting to the Vembu server). If you are connecting remotely, the url is: https://IP-Address-of-your-Vembu:6061
Enter Vembu credentials; default is “admin/admin”
Before the start, you just need some final configurations to your installation.
Choose your time zone.
Note: Since Vembu needs a current time zone for Reports and Jobs scheduling, choose the right time zone and confirm yes.
After you need to add an ID to your Vembu BDR installation. For this case, we use the same as the DNS Name, “win-vembu”.
After you have finished the final customization of your installation, you will start to build your Vembu Backup Infrastructure.
In this section, you can select which Hypervisor, or type of backup Infrastructure you will create (virtual, or physical). In the next image, we detail the options.
As stated in the beginning of this article, with Vembu BDR you can backup different environments with single Vembu Install.
- Option 1 – In this option, you can add a VMware Infrastructure to your Vembu Backup (can add a single VMware ESXi host, or a vCenter Server).
- Option 2 – In this option, you can add a Microsoft Hyper-V Infrastructure to your Vembu Backup
- Option 3 – In this option, you can add Physical Servers/Desktops to start backup into an image.
Note: For this option, you need to download and install Vembu ImageBackup Client (Supports Physical Windows Servers, Desktops & Laptops Disk Image Backup with Bare Metal Recovery)
- Option 4 – In this option, you can backup files at file level for your application ( such as MS-Exchange, MS-SQL, MS-SharePoint, MS-Outlook, etc.).
Note: For this option, you need to download and install Vembu NetworkBackup Client (to use this option Vembu will also install an agent in the backup source Server)
These are the 4 type of backups that you can use in the Vembu BDR Suite, for this article we will add a VMware infrastructure.
- Step 6 – add Hypervisor to Vembu BDR
Since this example is to backup from a VMware Environment (we will have another article regarding Backup Hyper-V Infrastructure, Physical Windows Servers, and Applications File level), you need to add your vCenter into the Vembu BDR.
Just select option 1 and add the VMware vSphere (in this case a VMware vCenter)
Enter your vCenter credentials (or ESXi host if you just want to add an ESXi and not vCenter).
After vCenter is added to your Backup Infrastructure.
This is the Vembu BDR Suite dashboard. Let us provide some details for this Dashboard.
Here you will see all active Jobs (Backup, Restore and Copy jobs) that were created in Vembu BDR suite and are active at the moment.
This is an example of an active job. This is a Backup job that is running in this particular moment and will be shown here as active.
Here you can see the job’s history (Successful and Incomplete).
In this example, we see a Backup job that did finish complete (Status is green).
In this area, you can view all Storage Backup volumes that you have added to your Vembu BDR Suite.
In this example, you noticed the main Backup Volume space allocated and what is free (178Gb) after our Backup.
For the main options in the Dashboard these are the details:
Here is where you can see (or add/remove) all Virtual or Physical Infrastructures that you have added to your Vembu Backup.
n each section you can create Backup jobs by clicking the “Backup” button.
in the last option, you can d list all backup Jobs and run/suspend or delete.
Example for VMware vSphere:
VM Replication: In this section, you can create your Backup Replications (in future we will have an article regarding Vembu Replication).
Recovery: In this section is where you can restore any VMs from the Backup Jobs that you have already run.
just click in “Restore” in the Backup Job you select and restore VM.
Reports: In this section, you can check the reports from your Backup/Restore jobs (successful or failed).
Example of some Reports: (you can click the option in the initial of each report to have more details)
As you can see in the option, you can schedule this reports to be sent by email.
- Storage Management: Is where you add/remove your Backup Storage repositories.
- Offsite Copy Management: This section you can add your Offsite Datacenter or use Vembu Cloud for an offsite copy of your Backups.
You can have an offsite copy of backup server data, which you can use as a safe precaution in securing user data. These offsite copies will help, in the case of backup server disaster.
By default, Offsite copy settings are set disabled.
Note: Before enabling Offsite copy, the user needs to register Vembu BDR server to their Vembu Portal account.
- Server Registration: You can register your Vembu BDR into Vembu Portal.
- Manage Virtual Drive: In this section, you can mount the VMs Virtual Drives into your Vembu Backup Server that are in your Vembu backup repository.
An example of the type of files that you can read from your VMs.
In this section, you can enable a nice feature from Vembu called “Vembu Virtual Drive – NFS Share Settings”.
Enable this feature, you can then mount the same Vembu Virtual Drive into your ESXi hosts, then copy/replace any file that you need to your VMs folders. This feature is very useful if you need to do a quick restore of a VM file, or a full vmdk without the need to use the Vembu Tool to restore.
- Client Management: Section where you manage your Vembu clients (by default you will have the Vembu Server client added).
- User Management: Section where you manage/create your Vembu users admins.
- Server Seed Migration: This a feature where you can migrate your Backup to an external drive/location, or vice versa.
This will be helpful for users with low bandwidth network and large backup size.
Reduce bandwidth and time consumed.
Seed backup process involves 3 major processes involved:
While configuring backups
Seed Backup migration- server side and
Seed Backup migration- client side
- Time Zone Settings: Change your Installation Time Zone.
- Email settings: Add your email settings to Vembu configuration so that you can receive Vembu email reports by email.
- Software Update: Add to Vembu patches and updates and updates your Vembu Infrastructure.
After install and configure Vembu BDR, we will create a backup and restore job.
As we have mentioned above, to start/create a Backup job you need to select the option “Backup” in the main menu.
Select you ESXi hosts and start selection VMs that you want to Backup.
Next, select your schedule for this Backup Job.
Let us try to detail the schedule options above:
Option 1 – This option is where you set your schedule by days/hours that you want to run your Backup.
- Run hourly
As we can see in the next image, you can run this job every 15 minutes, or between every hour until 12 hours.
This option is good if you have a VM with high RPO and the backups need to have constant updates (like email servers, file servers, etc.).
Note: You need to be aware that this type of backup will have a high load in your Virtual Environment. So only use if you have a good backup infrastructure (source Storage, destination Storage, and good network bandwidth).
- Run Daily
This option is to run the Backup one time every day at a particular time that you should set here.
- Run Weekly
In this option, you can set to run every day at a particular time, but you can choose the weekdays that you want to run this Backup.
Option 2 – Here is where you enable additional full backups. The first option is for all normal backups (one initial full backup, next backups are incremental).
We can set the backup to create a full backup. As an example, every Friday and we can also set the number of backups that we want to keep (Store a maximum of).
Option 3 – This is the number of Full Backups that will be retained before restarting the cycle.
Next option and images are about the retention and type of backup that we will create.
The retention is for all Backups, not just Full Backup like in the previous option. Here you should choose the Backup Retention policy Grandfather-father–son (GFS).
GFS retention is a Regular backup, Weekly backup, Monthly backup, Quarterly backup, Yearly backup. You can read more about GFS HERE
For Advanced Retention and a better use of GFS.
Application Aware Options – Vembu VMBackup provides deep VSS integration to deliver application-aware backup to ensure skipping of applications in a non-consistent state.
Granular Recovery Granular Recovery
Recover individual mailboxes or emails from a single-pass exchange backup, restore individual documents from SharePoint backup or individual tables from SQL.
Automatic Log Truncation Automatic Log Truncation
Vembu VMBackup reduces the overflow of storage space by automatically truncating the transaction logs after performing a successful backup.
Restore directly from unmounted EDB
Recover mailboxes, folders and emails directly from the Exchange database file (EDB) without mounting the EDB to recover files.
Near CDP by backing Transaction Logs
Provide an automatic mechanism to deliver near continuous data protection by backing up the transaction logs.
Boot up VMs with Exchange installed
Deliver bare metal restore and boot up backed up image in VHD format as a virtual machine with Exchange installed.
This is application Objects and files running in the VMs.
Vembu can Backup Applications Awareness in the following Application:
- Microsoft SharePoint Backup
- Microsoft Exchange Server Backup
- Microsoft Outlook Backup
- Microsoft SQL Server Backup
- Microsoft Exchange Mailbox Backup
- MS Active Directory
Note: Backup Application Awareness only works if VMware Tools is installed in the Backup source VM.
- Application Aware Process: the Application-aware is a process to create consistent database snapshots by quiescing the applications using Microsoft VSS API.
- Require successful application processing: Backup will continue only if the VSS API is processed successfully after the snapshot. If not, the backup for this VM is canceled. This is an option to protect the VM vs Application from a nonsuccessful quiescing and to prevent issues in the VM vs Application.
- Ignore Application processing failures: Same option as above, but the Backup will ignore any nonsuccessful VSS API and continue with the backup.
- Truncate the transactions logs: This option lets Vembu BDR truncate the exchange server logs before initiating replication process. It purges and commits log files along with the .edb files and reduce storage space consumed.
Note: To be able to use application-aware image processing, Vembu backup needs login credentials in the VM at OS level.
Next, add a Job name, review your Backup options and if everything are correct you can click Next and finish.
After your Vembu Backup job are created.
Then you go to the Dashboard main options, Backup – List all jobs (after you create the backup job, Vembu will forward you to this board).
Option 1 – In this option, you can enable/disable your backup job. The option is Suspend/Resume
Option 2 – This option is to run immediately your Backup job manually regardless the schedule that you set in your job (if is an Incremental job will perform an Incremental Backup, if a Full Backup job, will perform Full Backup.
Option 3 – In this option, you can list all your Backup job reports (successful, aborted or failed jobs).
Option 4 – In this option, you can view, edit or delete your backup job.
We will now start our backup job and provide some final information about Vembu Backup jobs.
While Backup is running, click the Green triangle and you get the Backup Job running details.
1 – Is the percentage that is already been processed by the Backup Job. You can also check the amount of data (Mb / Gb) that as been processed.
2 – All the VMst that you have in this Backup Job and the amount of data that will be transferred by each one in this Backup.
3 – The actual average transfer rate speed for your Backup (will be in Mbp/s).
4 – All the VMs that are finished or did not start.
- Vembu BDR Backup Performance:
Let us provide some information about the Vembu Server performance while the Backup is running.
Performance data from the Vembu Server OS (In this case is a Windows Server 2012).
As we can see, from 16Gb of memory is consuming 68%. That is a comfortable memory consuming for a Backup. CPU is lower than 15%.
Performance data from VM level.
Performance Statistics for vCPU, vMemory, vHD and vNetwork (where the Vembu backup is running).
As we can check in the above performance statistics Vembu BDR doesn’t consume a lot of resources while is running Backups.
Important Note: The performance and resources consumed by the Vembu BDR, always depends on the size of your Backup jobs and also your Backup Infrastructure (Storage, Network, etc.).
To restore a VM from your Backup repository, you go to Dashboard main menu and click “Recovery” option.
Here you will view all your Backup jobs, where you can select the Backup job and the VM you want to restore, click “Restore” option to start the restore process.
Next, you need to select the type of restore.
Quick VM Recovery
Recover backup images as ready-state VMs (i.e)instantly available and helps in maintaining business continuity with minimal downtime.
Note: Default Hypervisors used for quick VM recovery are: Hyper-V (for MS Windows) and KVM (For Linux, Ubuntu).
Live Recovery to ESX(i) Server
Restore backed-up VMs directly to target ESX(i) hosts, where you can also perform partial VM restores(custom disk-level).
File Level Recovery
Auto attach backup to Disk Management in local machine that allows instant access to backed up data and instant file recovery possible.
Disk Level Recovery
Restore VM backups at disk level where backed up disks can be restored to target VMs in an ESX(i) host.
Multi-format restore available for any image backup(Physical/Virtual) and is easy to process.
The file formats available for restores are: VHD, VMDK, VHDX, Flat-VMDK and RAW image file.
Since we will do a normal simple restore, we will select “Quick VM Recovery”.
Next, if you have more than one backup for this Backup job, you need to select the restore point (data/time of the backup needed). Select the VMs that you want to restore and click “Next”.
Select the Hypervisor source type and click “Next” (since our article is about VMware Backups, we will select VMware).
Next section you need to select the destination:
Target VMware Server: If your destination is a vCenter, select you vCenter. If is an ESXI host, just select your ESXI host (you can add here a new vCenter/ESXi host for your Restore destination).
Target ESX(i) Server: If the target was a vCenter, you need to specify the ESXi host for the restore.
Target Datastore: Select the destination Datastore (if a local Datastore or a SAN).
VM Name: By default, restore will provide the original VM name. Here you can change the name for the restored VM.
You can enable “Power on VM automatically”. VM will be power on when restore is finished.
Next step is just to review all your options, if everything is correct, just click “Restore Now” button.
Confirm the restore and start the restore process.
Click Green triangle button, to open restore information detail process and you can follow the restore progress.
Note: Open this detail progress will affect restore performance. Use only if necessary.
Here we can see our VM already restore.
First, as you can check, VM restore will have always the date/time in the name of the VM after restore. After you can just rename the VM for is original name.
Second, as you can see in the next image, since we still have the original VM, after restore vCenter have a “VM MAC Conflict” alarm.
You can fix this issue with tree ways.
- Delete the original VM.
- If you want to keep the original VM, you need to set your VM mac address to manual. Check here how to: https://kb.vmware.com/kb/1024025
- Delete Network Interfaces and create new ones. This will create new and unique mac addresses.
After apply any above solutions, you just need to Acknowledge and Clear alarm in vCenter.
With Restore, we finish this first how to Vembu article. In the next weeks we will post more Vembu articles.
The use of Virtual Backup and Restore by Vembu BDR did start and finish without any issues (except the VM MAC Conflict, that happens with all virtual Backups tools in the same conditions as this one). One of the full Backup process did finish in less 3m for one VM(for around 5Gb of Data transferred). For a full Backup of 10 VMs I had a transfer rate between 140/210Mbp/s (for my home lab is very good numbers).
A full Quick Restore did take less then 3m (was a small Linux VM, but still a good RTO).
Hope this information was useful.
Note: Share this article, if you think it is worth sharing.