Instant Recovery to VMware vSphere
With Instant Recovery to VMware vSphere, you can immediately recover different workloads (VMs, EC2 instances, physical servers and so on) as VMware vSphere VMs to your production environment by running them directly from compressed and deduplicated backup files. Instant Recovery helps improve recovery time objectives (RTO), minimize disruption and downtime of production workloads. The workloads are recovered in a matter of minutes.
When you perform Instant Recovery, Veeam Backup & Replication mounts workload images to a host directly from backups stored on backup repositories. This means that Veeam Backup & Replication creates fully functioning “temporary spares” with limited I/O performance. To provide full I/O performance, you must migrate these "temporary spares" to the production site. For more information, see Migration of Recovered VMs to Production Site.
Besides disaster recovery matters, Instant Recovery can also be used for testing purposes. Instead of extracting workload images to production storage to perform regular disaster recovery (DR) testing, you can run a workload directly from a backup file, boot it and make sure the guest OS and applications are functioning properly. For more information, see Finalizing Instant Recovery to VMware vSphere.
Instant Recovery supports bulk processing so you can immediately recover multiple workloads at once. If you perform Instant Recovery for several workloads, Veeam Backup & Replication uses the resource scheduling mechanism to allocate and use optimal resources required for Instant Recovery. For details, see Resource Scheduling.
You can recover workloads from the following types of backups:
- Backups of VMware vSphere virtual machines created by Veeam Backup & Replication
- Backups of VMware vCloud Director virtual machines created by Veeam Backup & Replication
- Backups of Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines created by Veeam Backup & Replication
- Backups of virtual and physical machines created by Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows or Veeam Agent for Linux
- Backups of Nutanix AHV virtual machines created by Veeam Backup for Nutanix AHV
- Backups of Amazon EC2 instances created by Veeam Backup for AWS
- Backups of Microsoft Azure virtual machines created by Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure
- [Starting from Veeam Backup & Replication 11a (build 126.96.36.1991)] Backups of Google Compute Engine VM instances created by Veeam Backup for Google Cloud
- [Starting from Veeam Backup & Replication 11a (build 188.8.131.521)] Backups of RHV VMs created by Veeam Backup for RHV
When Instant Recovery is performed, Veeam Backup & Replication uses the Veeam vPower technology to mount a workload image to an ESXi host directly from a compressed and deduplicated backup file. Since there is no need to extract the workload from the backup file and copy it to production storage, you can perform recovery from any restore point in a matter of minutes.
The image of the workload remains in read-only state to avoid unexpected modifications. By default, all changes to virtual disks that take place while a recovered VM is running are logged to auxiliary redo log files residing on the NFS server (backup server or backup repository). These changes are discarded as soon as the recovered VM is removed, or merged if you migrate the VM to the production site.
To improve I/O performance for a recovered VM, you can redirect VM changes to a specific datastore that is closer to the host where the VM resides. In this case, Veeam Backup & Replication will trigger a snapshot and will put it to the Veeam IR directory on the selected datastore, together with metadata files holding changes to the VM image.
To migrate the recovered VMs to the production storage, you can use one of the following relocation methods:
- Use Storage vMotion to quickly migrate the recovered VM to the production storage without any downtime. In this case, original VM data will be pulled from the NFS datastore to the production storage and consolidated with VM changes while the VM is still running. Storage vMotion, however, can only be used if you select to keep VM changes on the NFS datastore without redirecting them. Note that to use Storage vMotion, you need an appropriate VMware license.
- Use Quick Migration. In this case, Veeam Backup & Replication will perform a two-stage migration procedure — instead of pulling data from the vPower NFS datastore, it will recover the VM from the backup file on the production server, then move all changes and consolidate them with the VM data.
For more information on the relocation methods, see the Quick Migration section in the User Guide for VMware vSphere. For more information on how to launch the migration for workloads recovered with Instant Recovery, see Finalizing Instant Recovery to VMware vSphere.