Instant VM Recovery
With Instant VM Recovery, you can immediately restore different workloads as VMs to your production environment by running them directly from the compressed and deduplicated backup files. The supported types of backup files are listed in the Performing Instant VM Recovery of Workloads to VMware vSphere VMs and Performing Instant VM Recovery of Workloads to Hyper-V VMs sections.
Instant VM recovery helps improve recovery time objectives (RTO), minimize disruption and downtime of production workloads.
Instant VM Recovery is performed in the following way:
- Veeam Backup & Replication reads the workload configuration from the backup file in the backup repository and creates a dummy VM with empty disks on the target host. The created VM has the same settings as the workload in the backup file. Note that Veeam Backup & Replication pre-allocates disk space required for the restored VM at the beginning of the Instant VM Recovery process.
- Veeam Backup & Replication initiates creation of a protective snapshot for the dummy VM and the VM is started. If the Instant VM Recovery process fails for some reason, the protective snapshot guarantees that no data is lost.
- On the backup repository and on the target host, Veeam Backup & Replication starts a pair of Veeam Data Movers that are used to mount the VM disks from the backup file to the dummy VM.
- On the target host, Veeam Backup & Replication starts a proprietary Veeam driver. The driver redirects requests to the file system of the recovered VM (for example, when a user accesses some application) and reads necessary data from the backup file in the backup repository via the pair of Veeam Data Movers that maintain the disk mount.
To finalize Instant VM Recovery, you can do one of the following:
- Use Storage vMotion to quickly migrate the restored 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 Storage vMotion is only available with select VMware licenses.
- Use replication or VM copy functionality of Veeam Backup & Replication. In this case, you can create a copy of a VM and fail over to it during the next maintenance window. In contrast to Storage vMotion, this approach requires you to schedule some downtime while you clone or replicate the VM, power it off and then power the cloned copy or replica on.
- 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 restore the VM from the backup file on the production server, then move all changes and consolidate them with the VM data. For details, see Quick Migration.
In many respects, Instant VM Recovery gives results similar to failover of a replica. Both features can be used for tier-1 applications with little tolerance for business interruption and downtime. However, when you perform replica failover, you do not have dependencies on the backup server. And, unlike Instant VM Recovery that provides only limited I/O throughput, replication guarantees full I/O performance.
Beside disaster recovery matters, Instant VM Recovery can also be used for testing purposes. Instead of extracting VM images to production storage to perform regular disaster recovery (DR) testing, you can run a VM directly from the backup file, boot it and make sure the guest OS and applications are functioning properly.
Instant VM Recovery supports bulk processing so you can immediately restore multiple workloads at once. If you perform Instant VM Recovery for several workloads, Veeam Backup & Replication uses the resource scheduling mechanism to allocate and use optimal resources required for Instant VM Recovery. For details, see Resource Scheduling.
- Performing Instant VM Recovery of Workloads to VMware vSphere VMs
- Performing Instant VM Recovery of Workloads to Hyper-V VMs