You can restore VM guest OS files from a storage snapshot. Veeam Backup & Replication supports file-level restore for the most commonly used file systems on Linux, Solaris, BSD, Unix and Micro Focus OES. For the full list of supported file systems, see Platform Support.
To restore files from VM guest OS, Veeam Backup & Replication uses a helper appliance. The helper appliance is a helper VM running a stripped down Linux kernel that has a minimal set of components. The appliance is quite small — around 50 MB. It requires 1024 MB RAM and takes around 10–20 seconds to boot.
When you perform file-level restore, Veeam Backup & Replication does the following:
- On an ESXi host in your virtual environment, Veeam Backup & Replication creates a clone/virtual copy of the storage snapshot on which the VM disks are hosted. Veeam Backup & Replication mounts the clone/virtual copy to the selected ESXi host as a new datastore.
- Veeam Backup & Replication copies an ISO of the helper appliance to the datastore and starts the helper appliance.
- Veeam Backup & Replication mounts the restored VM disks to the helper appliance as virtual hard drives. VMDK files are mounted directly from storage snapshots.
- After disks are mounted, Veeam Backup & Replication launches the Veeam Backup browser where mounted VM disks are displayed. In the browser, you can restore files and folders to their original location, local machine drive or save them in a network shared folder.
- When you restore files or folders, the helper appliance connects to the VM over network or VIX API/vSphere Web Services, if a connection over the network cannot be established.
- When the restore process is finished, Veeam Backup & Replication deletes the datastore, unmounts the clone/virtual copy from the ESXi host and then deletes this copy.
Before you start file-level restore, check prerequisites. Then use the File Level Restore wizard to restore VM guest OS files and folders.