To verify VM backups with SureBackup, Veeam Backup & Replication uses the vPower technology. The vPower technology enables the following features:
- Recovery verification
- Instant VM Recovery
- Universal Application-Item Recovery (U-AIR)
- On-Demand Sandbox
- Multi-OS file-level restore
The key construct of the vPower technology is the vPower NFS Service. The vPower NFS Service is a Microsoft Windows service that runs on a Microsoft Windows machine and enables this machine to act as an NFS server.
On the vPower NFS server, Veeam Backup & Replication creates a special directory — the vPower NFS datastore. When you start a VM from the backup, Veeam Backup & Replication "publishes" VMDK files of the VM from the backup on the vPower NFS datastore. Technically, Veeam Backup & Replication emulates the presence of VMDK files on the vPower NFS datastore — the VMDK files themselves are still located in the backup file on the backup repository.
The vPower NFS datastore is then mounted to the ESX(i) host. As a result, the ESX(i) host can "see" backed up VM images via the vPower NFS datastore and work with them as with regular VMDK files. The emulated VMDK files function as pointers to the real VMDK files in the backup on the backup repository.
Veeam vPower NFS datastores are service datastores that can be used for vPower operations only. You cannot use them as regular VMware vSphere datastores — for example, you cannot place files of replicated VMs on such datastores.
vPower NFS Server Location
If you store backups on a Microsoft Windows backup repository, it is strongly recommended that you enable the vPower NFS server on this backup repository. In this case, Veeam Backup & Replication will be able to set up a direct connection between the backup repository and ESX(i) to which the vPower NFS datastore is mounted.
The Veeam vPower NFS Service can also run on any Microsoft Windows server in the backup infrastructure, including the backup server itself. However, in this case the recovery verification performance may decrease. The connection between the ESX(i) host and backup repository will be split into two parts:
- From ESX(i) host to the vPower NFS server
- From the vPower NFS server to the backup repository
To establish a connection between the ESX(i) host and vPower NFS server, you must make sure that the ESX(i) host has a proper network interface configuration and can access the vPower NFS server.
When connecting to the vPower NFS server, the ESX(i) host uses a VMkernel interface. For this reason, the ESX(i) host must have a VMkernel interface. Otherwise, Veeam Backup & Replication will fail to mount the vPower NFS datastore on the ESX(i) host.
By default, VMkernel interfaces are not available for non-ESXi versions of VMware vSphere hosts. You will have to add them manually.
- If the vPower NFS server and ESX host are located in the same network, the ESX host must have a VMkernel interface in the same IP network as the vPower NFS server.
- If the vPower NFS server and ESX host are located in different networks and use a router for network access, in addition to creating a new VMkernel interface, you will have to manually specify routing settings in the IP routing table on the ESX host.
To check if an ESX host can access the vPower NFS server, you can use the vmkping utility on the ESX host. The vmkping utility is similar to the ping tool. The only difference is that ICMP packets are sent via the VMkernel interface rather than the service console interface.