8. vCloud Operations Control : 8.8 Continuity Management : 8.8.2 Backup and Restore of vApps
8.8.2 Backup and Restore of vApps
Some manual backup and restore procedures are required for the vApps that are deployed into the vCloud. Traditional backup tools do not capture the required metadata associated with a vApp, such as owner, network, and organization. This results in recovery and restoration issues. Without this data, recovery must include manual steps and requires configuration attributes to be manually reentered.
Within a vCloud environment, a vApp can be a single virtual machine or group of virtual machines, treated as one object. Backup of vApps on isolated networks must be supported. Identifying inventories of individual organizations becomes challenging based on current methods that enumerate the backup items using vSphere. vSphere uses universally unique identifiers (UUIs) to differentiate objects, whereas vCloud Director uses object identifiers.
For backing up and restoring vApps, VMware recommends the use of VMware vSphere® Storage APIsData Protection backup technology. This technology has no agents on guest operating systems, is centralized for improved manageability, and has a reduced dependency on backup windows.
Guest-based backup solutions might not work in a vCloud because not all virtual machines are accessible through the network. Also, virtual machines might have identical IP addresses. Therefore, backups of vCloud vApps require a virtual machine-level approach.
Use the full name and computer name fields to specify realistic names that help describe the virtual machines when deploying virtual machines (as part of a vApp). If this is not done, the generic information in these fields can make it difficult to specify individual virtual machines. vApps and virtual machines that are provisioned by vCloud Director have a large GUID template_name. Multiple virtual machines might appear to be similar, making it difficult for a user or administrator to identify and ask for a specific virtual machine to be restored. VMware Solutions
VMware Data Recovery is a solution based on vStorage APIs for Data Protection. Other storage APIs for data protection-based backup technologies are available from third-party backup vendors. Currently, due to the universally unique identifier (UUI) versus object identifier issue, Data Recovery cannot be used with VMware vCloud Director.
For backup of vCloud workloads, VMware recommends that clients validate the level of support provided by the vendor to make sure client requirements are supported. The following table provides a checklist of vCloud vApp requirements to ask vendors about.
Table 3. vCloud vApp Requirements Checklist
vApp Requirement
vStorage API Data Protection integration
vStorage API Data Protection provides change-block tracking capability to reduce backup windows.
Integration to enable backup of isolated virtual machines and vApps.
Integration with vStorage API Data Protection to provide LAN-free and server-free backups to support better consolidation rations for vCloud and the underlying vSphere infrastructure.
Use of the virtual machine universally unique identifier (UUI) versus virtual machine name supports multitenancy and avoids potential name space conflicts.
vCloud Director integration
Interface support for vCloud provider administrator teams. In the future, consumer (organization administrator and users) access may be provided by some vendors.
Include vCloud metadata for the vApps. This includes temporary and permanent metadata per virtual machine or vApp. This is required to make sure that recovery of the virtual machine or vApp has all data required to support resource requirements and SLAs.
vApp requirements
Provide vApp granularity for backups. Support backup of multitiered vApps (for example, a Microsoft Exchange vApp that has multiple virtual machines included. Backup selection of the Exchange vApp would pick up all the underlying virtual machines that are part of the main vApp).This capability is not available today, but is being developed by vendors. Challenges
Challenges associated with backing up and restoring a vCloud include the following:
*vApp naming that poses conflict issues between tenants.
*vApp metadata required for recovery.
*Multi-object vApp backup (protection groups for multitiered vApps).
*Manual recovery steps in the vCloud.
*Support for backup of vApps on isolated networks or with no network connectivity.
*Enumeration of vApps by organization for use by the organization administrator.
*Enumeration of vApps by organization and provider for use by the organization provider.
*User initiated backup/recovery.
*Support of provider (provider administrator) and consumer (organization administrator and user).
For more detailed information about vCloud Business Continuity, see Appendix F: Business Continuity.