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vm backup

Posted on 2014-02-04
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Last Modified: 2014-02-09
I have a question on cross-consistent backup, hope the experts up there will answer.
If I backup a vm without vss then it is going to be cross-consistent backup.
Does this means that I may have to restore some dll files manually if those dll files are opened at that time when the backup kicked in? in case if those files are locked (no readable)
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Question by:sara2000
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Expert Comment

by:rawinnlnx9
ID: 39833380
Can you power off the VM take a snapshot (you may not need to power it off for the snapshot) then copy everything in the VM directory including your snapshot. I will usually 7-zip the VM when it's down. Then just save off snapshots. I'm not sure if this answers your question. I've crashed VM's, killed their processes and generally abused the crap out of them and found them to be very fault tolerant.
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LVL 117
ID: 39833467
If you backup a VM, without VSS, it will be Crash Consistent.



that means - just like the VM had crashed, or had been powered off! (not shutdown correctly!).

This is how we Backup our VMs, since 2004!

and they Backup and Restore perfectly with no issues or corruption.
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Author Comment

by:sara2000
ID: 39834086
Thank you Andrew,
Does the vsphere API call vss writer when the backup software ask for snapshot of vm?
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LVL 117
ID: 39834919
Backup Applications talks to the vSphere API, which calls a Snapshot, the Snapshot communicates with VMware Tools inside the VM, VMware Tools calls the VSS writer!
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by:sara2000
ID: 39836990
Does vm snapshot do the same, that is, it call vmtools and asking vss writer to take shadow copy?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39837295
Yes, exactly the same.

The process Take Snapshot, with the Quiece option ticked, this is the same function called by the VMware Storage APIs, used by Backup products. The function is Quiece the OS file system, which instructs VMware Tools, to notify the VSS.
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