To be REALLY useful, a backup system must provide options for both backing up and for restores. In particular, one MUST be able to restore to a DIFFERENT destination than the one from which the archive was sourced.
Let's see, my server has DIED. My backup will ONLY let me restore to the server that has DIED. How useful is this? Perhaps NOT AT ALL.
As in my previous post, there has to be a way. However I am not seeing it.
It is possible to restore to a different vSphere/ESX environment, there are at least two different ways depending on your configuration.
Is your vmPRO configured to use vCenter or are you pointing directly to some specific ESX hosts? You could manually configure vmPRO to use the host you want to restore to, or you could change vmPRO to connect to a different vCenter and then use the Recover VMs Wizard.
Alternately, you could also utilize the vmPRO backup files directly. Since backups are written in VMDK/VMX format, if you have them stored in an NFS location (for example DXi V1000), you can add any full backup to your vCenter inventory. In that method you would need to configure the NFS storage device as a vSphere Datastore, but then after that you can recover backups directly from there by browsing the datastore.
Once added back to your inventory you could clone or migrate the VM from the backup location to your primary storage.
I am also in a situation where I would like to recover a VM to a different host. Unfortunately, I do not seem to have the first option as you describe. I have vmPRO configured to use individual ESXi hosts rather than vCenter because I have more than one vCenter instance and vmPRO is limited to only support one vCenter. The Recover VMs Wizard will only let me select the host from which the VM was backed up. This is in spite of the fact that vmPRO is connected to four other host servers - none of which show up in the list of servers to recover to.
This is a serious shortcoming of what is otherwise a very good product in my opinion.
I understand the second method, and in my case this may be the only option. But this isn't really very helpful from a backup product perspective as it doesn't utilise vmPRO's functionality at all.
To clarify when mounting several ESXi hosts you can only restore to the ESXi with the recovery wizard from which the backup originated? We want functionality to push a restore to any visible ESXi host regardless of origin, correct?
That is correct. When not using vCenter, it doesn't seem possible to use the Recover VMs Wizard to restore to an alternate ESXi host. I can change the destination datastore, to any of the mounted datastores, but the next option only presents the original host from which the VM was backed up.
I would very much like to be able to push the restore to any visible ESXi host. This is quite important if the original host is no longer available!
Let me test and get back with you, seems like a valid bug and a chance for us to improve our product, thanks!
Ok, bug fixed and tested for the 3.2 release (no official release date yet but coming soon).
Don't register with the Wizard with any ESX host. Then manually add the '.vmx' file to which ever hosts inventory you desire from browsing the datastore.
You could deploy a separate appliance and mount the storage and only the ESX host you want to restore too.
Probably the first work around is easiest.
Thanks. That sounds great. I look forward to receiving the 3.2 update when it is released.