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Recovering virtual machines

Updated: November 1, 2013

Applies To: System Center 2012 - Data Protection Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager, System Center 2012 SP1 - Data Protection Manager

After backing up Hyper-V virtual machines, System Center 2012 - Data Protection Manager (DPM) supports the following recovery scenarios.

 

Scenario Description

Recovery of a virtual machine to the original location

The original virtual hard disk (VHD) is deleted. DPM recovers the VHD and other configuration files on the original location by using the Hyper-V VSS writer. At the end of the recovery process, the virtual machine is still highly available.

WarningWarning
The resource group must be present to enable the recovery. If the resource group is not available, recover the VHD to an alternate location, and then make the virtual machine highly available.

Recovery of a virtual machine to an alternate location

DPM supports alternate location recovery (ALR), which provides a seamless recovery of a protected Hyper-V virtual machine to a different server that runs Hyper-V, independent of the processor architecture. Hyper-V virtual machines that are recovered to a cluster node are not highly available. For more information about how to make a virtual machine highly available, see To make a virtual machine highly available.

Item-level recovery (ILR) of Hyper-V virtual machines

DPM supports item-level recovery (ILR), which allows you to perform a specific recovery of files, folders, volumes, and virtual hard disks (VHDs) from a host-level backup of Hyper-V virtual machines to a network share or a volume on a DPM protected server.

TipTip
The DPM protection agent does not have to be installed on the guest machine to perform item-level recovery.

The following tables show the types of data recovery that you can perform that is based on the type of your deployment.

 

Deployment Recovery to original location Recovery to alternate location Item-level recovery

Stand-alone host

Yes

Yes

Yes

Clustered host

Yes

Yes

Yes

Using server message block (SMB) share

Yes

Yes

Yes

Using live migration

Yes

Yes

Yes

The following table shows the supported and unsupported scenarios to recover files, folders, volumes, and VHDs by using ILR on a Hyper-V virtual machine.

 

Scenario Volumes or files/folders recovery Virtual hard disk (VHD) recovery

Recovery from a virtual machine that has snapshots

Yes

Yes

Recovery from a secondary DPM server

Yes

Yes

Recovery from tape backups

No

Yes

Recovery from NTFS file system volumes only

Yes

Not applicable

Recovery from non-NTFS file system volumes

No

Entire VHD only

Recovery from a VHD that is partitioned by using dynamic disk partitioning

No

Entire VHD only

ImportantImportant
You cannot traverse or browse the mount points when you explore a VHD for item-level recovery.

To recover a Hyper-V virtual machine in a non-CSV environment

  1. Select the recovery point that you want to recover from the Recovery work area.

  2. Use the Recovery wizard to select and recover the virtual machine.

noteNote
  • If you select the virtual machine on the left pane, the Recoverable Item list shows you the list of VHDs. If you perform a recovery at this point, you recover a VHD and not the virtual machine.

  • In a non-CSV environment, the destination is a volume in available storage in the cluster.

To recover a virtual machine to an alternate stand-alone server that runs Hyper-V

  1. Select the recovery point that you want to recover from the Recovery work area.

  2. Use the Recovery wizard to select and recover the virtual machine.

noteNote
  • If the recovered virtual machine was backed up in an online state, and it is saved state after recovery, delete the saved state of that virtual machine from the Hyper-V Manager console and start it.

  • Always check whether the virtual machine’s network configuration is correct after the alternate location recovery.

Item-level recovery for Hyper-V

DPM provides both host-based and guest-based protection for Hyper-V virtual machines.

DPM supports item-level recovery (ILR), which enables you to recover specific files, folders, volumes, and virtual hard disks (VHDs) from a host-level backup of Hyper-V virtual machines to a network share or a volume on a DPM protected server.

If you use a version of Windows Server before Windows Server 2008, you must have the Hyper-V role enabled on the DPM server to perform item-level recoveries. During item-level recovery, DPM has to mount the VHDs of the protected virtual machines.

ImportantImportant
  • Item-level recovery does not support recovery of an item to its original location.

  • Item-level recovery is not supported if the Diff VHD and Base VHD are on different volumes.

To perform item-level recovery of files and folders

  1. Select the recovery point that you want to recover from the Recovery work area.

  2. To view the list of files and folders, in the Recoverable Items list, do the following:

    • Double-click the item (VHD) that you want to recover.

    • Double-click the items (volumes in VHD) that you want to recover.

  3. Use the Recovery wizard to select and recover the virtual machine.

noteNote
DPM saves files and folders in a custom directory structure in the following format: <Recovery destination that is selected by the user>\<Virtual machine name>_<Backup time stamp> with the exact file system hierarchy that is used on a protected computer with the DPM protection agent installed.

To perform item-level recovery of volumes

  1. Search for the virtual machine name that you want to recover, and then in the details pane, select the item (VHD).

  2. To view the list of volumes, in the Recoverable Items list, do the following:

    • Double-click the item (VHD) that you want to recover.

    • Select the item (volume in VHD) that you want to recover.

    noteNote
    • The List pane displays the volume label or "Virtual Machine Volume" if no volume label is available.

    • You cannot select and recover multiple volumes at the same time.

  3. Use the Recovery wizard to select and recover the virtual machine.

To perform item-level recovery of VHD

  1. Search for the name of the virtual machine that you want to recover, and then in the details pane, select the item (VHD).

  2. Use the Recovery wizard to select and recover the virtual machine.

noteNote
  • The path of the VHD file on the protected computer is displayed in the Recoverable Items list.

  • You cannot select and recover multiple VHDs at the same time.

  • When you recover a VHD of a virtual machine that has Hyper-V snapshots, .avhd files are not displayed in the Recoverable Items pane, but DPM recovers the parent VHD and all the associated .avhd files.

  • DPM saves VHDs in a custom directory structure in the following format: DPM_<backup-time>\DPM_Recovered_At_<RecoveryTime>\<Path of the VHD on the protected computer> with the exact file system hierarchy that is used on a protected computer with the DPM protection agent installed.

To recover a Hyper-V virtual machine that uses live migration

  1. Browse to or search for the name of the virtual machine that you want to recover, and then in the details pane, select the item (VHD).

  2. Use the Recovery wizard to select and recover the virtual machine.

noteNote
Recovery of a virtual machine to its original location is possible only if there is a replica from that location. For example, recovery is possible if a virtual machine is hosted on Host A and during this time 10 replicas are taken, and then the virtual machine is migrated to Host B, where two replicas are taken. Original location recovery means that the virtual machine is recovered to Host B if the latest replicas are used. If you want to recover the virtual machine to Host A, it uses an alternate location recovery flow.

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For additional resources, see Information and Support for System Center 2012.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012. For instructions and examples, see Search the System Center 2012 Documentation Library.
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