Jun 9, 2010

How To Restore a VMWare VCB Backup

Yesterday I gave you a script on how to perform regular VCB snapshots of your VMWare virtual machines to backup to external storage. Pretty cool right? I mean in the case of a disaster, being able to restore an entire VM could save your hours if not days of time. Think about it, in an old school server scenario, you would have to purchase a new server, install the OS to create a shell, and restore the data on top of that. How long can that take? Imaging being able to just stand up a box and power it back on? That is basically what VCB does for you!

The method I gave you yesterday isn’t a raw snapshot of your VM. by that I mean you can’t just copy it back to your VMWare environment, re-add it to inventory and power it on. The reason is that VCB snapshots your disk into pieces, and creates a catalog file of those pieces so it ca be restored correctly. This also allows the VCB files to traverse your network more efficiently. So how do you restore it?


Well, you can mount the SMB share where you saved it, or you can do what I do. I copy the files back using WinSCP. When they are copied back to a drive, or LUN that VMWare can see, I use the vcbRestore utility to re-build the vmdk, and to add it back into inventory in vSphere. The command you run is:

vcbRestore -h FQDN.ofyourvsphereserver.com -u user -p password -s VMWareFolder/ -a VMWareFolder/catalog

In the example above change FQDN.ofyourvsphereserver.com to match the FQDN of your vSphere server. Change the user and password to a user and password with full permissions to vSphere. Change VMWareFolder to the folder name of the VM you are restoring.

When you run that you should see something like this:

Converting "/vmfs/volumes/LUN/VMWareFolder/Server.vmdk" (VMFS (flat)):

When that is done, you will see your machine back in inventory in vSphere waiting for you to power it back on!

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