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Enhancing resiliency for Instant Recovery

Backup Exec 16 FP1 introduces the Enhanced Resiliency feature for the instantly recovered virtual machines to improve business continuity.

What can I achieve using this feature?

In the earlier release, the Instant Recovery feature had a limitation. The instantly recovered virtual machines were unavailable if the Backup Exec and/or the Hyper-V servers restarted.

The Enhanced Resiliency for Instant Recovery increases the data and application availability of virtual machines that are instantly recovered. This improves business continuity in case the Backup Exec server or the Hyper-V server must be restarted. As soon as the restart is complete or network connectivity is restored, virtual machines restored with the "Instant Recovery" feature come online automatically.

Use case 1: Hypervisor reboot

  1. An instantly recovered Hyper-V virtual machine is running on the Hyper-V host.
  2. You add data that now exists on this virtual machine.
  3. Hyper-V host reboot is required because of some updates. The host restarts.
  4. After the restart, you can use the instantly recovered machine and the changes are also retained.

 

Use case 2: Backup Exec server reboot

  1. An instantly recovered Hyper-V virtual machine is running on the Hyper-V host.
  2. You add data that now exists on this virtual machine.
  3. Backup Exec server reboot is required because of some updates. The server restarts.
  4. After the restart, you can use the instantly recovered machine and the changes are also retained.

Use case 3: Network disruption

  1. The instantly recovered Hyper-V virtual machine is running on the Hyper-V host.
  2. You add data that now exists on this virtual machine.
  3. There is a temporary network disruption that causes the Backup Exec server and the Hyper-V host to disconnect.
  4. After the network connectivity is restored, the instantly recovered machine is usable and the changes are also retained.

Use case 4: Unexpected shutdown

  1. The instantly recovered Hyper-V virtual machine is running on the Hyper-V host.
  2. You add data that now exists on this virtual machine.
  3. Backup Exec server/Hyper-V host shut down or the ‘VxLatServer’ process controlling the Instant Recovery session crashes on any of these servers.
  4. After the server is online, or the Backup Exec Remote Agent restarts post the ‘VxLatServer’ process crash, the instantly recovered virtual machine is usable and the changes are also retained.

 

Do I need to purchase an additional Backup Exec license to use this new feature?

No additional license is required.

What are the additional system requirements for using this feature?

There are no new system requirements for this feature.

How does this feature work?

The ‘VxLatServer’ process is primarily responsible for keeping the instantly recovered virtual machine in a functional state.

If this process is not running, the instantly recovered virtual machine stops working.

The enhanced resiliency for instantly recovered virtual machines introduced in this release ensures that this process is launched again after the Backup Exec server and/or the Hyper-V server restarts.

When the ‘VxLatServer’ process is launched for the first time, some metadata is collected and saved in a repository. The metadata is used when the process needs to be launched again.

VxLatServer Process workflow

  1. The ‘VxLatServer’ process launches when Instant Recovery is performed for a virtual machine.
  2. The metadata for this process is stored in a repository.
  3. The ‘VxLatServer’ process is monitored. If the process does not run, it launched again.
  4. The metadata information is updated with the process that is launched again.
  5. An alert is displayed on the Backup Exec console that the instance for the instantly recovered virtual machine is successfully completed.

 

 Are there any performance impacts due to this new feature?

No performance impacts.

Points to remember for Instant Recovery

  • A virtual machine cannot be used when the Hyper-V server is rebooting or turned off.
  • You may need to manually restart/reboot the instantly recovered virtual machine if it is in a saved or error state.

'Instant Recovery for Hyper-V Virtual Machine' Requirements and Prerequisites

  • Backup Exec Server:
    • Windows 2008 SP2 or later
    • Licensed Agent for VMware and Hyper-V
    • Only Windows-based VMs are supported for Instant Recovery
    • Instant Recovery is not supported in a clustered Backup Exec environment
  • Destination Hyper-V Server:
  • Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2, Windows 2012, or Windows 2012 R2
  • Agent for Windows version Feature Pack 5 or later

 

Related links

More about Backup Exec

Download Backup Exec trial ware

Backup Exec 16 FP1 TechNote Download page

Backup Exec 16 FP1 Release Notes

Quick demo on Instant Recovery

 

If you find the new enhanced resiliency feature useful, please share your feedback by commenting on this blog.

Thank you,

Backup and Recovery Team