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Restore a specific VMDK from snapshot on single Nimble VMFS volume with multiple VMs

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dtopo93
Occasional Contributor

Restore a specific VMDK from snapshot on single Nimble VMFS volume with multiple VMs

Hello all....

reaching to the community to find the best way to utilize Nimble snapshots for restoring VMDKs of specific VMs. My situations is this...I have a single Nimble volume where 8 or so VMware VMs live. If I encounter the need to bring one of those VMs back to it's snapshot state, and leave the others as is...what's the best way to go about that?

Is it suggested to have a volume per VM?? That seems like too much over head and wasted storage...although convenient for this purpose.

I also read about utilities such as UFS Explorer that can connect to and mount a VMFS volume (read only) from a windows box. I suppose I could go that route. Clone the snap shot of my VMFS volume...mount it with said utility from a windows box...then copy the VMDK out - shut down the affected VM- and shuffle over the copied VMDK, uploading it to the production VMFS data store w Vcenter client.... and start my VM. Clunky but would work.....right? Any "gotyas" to this process?

Anyway...appreciate any input...or suggested reasonably priced 3rd party utilities that would make this process easier..

Thanks in advance everybody...Dennis

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rugby0134
Esteemed Contributor
Solution

Re: Restore a sepcific VMDK from snapshot on single Nimble VMFS volume with multiple VMs

Well the good news is - it's easy.

Most people just create a clone and use the mount / browse datastore from vCenter.

     1)     Create clone

     2)     validate initiator group is set to DR servers

     3)     Scan for new DataStore

     4)     Mount Datastore

     5)     Browse Datastore for VM Directory to recover

     6)      Copy and Paste into destination Datastore

     7)     Start VM and answer "Moved" it to question

Your second point about datastores per vm's is called VVols, and it's 3-4 volumes per VM.   The Snaps, Replication, and Clones are handled from VMware - so DR testing is handled internally inside VMware directly (like Vmware native snaps).

lindy37
Advisor

Re: Restore a sepcific VMDK from snapshot on single Nimble VMFS volume with multiple VMs

If you are using the vCenter plugin, it will do most of the work for you.  By cloning the volume via the vCenter plugin it will mount the cloned volume to your VMware servers.  From there I would....

  • Either "delete form disk" the bad VM.
  • Or remove the VM from inventory, then rename the folder it is in on the volume, using browse datastore to access it in vmware. (this allows you to have both copies of the VM)
  • Browse the cloned volume and move the older copy of the VM over to the old volume.
  • Dive into the folder that you just copied and right click on the .vmx file and choose "Add to Inventory".

You can then startup the VM.  Once you are ok with the VM then you can remove the cloned volume via the vCenter plugin.

I have also done it with UFS explorer and it works just a well, just a few more steps.  I use this method more for restoring single files from our large file servers.  UFS explorer will dig all the way down to the .vmdk and allow you to extract a single file.

rshekar42
Advisor

Re: Restore a sepcific VMDK from snapshot on single Nimble VMFS volume with multiple VMs

One alternative is to power on the VM while it is still in the cloned datastore, and if everything looks good, you can Storage vMotion it to the original datastore. Might be a faster time to recovery if you have a large VM.

dtopo93
Occasional Contributor

Re: Restore a sepcific VMDK from snapshot on single Nimble VMFS volume with multiple VMs

Everybody...thanks much for all your concise input .... that really helps !