File/folder-level restoration for VMware and
Hyper-V virtual machines

The need to restore entire virtual machines (VMware and Hyper-V) happens quite rarely in work environments; full-scale restorations are mostly restricted to test environments where admins try out various configuration changes. In day-to-day VM management, administrators mostly deal with having to undo a change made to a particular file or folder. In such cases, restoring the entire VM to the backup version that contains the required file version is cumbersome and inefficient.

RecoveryManager Plus’ granular VM restoration capability addresses this issue. With RecoveryManager Plus, you can restore particular files or folders to their backed-up state without having to restore the entire VM. This speeds up the restoration process, with virtually no downtime.

How it works

When you back up a VMware or Hyper-V VM using RecoveryManager Plus, the backups are compressed and then encrypted using AES-128 bit encryption standard if the user has configured backups to be encrypted. These backup files, in their normal state, do not allow users to view the data contained in them.

The compresed and encrypted backup is then mounted, which enables the administrator to read the data contained in the backup. Mounting is done by attaching the volumes of the backed up VM disks (VMDK file for VMware VMs, and VHD/VHDX/AVHD/AVHDX file for Hyper-V VMs) to the RecoveryManager Plus server and obtaining the files and folders contained in them.

When a backup file is mounted, RecoveryManager Plus file mounter driver that runs as a service reads the data from the backup file. VMware's VDDK Mount Service and Microsoft's Disk Manager Service are used to mount the VMware and Hyper-V backups respectively.

Note: RecoveryManager Plus can only perform file and folder level restorations when the file system used in the VM is of the following types: NTFS, FAT32 or FAT16.

Once a backup is mounted, a file browser will be displayed which shows all the files and folders in the selected backup. Administrators can choose the files and folders that they wish to restore. 

RecoveryManager Plus provides three modes of file level restorations:

  • Restore (Keep): This option allows you to create a copy of the backed up file or folder with a new name in the same location.
  • Restore (Overwrite): This option allows you to replace an existing file or folder with the version from the backup.
  • Copy To: This option allows you to create a copy of the backed up file or folder in a location of your choice.

Other highlights

Changed Block Tracking: Between backups, Changed Block Tracking (CBT) tags any storage blocks with changes on them and stores that storage block information. RecoveryManager Plus accesses this information and copies only the changed blocks, saving precious storage space.

Synthetic full backups: RecoveryManager Plus allows you to create synthetic full backups, which are full backups created without contacting your VM hosts and consolidated directly from the existing backup information. Creating a synthetic full backup does not use network resources and does not effect the performance of your VMs.

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