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VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) restore over SAN using Ops Center Protector v7.6

By Karan Patani posted 02-16-2024 09:36


With the introduction of VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) restore over SAN with Ops Center Protector v7.6, protected VMs can now be restored using VMware SAN as the transport mode. This method can efficiently pass virtual disk data between a VM and the proxy because no data traverses the LAN. Our objective is to test:

·       Data Protection policies combined with data flow diagrams to automate local backups and replications for end-to-end data protection using VMware SAN transport mode.

·       Recovery Solutions to revert production VMs to a specific point in time and create copies using VMware SAN transport mode.

Ops Center Protector orchestrates creating, retaining, and restoring application-consistent and crash-consistent snapshots and clones for VMware. VMs can be protected by creating batch backups in a repository or by creating snapshots or clones on Hitachi Block Storage.
A VMware node can backup and restore Virtual Disks belonging to VMs or Templates using different VMware ‘Transport Modes’. The transport mode selected depends on the system and network configurations.


In addition to the Network Block Device (NBD) and NBDSSL protocols used over LAN, Ops Center Protector supports SAN and HotAdd transport protocols when using Host-based workflows.


To use VMware SAN Transport mode, ensure that the Proxy for the VMware node is a physical machine connected to the same fabric as the storage devices with VM data stores.

Figure 1: Topology for SAN Backup and Restore

Use this topology setup to transfer data directly between the data store and the repository. This method efficiently passes the VM data over SAN instead of traversing through the LAN. To use SAN restores, the VMFS volumes must be visible (exposed but not mounted) on the Proxy node and have both Read and Write access.

Prerequisites for setting up the environment

For host-based data protection and recovery, ensure the following:


·       Changed Block Tracking (CBT) is enabled on the VM to allow incremental backups. Full backups run on the VM if CBT is not enabled.


·       The same Protector node is used for the VMware proxy and the repository. While not mandatory, this enables data to be transferred directly from the VMware host to the repository.

·       If the proxy (VMware application) node shares access over a SAN to disks used by the VMware datastores, VMware SAN Transport mode transfers data directly between the datastores and the VMware proxy or repository.

Configuring the Proxy or Repository Server

To configure a proxy or repository server, complete the following steps:


1.     Assign a volume from the storage system, create a Repo directory, and then mount the volume to use as the Repo.

2.     Ensure that the VMFS datastore volume from VCSA is visible to the Repo server.

: Ensure that it’s only exposed and not mounted; the disk is visible as a VMFS volume.

3.     Change the config file hbb-vmware-adapter.cfg under the /opt/hitachi/protector/db/config/ directory by adding SAN as a Transport mode for backup and recovery.


Configuring VADP settings in Ops Center Protector

To configure VADP settings in Ops Center Protector, complete the following steps:


1.     In the Nodes section, create a Repository, point it to the repo directory created on the proxy server, and then click Next.

2.     Verify the Summary section and click Finish.

3.     Create a protection backup policy for the VM.

4.     Create a Data Flow using the VM as the source and the Repository as the destination.

Backing up the VM

When the backup completes, verify that the SAN transport was used.


Restoring the VM

Initiate a restore of the backed-up VM and restore it as a clone VM using a prefix to differentiate it from the original. When the restoration completes, verify that the SAN transport mode was used.




You can verify the clone VM in the VMware vSphere Client.




Using Ops Center Protector, we successfully created, retained, and restored a VM clone in VMware. Everything was done using a batch backup to a repository using the SAN transport mode. This efficiently helped us transfer virtual disk data between a VM and the proxy without traversing through the LAN.


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