SIRIS, ALTO, and NAS: Disaster Recovery: Starting a local virtualization on a Datto appliance

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This article explains how to start a local virtualization and backups of a recovery point on a SIRIS device through the Datto appliance GUI during a disaster recovery scenario.

For hybrid virtualization on ALTO or SIRIS, see Hybrid Virtualization.

Environment

  • Datto SIRIS

Description

1. Log into the Datto appliance GUI. Then, click the Restore tab. This will display all of the protected machines paired with the Datto device.

Figure 1: Restore

2. Under Choose a System select the protected machine needed to be restored

3. Under Choose A Recovery Type, select Local Virtualization

4. Under Choose A Recovery Point, select the date to restore. 

5. After all settings are selected, click START RESTORE

local.pngFigure 2: Start a Restore (click to enlarge)

6. On the following page, configure your local virtualization options. To use the local virtualization as your production machine in a disaster recovery scenario, configure its Windows networking options to match those used by the protected server. Make sure that your production machine is no longer on the network before performing this step. For more information about these settings, see Restore: Local Virtualization Options.

Figure 3: Virtualization options (click to enlarge)

7. Once the settings are checked, select APPLY followed by START VM

8. With the Rescue Agent option enabled, you will be prompted to choose whether or not you would like to pause backups on the protected machine. Depending on your recovery scenario, you can choose to either PAUSE BACKUPS or CONTINUE BACKUPS. Typically, you would pause backups on a system that cannot be reached during a disaster scenario.  Once you've made your selection, click CONFIRM.

Figure 4: Pause or continue backups (click to enlarge)

You will be able to see the VM booting in the Screenshot window.

rescue.pngFigure 5: Screenshot window (click to enlarge)

Your virtualization will mount and begin running in the Local Virtualization screen. On the Protect tab of the Datto appliance GUI, you will now see a new agent with a name comprised of the word 'Rescue' and the protected server's IP address or FQDN. This is the Rescue Agent for your running virtualization. You can manage this agent the same way you would manage any other agent, including setting a custom backup schedule for it through the Configure Agent Settings page.

Figure 6: Rescue Agent, as seen in the Protect tab (click to enlarge)

If the Source Agent that you created the Rescue Agent from is encrypted by the Datto appliance, the Rescue Agent will also be created as an encrypted agent. It will use the same encryption password as the Source Agent, and you will need to unseal the agent on the Protect tab of the appliance GUI in the event of a device reboot.

Figure 7: Sealed encrypted rescue agent, Protect tab (click to enlarge)

9. Back on the Local Virtualization page, once your local virtualization boots, you can connect to it via the following methods:

A.  By clicking the Open in browser link to start a browser-based VNC session (recommended)
B.  By using any VNC viewer capable of reaching the VNC address displayed. When connecting to a virtualization via RDP or VNC, you will be prompted for the connection password shown in the VNC Password or RDP Password field.
C.  By connecting using the options shown in the Connect via RDP dropdown. See the Connecting via RDP section of this article for more information.

choices.pngFigure 8: Local Virtualization options (click to enlarge)

To stop the local virtualization, but leave it mounted, click STOP. To stop the local virtualization and unmount it, click STOP AND UNMOUNT.

Connecting via RDP

RDP access to local virtualizations requires the connecting workstation to be running Windows Server 2008 SP3 or newer.

You can connect to your local virtualization via RDP as follows:

1. Click the Connect Via RDP link. You will be presented with two options:

  • Connect using local network: Downloads an RDP session file configured to connect to the Virtual Machine over the local network. This is useful if you are on the same network as the local virtualization.
  • Connecting using Datto Relay: Downloads an RDP session file configured to connect to the local virtualization remotely. This is useful if you are not on the same network as the local virtualization.

2. The Datto appliance will download the RDP file to your default download location. The file will be named with the IP address of the agent being virtualized, followed by ".rdp."  For example: 10.1.234.56.rdp

3. Double click the file to open the RDP connection, and allow it to load. To log into Windows, select the Ctrl + Alt + Del option from the appliance GUI.  

Removing the restore

When you no longer need the Rescue Agent, remove the protected virtualization from the Restore tab of the Datto Device Web by clicking Stop and then Archive.

Don't click the Stop button if you have not fully restored the production machine. The stop button does a hard shutdown of the rescue agent, which is the equivalent of unplugging the power cord on a physical machine. If you are using the rescue agent in your production environment, log into the virtual machine from its VNC session and do a soft shutdown (Start Menu → Shut Down).

Figure 8: Stop and archive (click to enlarge)

When you click Archive, your Datto appliance will archive the Rescue Agent's dataset. Archiving will hide the Rescue Agent in the list of Restores, stop all backups, and unmount the VM permanently. Only use this option if you have no need to initiate backups of this Rescue Agent in the future.

Figure 9: Stop and archive (click to enlarge)

 

Figure 10: Performing a Local Virtualization (video)


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