You can use Hybrid Backup Recovery (HBR) to back up virtual machines (VMs) in Alibaba Cloud VMware Service (ACVS) and restore the backed-up VMs as needed.

Background information

Alibaba Cloud VMware Service (ACVS) is an enterprise-grade public cloud service that is jointly developed by Alibaba Cloud and VMware. ACVS implements the software-defined data center (SDDC) architecture of VMware on the cloud. Alibaba Cloud provides sales, operations, and after-sales support.

(Recommended) Create an AccessKey pair for a RAM user

Resource Access Management (RAM) is an Alibaba Cloud service that allows you to manage user identities and control access to resources. RAM allows you to create and manage multiple identities associated with an Alibaba Cloud account and grant different permissions to a single identity or a group of identities. This way, you can authorize different identities to access different Alibaba Cloud resources.

An AccessKey pair is required when you activate a disaster recovery gateway. The AccessKey pair is an identity credential. If an AccessKey pair of your Alibaba Cloud account is used, all cloud resources that belong to the account are exposed to risks. Therefore, we recommend that you use an AccessKey pair of a RAM user to activate the disaster recovery gateway. Before you back up data, make sure that a RAM user is created and an AccessKey pair is created for the RAM user. For more information, see Create a RAM user and Create an AccessKey pair for a RAM user.

Step 1: Prepare a dedicated VMware environment

A dedicated VMware environment is the environment in which you deploy VMs. Before you back up VMs, perform the following operations:
  • Obtain the username and address that are used to log on to the VMware management component.
  • Configure a firewall between your virtual private cloud (VPC) and the dedicated VMWare environment.

    By default, the VPC bound when you create the dedicated VMware environment can access only the management components of VMware vCenter and NSX-T, and cannot directly access the NSX-T segments that you create. You must add firewall rules in the NSX-T console to allow network access between the VPC and NSX-T segments. You must also configure CIDR blocks to ensure that the business network can communicate with vCenter and ESXi networks.

Step 2: Log on to the ECS jump server

Create an ECS instance in the VPC of the dedicated VMware environment. The ECS instance serves as a jump server for logging on to management components such as vCenter Server and NSX-T Manager. We recommend that you select Windows Server as the operating system. If you enable Internet access from the jump server, you must configure security settings.

Note When you create the ECS jump server, set the VPC parameter to the VPC that is used by the dedicated VMware environment.
  1. Log on to the ECS console and find the ECS instance that serves as the jump server.
  2. Click Connect in the Actions column.
  3. In the Connection and Command dialog box, click Connect in the Workbench Connection section.
  4. In the Log On to Instance dialog box, configure the logon credentials and then click OK.
    • Username: Enter administrator.
    • Password: Enter the Logon Password that you set for the Logon Credentials parameter when you created the ECS instance.
    Log on to the ECS jump server

Step 3: Create a disaster recovery gateway

A disaster recovery gateway helps you back up and restore data. To configure a disaster recovery gateway and download the gateway to ACVS where the vSphere Client is deployed, perform the following steps:

  1. Log on to the HBR console by using the ECS jump server.
  2. In the left-side navigation pane, choose Backup > VMware Backup & Disaster Recovery.
  3. In the top navigation bar, select a region.
  4. In the upper-right corner of the VMware Backup & Disaster Recovery page, click Create Backup & Disaster Recovery Gateway.
  5. In the Create Backup & Disaster Recovery Gateway panel, configure the parameters and click Create.
    The following table describes the parameters.
    Parameter Description
    Backup Vault The backup vault to which you want to store the backup data. Valid values:
    • Create Vault: If you select this option, specify a name for the vault in the Vault Name field. If you do not configure this parameter, a random name is specified for the backup vault.
    • Select Vault: If you select this option, select a backup vault from the Vault Name drop-down list.
    Notice After a backup vault is created, you are charged for the backup vault regardless of whether backup data is generated. For more information, see Billing methods and billable items.
    Vault Name The name of the backup vault.
    Vault Resource Group This parameter is required only if the Backup Vault parameter is set to Create Vault. This parameter specifies the resource group to which the backup vault belongs.

    You can use resource groups to manage resources owned by your Alibaba Cloud account. Resource groups simplify the resource and permission management of your Alibaba Cloud account. For more information, see Create a resource group.

    Data Redundancy Type This parameter is required only if the Backup Vault parameter is set to Create Vault. This parameter specifies the type of data redundancy for the backup vault. The data redundancy mechanism improves data reliability of the backup vault.
    • Locally redundant storage

      If LRS is enabled, HBR stores the copies of each object on multiple devices of different facilities in the same zone. This way, HBR ensures data durability and availability even if hardware failures occur.

    • Zone-redundant storage

      If ZRS is enabled, HBR uses the multi-zone mechanism to distribute data across three zones within the same region. If a zone becomes unavailable, the data can still be accessed.

    For more information, see Storage vault types.

    Gateway Name The name of the gateway. The name must be 1 to 64 characters in length.
    VMware Platform The VMware platform on which the VM is deployed. In this example, select Alibaba Cloud VMware Service (ACVS).
    • On-premise vSphere: The VM is deployed in a VMware environment on the on-premises server.
    • Alibaba Cloud VMware Service (ACVS): The VM is deployed on Alibaba Cloud VMware Service (ACVS).
    Network Type The network type. In this example, select VPC.

    If you select VPC, the VM that you want to back up must reside in a VPC and the VPC is in the same region as the backup vault.

    Use HTTPS Specifies whether to use HTTPS to transmit encrypted data that is stored in the backup vault. If you use HTTPS to transmit data, the performance of data transmission is compromised. If you modify the setting of this parameter, the modification takes effect on the next backup or restore job.
  6. In the Create Backup & Disaster Recovery Gateway panel, click Download Gateway and Download Certificate.
    Note The disaster recovery gateway is used to connect your VM to HBR, and the certificate is used to activate the disaster recovery gateway. On the Backup & Disaster Recovery Gateway tab, you can download and deploy a disaster recovery gateway at any time.

Step 4: Install the disaster recovery gateway

After you download the gateway and certificate, you need to install the gateway in your VMware environment. After the gateway is installed, you can run backup and restore jobs in the HBR console. To install the gateway, perform the following steps:

  1. Log on to the ECS jump server.
    For more information, see Step 2: Log on to the ECS jump server.
  2. Log on to the ACVS console, find the dedicated VMware environment, and then click Login management component in the Actions column.
  3. Log on to the vSphere Web Client on the ECS jump server by using the vCenter username and vCenter address that you obtained in 2.
  4. In the left-side navigation pane, right-click the VM and select Deploy OVF Template from the shortcut menu.
    deploy ovfFor more information, see Deploying OVF and OVA Templates.
    1. In the Deploy OVF Template dialog box, select Local file. Click UPLOAD FILES, select the gateway package that you downloaded in Step 3: Create a disaster recovery gateway, and then click NEXT.
      Note To reduce the download time, HBR provides a gateway package in the open virtual appliance (OVA) format. You can use the package to deploy Open Virtual Format (OVF) templates on the vSphere Web Client.
      ovf template
    2. Enter the name of the OVF template, select the location where you want to deploy the template, and then click NEXT.
      select location
    3. Select a computing resource and click NEXT.
      compute resource
    4. Verify the template details and click NEXT.
      details
    5. Select the format of the virtual disk, select a storage resource to which you want to store the files of the deployed template, and then click NEXT.
      select storage
    6. Select a destination network for each source network and click NEXT.
      select networks
    7. Configure the network and admin user password, and then click NEXT.
      Note Enter a reachable IP address of the VPC that you want to access. If no domain name server (DNS) for mapping domain names to VPC endpoints is available on your host, enter the server IP address of Alibaba Cloud DNS PrivateZone, for example, 100.100.2.136 or 100.100.2.138.
      customize template
    8. Verify the configurations and click Finish.
      verify the configurations
  5. On the Recent Tasks page, view the progress of each deployment task.
    recent tasks
  6. After the deployment tasks are completed, start the gateway on which the OVF template is deployed.
  7. Open a browser, and enter http://hostname:8011 in the address bar.
    The value of hostname is the IP address of the gateway on which the OVF template is deployed.
  8. On the Register page, configure the parameters and click Register to log on to the gateway. The following table describes the parameters.
    Parameter Description
    AccessKey ID The AccessKey ID and AccessKey secret of the RAM user that is used to access HBR. You can obtain the AccessKey ID and AccessKey secret of a RAM user from your Alibaba Cloud account for which HBR is activated. For more information, see How can I create an AccessKey pair for a RAM user?.
    AccessKey Secret
    Password The password that is used to log on to the gateway. The password must be at least six characters in length.
    Certificate File The certificate that you downloaded from the HBR console. If a VM is shut down for more than five days after you use the certificate to activate the gateway on the VM, the certificate expires. You must download a new certificate and reactivate the gateway.
    After you complete the preceding operations, you can view the vCenter Servers on the Managed vCenter Servers tab.

FAQ

Why am I unable to add a vCenter Server instance to the HBR gateway even if the IP address, username, and password are correct?

A vCenter Server may fail to be added if the password contains the following special characters:

` ^ ~ = ; ! / ( [ ] { } @ $ \ & # % +

What to do next

Back up VMware VMs