PHD Virtual Disaster Recovery USB3

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First of all KEEP CALM and take a few breaths to relax... You need to follow these instructions in a clear and concise manner, if you rush you may make a mistake or miss some important instructions leading to a ball in your throat, a flushed complexion and feeling as though steam is coming out of your ears.

This article is intended to cover how to restore a client's infrastructure from a PHD Virtual Backup Appliance's deduplication store that was backed up to a USB3 backup disk using the VBAsync program. It is the goal of this article that it be possible for any level of Engineer to follow this article and perform the restore without any external supervision or guidance.

Note: This guide assumes a DHCP server in unavailable on the DR restore network, adjust any sections if you use a DHCP server at any point (and be careful if you boot a restored DHCP Server).


The following list outlines required components to perform the restore.

  • ESXi DR Server: The 3rdmill VMware ESXi DR Server.
  • NFS Server: A Physical PC or Server with USB3 on which to install 64bit Ubuntu Linux (or a previously prepared machine) with UEFI Secure Boot disabled.
  • Windows Management Station: A PC/Laptop with vSphere Client installed matching the 3rdmill DR ESXi server version.
  • Monitor and keyboard for the DR Server and NFS Server, a KVM would be a good idea to have handy.
  • A Gigabit switch and enough network cables for all devices.
  • A UPS to power the DR Equipment, specifically the ESXi DR Server, NFS Server and Gigabit Switch.
  • A CD/DVD/USBkey to use as Ubuntu install media.
  • The latest version of PHD Virtual Backup and Replication from PHD Virtual downloaded to the Windows Management Station

Prepare your Physical DR Environment

Setup and connect the physical hardware ensuring all cables are connected properly. Power on any network equipment such as switches.

ESXi DR Server

Boot the DR server and assign it an IPv4 address on the subnet you wish to use during DR. It is recommended that you do not use the same subnet as the environment you are restoring, on the off chance you cause an IP conflict. Once the environment is restored you can move the DR equipment into the environments subnet if required.

See Configuring ESXi Management Network on how to configure and IP address from the ESXi Console.

Windows Management Station

Boot the Windows Management Station and assign it an appropriate IPv4 address. Test connectivity the the ESXi DR Server using vSphere Client.

Step 4 - Preparing the NFS Server

If you do not have an Ubuntu Linux workstation prepared follow the Ubuntu Graphical Install instructions.

You can find the latest ISO's at the Downloads page or a closer Australian Based iiNet Mirror, ensure you select the 64bit version. Generally using the latest version is preferred but be aware that this article is based on Ubuntu 13.04 so some differences might be encountered with the installer and the look and feel of the interface.

Once installed open a Terminal and run the following command.

sudo su
apt-get install nfs-kernel-server

Plug in the USB3 disk into a USB3 port and ensure the disk is powered on. Also ensure the disk is free from being physically knocked, cables snagged etc.

The USB disk should appear as a disk available to mount in the icons on left of screen or via the file manager. It may have been auto-mounted by Ubuntu.

*** In Progress ***

Preparing PHD Virtual

This video is based on an older version of PHD Virtual but the method is the same.

Installing the PHD Virtual Backup Console and Plug-in

When the installation program is run, the PHD Virtual Backup Console is installed and the plug-in is installed to vSphere Client, automatically. The PHD Console can be accessed from the integrated plug-in menus or from the Windows Start menu.

What you will need:

  • The PHD Virtual Backup installation file extracted from the PHD Virtual Backup installation package.
  • Windows Management Station with access to your vSphere environment.
  • To install the integrated PHD Virtual Backup menus, vSphere Client must be installed.

To install the PHD Virtual Backup Console and Plug-in

  1. Make sure vSphere Client is closed.
  2. From the PHD Virtual Backup installation package, double-click the PHD Console installation file. When the installation wizard opens, click Next.
  3. Agree to the license agreement then click Next to continue.
  4. Select the location to install PHD Virtual Backup, then click Next.
  5. Review the summary information, then click Next to begin the installation.
  6. When the wizard completes, click Finish.

The PHD Virtual Backup Console and plug-in are installed and the PHD Virtual Backup menu options are available from within vSphere Client, as seen in the following image.

insert image here

In addition to the integrated menus, a desktop icon and a Windows Start menu are also created from which you can access the PHD Virtual Backup Console.

Note: If you did not close vSphere Client before running the installation, you will need to restart vSphere.

Client before the PHD Virtual Backup plug-in menu options are available.

Deploying the PHD Virtual Backup Appliance

Follow the steps below to deploy a PHD VBA to your VMware vSphere host or vCenter Server.

What you will need:

  • The PHD Virtual Backup Appliance OVF file (PHDVBA.ovf) extracted from the PHD Virtual Backup installation package.
  • Windows Management Station with vSphere Client installed that has access to your VMware environment.
  • The NFS IP address and path the VBA Deduplication store on the USB disk from - link to step -
Deploy the PHD Virtual Backup Appliance for VMware vSphere
  1. Open vSphere Client and select File > Deploy OVF Template... The Deploy OVF Template wizard opens.
  2. Enter the location of the PHDVBA.ovf from the extracted contents of the PHD Virtual Backup zip file, then click Next.
  3. Use the wizard to enter the name, datastore location, and network information for the PHD VBA, then click Finish.
  4. When the deployment completes, power on the PHD Virtual Backup Appliance virtual machine.
  5. Next, ensure the PHD VBA has a valid IP address assigned (within vSphere, select the PHD VBA virtual machine and click the Summary tab). If DHCP is enabled in your environment, the PHD VBA will obtain an IP address automatically and you can continue with step 2, below.
If DHCP is not enabled, manually assign an IP address. To do this:
a. Within vSphere Client, click the PHD VBA virtual machine and then click the Console tab.
b. Press Ctrl-N to enter the Network Configuration menu.
c. Select option 2. Static and enter an IP address, Netmask, and any other required network settings for your environment (Gateway, Primary DNS, or Alternate DNS)
d. When complete, click Save, then OK to restart the PHD VBA.
Configure Hypervisor Credentials
  1. When the PHD VBA has finished booting, open the PHD Virtual Backup Console by right-clicking the PHD VBA virtual machine and selecting PHD Virtual Backup > Console.
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