Vembu BDR Suite Consistent Application Aware Backup and Restore

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Vembu BDR Suite allows for application aware backups and restoration of application/transactional resources such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, etc.  This is a key feature of modern backup solutions as transactional aware backups are critical in today’s data/application rich environments.  Application aware backups allow for application data living in memory as well as pending I/O operations to be backed up correctly along with files on disk which is critical for transactional consistency.  Let’s take a quick look Vembu BDR Suite Consistent Application Aware Backup and Restore.

Vembu BDR Suite Consistent Application Aware Backup and Restore

The first thing we need to do in thinking about application aware restores is make sure we have turned on the option for application aware in the backup settings of our VM.  Below, we have the settings of our backup job and we have flagged on the Application Aware Process.  Notice when we do this to perform application aware backups, we need to enter in VMware Guest Credentials as the backup process needs to be able to authenticate inside the VM to properly quiece and process the application for transactional consistency.

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Vembu Application Aware Recovery

The tool that makes the application aware recovery of Vembu BDR Suite application aware backups possible is the Universal Application Aware Recovery utility.  It allows the restoration of granular recovery of Microsoft Applications from backup image files.

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Once you launch the Vembu Universal Application Aware Recovery utility, you can select the application you are wanting to restore.  In this example, we are choosing the Microsoft SQL Database as we have backed up a SQL 2014 Server.

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Here we select the data source.  Since we are going to mount our backup restore point and restore from the mounted virtual drive, we select to Restore from backups in local disks.

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To see where we get the source of our backups as a local disk, let’s look at how to mount the virtual disk that we restore from.  Go to Recovery and select to Restore the backup of the server you want to restore.  Here we select File Level Recovery where the backup file is auto attached to our Vembu server so that we have instant access to the files contained therein.

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Finally, we review our selections, restore points, etc.

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If after mounting the restore point, you look into disk management, you will see the backup drive mounted as an additional volume.

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The next screen in our Vembu Explorer for MSSQL Server is to actually choose the .mdf and .ldf files from our mounted virtual disk.

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Here we can select to Export as a File and Restore to SQL Server.  Here selecting to Restore to SQL Server will restore the database to our local SQL server that is running on the Vembu Server.

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Since in this case we want to restore the object’s schema along with the data, we select that option here.

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Enter the database restore options you want here in connecting to your local Vembu DB server.  We can select how to authenticate, as well as if we want to restore to an existing database or create a new database.

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The application aware processing in the Vembu Explorer will read the database files in the backup and present the restorable objects to you in the interface.  You can pick and choose here what you want to restore as well.

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You can also choose to rename objects as well on the next screen.

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Finally the restore is started and finishes.

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Looking at the SQL instance after running the restore, we now have our database available to us in SQL Server Management Studio.  As you can see we now have the RestoreTest DB mounted where we can extract data, tables, review data, etc.

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Thoughts

Vembu BDR Suite provides a powerful solution for capturing and restoring application aware backups.  In the case of Microsoft SQL Server, having application aware backups are critical to make sure that transactional data is consistent.  This ensures that all data in memory and pending I/O is successfully flushed and included in the backed-up data.  Failing to utilize application aware settings with backups of Microsoft SQL Server and other products such as Microsoft Exchange can leave backups in an inconsistent state and possibly corrupted.  The Vembu Universal Application Aware Recovery Utility makes the process to browse and restore application aware data extremely easy and efficient.