Backing up virtual machines - AWS Backup

Backing up virtual machines

Note

AWS Backup support for VMware is not available in Asia Pacific (Jakarta) Region, China (Beijing) Region or China (Ningxia) Region.

After Adding a hypervisor, Backup gateway automatically lists your virtual machines. You can view your virtual machines by choosing either Hypervisors or Virtual machines in the left navigation pane.

  • Choose Hypervisors to view only the virtual machines managed by a specific hypervisor. With this view, you can work with one virtual machine at a time.

  • Choose Virtual machines to view all the virtual machines across all the hypervisors you added to your AWS account. With this view, you can work with some or all your virtual machines across multiple hypervisors.

Regardless of which view you choose, to perform a backup operation on a specific virtual machine, choose its VM name to open its detail page. The VM detail page is the starting point for the following procedures.

Creating an on-demand backup of a virtual machine

An on-demand backup is a one-time, full backup you manually initiate. You can use on-demand backups to test AWS Backup’s backup and restore capabilities.

To create an on-demand backup of a virtual machine:
  1. Choose Create on-demand backup.

  2. Configure your on-demand backup.

  3. Choose Create on-demand backup.

  4. Check when your backup job has the status Completed. In the left navigation menu, choose Jobs.

  5. Choose the Backup Job ID to view backup job information such as the Backup size and time elapsed between the Creation date and Completion date.

Automating virtual machine backup by assigning resources to a backup plan

A backup plan is a user-defined data protection policy that automates data protection across many AWS services and third-party applications. You first create your backup plan by specifying its backup frequency, retention period, lifecycle policy, and many other options. To create a backup plan, see Getting started tutorial.

After you create your backup plan, you assign AWS Backup-supported resources, including virtual machines, to that backup plan. AWS Backup offers many ways to assign resources, including assigning all the resources in your account, including or excluding single specific resources, or adding resources with certain tags.

In addition to its existing resource assignment features, AWS Backup support for virtual machines introduces several new features to help you quickly assign virtual machines to backup plans. From the Virtual machines page, you can assign tags to multiple virtual machines or use the new Assign resources to plan feature. Use these features to assign your virtual machines already discovered by AWS Backup gateway.

If you anticipate discovering and assigning additional virtual machines in the future, and would like to automate the resource assignment step to include those future virtual machines, use the new Create group assignment feature.

VMware Tags

Note

This feature will be available on new gateways deployed after December 15, 2022. For existing gateways, this new capability will be available through an automatic software update on or before January 30, 2023. To update the gateway to the latest version manually, use AWS CLI command UpdateGatewaySoftwareNow.

Tags are key-value pairs you can use to manage, to filter, and to search for your resources.

A VMware tag is composed of a category and a tag name. VMware tags are used to group virtual machines. A tag name is a label assigned to a virtual machine. A category is a collection of tag names.

In AWS tags, you can use characters among UTF-8 letters, numbers, spaces, and special characters + - = . _ : / .

If you use tags on your virtual machines, you can add up to 10 matching tags in AWS Backup to help with organization. You can map up to 10 VMware tags to AWS tags. In the AWS Backup console, these can be found in My organization > Virtual Machines > AWS tags or VMware tags.

VMware tag mapping

If you use tags on your virtual machines, you can add up to 10 matching tags in AWS Backup for additional clarity and organization. Mappings apply to any virtual machine on the hypervisor.

  1. Open the AWS Backup console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/backup.

  2. In the console, go to edit Hypervisor (Click External resources, then Hypervisors, then click the Hypervisor name, then click Manage mappings).

  3. The last pane, VMware tag mapping, contains four textbox fields into which you can enter your extant VMware tag information into corresponding AWS tags. The four fields are Vmware tag category, VMware tag name, AWS tag key, and AWS tag value (example: Category = OS; Tag name = Windows; AWS tag key = OS-Windows, and AWS tag value = Windows).

  4. Once you have entered your preferred values, click Add mapping. If you make an error, you can click Remove to delete entered information.

  5. After adding mapping(s), specify the IAM role you intend to use to apply these AWS tags to the VMware virtual machines.

    The policy AWSBackupGatewayServiceRolePolicyForVirtualMachineMetadataSync contains needed permissions. You can attach this policy to the role you are using (or have an administrator attached it) or you can create a custom policy for the role being used.

  6. Lastly, click Add hypervisor or Save.

View VMware tag mappings

In the AWS Backup console, click on External Resources, then click on Hypervisors, then click on the Hypervisor name link to view properties for the selected hypervisor. Under the summary pane, there are four tabs, the last of which is VMware tag mappings. Note if you do not yet have mappings, "No VMware tag mappings." will be displayed.

From here, you can sync the metadata of virtual machines discovered by the hypervisor, you can copy mappings to your hypervisor(s), you can add AWS tags mapped to teh VMware tags to the backup selection of a backup plan, or you can manage mappings.

In the console, to see which tags are applied to a selected virtual machine, click Virtual machines, then the virtual machine name, then AWS tags or VMware tags. You can view the tags associated with this virtual machine, and additionally you can manage the tags.

Assign virtual machines to plan using VMware tag mappings

To assign virtual machines to a backup plan using mapped tags, do the following:

  1. Open the AWS Backup console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/backup.

  2. In the console go to VMware tag mappings on the hypervisor details page (click External resources, then click Hypervisors then click on the hypervisor name).

  3. Select the checkbox next to multiple mapped tags to assign those tags to the same backup plan.

  4. Click Add to resource assignment.

  5. Choose an existing Backup plan from the dropdown list. Alternatively, you can choose Create backup plan to create a new backup plan.

  6. Click Confirm. This opens the Assign resources page with Refine selection using tags fields with values pre-populated.

VMware tags using the AWS CLI

AWS Backup uses the API call PutHypervisorPropertyMappings to map hypervisor entity properties in on-premise to properties in AWS.

In the AWS CLI, use the operation put-hypervisor-property-mappings:

aws backup-gateway put-hypervisor-property-mappings \ --hypervisor-arn arn:aws:backup-gateway:region:account:hypervisor/hypervisorId \ --vmware-to-aws-tag-mappings list of VMware to AWS tag mappings \ --iam-role-arn arn:aws:iam::account:role/roleName \ --region AWSRegion --endpoint-url URL

Here is an example:

aws backup-gateway put-hypervisor-property-mappings \ --hypervisor-arn arn:aws:backup-gateway:us-east-1:123456789012:hypervisor/hype-12345 \ --vmware-to-aws-tag-mappings VmwareCategory=OS,VmwareTagName=Windows,AwsTagKey=OS-Windows,AwsTagValue=Windows \ --iam-role-arn arn:aws:iam::123456789012:role/SyncRole \ --region us-east-1

You can also use GetHypervisorPropertyMappings to assist with property mappings information. In the AWS CLI, use the operation get-hypervisor-property-mappings. Here is an example template:

aws backup-gateway get-hypervisor-property-mappings --hypervisor-arn HypervisorARN --region AWSRegion

Here is an example:

aws backup-gateway get-hypervisor-property-mappings \ --hypervisor-arn arn:aws:backup-gateway:us-east-1:123456789012:hypervisor/hype-12345 \ --region us-east-1

Sync metadata of virtual machines discovered by the hypervisor in AWS using API, CLI, or SDK

You can sync the metadata of virtual machines. When you do, the VMware tags present on the virtual machine that are part of the mappings will be synched. Also, AWS tags mapped to the VMware tags present on the virtual machine will be applied to the AWS Virtual Machine resource.

AWS Backup uses the API call StartVirtualMachinesMetadataSync to sync the metadata of the virtual machines discovered by the hypervisor. To sync metadata of virtual machines discovered by the hypervisor using AWS CLI, use the operation start-virtual-machines-metadata-sync.

Example template:

aws backup-gateway start-virtual-machines-metadata-sync \ --hypervisor-arn Hypervisor ARN --region AWSRegion

Example:

aws backup-gateway start-virtual-machines-metadata-sync \ --hypervisor-arn arn:aws:backup-gateway:us-east-1:123456789012:hypervisor/hype-12345 \ --region us-east-1

You can also use GetHypervisor to assist with hypervisor information, such as host, state, status of latest metadata sync, and also to retrieve the last successful metadata sync time. In the AWS CLI, use the operation get-hypervisor.

Example template:

aws backup-gateway get-hypervisor \ --hypervisor-arn Hypervisor ARN --region AWSRegion

Example:

aws backup-gateway get-hypervisor \ --hypervisor-arn arn:aws:backup-gateway:us-east-1:123456789012:hypervisor/hype-12345 \ --region us-east-1

For more information, see API documentation VmwareTag and VmwareToAwsTagMapping.

This feature will be available on new gateways deployed after December 15, 2022. For existing gateways, this new capability will be available through an automatic software update on or before January 30, 2023. To update the gateway to the latest version manually, use AWS CLI command UpdateGatewaySoftwareNow.

Example:

aws backup-gateway update-gateway-software-now \ --gateway-arn arn:aws:backup-gateway:us-east-1:123456789012:gateway/bgw-12345 \ --region us-east-1

Assigning virtual machines using tags

You can assign your virtual machines currently discovered by AWS Backup, along with other AWS Backup resources, by assigning them a tag that you have already assigned to one of your existing backup plans. You can also create a new backup plan and a new tag-based resource assignment. Backup plans check for newly-assigned resources each time they run a backup job.

To tag multiple virtual machines with the same tag:
  1. In the left navigation pane, choose Virtual machines.

  2. Select the checkbox next to VM name to choose all your virtual machines. Alternatively, select the checkbox next to the VM names you want to tag.

  3. Choose Add tags.

  4. Type in a tag Key.

  5. Recommended: type in a tag Value.

  6. Choose Confirm.

Assigning virtual machines using the Assign resources to plan feature

You can assign virtual machines currently discovered by AWS Backup to an existing or new backup plan using the Assign resources to plan feature.

To assign virtual machines using the Assign resources to plan feature:
  1. In the left navigation pane, choose Virtual machines.

  2. Select the checkbox next to VM name to choose all your virtual machines. Alternatively, select the checkbox next to multiple VM names to assign them to the same backup plan.

  3. Choose Assignments, then choose Assign resources to plan.

  4. Type in a Resource assignment name.

  5. Choose a resource assignment IAM role to create backups and manage recovery points. If you do not have a specific IAM role to use, we recommend the Default role which has the correct permissions.

  6. In the Backup plan section, choose an existing Backup plan from the dropdown list. Alternatively, choose Create backup plan to create a new backup plan.

  7. Choose Assign resources.

  8. Optional: Verify your virtual machines are assigned to a backup plan by choosing View Backup plan. Then, in the Resource assignments section, choose the resource assignment Name.

Assigning virtual machines using the Create group assignment feature

Unlike the preceding two resource assignment features for virtual machines, the Create group assignment feature not only assigns virtual machines currently discovered by AWS Backup, but also virtual machines discovered in the future in a folder or hypervisor you define.

Also, you do not need to select any checkboxes to use the Create group assignment feature.

To assign virtual machines using the Assign resources to plan feature:
  1. In the left navigation pane, choose Virtual machines.

  2. Choose Assignments, then choose Create group assignment.

  3. Type in a Resource assignment name.

  4. Choose a resource assignment IAM role to create backups and manage recovery points. If you do not have a specific IAM role to use, we recommend the Default role which has the correct permissions.

  5. In the Resource group section, select the Group type dropdown menu. Your options are Folder or Hypervisor.

    1. Choose Folder to assign all the virtual machines in a folder on a hypervisor. Select a folder Group name, such as datacenter/vm, using the dropdown menu. You can also choose to include Subfolders.

      Note

      To make Folder-based assignments, during the discovery process, AWS Backup tags virtual machines with the folder it finds them in during the discovery process. If you later move a virtual machine to a different folder, AWS Backup cannot update the tag for you due to AWS tagging best practices. This assignment method might result in continuing to take backups of virtual machines you moved out of your assigned folder.

    2. Choose Hypervisor to assign all the virtual machines managed by a hypervisor. Select a hypervisor ID Group name using the dropdown menu.

  6. In the Backup plan section, choose an existing Backup plan from the dropdown list. Alternatively, choose Create backup plan to create a new backup plan.

  7. Choose Create group assignment.

  8. Optional: verify your virtual machines are assigned to a backup plan by choosing View Backup plan. In the Resource assignments section, choose the resource assignment Name.

Next steps

To restore a virtual machine, see Restoring a virtual machine.