Frequently Asked Questions

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General

What is Virtualization in IDrive BMR?
How many virtual machines can I create?
What are the network source options available for creating virtual instances?
How do I test restore via virtualization without causing conflict with the production machine?
Can I perform power operations on the virtual machine?
What network is the virtual machine provisioned with?
Are the full/incremental image backups dependent on each other in IDrive BMR?
If I virtualize a machine, will the backed up data be affected?
I have a client machine that is failing to virtualize. How do I recover my data?
I have a Windows 7 client machine backed up to IDrive BMR, which is failing to virtualize. What are the restore options available to me in this case?
Can I create a virtual instance of a Mac OS X based VM?
How quickly can I virtualize a machine with IDrive BMR?
Why am I being prompted to activate my Windows license for the new virtual instance?
How do I test if the virtual machine from my backup boots successfully without creating any network conflicts?
Can I retain the static IP configurations on a virtualized machine?
   

Local Virtualization

How do I create a local virtual instance of my computers?
How do I create a local virtual instance of my VMware machine?
How can I use a previously created virtual instance after restarting the IDrive® BMR device?
Is it possible to backup data from local virtual machines?
How do I resolve Windows OS boot issues during virtualization?
How do I fix a blank screen on the local virtualization page?
   

Cloud Virtualization

How is my cloud storage optimized for virtual instances?
How do I create a cloud virtual instance of my computers?
How do I create a cloud virtual instance of my VMware machine?
What are the points that have to be taken into consideration while virtualizing a machine in the cloud?
How do I access resources within my site's network from a virtual instance on the IDrive cloud?
I received an error message when I tried to virtualize a backup of a Dell server with UEFI firmware.

What is Virtualization in IDrive BMR?

Virtualization in IDrive BMR allows you to quickly create a virtual instance of your computers and VMware servers, either on your IDrive BMR device or on the cloud. With the created virtual instance replacing your production machine, you can achieve business continuity with minimal downtime, in the event of a disaster.

 

How many virtual machines can I create?

You can create up to 4 local virtual instances on the IDrive BMR device, counting the virtual instances of both computers and VMware servers; and assign memory based on the RAM configuration of your device. The solution consumes less memory and CPU resources, which enables multiple virtual machines to run smoothly.

Additionally, you can create up to 4 virtual instances on the cloud, counting the virtual instances of both computers and VMware servers, taking into account the memory available for cloud virtualization.

 

What are the network source options available for creating virtual instances?

Configure the connection of the new virtual instance to other devices and locations on the network by selecting a suitable network source.

The network source options available for creating a virtual instance are:

  • Disconnected
    Isolate a virtual instance from all networks using the ‘Disconnected’ option. The virtual machine will not have any LAN or internet access.
  • NAT (Firewalled)
    Create an isolated virtual network with internet access using the NAT (Firewalled) option — Network Address Translation mode. This will permit the virtual instance to have outbound internet access without causing any conflict with the production instance of the machine.
  • Bridged
    Connect the virtual instance to the local network that hosts the IDrive BMR device using the 'Bridged' option. The virtual instance will appear within the same subnet as the IDrive BMR device and will be able to detect and communicate with the devices on the network.
Note: Bridged network source is not available for cloud virtualization.

 

How do I test restore via virtualization without causing conflict with the production machine?

Create the test virtual instance on ‘Disconnected’ or ‘NAT (Firewalled)’ mode to avoid conflict with the production machine. Avoid testing on ‘Bridged’ mode as this can lead to network conflicts. Also, the IDrive BMR device may backup data from either one of the machines as a part of its schedule, thereby causing inconsistencies in the backup. To learn about the network source options, refer to What are the network source options available for creating virtual instances?

 

Can I perform power operations on the virtual machine?

Yes, you can perform power operations on the virtual machine.

To perform power operations,

  1. Connect to the IDrive BMR device interface.
  2. Go to Virtualization > Local virtualization/Cloud virtualization.
  3. Click Connect corresponding to any machine to power on the machine.
  4. Power-On
  5. Click to forcefully shut down the machine. You will be prompted with a confirmation window.
  6. Power-Off
  7. Click Shut Down.


To restart a virtual machine,

  1. Click next to the corresponding machine.
  2. You will be prompted with a confirmation.
  3. Restart
  4. Click Reboot.

 

What network is the virtual machine provisioned with?

The virtual machines created on IDrive BMR device are assigned to operate in 'Bridged Mode'. These machines will get the IP address from a router/switch in your physical network infrastructure. With this, you can access the VM from any machine in the same local area network.

 

Are the full/incremental image backups dependent on each other in IDrive BMR?

IDrive BMR does not follow the traditional data backup method in which every recovery point created during incremental image backup has some dependency on previous ones. In IDrive BMR, the created recovery points will be fully independent of each other and data can be reconstructed using any recovery point, even if the previous full/incremental image backup in the chain is lost. Thus, you can create a virtual machine with any available recovery point without depending on the integrity of the backup chain.

 

If I virtualize a machine, will the backed up data be affected?

No, the backed up data of a machine will not be affected if you virtualize that machine. The file system used in the IDrive BMR device and IDrive Cloud enables instant cloning of the originally backed up data. As the cloned data is used to create a virtual machine, the original backup remains unaffected.

 

I have a computer that is failing to virtualize. How do I recover my data?

There could be several reasons for virtualization to fail for certain machines. The causes include disk configuration on the computer, driver incompatibility with IDrive BMR's hypervisor platform, firmware type, multiple OS boot loaders on the computer, and so on. If virtualization fails, contact IDrive BMR support as a first step. This will allow us to investigate the cause thoroughly and rectify the issues on a case-by-case basis.

However, you can use the following restore options for recovering data immediately:

Create file restore path to recover necessary files from the computer backup

Perform bare-metal recovery of the computer

 

I have a Windows 7 client machine backed up to IDrive BMR, which is failing to virtualize. What are the restore options available to me in this case?

There are 2 possible causes for this situation:

  • If you are using a 4TB IDrive BMR unit, a combination of hardware and Guest OS compatibility can cause issues in virtualizing your Windows 7 client on the IDrive BMR's hypervisor. In this case, the virtual machine will hang during the boot process with a blank screen.
  • If your Windows 7 client machine is running on UEFI firmware, it may fail to virtualize in BMR hypervisor. The newer versions of Windows OS (post Windows 7) work well with BMR hypervisor platform.

Restore options for recovering data immediately:

  • Use the 'File Restore' feature to recover necessary files from the client machine's backup.
  • Use the 'System Restore' option to perform bare-metal recovery of the client machine.

 

Can I create a virtual instance of a Mac OS X based VM?

Mac OS X runs on specialized UEFI firmware, thus, it may not be virtualized on the IDrive BMR device in all cases. However, you can restore the Mac OS X based VM to the ESXi server without any issue. Additionally, you will be able to perform a file-level restore from the VM, via IDrive BMR VMware's file restore feature.

 

How quickly can I virtualize a machine with IDrive BMR?

IDrive BMR uses the KVM hypervisor for better virtualization and high performance. With IDrive BMR, you can virtualize a machine instantly and ensure business continuity.

 

Why am I being prompted to activate my Windows license for the new virtual instance?

Windows licensing links your purchased product key to the hardware configuration of the machine. In the case of a virtualized machine, the hardware for the virtualized machine is provided by the hypervisor which is different from the physical hardware and this may prompt Windows to re-activate your license.

The solution depends on the type of your Windows license.

Solution for retail license: Windows allows retail licenses to be transferred to another machine. You can simply enter the product key on the new machine and reactivate the Windows license.

Note: Retail licenses can only be installed on one machine at any particular time. Avoid activating Windows on multiple computers with the same product key.

Solution for OEM license: OEM license is non-transferrable and links your purchased product key to the motherboard of the original physical computer. To secure license activation for a restored machine, you will need to contact your OEM-license provider. IDrive BMR cannot assist you with third-party licensing issues.

 

How do I test if the virtual machine from my backup boots successfully without creating any network conflicts?

You can test the success of a VM boot by configuring the 'Disconnected' or 'NAT (firewalled)' network source.

 

Can I retain the static IP configurations on a virtualized machine?

Your machine's static IP address is set on your ethernet network adapter. When you create a virtual instance of a machine, the NIC hardware will be different from the original and will reset the IP to DHCP. If your work environment is static-IP dependent, you will need to manually configure the network settings after restore.

 

How do I create a local virtual instance of my computers?

To create a local virtual instance of your computer,

  1. Connect to the IDrive BMR device interface.
  2. Go to Virtualization > Local virtualization.
  1. Click Build Virtual Instance. The Local virtualization slider appears.
  2. Under the Computer tab, select the required computer from the Choose a system dropdown.
  3. Choose a recovery point.
  4. Select the number of processors for the virtual machine.
  5. Allocate the required memory for the virtual machine in the RAM field.
    Note: Memory value should be greater than 512 MB. You can decide the memory value depending on the Available RAM.
  6. Select a network source and an appropriate network model.
  7. Choose the required storage controller for the virtual machine. SATA is recommended.
  8. Select a graphics option from the Graphics dropdown.
  9. Click Build Virtual Instance. A virtual instance will be built. You can now connect to it and access the backed-up data.

    View detailed information on CPU, memory, disk, and network utilization metrics of the instance.

Note: When a machine with dynamic disks is virtualized, the created virtual instance will have basic disks with randomly assigned drive letters. You may have to sign in to the VM and change the drive letter associations as necessary.

To connect to the virtual instance,

  1. Navigate to the new local virtual instance and click the corresponding Copy VNC Password button.
  2. Choose-Volume
  3. Click Connect.
  4. Choose-Volume
  5. In the new window that appears, paste the password. Click Send Password. A remote connection to the virtual machine will be established.

 

How do I create a local virtual instance of my VMware machine?

To create a local virtual instance of your VMWare machine,

  1. Connect to the IDrive BMR device interface.
  2. Go to Virtualization > Local virtualization.
  3. Click Build Virtual Instance. The Local virtualization slider appears.
  4. Under the VMware server tab, choose the required server from the Choose server dropdown.
  5. Select the vCenter server and/or ESXi host from respective dropdowns.
  6. Select a VM from the Choose VM list.
  7. Choose the required recovery point.
  8. Specify the boot firmware.
  9. Assign the number of processors for the virtual machine from the Processors dropdown.
  10. Allocate the required memory for the virtual machine in the RAM field.
    Note: Memory value should be greater than 512 MB. You can decide the memory value depending on the Available RAM.
  11. Select a network source and an appropriate network model.
  12. Choose the required storage controller for the virtual machine. LsiLogicSAS is recommended.
  13. Select a graphics option from the Graphics dropdown
  14. Click Build Virtual Instance. A virtual instance will be built. You can now connect to it and access the backed-up data.

    View detailed information on CPU, memory, disk, and network utilization metrics of the instance.


To connect to the virtual instance,

  1. Navigate to the new local virtual instance click and click the corresponding Copy VNC Password button.
  2. Choose-Volume
  3. Click Connect against the virtual instance.
  4. In the new window that appears, paste the password. Click Send Password.

A remote connection to the virtual machine will be established.

 

How can I use a previously created virtual instance after restarting the IDrive® BMR device?

A VM rebuild involves re-mounting a virtual instance that may have been unmounted during the IDrive BMR device restart process. This procedure helps the restoration of a virtual instance to its previous state.

To rebuild a virtual instance,

  1. Connect to the IDrive BMR device interface.
  2. Go to Virtualization > Local virtualization.
  3. Click Rebuild to initiate the rebuilding process for the virtual instances that were unmounted during the restart.

    The virtual instance will be rebuilt to its previous state and you can connect to it and access the backed-up data.

 

Is it possible to backup data from local virtual machines?

After a local virtual instance is created for a computer, data backup will continue from the virtual instance according to the schedule.

 

How do I resolve Windows OS boot issues during virtualization?

If you have your Windows installation media, you can upload the ISO image of the installation media to the IDrive BMR device and attach it to the concerned VM. The VM can then be made to boot via this installation media. As a result, you can try to repair the Windows boot issues in the VM.

 

How do I fix a blank screen on the local virtualization page?

The virtual instance displays a blank screen for various reasons which are usually resolved by rebooting the machine.

The possible causes for a blank screen on the local virtualization page are as follows:

  1. The OS is still loading the login screen.
  2. Local virtualization provides new hardware to the booting OS. Setting up hardware drivers and settings may take more time than expected, causing the screen to go blank.
  3. A service is failing to start up in the OS booting phase — shutdown and reboot should resolve this issue.
  4. The virtual instance’s OS might be looking for any required network resources (for example, mapped drives) which are now not accessible through the virtualized machine. As the virtual instance tries to connect to the network resource and keeps failing, it can display a blank screen.
  5. The load on the IDrive BMR device is very high due to which local virtualization operates slowly. Similarly, the resources allocated to the virtual instance may not be sufficient to provide a proper OS boot-up. Shutting down the virtual instance, assigning more memory, and bringing up the virtual instance again will solve this problem.

 

How is my cloud storage optimized for virtual instances?

The IDrive BMR cloud infrastructure employs storage devices with NVMe accelerated caching and computing resources, delivering optimized storage and performance of the virtual instances.

 

How do I create a cloud virtual instance of my computers?

To create a cloud virtual instance of your computer,

  1. Connect to the IDrive BMR device interface. If you are on an external network, refer to How do I create a cloud virtual instance from the IDrive BMR web console?
  2. Go to Virtualization > Cloud virtualization.
  3. Click Build Virtual Instance. The Cloud virtualization slider appears.
  4. Under the Computer tab, select the required computer from the Choose a system dropdown.
  5. Choose a recovery point.
  6. Select the number of processors for the virtual machine and allocate the required memory for the virtual machine in the RAM field, taking into account the memory available for cloud virtualization.
  7. Select a network source and the appropriate network model.
  8. Choose the required storage controller for the virtual machine (SATA is recommended) and select a graphics option from the Graphics dropdown.
  9. Click Build Virtual Instance. A virtual instance will be built. You can now connect to it and access the backed-up data.
Note: When a machine with dynamic disks is virtualized, the created virtual instance will have basic disks with randomly assigned drive letters. You may have to sign in to the VM and change the drive letter associations as necessary.

To connect to a virtual instance,

  1. Navigate to the new cloud virtual instance and click the corresponding Copy VNC Password button.
  2. Click Connect.
  3. In the new window that appears, paste the password. Click Send Password. A remote connection to the virtual machine will be established.

 

How do I create a cloud virtual instance of my VMware machine?

To create a local virtual instance of your VMware machine,

  1. Connect to the IDrive BMR device interface. If you are on an external network, refer to How do I create a cloud virtual instance from the IDrive BMR web console?
  2. Go to Virtualization > Cloud virtualization.
  3. Click Build Virtual Instance. The Cloud virtualization slider appears.
  4. Under the VMware server tab, choose the required server from the Choose server dropdown.
  5. Select the vCenter server and/or ESXi host from respective dropdowns.
  6. Select a VM from the Choose VM dropdown and choose a recovery point that will be used to create the virtual instance.
  7. Assign the number of processors for the virtual machine from the Processors dropdown. Allocate the required memory for the virtual machine in the RAM field, taking into account the space available for cloud virtualization.
  8. Allocate required memory for the virtual machine in the 'RAM' field, taking into account the space available for cloud virtualization.
  9. Select a network source and the appropriate network model.
  10. Choose the required storage controller for the virtual machine (LsiLogicSAS is recommended) and select a graphics option from the Graphics dropdown.
  11. Click Build Virtual Instance. A virtual instance will be built. You can now connect to it and access the backed-up data.


To connect to a virtual instance,

  1. Navigate to the new cloud virtual instance and click the corresponding Copy VNC Password button.
  2. Click Connect.
  3. In the new window that appears, paste the password. Click Send Password. A remote connection to the virtual machine will be established.

 

What are the points that have to be taken into consideration while virtualizing a machine in the cloud?

The following points must be taken into consideration while virtualizing a machine in the cloud,

  • The virtual instances hosted in the IDrive cloud have only outbound internet access.
  • The data changes made to the cloud virtual instance cannot be restored back to the production machine.
  • Access to the virtual instance is provided over an encrypted VNC web-client-based application.
  • The virtual instances hosted in the cloud are automatically powered off after 14 days. However, it remains mounted and the data is preserved. To continue using the virtual instance, you need to power it on afresh when required.

 

How do I access resources within my site's network from a virtual instance on the IDrive cloud?

The virtual instances on the IDrive cloud will have outbound internet network connectivity. You can use a suitable VPN solution within your site's network and configure the VPN client on the virtual instance to bring it inside your network. We recommend using either of the two methods detailed below.

Method 1: Use a self-hosted OpenVPN access server

Self-host the OpenVPN Access Server within your network to which the cloud virtual instance can connect and get access to the internal network resources.

Prerequisite:

The OpenVPN Access Server is available as a virtual appliance and as a software package. The software package needs a spare Linux machine (Ubuntu 18) for manual deployment. We recommend using a pre-built virtual appliance instead which is quick and easy. The download for the virtual appliance method is available for both Hyper-V and VMware ESXi platforms in which you can choose the feasible one.

The following steps assume you have a Hyper-V server where you can self-host the OpenVPN access servers' virtual appliance, by downloading the required virtual disk file and attaching it to a Generation 1 VM.

Download the virtual appliance

  1. Signup for a free account with OpenVPN
  2. Go to Get Access Server in the LHS menu.
  3. Under the As a virtual appliance section, click the Microsoft Hyper-V button.
  4. Download and configure the virtual appliance as a Generation 1 VM in your Hyper-V server.
  5. Ensure the VM is connected to a virtual switch in Hyper-V, configured with the External connection type so the VM has access to the physical network.
  6. When the virtual appliance starts, log in to its root account using the username and password (Username: root, Password: openvpnas).
    You will be prompted with a few configuration steps. It is recommended to go with the default settings and use the default ports suggested.
Note: This free version of OpenVPN allows 2 licenses. You can connect only 2 cloud virtual machines via VPN at a time.

Set up port forwarding in your router to enable access to the OpenVPN access from the cloud VM

  1. Log in to your network router.
  2. Go to the section where you can enable virtual servers or define port forwarding rules.
  3. Enable port forwarding to forward external traffic to the static local LAN IP of the OpenVPN access server with the following default ports: 443 (TCP), 943 (TCP), and 1194 (UDP).

Once the port forwarding is set up, your OpenVPN access server's web UI is accessible from anywhere for administration via the WAN/Public IP: https://<your_wan_ip>:943/admin

Steps on cloud VM

  1. Create a VM with the networking option set to NAT (Firewalled), so that the VM has outbound internet access.
  2. Open a browser in your cloud VM and download the OpenVPN client: https://<your_wan_ip>:943.
  3. The downloaded client is preconfigured with the necessary connection details and authentication to reach your OpenVPN access server.

  4. Install the OpenVPN client and launch the tray icon to start the VPN connection.

Your cloud VM now has access to your site's internal network resources through this VPN channel.

Method 2: Use your existing VPN solution

This method is suitable if you already have a hardware or software-based VPN solution setup within your network (router, switch, Cloud VPN software product, etc.). You can configure the cloud virtual instance to connect to your existing VPN infrastructure and get access to its local network resources.

 

I received an error message when I tried to virtualize a backup of a Dell server with UEFI firmware.

If you have received the above error message when virtualizing a backup of a Dell server with UEFI firmware, follow these steps to manually select the firmware image and boot the virtual machine:

  1. As mentioned on the screen, press X to exit and go to the virtual machine's BIOS.
  2. Select Boot Maintenance Manager and select the Enter key.
  3. Select Boot From File and select the Enter key.
  4. Select the first entry that starts with ESP,. and select the Enter key.
  5. Navigate to the folder path EFI > Microsoft > Boot and select bootmgfw.efi.
  6. The VM will boot into the OS.