vRealize Network Insight

An Introduction to Backup and Restore in vRealize Network Insight 6.0

Authored by Abhijit Timble. [Updated on 2020-11-16 with the video]

A solid backup system is one of the key elements for every organization to be prepared ahead of any disaster.

vRealize Network Insight 6.0 introduces a new framework to support backup and restore of all on-premises vRNI deployments. This helps address some of the critical use cases around setup recovery and replication, like restoring a previous configuration from a lost setup or need to replicate a similar configuration of the data retention policy, SNMP, Mail server settings, and multiple vRNI deployments within your organization. The process for backup and restores is pretty quick.

If you like watching videos more than reading, check out the YouTube video below, where Abhijit explains the concepts and demos the backup and restore functionality!

You have the flexibility to selectively choose what configurations and data need to be backed up and restored. The default settings include the below list:

  • Admin Settings/Configuration data
    • Online Update Status
    • Data Retention Interval (Data Management)
    • IP Properties & Subnet Configuration
    • Identity Access Management (LDAP, VIDM, Users Management)
    • Logs (Syslog Configuration, Audit Logs PII status)
    • Mail Server, SNMP
    • System Configuration
    • User Preferences
  • Data Sources
  • Events (User Defined, System, Platform Health)

This list will evolve in future releases. It is currently supported on 6.0 on-premise deployments, and both setups where you are backing up and restoring needs to be on similar versions. When restoring a backup, the recommended setup should be a clean one (new deployment) to avoid inconsistencies.

The backup and restore can be configured through the CLI or API with ‘admin’ or the ‘console user,’ which have complete privileges on the setup. The Auditor user can be used to view the saved configuration. The out of the box system health alerts will monitor the backup/restore status and will alert on any failures.

Backups can be triggered immediately or scheduled (daily or weekly). The backup tar file can be uploaded to an SSH server, FTP server, or the local storage on the platform where the backup runs.

Taking backup/restore is pretty quick. So, let’s try it out!

Backup and Restore using Public API’s

vRealize Network insight introduced a new set of APIs that can be used for backup and restore.

In this example, I will be using the built-in API Explorer, that can be found by clicking the gear icon on the top right. Using the API Explorer, you can test out API calls easily. You can also use your own API tool, like Postman, or PowervRNI. Before following the steps below, make sure you’re authenticated by creating an auth token, via the same interface.

Available Backup and Restore API calls

  1. From API Explorer, select the Configure Backup API.

API call to create a backup

Modify the parameters as per your backup requirements to decide on what configurations need to be backed up. Submit the request.

This configuration takes either the local_file_server, or ssh_file_server, or ftp_file_server; pick the one where you would like to store your backups. The data_filter determines what to backup. For example, if you would like to skip the backup of the audit logs, set audit_logs_pii_status to false.

  1. Check the Backup job status using ‘Get currently running or last Backup job status.’

API call to get the backup status

  1. To restore from backup, it is always recommended to use a new setup (fresh deployment). Select the restore API, review settings/parameters before restoring.

API call to start a restore

  1. Check the restore job status by selecting restore status API

API call to check restore status

Backup and Restore using CLI

vRealize Network Insight 6.0 also introduced a new set of CLI options for backup and restore:

Using the backup and restore CLI

Note: For 6.0, you will be seeing additional SLF4J verbose warning messages for every command you run. This will be fixed in 6.1

  1. Login to Platform node using the support user and create a new backup configuration as follows:

vi config-for-backup.txt

Note: /var/lib/backup-restore is the default location for creating the backup files

Diagram, text, timeline Description automatically generated

In case you need backups to be created in a different location, refer below configuration:

Text Description automatically generated

  1. Configure Backup (OnDemand or Schedule)

In this example, we will create a backup in a different location under ‘/home/ubuntu/backup-dir’

backup-restore backup --action add --path /home/ubuntu/backup-dir/config-for-backup.txt

Configuring backup

The above command will initiate the backup process and the file will get created under the same folder as seen below:

Backup generated

  1. Check the Backup Status

backup-restore backup --action status

Check backup status

  1. Fetch the existing Backup Configuration

backup-restore backup --action get

Check backup config

Regarding Restore from backup, it is always recommended to perform on a clean setup (fresh deployment) to avoid any data inconsistencies.

  1. For Restore, login to the newly setup platform node and create the restore configuration file as follows:

Backup config

  1. Configure Restore by running the following command

backup-restore restore --action add --path /home/ubuntu/<restore-config-file-path>

Restore configuration

  1. Check the Restore status by running the following command

backup-restore restore --action status

Restore status

  1. Get the Restore configuration details by running the following command

backup-restore restore --action get

Restore config

Conclusion

This post should give you a good understanding of how to configure the backups on vRealize Network Insight 6.0. Please make sure you do configure the backup for your instance, as you never know what might happen.

 

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