You can schedule recurring VM snapshots to the cloud file system, which are later used to failover VMs to a recovery SDDC for disaster and ransomware recovery.

You can view snapshots for a protection group by navigating to Protection Groups view and then selecting one of the snapshots in the group. A protection group can take one of two types of snapshots, standard-frequency or high-frequency. Protection groups only support one snapshot type, standard- or high-frequency.

Choose a snapshot type based on you organization's RPO goals, and then set the appropriate snapshot schedule:

App-consistent Snapshots with Quiescing

For powered-on VMs with VMware Tools installed, you can create protection groups that take quiesced snapshots. Quiescing pauses or alters the state of running processes on the VM to guarantee a consistent state of any applications running at the time a snapshot is taken. So when you restore the VM, you recover applications to the state they were in at the time the snapshot was taken.

Requirements for quiescing:
  • VM is powered on.
  • VMware Tools installed and running. VMware Tools requires Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) or protection groups cannot take quiesced snapshots. Windows VMs require VMware Tools version 10.x and above.
  • High-frequency snapshots only: VMware ESXi must be 8.0U1 or higher to quiesce high-frequency snapshots.
  • Linux VMs only: Pre-freeze and post-thaw scripts installed on the VM. VMware Tools must be version 10.2 or above.

Snapshots Details

For every snapshot, you can view the following details:
Detail Description
Name Name of the VM included in the snapshot.
Origin vCenter Protected site vCenter where the VM snapshot resides.
Snapshot type Either standard-frequency or high-frequency.
Transferred bytes The logical size of transferred data from the protected site to the cloud file system in a snapshot. The actual physical size of transferred data might be smaller due to compression.
Change rate

The logical VM data change rate since the previous snapshot.

Note: For the first snapshot of a VM after a product upgrade, 'Change Rate' is not reported.

Change rate can be useful for detecting anomalous snapshot behaviors. For example, a very high change rate outside of normal expectations might indicate an unplanned encryption event related to a ransomware attack.

For Transferred bytes, these two caveats apply:
  • Transferred Bytes and VM changes during snapshot initial seeding. When using standard -frequency snapshots, any failures or interruptions at the time of initial seeding can impact 'Transferred bytes' as reported in the UI, so the value might be lower or larger than the logical size of the VM. When using high-frequency snapshots, if there are changes on the source VM while initial seeding is in progress, then the reported Transferred bytes might be larger than the logical size of the source VM.
  • Transferred Bytes for snapshot replication different depending on VM disk provisioning. When a new disk is added to a VM that is being protected by high-frequency snapshots, the Transferred Bytes value for the snapshot task depends upon the type of datastore and provisioning of the disk. For example, if the disk is on vSphere Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) datastore and is provisioned “lazy zeroed,” then Transferred Bytes counts only the bytes that are allocated on the disk. If the disk is provisioned “lazy zeroed” then all the bytes are accurately reported in Transferred Bytes. (For more information, see About Virtual Disk Provisioning Policies.) When increasing the size of disk, Transferred Bytes might not show the extended size as Transferred Bytes, depending on the method used to increase the disk capacity.

Convert Standard-frequency Snapshots to High-frequency

To convert standard-frequency snapshots to high-frequency snapshots, open a standard frequency snapshot and select the high-frequency snapshot option. Once you switch a protection group from standard frequency snapshots to high-frequency snapshots, you cannot revert back. If you are not sure if the hosts on your protected site are compatible with high-frequency snapshots see, run a host compatibility check.