VMware Cloud DR snapshots allow you to download guest files of individual VMs to recover those files to a safe site.
Guest files downloaded as ZIP packages, which you can unzip and manually restore them to the destination of your choice.
Guest files are downloaded to the browser host where guest file recovery is being performed. For example, you can use guest file recovery to find a clean guest file from an older but known good snapshot of a VM.
You can run a recovery plan for ransomware and when a VM is in validation, you can open a browser on the VM running in the recovery SDDC and download imported guest files from a more recent snapshot directly into the running VM. After clean guest files have been downloaded to the VM, you can complete security analysis and recover the VM back to production.
For security reasons, guest file download links are valid for six hours after the task completes. Any attempt to access an expired link results in an HTTP 403 forbidden error. Download links for this feature use enterprise grade encryption at the source and only allow SSL-based connections for download. Each download link contains both proof of identity and means of authentication, so anyone with the link can download the file. Share these links only at the discretion of the backup administrator. As a security best practice, use great caution while sharing these links.
- Windows: NTFS and FAT32.
- Linux: Ext3 and Ext4.
- Windows dynamic volumes.
- Linux VMs that use Logical Volume Manager (LVM)
- Linux VMs formatting with the XFS file system.
- Microsoft Storage Spaces.
- You can run one guest file download at a time.
- Maximum path length of the download file directory = 255 characters.
- Maximum number of files or folder paths per ZIP package = 25. A folder path that contains multiple files is only counted as one item in the ZIP package out of a maximum of 25.
- Maximum individual file size allowable for download = 40 GB. This means that any given file in a download package cannot be larger than 40 GB.
- Maximum ZIP package export size = 100 GB.
- Windows OS unzip utility. Currently, restoring guest files does not support using the Windows OS default unzip utility in the File Explorer. Use 7ZIP or WinRAR utility on Windows systems for guest file restore operations.
Recovering Guest Files on a Recovery SDDC
If you are restoring VM guest files or folders directly on a VM in a recovery SDDC on VMware Cloud on AWS, you must first configure access to the cloud file system S3 bucket in AWS. The cloud file system, where protection group snapshots are stored, uses S3 as a repository of recovery points.
- Use an S3 endpoint in a linked customer account. Create the endpoint in a linked account, and then add VMC firewall rules, described here: Access an S3 Bucket Using an S3 Endpoint. Or
- Use an internet gateway to access your S3 bucket. This method also requires deactivating the S3 option on the connected Amazon VPC for your SDDC. For information, see Access an S3 Bucket Using the Internet Gateway.