VMware App Volumes Backup Utility, How to use?

While working with app volumes since the release in the year of 2014, I notice that it was difficult to find a backup solution that can backup a single vmdk file without being mounted to a virtual machine.

Because the vmdk file is not mounted to a virtual machine the backup software cannot recognize theze files because it’s not part of the inventory.

Off course you can manual create a virtual machine and mount those disk on it, but when you have multiple appstacks, you notice that this is a time consuming method.

There is no default built-in solution for this case. while searching for a nice solution on the web back in the year 2014, I’ve discovered that members of the VMware team and members of the community has bring their knowledge together on a website with sharing some great tools, this website is calling flings https://labs.vmware.com/flings

App volumes backup utility, can help admins with a single pane for managing their backups of appstacks. beside the utility, you will need a third-party backup solution. The tool will only attached appstacks to a specified virtual machine.

First of all, download the tool from the url “https://labs.vmware.com/flings/app-volumes-backup-utility”

There are some requirements, Make sure that you have installed the following

– Powercli 6.0 or later
– .net framework 4.5

After downloading the tool, unpacked the files and launch “Backup_AppStacks.exe”

After starting the application specify the url of the app volumes server and hit “Populate AppStacks”

In my case the url of the server is https://appv01.breugel.local.

After connecting to the App volumes manager, you will see a list of all available appstacks with detailed information about Location, size, attachments and status.

Before attaching one of the appstacks you must first make a connection to the virtual center, fill in the address of the server and specify your credentials.

After connecting to the Virtual Center, create a backup vm by hitting the buttom “create a backup vm”

Choose the right datastore and vSphere Host as you wish.

Well the backup vm is created and we are now ready to assign one or more appstacks.

If you wish to backup multiple VM’s with more versions of appstacks, you can create more than one backup vm

  1. Hit the checkbox of the right VM
  2. Hit the checkbox of the appstacks that you want to connect to the vm
  3. Press the bottom “Attach Selected Appstacks to backup vm”

Wait a few seconds and you see that the appstacks are mounted on the backup vm

While checking the vmx file, you will see that three vmdk files are mounted

scsi0:1.deviceType = "scsi-hardDisk"
 scsi0:1.fileName = "/vmfs/volumes/593a7530-da59457a-c57a-000c2982d403/cloudvolumes/apps/Chrome.vmdk"
 scsi0:1.present = "TRUE"

scsi0:2.deviceType = "scsi-hardDisk"
 scsi0:2.fileName = "/vmfs/volumes/593a7530-da59457a-c57a-000c2982d403/cloudvolumes/apps/Default!20!applications.vmdk"
 scsi0:2.present = "TRUE"

scsi0:3.deviceType = "scsi-hardDisk"
 scsi0:3.fileName = "/vmfs/volumes/593a7530-da59457a-c57a-000c2982d403/cloudvolumes/apps/LibreOffice.vmdk"
 scsi0:3.present = "TRUE"







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