NAKIVO Blog

Screenshot Verification for VM Backup in NAKIVO v5.6

Screenshot verification via a full VM restore is a very long process, which takes hours to complete and consumes much bandwidth, CPU, RAM, storage space … and your attention. Because of this, most VM backups are unverified and may turn out to be unrecoverable when the time comes.

NAKIVO Backup & Replication v5.6 provides an automated way to (near) instantly verify each VM backup and sends screenshots of the recovered VMs as a proof of recoverability. This way you can not only trust that you have a good backup but also see (and show to your management) that VMs are recoverable.

How Screenshot Verification Works?

After each job run, NAKIVO Backup & Replication creates a recovery point in the backup repository. Once a VM backup is completed, NAKIVO Backup & Replication boots the VM from its newly created recovery point (that is, the VM is instantly recovered from the compressed and deduplicated backup repository via the Flash VM Boot feature). Note that networking on the VM is disabled to prevent any connectivity to the production environment. While the recovered VM is running, the VM backup remains in the read-only state, so it is no affected and all changes are stored in a temporary location on a datastore. Once the VM OS has booted, NAKIVO Backup & Replication makes the screenshot of the OS and then discards both the VM and the changes on the datastore. The screenshot is then included in job reports sent over email and in PDF reports that you can create ad hoc for any job.

Screenshot Verification Setup

Screenshot Verification setup is simple and straightforward:

  • Create a backup job or edit an existing one. On step 4 of the wizard, select the Run screenshot verification after each job run option:
screenshot verification
    VM boot location
  • Target Container: A cluster, host, or resource pool where you want to boot VMs for screenshot verification.
  • Target Datastore: A datastore that will host changes to the recovered VMs (they will be discarded once the verification is over).
  • Verify not more than X VMs simultaneously: The maximum number of VMs that can be started on the Target Container simultaneously (if many VM backups finish at the same time, you might not want to run all of them on a single host at once).
  • Recovery time objective: The amount of time allocated for verification of each VM backup. If a VM OS does not start within the specified amount of time, verification will be considered failed.
  • Screenshot delay: The amount of time that the product should wait after Guest OS start before making a screenshot.
  • Click Finish (if you created a new job) or Save (if you edited an existing one). Screenshot verification is now set up!

What You Get

After each job run, all VM backups will be automatically verified by NAKIVO Backup & Replication. If you have set up email notifications, your email reports will contain the screenshots taken from recovered VMs, such as this one:

AD Win 2012 Backup

The screenshots are also available in PDF reports.

Next Steps

Download a free trial and try Screenshot Verification in your environment!