Those of us aware of the new features of Avamar 7 have probably seen this slide:
Note: This slide is referring to a group of ESXi hosts as the 'entire cluster', and not a vSphere cluster.
Or maybe this graphic:
But what does this mean exactly? And maybe more importantly, how do we get this to work in our Avamar 7 environment?
Dynamic Policies from an Avamar perspective enables IT personnel to backup vSphere elements such as folders and ESXi hosts. This is powerful because VMs can now move between folders and hosts, and still maintain their backup properties. Here are the elements as viewed in the vSphere Web Client:
The cluster in this example is 'brsvlab-cluster'. The host is 'esx01.brsvlab.local'. The folders are 'Discovered virtual machine', 'Exchange 2013', and 'SQL 2012'.
How do we configure Avamar to backup our folders, cluster, and host? Let's start with the folders. Open the Avamar Administrator Console, and navigate to 'Administration'. Under 'Administration', right click on your vCenter server to add a new client. In this example our vCenter server is 'master-vc-brsvlab.local':
Since we're going to do the folders first, we'll be selecting 'Discovered virtual machine', 'Exchange 2013', and 'SQL 2012' folders. Make sure you set 'Virtual Machine Container Inclusion' to 'Dynamic'. This setting enables dynamic policies. It is imperative the selections are made in the window as shown below and not made in the selection pane on the left:
Once you click 'OK' and confirm the appropriate folders are selected, you'll see the following status window:
As you can see, all the VMs contained within the folders were added as well. Back in the console we can confirm the folders and VMs are now dynamically discovered within Avamar:
Now when we edit the group we can see and add the folders to the backup group:
Follow the same basic process to add ESXi hosts. In some cases you'll need to make sure that you select 'Show sub-entities':
Showing ESXi host added:
If for any reason you need to update your policy to make it static, you can go into the policy editor and select your client for editing:
Then deselect 'Dynamic Mode':
Hope this helps and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message.
Update: vSphere Sub Folders (Nested Folders)
What if you're trying to add folders in the style shown above? Basically you're trying to add a sub folder depicted by the letter A in the above screenshot. As of now, that is not supported in Avamar 7.0, and it is slated for Avamar 7.1. Thanks D.A., for working through this and bringing this forward!