NetJapan ActiveImage - vmGuardian


vmGuardian 3.0

New features include an enhanced file format providing more efficient incremental backup file consolidation and faster offsite replication, a higher performing 64-bit virtual appliance, and another NetJapan first, Branched Restore. Up to 10 percent increase in performance from the previous version.

  Agentless backup of virtual machines
vmGuardian offers agentless backup of virtual machines thanks to VMware’s vStorage API for Data Protection.
Incremental Backup
vmGuardian’s fast incremental image backups reduce your storage space requirements.
  Inline Data Deduplication Compression
vmGuardian’s Inline Data Deduplication Compression (IDDC) feature quickly and efficiently eliminates duplicate blocks of data in a single virtual disk or across multiple virtual disks.
Installed as a VMware ESXi virtual appliance
vmGuardain installs as a virtual appliance in the ESXi environment.
  Backup multiple virtual machines
Backup multiple virtual machines into a single image file in a single pass.
Easy to use web-based user interface
With vmGuardian’s web-based user interface, you can quickly and easily choose the virtual machines you want to backup or restore.
  Flexible Restore Options
vmGuardian allows you to restore both entire virtual machines or only virtual disks (VMDK).

vmGuardian 3.0
Backup Features

ActiveImage Protector’s backup technologies
vmGuardian uses many of the ActiveImage Protector’s advanced backup technologies.
Inline Data Deduplication Compression
vmGuardian’s Inline Data Deduplication Compression (IDDC) feature efficiently eliminates duplicate blocks of data in a single virtual disk or across multiple virtual disks. The image files are then compressed at a remarkably high rate, resulting in significantly reduced storage space needs without the need for an extra media server.
Incremental Backup
vmGuardian’s fast incremental image backups reduce your storage space requirements as they only include the sectors that have changed since the last backup was taken.
Smart Sector Technology
Enables fast backup of only the used sectors, resulting in reduced disk space requirements.
Restore to a different ESX(i) host
vmGuardian can restore a virtual machine's (VM) backup image to a different ESX(i) host.
Supports Windows and Linux file formats
Windows NTFS and Linux Ext 3 virtual machines are supported.
VM backup
Use vmGuardian to select VMs from a host or resource pool in an ESXi host or vSphere virtualization platform. Multiple virtual machines can be backed-up and combined into a single image file.
Support for a file type to save the respective incremental backup images independently
vmGuardian 3.0 supports a new file type enabling to save the respective incremental backup images independently. The use of scheduled Replication function enables fast replication of only new created incremental files.
  Agentless Backup

Agentless backup of virtual machines
vmGuardian offers agentless backup of virtual machines thanks to VMware’s vStorage API for Data Protection.
Installs as a VMware ESX(i) virtual appliance
vmGuardain is installed as a virtual appliance (ova file) in the ESX(i) environment.
64bit version of vmGuardian appliance
Implemented 64bit version of vmGuardian appliance including OS and VMware libraries. The use of the latest version of the libraries offers a number of improvements over the 32-bit version, enables to save memory space and supports more stable access to virtual environment and virtual machines.
Backup Option

Flexible backup scheduling
Backups tasks can be configured to be executed one-time only, weekly, or monthly.
Network throttling
Defines the maximum throughput in KBs/Second if the backup target destination is located on a network share.
AES-256 Bit Encryption
Backups are protected with high-grade AES-256-bit encryption. Intel processors with AES-NI can accelerate encryption performance by 3 to 10 times compared to software only implementation.
MD5 file creation for images
MD5 files are created for image files.
Support for Consolidation of incremental backup files
As a result of independent incremental backup files created in the new file type, you only have an increased number of files. vmGuardian 3.0 provides a new file management feature to automatically consolidate predefined number (by default, “30”) of incremental backup files, when created, into one incremental file. As a matter of course, recovery points are also saved in the consolidated file.
  Recovery Features

Flexible restore options
With vmGuardian you can restore both entire virtual machines and only virtual disks (VMDK) to pre-existing virtual machines.

Restoration and Migration of VMs
Individual virtual machines can quickly and easily be restored to the same ESXi host or migrated to a different ESXi host.
Restore to a new virtual machine on the same host
vmGuardian can restore existing VMs to new virtual machines within the same ESXi host.
Granular and bulk restore of files and folders (Mount Image file feature)
The Mount Image File feature facilitates the recovery of individual files and folders from a backup image.
Downloaded as a ZIP file
Files located on a virtual disk can be selected from a backup image and downloaded as a ZIP file.
Rename virtual disk name when restored
Virtual disk may be restored in a different virtual disk name, so that it can prevent the restored virtual disk from overwriting the original one and you do not need to keep a copy of the original for its safety.
Boot Environment
Powered by ActiveImage Protector™, vmGuardian’s recovery environment allows the backup and recovery of an entire ESXi host.

Easy to use web-based User Interface
With vmGuardian’s web-based user interface, users can quickly and easily choose the virtual machine(s) or the entire ESXi host they want to backup or restore. Users can also restore a source host or machine to a specified location, define a group of virtual machines, schedule tasks, manage licenses and more..
vMotion and VMware HA now supported
Support for continuous incremental backup of virtual machines that have been migrated to a different host using vMotion or VMware HA.
ESX(i)host management
An ESX(i) host can be specified as the backup source and assigned a management role, with the resource pools and VM's listed under Host Information on the web console. Connections can be established or terminated as needed and the host's information can be hidden under Host Information when not connected.
CUI console
The CUI Console provides a console based interface on vmGuardian's appliance that allows the user to perform the operations necessary to configure the settings. The CUI Console will automatically start when the appliance is powered on.
E-Mail Notification
Email notification can be sent to an email address of your choice. Notifications can be triggered by successfully completed backups as well as backup failures.

vmGuardian 3.0

Resource of vmGuardian 3.0

v.3.0 Datasheet / PDF

Product Summary 
• v.3.0 Practical Operation Seminar / PDF


Comparison Chart
The differences between ActiveImage Protector and vmGuardian

License Policy for ActiveImage Protector and vmGuardian
System Requirements

vmGuardian 3.0
What is vmGuardian?
vmGuardian is a backup and disaster recovery solution for VMware ESX(i) environments. vmGuardian's features include Inline Data Deduplication Compression, support for vMotion, VMware HA and ESXi v5.5. vmGuardian is installed as a VMware ESX(i) virtual appliance and is controlled using an enhanced browser interface providing backup and recovery wizards to guide you through the configuration settings. Multiple VMs can be backed up into a single image file with a single pass. vmGuardian's backup engine is based on ActiveImage Protector's disk imaging backup technology. vmGuardian also provides additional advanced features found in ActiveImage Protector which include fast incremental backups, smart sector backup, email notification and more.

VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1 or later (Support for vStorage API is required)
40GB of disk space is needed for the data store of the ESX(i) host when installing the appliance.
Current Appliance Machine Setting is below
Number of virtual sockets: 4
Number of cores per socket: 1
Memory size: 4GB


Internet Explorer 9 or later
Google Chrome v25 or later
FireFox v19 or later
*Recommend resolution is 1024 x 640
Backup Virtual Machine(File System)

Windows Server 2012 / 2012 R2
Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2
Windows Server 2003 / 2003 R2
Windows 2000 Server SP4
Windows 8 / Windows 8.1
Windows 7
Windows Vista Windows XP SP3
(NTFS file system is supported in the operating systems listed above)

*Please make sure the latest version of VMware Tools corresponding to the host is set up on virtual machines (mandatory). As for Linux virtual machines, please make sure vmsync kernel module is set up before you set up VMware Tools.

  Backup Storage for image files

Direct attachment to the appliance machine (USB2.0, IDE, SCSI)
CIFS (samba)

Backup of the entire ESXi host can be performed using the ActiveImage Protector Boot Environment (AIPBE) for vmGuardian (included with vmGuardian).
You can select multiple or individual virtual machines to backup.

ActiveImage Protector
Affordable, high-speed, sector-based backup solution
ActiveImage Protector FAQ (Pre-Sales)
Common Questions about ActiveImage Protector (Global)
Q1: What is ActiveImage Protector?
ActiveImage Protector is a sector-based disk imaging backup solution developed by NetJapan Inc., who provides technical support and promotes sales of the product. The use of ActiveImage Protector enables users to back up the entire contents in hard disk into an image file. ActiveImage Protector provides Hot Imaging feature allowing to entirely back up running system along with live applications, data, settings, etc. In the event of hard disk failure due to physical corruption of hard disk or virus infection, the created backup file may be used to restore the corrupted system to the state backup was taken. ActiveImage Protector backs up and restores the system at blazing speed and provides its unique Deduplication Compression feature to enhance backup performance and reduce storage requirements by eliminating duplicate data during the backup process and compressing the created image files. For further enhancement of the product’s performance and operability including user-friendly GUI, continuous improvement is an ongoing effort to improve its capabilities. ActiveImage Protector was first released in 2009 and is now used to protect servers and client PC’s in tens of countries in the world ActiveImage Protector is provided in a variety of editions optimized for virtual environment including VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, physical environments for Windows or Linux server, cluster / FT / HA environment, migration from Physical to Virtual environment, etc.
Q2:Tell us about the unique features ActiveImage Protector can provide and what are the advantages over others on the market?
ActiveImage Protector provides unique and advanced features such as Inline Data Deduplication Compression built in every edition, A.I.R. enabling to restore backup image files to virtual / physical machine on a different server and hardware, SHR (Seamless Hot Restore for Hyper-V environment) and ReZoom. Linux edition now provides easy-to-use GUI enabling many of the user controls and options for making full use of ActiveImage Protector. Compared to others on the market, ActiveImage Protector is faster in backup processing, efficiently eliminates duplicate data and compresses image files at high compression rate so that backup storage needs can be reduced significantly without a need of purchasing dedicated storage options. NetJapan Inc., as in-house developed ActiveImage Protector, provides technical support including customization of the products to meet requirements from users and user-friendly detailed support services.
Q3:What is Inline Data Deduplication Compression built in ActiveImage Protector?
Inline Data Deduplication Compression feature efficiently eliminates duplicate data blocks during the backup process without a need for purchasing an optional add-on program or dedicated storage options that provide deduplication feature, not only that, no need to do any extra configuration settings or operations. The use of ActiveImage Protector enables users to efficiently eliminate duplicate data and compress image files at high compression ratio so that backup storage needs can be reduced significantly. Also, ActiveImage Protector can complete image file compression within practical process time. For example, assuming that about 1TB (1024GB) is used for virtual environment on Windows 2008 R2 physical machine, the backup volume can be compressed to almost half of original using ActiveImage Protector. For your reference, the backup / restore process speeds are compared in the following table (tested in December, 2013):
Q4: How backup / restore process time differ in case Deduplication feature is used compared to the case Deduplication feature is not used?
They should differ depending on the size of data in backup source. Referring to the above table in Q3, our test results indicate that backup / restore process time using Deduplication feature is 20% - 40% longer than backup / restore process time with standard compression.
Q5: What is ReZoom feature built in ActiveImage Protector for Hyper-V?
The use of ReZoom function enables you to restore VMs respectively selected from backup image of entire Hyper-V host to the same or a different Hyper-V server. The restored VM may be booted up only after restore process completes, however, multiple VM’s may be selected to collectively restore at a time
Q6: What is SHR (Seamless Hot Restore) built in ActiveImage Protector for Hyper-V?
SHR feature can quickly start-up a VM from an image backup during the restore of the VM. SHR starts a VM as a seamless virtual machine, while simultaneously restoring the same VM into Hyper-V server instead of waiting for completion of restore process. While running a seamless virtual machine directly from the backup image, restoration of the virtual machines is performed in background by using ReZoom function. In the meantime changes can be made on the virtual disk of the running seamless virtual machine. Once the restore process has completed, SHR transitions the system operation to the fully restored virtual machine. SHR provides near-zero downtime and unparalleled protection of mission critical virtual environments since not only the changes on the seamless virtual machine but also the settings including memory are transitioned to allow seamless and continuous operation.
Q7:What are the differences between ActiveImage Protector and vmGuardian?
vmGuardian, backup and disaster recovery solution for VMware virtual environment, was in-house developed and released by NetJapan following ActiveImage Protector. While ActiveImage Protector has to be installed in virtual environment, vmGuardian provides a Web browser interface which guides you through the various configuration settings, scheduling and backup management tasks making it easy to backup and restore your system regardless whether physical or virtual environment. By using Linux based appliance server, vmGuardian allows to back up multiple virtual machines on ESX(i) host into one image. Without a need of installing vmGuardian on virtual machines specified as backup source, and no backup agent required. Every backup / restore operation may be performed using Web browser interface connected to the appliance server. vmGuardian backs up by taking a snapshot of virtual machines via vStorage API. For your reference the differences of main features built in ActiveImage Protector and vmGuardian are listed below:

Q8: How can I select a proper edition of ActiveImage Protector?
A proper edition of ActiveImage Protector should be selected depending on your system environment, OS, intended use (migration to virtual environment, etc.)
Migration of physical machines to virtual environment / move older systems to a new physical or virtual environment. →ActiveImage Protector Virtual Edition or for Hyper-V is recommended.
Back up Windows physical server or desktop →Server Edition or Desktop Edition is recommended.
Back up Linux server →Linux Edition is recommended.
Use ActiveImage Protector on unlimited number of servers to back up with one license →IT Pro Edition is recommended.
Back up clustered environment →Cluster Edition is recommended.
Backup VMWare virtual machines without a need for backup agent →vmGuardian is recommended.

Q9:What is your License Policy for ActiveImage Protector (AIP) and vmGuardian?
Please refer to the list below:
Q10: What editions are included in Virtual Edition?
ActiveImage Protector Virtual Edition include Windows Server, Desktop and Linux Editions. It’s licensing options provide a "Virtual Environment License" or an "ActiveImage Protector Virtual Edition Cloud License" .
Q11: What are the differences between ActiveImage Protector for Hyper-V and Virtual Edition?
ActiveImage Protector for Hyper-V supports Hyper-V host on Windows Server 2012/2012R2/ 2008 R2. Without a need for installing ActiveImage Protector on each individual virtual machines, you can back up an unlimited number of guest virtual machines entirely and restore a single virtual machine by using ReZoom / SHR feature. (Note)ActiveImage Protector Virtual Edition including Server / Desktop / Linux Edition needs to be installed on the individual virtual machines specified as backup source.

Please refer to the list below:
Q12:What are the differences between ActiveImage Protector for Hyper-V Enterprise and for Hyper-V with SHR?
Both editions support backup of entire Hyper-V in a backup image file. Running a virtual machine directly from the backup image allows continuous operation, while restoration / migration of virtual machines is performed in background. If you are searching for a backup / restore solution which provides protection of the entire Hyper-V host, migration from clustered virtual environment or physical environment to Hyper-V virtual environment, ActiveImage Protector 3.5 for Hyper-V Enterprise is recommended. If you need a backup / restore solution for protection of individual virtual machines, ActiveImage Protector 3.5 for Hyper-V with SHR is recommended.

Please refer to the comparison chart below:

Q13: Which edition of ActiveImage Protector do you recommend for migration to virtual environment?
To migrate from physical to virtual environment, Virtual Edition and Hyper-V Enterprise are recommended. To virtualize multiple physical machines of different types of OS’s, you need to purchase only one license for the physical machine specified as migration destination. The same license can be used to for daily backup of the virtual environment. However, if you continue to use ActiveImage Protector on the physical machine specified as migration source, you need to purchase another licensed copy of ActiveImage Protector.

If you need ActiveImage Protector only for migration from physical to virtual environment, but you do not need AIP for daily backup after migration is completed, IT Pro Edition or IT Pro Migration License (valid for 90 days) is recommended.
Q14:How do you restrict the user of ActiveImage Protector IT Pro Edition?
You are requested to register two users, one for license manager and the other for “IT support professional” at time of order. One registered “IT support professional” is allowed to use ActiveImage Protector to back up and restore an unlimited number of systems, though one computer at a time, for one year. There is no restriction to the number of computers to use ActiveImage Protector, however, it’s the one ActiveImage Protector boot disk that IT Support Pro should carry. ActiveImage Protector cannot be installed or copied to any computer to use. When you purchase additional licensed copy of “IT support professional”, or for the second license year or further, special pricing schedule can be offered, if applicable.
Q15: Does ActiveImage Protector support Xen server?
ActiveImage Protector does not support backup of host environment (Xen server), but supports backup of virtual machines of guest OS if ActiveImage Protector supports the OS.
Q16:What are the Remote Management Capabilities which ActiveImage Protector can provide?
A list view of networked clients, push installation, un-installation, upgraded installation are supported. Since flexible installation options (Standard, Agent Only, Console Only) are provided, users are allowed to configure settings depending on the system environment. Since one ActiveImage Protector console is connected to one remote computer and GUI is provided to allow most of the operations which can be performed on local computer. You can also access network shared folders on a remote computer by using Remote File Explorer.
Q17:To run ActiveImage Protector, does it require centralized management server?
No, you do not need centralized management server. ActiveImage Protector is built mainly with console and service modules. In most cases, both modules are set up on local machine. However, service module may be installed on backup source machine, while console module may be installed on a machine on which you operate ActiveImage Protector.
Q18: Does ActiveImage Protector support backup of a file / folder?
Backup source may be specified for “entire disk” or “a partition”. ActiveImage Protector does not support backup of a file / folder, however, a file / folder may be restored from a backup image file created with AIP. ActiveImage Protector Linux Edition supports backup of [Entire Disk], [Volume], [Volume Group], [LVM System].
Q19: Does ActiveImage Protector support backup without installing the program on the machine?
Yes, it does. Without a need for installation of the program, cold imaging backup of the product-DVD booted Windows is supported while the system is stopped.
Q20: What is a merit / demerit of cold backup?
1. Merit of cold backup Without installing the program, it enables to create a backup image of the clean system. Since cold backup is performed while Windows system is shut down, the system resource can be used solely for reliable backup processing.
2. Demerit of cold backup Cold backup cannot be scheduled. Since Windows system has to be shut down, cold backup cannot be performed in continuous operation system.
Q21: How long does backup process take if backup image files are stored in network storage?
To get a rough idea, gigabit network should provide us with data transfer speed of 60MB/sec. Backup of 200GB data is estimated to take about 50 minutes. For the test results of backup process speed, please refer to the table in above Q3.
Q22:If the computer is powered off when backup task is scheduled, what will happen with the scheduled task?
The schedule will be skipped to run the task at the next schedule.
Q23: How do you calculate required space in the destination storage to save image files?
Required space is estimated at the minimum as follows: “Space required for one generation set” x (the number of generation sets to keep + 1)
Q24:What is the maximum number of generations you can specify to keep with retention policy?
Up to 20 "Generation sets" (a single baseline backup + the incremental backup images) can be managed.
Q25: What are the differences between ActiveImage Protector Personal Edition for home users and Desktop Edition for corporate users?
ActiveImage Protector Personal Edition does not provide Remote Management capabilities, since ActiveImage Protector Personal Edition is designed to be used on stand-alone PC. Software user license is not offered and annual support service is not provided for Personal Edition. If you prefer purchasing a license to use ActiveImage Protector, ActiveImage Protector Desktop Edition is recommended.
Q26: While ActiveImage Protector is running in background, does it impact on other program’s performance?
While a backup task is running in background, it uses system resources and other program’s processing takes rather longer. If you run disk defragmenter software, the sectors on the disk are continuously changed, therefore, it takes a longer time to perform backup processing. When you run disk defragmenter software or other application which runs at a high CPU priority, it is recommended that the processing is completed before you start backup processing.
Q27: Does ActiveImage Protector support RAID environment?
ActiveImage Protector supports RAID, RAID0, RAID1 and RAID5 controllers.
Q28:Does ActiveImage Protector save backup files directly to CD/DVD or Blu-ray media?
ActiveImage Protector does not support CD/DVD or Blu-ray as storage media. Depending on the media size, the created image files may be split into small files of predefined size. The split files may be saved in the storage media by using a writing software and used to restore the system.
Q29: Does ActiveImage Protector support Serial ATA2 SSD to be specified as backup source or backup target?
Yes, SSD is supported.
Q30: Does ActiveImage Protector support backup including hidden area (recovery area)?
Yes, it does.
Q31: Can ActiveImage Protector restore to a different size disk? Larger or smaller?
Yes, ActiveImage Protector supports restoring to a new HDD of the same size or larger than the original. The backup volume can be restored to the original size or can be expanded to utilize the larger available disk space. If restoring to a smaller drive, the target disk requires at minimum the total amount of space for the actual data from the backup.
Q32: Can ActiveImage Protector take incremental backups without creating a schedule?
No. The Incremental backup feature is one of the configuration options in the schedule setup.
Q33: Does ActiveImage Protector support VSS?
ActiveImage Protector supports live backup of the Hyper-V host and guests on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Server 2012/2012 R2. On virtual machines where Microsoft Exchange Server or SQL Server supporting the VSS Writer, a snapshot of the OS on the virtual machines is taken to maintain the consistency of the data through the use of the VSS Writer. If the guest OS does not support Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy (Windows 2000 or Linux), or if the OS supports VSS-aware snapshots, the guest OS is automatically placed in a paused state from the moment the live backup starts on the host to the moment the snapshot process is complete. Once completed, the guest OS is automatically released from the paused state and is placed into the previous pre-snapshot state.
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Affordable, high-speed, sector-based backup solution
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ActiveImage Protector
Affordable, high-speed, sector-based backup solution

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