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How to take an ESXi application-consistent snapshot on TS6000 using the Buffalo Snapshot Agent

Learn more about how Snapshot can help protect your data from ransomware here.


System Requirements
• A Buffalo TS6000 series NAS.

• ESXi host has connected to TS6000 iSCSI volume as datastore. Virtual Machine is located on this datastore.
• Snapshot Agent is compatible with Windows Server 2012 or later.
• The TCP port 59840 should open on the computer on which Snapshot Agent has been installed. Change the firewall setting if the port is closed.

Installing and Launching Snapshot Agent
1. Download the installer for Snapshot Agent from the Buffalo website.
2. Extract the downloaded file.
3. Open the extracted application folder and double-click SnapshotAgent_Setup.exe.
4. When the installation is completed, the shortcut icon will be created on the desktop.
5. Double-click the “Snapshot Agent for TeraStation” shortcut icon; Snapshot Agent will launch.

Initial Setup
To create a snapshot for iSCSI volume, first step is to register vCenter/ESXi Server to the Snapshot agent.

1. Start the Snapshot Agent application.
2.Click Register > Register vCenter Server at the left corner of the window.
3.Enter either the IP address or hostname of vCenter/ESXi Server, and then the username and password for the administrative user on vCenter/ESXi Server.
4.Select the action the virtual machine takes when a Buffalo NAS device requests to create a snapshot, then click OK.
The following are brief explanations of the snapshot settings for the virtual machine. For more detailed information, refer to the vCenter Server’s user manual or KB.
Create a memory snapshot of the virtual machine: Create a snapshot that saves the current data, memory processes, and power settings. This will take some time to complete so in the meantime, it will increase the loads to the virtual machines or Buffalo NAS devices.
Quiesce the guest file system (requires VMware Tools installation): VMware Tools will pause or change running processes on the guest operating system.
Note: If communicating with vCenter Server failed, an error message will appear on the screen. Check the suggestions on the message and try registering vCenter Server again.

Note: When the Snapshot agent was not setup properly to work with the virtual machine, the virtual machine will only be snapshotted in Crash-Consistent state.

5. If the admin username and password of the Buffalo NAS device have been changed from the default values, enter the correct username and password.

6. iSCSI volumes and virtual machines that are controlled by vCenter Server will be displayed.
If iSCSI volumes are not displayed, check the following and then click the “Refresh” button:
• The Buffalo TS6000 NAS device and vCenter/ESXi Server are connected.
• An iSCSI volume has been created on the Buffalo TS6000 NAS device and it is accessible.
• A virtual machine that connects to an TS6000 iSCSI volume has been created.

For more information about Snapshot Agent, please refer to the User manual

Create application-consistent snapshots of the TS6000 iSCSI volume
Note: Make sure the Availability of the iSCSI volume is showing as “Normal”.
Common error messages:
The server is connected to other iSCSI volumes and storage devices.
-Make sure the virtual machine has all its virtual storage configured on this iSCSI volume. Also make sure virtual CD/DVD device is configured as “Client Device” instead of “Datastore ISO file”.

Two or more networks are available between the NAS device and VMware ESXi.
-Please use the “Service Port Restrictions” option on TeraStation to prevent the ESXi host’s iSCSI initiator detecting multiple IP addresses as available for connection from the TeraStation.

Incompatible NAS device.
-Snapshot Agent only supports TeraStation TS6000 series which has the Snapshot feature.

Unavailable because the virtual machine is not on.
-Make sure the virtual machines were powered on.


Taking Snapshot on TS6000
1.    From the iSCSI volume list, select the checkbox for the target iSCSI volume and click Show Snapshot List.

2.    Click Create.

3.    Select or clear the “Lock snapshot” checkbox to determine whether the created snapshot will be locked or unlocked. A locked snapshot will not be deleted by auto-archiving.
Enter a short description if desired, then click OK.

4.    The snapshot taking will start to progress. Click OK.

5.    The Snapshot Agent will first request vCenter/ESXi host to take a Virtual Machine snapshot.
After completed, the TeraStation will take an iSCSI volume snapshot. And then the Snapshot Agent will request vCenter/ESXi host to remove the Virtual Machine snapshot that just taken.
The Virtual Machine snapshot taken will be kept on the TeraStation’s iSCSI volume snapshot.
Note: To revert the virtual machine to its current state, it is needed to revert the Virtual Machine snapshot after performing restoration of TeraStation’s iSCSI volume snapshot.

6.    After the snapshot progress finishes, the snapshot will be created on this iSCSI volume.
If the Snapshot Agent has been setup properly with the vCenter/ESXi host, the snapshot will show Application-Consistent at the Consistency type.
The Snapshot Agent will also show the Snapshot Result as “Success”.

7.    If “Error” is displayed as the snapshot result on the Snapshot Agent, an application-consistent snapshot could not be created. A crash-consistent snapshot has been created instead.

Make sure there is no orphaned VM that still configure the TS6000 iSCSI volume as datastore. Also check the User Manual for more error information.


Restore the application-consistent snapshot
•    Restore the snapshot on TS6000
1.    Suggest to shutdown all virtual machines that are running on this TS6000 iSCSI volume datastore.
2.    At the TeraStation TS6000 iSCSI snapshot list, select the Application-Consistent snapshot that you want to restore, then click Restore button on the top.

3.    A new snapshot of the current state will be created before restoring the snapshot.
Select or clear the “Lock snapshot” checkbox to determine whether the created snapshot will be locked or unlocked. A locked snapshot will not be deleted by auto-archiving.
Enter a short description if desired, then click OK.

Click OK when completed.


•    Revert the Virtual Machine snapshot on vCenter/ESXi host
1.     From the vCenter/ESXi host interface, shutdown the target Virtual Machine and “Remove from Inventory”.

2.    From the ESXi host where the virtual machine located, select Configure -> Storage Adapters.
-Select the “iSCSI iSCSI Software Adapter”
-Click “Rescan Adapter” and wait until process finish.
-Then click “Rescan Storage…” and wait until process finish.

3.    Navigate to the Virtual Machine file folder inside the TS6000 iSCSI volume datastore from the vCenter/ESXi Datastore explorer.

Re-register the virtual machine back to the inventory.

4.    Navigate to the re-registered virtual machine from the virtual machine inventory.
Click on Snapshots -> Manage Snapshots

5.    Select the snapshot that was taken by the Buffalo Snapshot Agent, click “Revert to”

    Click OK to confirm.

The virtual machine should now be reverted to the state when the TS6000 iSCSI snapshot was taken.