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Citrix Synchronizer Virtual Machine Backup and Recovery Explained

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The Citrix Synchronizer has the ability to backup and restore user’s PVD and custom virtual machines. By nature of a ‘shared’ virtual machine, user data is not backed up. To understand virtual machine backup and recovery, you need to understand how the client (DesktopPlayer and XenClient Engine) stores user data.

Along with the virtual machine’s System Disk (C:), when a user logs on to a virtual machine the client creates two additional virtual disks, L and U.

  • System Disk (C:) – Stores all operating system files. The client tracks files that are modified, added, or deleted and adds them to the "differencing" disk.
  • User Disk (U:) – The client stores all user settings and files on the user disk. The client tracks changes and adds them to a ‘differencing’ disk.
  • Local Disk (L:) – This disk is used for storing non-critical information such as Temporary Internet Files, Outlook archives, and data not requiring backup. This virtual disk is NOT backed up. This helps keep backups smaller thus using less resources and speeding up time for backup and restore.

When you have applied a backup policy to a virtual machine, the client will automatically upload the differencing disk to the Citrix Synchronizer. This is your backup. During the restore process the differencing disks are copied down to the client and the virtual machine is restored. It’s that simple.

By default, the backup and virtual machine files are stored on the Synchronizer in the Apache Tomcat folder,

C:Program FilesCitrixSynchronizerRepositoryUpload.

Browse down the folder and you will come to the compressed differencing disks.

Learn more: refer to the Understanding the Virtual Machine Backup Process Citrix support documentation for a detailed explanation of the Citrix Synchronizer virtual machines backup and recovery process. Great article.

This Backup and Recovery section is broken down in to the following nine procedures:


Download the complete How to Install and Configure Citrix DesktopPlayer for Mac with Citrix XenClient Enterprise Synchronizer, including Hyper-V 2012 R2 ebook here.

   

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Douglas Brown Douglas Brown, DABCC Founder and President, CTP, Microsoft MVP, and VMware vExpert, has more than 17 years of experience in virtualization, cloud, and server based computing. Prior to DABCC, Doug worked at Citrix as a Senior Systems Engineer where he developed the leading Citrix deployment system, “Methodology in a Box,” which has more than a million users. Doug is a notable industry speaker and has also been an accomplished author for the past 17 years. Douglas Brown, DABCC Founder and President, CTP, Microsoft MVP, and VMware vExpert, has more than 17 years of experience in virtualization, cloud, and server based computing. Prior to DABCC, Doug worked at Citrix as a Senior Systems Engineer where he developed the leading Citrix deployment system, “Methodology in a Box,” which has more than a million users. Doug is a notable industry speaker and has also been an accomplished author for the past 17 years.

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