Sunday, March 17, 2013

VMware Data Protection and Data Protection Advanced

With the release of vSphere 5.1, VMware have announce a new backup appliance based on EMC Avamar.  However there are also some limitations to the free vApp have.

Recently Data Protection has release an Advanced version which was announced on the blog.

To help everyone have a better understanding of the two I have done a summary as below.

Here is some of the FAQ which you can read from here for more information.

Below is a summary of the two editions.

VDP Advanced
Per CPU licensed
Included with vSphere Essential Plus and above
Included in
vSphere Enterprise with Operation Management and above
Max deduplicated storage per appliance
3 favours of 0.5TB, 1TB, 2TB
Dynamically provisioned up to 8TB
Max supported VMs per appliance
Max appliances per vCenter
Full VM and file level recovery
SQL & Exchange server agents
Migration from VMware Data Recovery
Yes, Data only backup jobs require recreation

As you can see from above, the main difference of the two other than scalability is the agents provided for Exchange and SQL servers for application consistency as well as the dynamic provision possible to increase the disk which in the basic version you will have to choose out of the 3 favours and you are basically stuck.

Also to note, you would need to use the Migration Utility tool to migrate from VDR to VDP before using it to VDP Advanced.  This is also stated here.  As stated on the Administration guide, on page 88, you would need to use VDP to do the migration before upgrading to VDP Advanced as migration tool is only available in VDP.

Many have asked can VDP or VDP Advanced replace any your existing backup solution or how does it differentiate from normal backup solution?  The answer to this it does not.  It compliment them.  VDP is more suited for small environment or even remote offices where there are not many VMs and setting up an enterprise backup solution would be too costly.

Where VDP Advanced will be able to meet SMB requirements where there are more workloads, however both editions does not do tape out so you would definitely work with your existing enterprise backup to do that.

Have a thought about this you would have your in cycle backup already in your environment, however at time you might want some short term backup stored some place where you can easily retrieve them, and perform a restore fast rather via a archived tape.  Also to create new backup jobs out of backup cycle might not be appropriate.

Hope this helps better understand how VDP helped and better fit your environment.

At the time of writing, VDP Advanced has all the features functions of the basic VDP and also have resolved some bugs which might have found in the basic VDP.  One of which was the issued with Windows 2008 R2 found in VDP which is documented here.  Currently resolution is to disable disk.EnableUUId, this disable VSS application quiescing as stated in another KB listed in the one above, an update will be release soon to address this for the basic VDP.

Do note this is also affecting not just VDP but also other backup solutions.  Do check with your backup vendor if you encounter the same.

Update 26th Mar 2013
According to this blog post, the issue with WIndows 2008 R2 issue which I mentioned above for VDP is resolved in VDPA and VDP will be address later soon.   The post also show how you can consider to backup Oracle Database with some manual intervention which I see can be automated with some scripts.

VDP Advanced is only included in vSphere Enterprise with Operation Management and above.

Update 28th Mar 2013
According to Preetam Zarey, he has tested that if you perform a reboot of the VM where your disk.EnabledUUId is already true, it could be cause by the OS not recognizing it.  This is based on this KB.  However if this does not solve your problem then you would need to set it to false.

Update 8th Apr 2013
Another workaround after editing the vmx file, do a vMotion to have the effect loaded.  Here is a article you can refer to.

Update 16th Apr 2013
Added VDP Administration guide stating migration utility tool available onlyin VDP not VDP Advanced.

Update 26th Apr 2013
VDP 5.1.10 has been released to resolve Windows 2008 R2 backup with some additional  enhancements.  Refer to my post here.

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