Special Report

vSphere features: How VMware backup enhancements can help data backup and recovery

For several years, backup administrators have had to grapple with the problem of how to back up VMware virtual machines (VMs). VMware itself didn't do much to help admins with this chore. Its primary tool to aid in the backup process, VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), fell short of the goal of simplifying the backup process in virtual server environments. In early 2009, VMware released vSphere 4.0, which introduced new provisions for backup, such as VMware Data Recovery (VDR), Changed Block Tracking (CBT) and vStorage APIs for Data Protection. How much of an effect do these VMware backup features have on data backup and recovery? Are these new vSphere features a big step up from the previous scenario?

SearchStorage.co.UK has compiled some recent information on VMware backup and new vSphere features to help answer these questions. First, we'll take a look at the newest backup-related features in VMware vSphere and discuss in detail how they benefit data backup and recovery. Next, we'll tell you about VMware Data Recovery Manager, how to install it, how to use it and how it compares with other tools. And last, we'll explore the vStorage APIs for Data Protection and reveal why this feature is better than VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), as well as what the future of vSphere looks like.



New features in VMware vSphere that benefit data backup and recovery
 

When VMware released vSphere, the next step up from VI3, the company included several new features that have proven to be beneficial for the data backup and recovery of virtual machines. These new vSphere features include vStorage APIs, Changed Block Tracking, thin provisioning, hot-add of virtual disks, iSCSI improvements and VMware Data Recovery. Read about these enhancements to vSphere and how they can benefit your VMware backup and recovery environment.
 

 



VMware Data Recovery Manager: A guide to installing and using VDR
 

One of the most important backup-related changes introduced in vSphere is VMware Data Recovery Manager, a standalone tool that can create hot backups of VMs to any virtual disk storage attached to an ESX/ESXi host, or to any NFS/CIFS network storage server or device. Additionally, it provides data deduplication at the block level. But installing and using VDR can be a confusing and challenging process. Read this step-by-step guide on installing and using VDR as well as chart comparisons of options similar to VDR.
 



The future for VMware's vStorage APIs for Data Protection looks promising
 

As vSphere matures with newer editions, so do its features. Another popular feature released with vSphere 4.0 was vStorage APIs for Data Protection. vStorage APIs for Data Protection were designed to improve the efficiency of data backups by allowing direct integration with vSphere so you can access data without going to a third party. In this podcast, virtualization expert Eric Siebert explains how vStorage APIs are different from VCB, the main benefits of using APIs in your data backup environment, what you need to look for when using APIs and the future outlook of vSphere. Listen to the full podcast on vStorage APIs for Data Protection.

This was first published in August 2010

 

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