vSphere® Data Protection is a backup and recovery solution designed for vSphere environments. Powered by EMC Avamar, it provides agent-less, image-level virtual machine backups to disk. It also provides application-aware protection for business-critical Microsoft applications (Exchange, SQL Server, SharePoint) along with WAN-efficient, encrypted backup data replication. vSphere Data Protection is fully integrated with vCenter Server and vSphere Web Client.
Efficient Backup and Recovery
Reliably protect virtual machines and business-critical applications while minimizing backup windows and storage consumption to lower backup infrastructure costs.
- Variable-length deduplication: Achieves very high deduplication rates and minimizes backup storage requirements by up to 75 percent compared to fixed-length deduplication technologies. Deduplication is performed across all virtual machines backed up by the same virtual appliance.
- Application-aware backups: Application-level backups for Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft SQL Server are performed using a lightweight in-guest agent that ensures application-consistent backups and provides granular recovery.
- Integration with EMC Data Domain Systems: Increase scalability by backing up data to a Data Domain system; increase backup efficiency using DD Boost software.
- Automated Backup Verification: Scheduled automated virtual machine restores provide the ability to test backup integrity.
Fast Predictable Recovery
- Single step recovery: Synthetic full backups enable simple browsing of restore points for a single step recovery of virtual machines.
- Changed block restore: Reduces recovery time compared to full image restores by only restoring the delta of changed virtual machine blocks.
- WAN-efficient, encrypted backup data replication: Variable-length deduplication along with compression and encryption ensures that backups are optimized for WAN transmission.
- Direct-to-host emergency restore: Restore a virtual machine directly to a vSphere host even if vCenter Server is offline.
Ease of Use
vSphere Data Protection is specifically engineered for the virtualization and administration capabilities of the vSphere platform. Streamline backup operations by configuring and managing backups through the vSphere web client:
- Linux-based virtual appliance: Easily install and configure backups.
- Wizard-driven backup policies: Assign backup jobs to individual virtual machines or larger containers such as a cluster or resource pool, with specific schedules and retention policies.
- Self-Service File Level Recovery: Enable guest OS administrators to restore individual files and folders.
- vSphere Web Client integration: Provides end-to-end backup management from the vSphere web client.
vSphere Data Protection can be deployed to VMFS, NFS and Virtual SAN datastores. Management of vSphere Data Protection is done using the vSphere Web Client. vSphere Data Protection is deployed as a virtual appliance with four processors (vCPUs) and at least 4GB of memory depending on the backup data capacity of the appliance. Several backup data capacity configurations are available ranging from .5TB to 8TB per vSphere Data Protection appliance. Capacity requirements are based on the number of protected virtual machines, data quantities, backup data retention periods, and data change rates, all of which can vary considerably.
Image Level Backup
vSphere Data Protection (VDP) creates image-level (entire virtual machine) backups. The VDP appliance communicates with the vCenter Server to take a snapshot of a virtual machine’s .vmdk files. Deduplication takes place within the VDP appliance. Each VDP appliance can simultaneously backup up to 8 virtual machines if the internal proxy is used, or up to 24 virtual machines if external proxies are deployed.
To create and edit a backup job, use the Backup tab of the vSphere Data Protection interface in the vSphere Web Client. Individual VMs and containers such as data centers, clusters and resource pools can be selected for backup. With containers, all virtual machines inside at the time the job runs are backed up. Virtual machines that are subsequently added to the container are included in the next job run. Likewise, those removed from the container are no longer included in backup jobs. Backups jobs can be scheduled to run daily, weekly or monthly. It is also possible to manually run a backup job.
Changed Block Tracking (CBT) Restore
vSphere Data Protection uses Changed Block Tracking (CBT) during image-level backups. CBT is also utilized with image-level restores in some cases to improve speed and efficiency. vSphere Data Protection automatically evaluates the workload between both restore methods—restoring all blocks or calculating and restoring only the changed blocks—and uses the most efficient method.
Virtual machines can be restored to a different location and/or renamed as part of the restore process. (Note that CBT is not used when restoring a virtual machine to an alternate location.)
Application-Aware, Guest-Level Backup and Restore
vSphere Data Protection supports application-aware, guest-level backups for Microsoft SQL Server, Exchange , and SharePoint. Agents are installed that enable backup and restore of the application databases. For Microsoft Exchange, individual mailboxes can also be restored.
Backup Data Replication
Backup data replication provides an additional level of protection against data loss and enables disaster recovery if the source VDP appliance is lost. Replication jobs determine which backups are replicated, when and where the backups are replicated. Backups created with a VDP appliance can be replicated to another VDP appliance and to EMC Avamar. Replication of backup data stored on a Data Domain system is also supported. Only unique backup data segments are replicated to minimize network bandwidth utilization and the replication stream is encrypted for security.
Integration with Data Domain Systems
vSphere Data Protection can be configured to use Data Domain systems as a backup target. This is beneficial because Data Domain systems can provide additional scale, global deduplication and improved backup efficiency through DD Boost (VDP includes DD Boost libraries). Backup data replication can be configured between two VDP appliances with separate Data Domain targets. Replication is configured and backup metadata is maintained in the VDP appliance, while replication of backup data occurs directly between the Data Domain appliances. Only unique data segments are replicated minimizing network utilization.