vSphere Data Protection is a backup and recovery solution designed for vSphere environments. Powered by EMC Avamar, it provides agentless, image-level virtual-machine backups to disk. It also provides application-aware protection for business-critical Microsoft applications (such as Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint) along with WAN-efficient, encrypted backup data replication. vSphere Data Protection is fully integrated with vCenter Server and vSphere Web Client.

VDP deployed as a virtual appliance

Efficient Backup and Recovery

Reliably protect virtual machines and business-critical applications. Minimize backup windows and storage consumption to lower backup infrastructure costs. Key capabilities include:

  • Variable-length deduplication — Achieves very high deduplication rates and minimizes backup storage requirements by up to 75 percent compared to fixed-length deduplication. Deduplication is performed across all virtual machines backed up by the same virtual appliance.
  • Application-aware backups — Helps ensure application-consistent backups and provides granular recovery. Application-level backups for Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft SQL Server are performed using a lightweight, in-guest agent.
  • Integration with EMC Data Domain Systems — Increases scalability by backing up data to a Data Domain system; increases backup efficiency using DD Boost software.
  • Automated backup verification — Provides the ability to test backup integrity via scheduled, automated virtual machine restores.

Fast Predictable Recovery

Key capabilities include the following:

  • Single step recovery — Enables simple browsing of restore points for a single-step recovery of virtual machines via synthetic full backups
  • Changed block restore — Reduces recovery time compared to full image restores by only restoring the changed virtual machine blocks.
  • WAN-efficient, encrypted, backup-data replication — Ensures that backups are optimized for WAN transmission due to variable-length deduplication along with compression and encryption.
  • Direct-to-host emergency restore — Restores a virtual machine directly to a vSphere host even if vCenter Server is offline.

Ease of Use

vSphere Data Protection is engineered for the virtualization and administration capabilities of the vSphere platform. Streamline backup operations by configuring and managing backups through the vSphere web client. Key attributes:

  • Linux-based virtual appliance — Simplifies installing and configuring backups.
  • Wizard-driven backup policies — Assigns 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 — Enables guest OS administrators to restore individual files and folders.
  • vSphere Web Client integration — Provides end-to-end backup management from the vSphere web client.

Technical Details 

vSphere Data Protection can be deployed to Virtual Machine File System (VMFS), Network File System (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. You can also run manual backups.

 

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. CBT is not used when restoring a virtual machine to an alternate location.

Backup Job Creation and Editing

Backup Restore