From vDR to VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP)


VMware has made some changes on the virtual machine data protection side again transitioning from VMware Data Recovery (vDR). VMware Data Protection (VDP) is the name of this new incarnation backup product which has been built on EMC’s Avamar technology. As an Avamar customer I was pretty excited to hear that VMware was embracing it for it’s own data protection solution under the covers. I’ll get into more details but if your a current Avamar user don’t get too excited. VDP and the Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE) are not the same.

VDP will support 100 virtual machines per virtual backup appliance (VBA). A total of 10 virtual backup appliances will be supported per vCenter. Each virtual backup appliance will also be able to backup a maximum of 8 simultaneous VM guests at a time. Like with vDR you will want to configure the VBA appropriately with cpu and ram. You also have to configure the backup store but with this solution you will not have the flexibility of using shared storage or vmdk. The VBA will only use vmdk in .5TB, 1TB, or 2TB configurations. And once you set the backup store size it can’t be changed. Even though there is some loss in configuration setting you will get a more standard robust solution which do present other benefits. And don’t forget you can scale out with more virtual backup appliances for added capacity, compute and memory resource.

The disappointment for me, a current Avamar customer, is that there is NO integration with Avamar. This means you can’t replicate to Avamar nor can you add the VDP to the Avamar Enterprise Manager for centralized monitoring, reporting and management. This saddens me greatly but maybe this will change in the future. My fingers are crossed. VMware has also made VDP management much more visually appealing than EMC has with Avamar. As I saw the screens for configuring backups, retention times, etc for VDP, I wondered why hasn’t EMC done this with it’s interface? Oh well. VDP should be a hit when customers get there hands on it.

In summary:

Good:

  • Avamar at it’s core with great deduplicaition
  • Management visually nice and intuitive
  • Scalable (10x 2TB virtual backup appliances per vCenter)

Bad:

  • Backup store destination is not as flexible
  • No Avamar integration (Only Avamar customers might see this as a bad thing)

Chad Sakacc created an awesome video that shows VDP in action here. Check it out if you haven’t already.

 

 

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  1. James Brown

    VMware has a Catch 22 situation with both VDR & VDP. If you are using VSphere 5.1 then VDR isn’t supported. However, it works but again not supported from VMware if you run into a serious issue. VDP on the other hand is supported in VSphere 5.1 but not in standalone mode if you want to deploy it to a certain architecture like your DMZ. It forces you to make your architecture work with it through SSO & Active Directory. So………..I am stuck with VDR in an unsupported role until VDP can house that option.

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