PHD Virtual Backup has another update that brings with it features that help enhance an already great backup solution for VMware virtualized guests. PHD Virtual Backup 6.1 now has a feature called Rollback Recovery. With this feature you’ll be able to do a full VM restore from a PHD Virtual Backup much faster than you could before. With Rollback Recovery you’ll get a much better RTO than doing the typically full VM recovery. This is because the PHD Virtual Backup Rollback Recovery feature takes advantage of Change Block Tracking (CBT) to only restore changes to the virtual machine disk files.
The process is really simple and if you’ve use the PHD Virtual Backup product before then your just a click away from being able to do a Rollback Recovery yourself by changing the “Recovery Type” in the restore wizard.
The only caveat to Rollback Recovery is that the virtual machine needs to be off. This should be to no suprise since it’s used to do a full virtual machine recovery which is going to be a requirement for pretty much every other product out there. It’s just key to note because PHD Virtual Backup has other means for doing a VM recovery like Instant VM Recovery or by using Replication. You now have one more option under your belt when making those tough decisions about VM data protection and recovery.
When should you use Rollback Recovery over Instant VM Recovery?
Well Instant VM Recovery is used to create a virtual machine which uses the VMDK files from the backup store location. In most cases this could run slower than the production storage location because customers may use slower/cheaper disks for the backup store. So while you will get a much faster recovery time, you may have to run in a degrade state of performance. But you could always use Storage vMotion in the background to move the VMDK files back to your product store if your licensed for that option. But just because Instant VM Recovery lets you power on a virtual machine quicker doesn’t always mean that application will perform well enough to truly say that it’s usable.
Your decision to use the Rollback Recovery feature will be most affective when your virtual machine needs a full restore but the virtual machines files are still accessible. Like in the case where the operating system is totally corrupted and cannot bootup. With Rollback Recovery your going to have a longer downtime window when compared to Instant VM Recovery but once your recovered there would be no other tasks to perform. When your system come online it will be restored to it’s default location and state of the backup you choose. PHD Virtual is saying that you could fully recover a virtual machine 100x times faster by only having to move 1–5% (on average) the amount of data than with a traditional backup. This could also be faster than doing the Storage vMotion after an Instant VM Recovery.
In either case, Instant VM Recovery or Rollback Recovery there will be data loss. How much will depend on your backup interval and which backup you choose to restore from.
Some other noteable features in 6.1 are:
- Instant Recovery for Full/Incremental Backup Mode: So now you can do Instant VM Recovery from more than just the “Virtual Full” backup option.
- Reporting Enhancements: You can now export job history in csv format that can be used for reporting and send to others who don’t have access to the PHD Virtual Backup console. And there a “last backup status” column which shows up now in the hypervisor inventory tool. This gives you the benefit of quickly seeing what virtual machines have been backuped or not in your environment. Even though this is a small addition to the product update, knowing whether your compliant, at risk or not at a glance in a constantly changing environment is HIGHLY benefitial.
- Job Copy: Which lets you copy a job and all it’s configuration setting to make you more efficient when creating multiple jobs that will have the same settings.
To find out more on PHD Virtual Backup go to http://phdvirtual.com
I would recommend checking out this “What’s new in PHD Backup 6.1 video” from PHD Virtual.