So, continuing on a post I did for the PHD Virtual backup and recovery solution, which can be used to protect your VMware vSphere environment I wanted to give more detail on the replication and export features of the product. It doesn’t have to be said but backup and recovery is key in any data protection suite. Now if you can couple backup and recovery with replication and provide a means to transfer that critical backup data to a remote location for disaster recovery (DR), you’ll have a much more complete solution.
PHD Virtual Backup backs its data up directly to disk. This presents an advantage from going directly to tape because now with any replication process the data can also be moved to tape media using another backup product that can backup to tape media. The PHD Virtual Backup solution comes with replication built in and is easy to setup and configure. They also include an Exporter for moving backups out of the virtual backup appliance (VBA) to an external folder location.
Figure 1 – Backup plus replication
Figure 2 – Export to disk then backup to tape
Setting up the replication requires a secondary (VBA) at a remote location. Once the secondary VBA is setup and on the network you’ll have to:
- Go to the “Connectors” tab under Configuration on the Source backup appliance. Select the “Enable share for VM Replication and/or Exporter” checkbox then set a password for the phd user.
- Next go to the Destination VBA and Add the Source VBA under the Replication tab providing your particular information as shown below.
Now the heavy lifting is done. All that’s left is to create the replication job. This is easily done by going to the Replication area and selecting the VM’s you’d like to replicate from the “Virtual Machines Available for Replication” tab as shown below.
Click the Replicate button and a wizard driven process for creating the job appears. Provide the appropriate information like job name, storage location, network settings, and scheduling parameters then Start the job. Watch the process here on video.
The replication process creates a VM at the destination then replications the latest VM data from the most current backup. Once the replication process has completed you can test the replicated VM backup or start a failover in the case of a disaster. You could even use this as a means to migrate VM’s across the network for planned moves. And what makes this even better is that your using a single product to do backups, recoveries, and replication for disaster recovery or migrations that’s excessible from the vSphere client.