Do you currently have any backup software in your environment?
We are using image-based solution called Veeam Backup and Replication in our environment. So far, so good.
Among other interesting product features, there is one specific VB&R option regarding ISCSI storage that needs to be mentioned – Direct SAN access. Your backup/proxy server can be configured such a way, so that, VM's virtual disks data can be directly retrieved from production storage over ISCSI.
The aforesaid method provides us with completely LAN-free data retrieval mechanis that does not affect our production ESX(i) hosts or our management network.
Well, "best" is a sure way to start a vigorous discussion, but here are a few things to check into.
Hope this helps.
Message was edited by: JLackman - minor grammar update
Thanks for the input JLackman and ch1ta. I don't see a clear place to get the virtual appliance. It keeps saying it is included but I looked on the vSphere installation disc and I don't see anything related to vDP. Is there a link to where I can download the free appliance?
Also, just so you're aware, our environment is using an iSCSI shared storage system. Although I haven't read up on the vDP yet, are there any recommendations or best-practices you can provide with regard to using vDP in this type of environment that would include moving or transferring data backups offsite for diaster recovery? [In other words, we use tapes in the regular office datacenter and this, obviously, is a new type of datacenter setup that would use a much different approach to data backups and restoration.]
If you're logged into myvmware (and I think you are to post here), you should be able to download it here; VMware vSphere 5: Private Cloud Computing, Server and Data Center Virtualization
It's just a .ova you import.
As for offsite or tape backup, I don't think vDP supports this out of the box. I think I have seen several threads and blog posts objecting to this design. I think that VMware wants you to buy vCOPs Replication licensing to handle DR type scenarios.
I'd suggest checking out the VEEAM and/or UNITRENDS solutions; they might allow better offsite or tape options.