I'm in the planning stages for our new vSphere4/NetApp build-out that should be happening as soon as both the new media and ordered hardware arrives. I've been tasked with designing the backup solution/policy that will go along with this build. Here's some background...
-2 vSphere4 hosts (Dell blades) 1GB and 10GB ethernet connections
-NetApp storage on the backend -- NFS or iSCSI has yet to be determined, as it's all part of the storage/backup policy I'm coming up with.
Since I haven't had the luxury of any hands on experience, unlike many of the products beta testers, with vSphere4 yet (or SMVI as our current build-out is small, and uses agent-based backup to TSM)+ I'm curious as to what experience anyone has had, specifically with SMVI on vSphere4 and how that compares, to VMWare Data Recovery? +
*Is one hands-down better than the other? (if yes, why?) *
I learn (and make my best decisions) when I can put software through the paces, hands on, etc. and will most certainly be doing that with this build out, but until Christmas in May arrives, I'm limited to white papers.....
Any insight is greatly appreciated....
Sr. Infrastructure Specialist
National Geographic Society, Washington, DC
cbundy .at. ngs .dot. org
Having played with both, I find each has benefits. The offloading of the snaps via SMVI is very nice, but I hate having to snap each VM on the volume at once. It hits a nasty IO penalty if you have lots of VMs... but it is relatively fast and the footprint is nice and small.
Conversely, with VMware DR it runs like a typical backup tool with a VA that drives the data moving. I'm happy with the first release of this, but it does have limitations so you will need to try it out. Mainly it's around size/count of VMs that you can protect per instance, so you will want to weight that part carefully. Overall, the thing is pretty decent at speed and the dedupe rates are nice.
Thomas H. Bryant III
Director, Advanced Technology & Products
VMware Communities User Moderator
I think for small environment, Data Recovery should be good. SMVI is targeted at the storage level to manage the VM backup, but my previous experience on POC with the Netapp box was experiencing time out during SMVI. you may want to try this out personally to find out more
Thanks to you both. Having to snap the entire datastore at once is a factor to consider, although I'm not sure that it would be too much of a deterrent for us. Considering the size of the shop, I'm still leaning towards VMWare Data Recovery... I'm glad that some people are having good luck with it.
Hopefully I'll get to test hands-on shortly, crossing my fingers.