I'm new to Vsphere data protection and wonder if someone could help answer my question
When taking a backup using the vsphere data protection the VM is power off during the process.
is their a way to keep the VM alive while taking the backup?
It's not like what you think about VDP, you can take VM backup when VM is online. Refer the below document to take VM backup when it's power on,
How To: vSphere Data Protection – Part 2: Backup & Restore ..