zenomorph
Contributor
Contributor

vSphere Backup - VDR and VCB

Hi,

I need some clarification help with vSphere VCB and VDR.

We are currently using ESX3.5 U4 with local attached storage and will be moving to vSphere with SAN. Originally our plan was to use vSphere with VCB for full VMDK backup.

However based on a recent seminar I went to on vSphere they mentioned that VCB will be retired/not available soon and vSphere uses VDR. Based on my understanding of VDR its a disk based backup solution using a Virtual Appliance loaded into vSphere that can be used to perform VMDK backups with de-duplication.

But it seems in can only do "incremental backups" and cannot do full VMDK backups, if thats the case using VDR how can I do a full VMDK restore presuming if some accidently deletes a full VMDK from the SAN. I know on VCB since it takes a full snapshot of the VMDK I can restore the full VMDK file - but with VDR can that be done? And since its a disk based backup solution it doesn't really facilitate backing to tape.

Any advice - because what we ultimately want to acheive is to be able to do a complete VMDK backup to tape but since VDR doesn;t do a full VMDK backup - only an "incremental" it cannot be done.

Cheers

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6 Replies
aandriolli
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

As a VMware field engineer I'm telling you the information on VCB being discontinued is not correct. That said, vDR let you easily recover your entire VM - meaning your full VMDK. All of its backups are full, but deduped, so they "feel" like incremental from an admin user standpoint.

There a nice video demo you can watch at here.

VMs Made in Brazil

[VMs Made in Brazil|http://communities.vmware.com/blogs/aandriolli] PS: por favor considere dar pontos a este ou qualquer outro post caso lhe seja útil.
zenomorph
Contributor
Contributor

aandriolli,

Thanks for your reply.

Excuse my ignorance but I want to clarify something then. If the vDR backs up to disk eg. we allocate a LUN on the SAN for this and I do the backup once a week - can I then backup the VMDK to tape drive if its deduped and then clear the backup LUN of all data on a weekly basis.

Then if for some reason I may for some reason need to restore the whole VMDK from tape do I first need to restore the VMDK to the backup LUN and then to the SAN where VMs are stored or how can it actually be done. Or if I want to restore a file from the VMDK can I mount the VMDK and restore a file from the VMDK thats was stored on tape.

Many thanks

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lmhealthcare
Contributor
Contributor

I can't speak to backing up the VDR vmdk, but it seems you should be able to do it.

As far as clearing the backup data every week.... don't. There is no reason to.

VDR is designed to make incremental deduped backups over time. Each backup after the first is short. If you were to clear the backups, you would then need to run fulls again, which would have a negative performance impact on your environment.

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aandriolli
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Hi Zenomorph,

You're right: you can backup the VMs to the vDR appliance, then backup the vDR VMDKs to tape. In case you need them, put them back, mount them (there's an option for it in the vDR GUI) and you're ready to restore.

Each vDR appliance can have up to 2 VMDKs of 1 TB each. You can also use RDMs if you like them, or even CIFS fileshares (yes, you can backup to
server\backups). But you shouldn't think about wipping it manually every week - vDR lets you define retention policies for each backup job, so it will pretty much do the work for you.

VMs Made in Brazil

PS: por favor considere dar pontos a este ou qualquer outro post caso lhe seja útil.

[VMs Made in Brazil|http://communities.vmware.com/blogs/aandriolli] PS: por favor considere dar pontos a este ou qualquer outro post caso lhe seja útil.
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AlbertWT
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi,

Does that means using vDR there is no options to write it to tape ?

I'm looking for offsite backup options rather than D2D only.

Thanks.

Kind Regards,

AWT

/* Any kind of comment or input would be greatly appreciated */
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Jahei
Contributor
Contributor

I Use VCB on vsphere and it works like charm. What ever your choice is,test backups regulary to avoid any problems when you need to do restorations.

Specially when using new products

-J

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