Javik
Contributor
Contributor

Trying to understand the obstinance regarding tape drives

Is there anyone that can give a better reason (or excuse) as to why VMWare makes such a big deal about not supporting tape backup drives? I don't understand what all the fuss is about. The company has really smart programmers that seem to be able to virtualize anything onto anything else, and can even move a running virtualized operating system from one hypervisor to another.

Yet for some reason these same programming wizards cannot grasp the intricacies of a boring stream device that's been around for some 40 years now. Huh? I don't get it. What's so complicated about a tape drive vs a disk on the same interface bus standard?

Stream devices can tolerate the data inflow slowing down to a trickle. (It often happens when server hard drives have to grind through thousands of tiny 1 kilobyte files.) So it doesn't seem like it's a problem with the hypervisor not keeping up with the drive and losing sync with it.

I get the feeling the VMWare corporation just doesn't see it as a priority anymore to support every piece of server hardware under the sun. VMWare is no longer a newcomer to the server market, trying to get their foot in the door with this new and untried hyperthingy, where they had to support everything their customers might be using in order to get managers to allow VMWare to be used. Now, VMWare is established, so they can start dictating the terms of what is supported. And if you don't like it, it's not their problem.

The same thing happened with Microsoft and Windows 95, which could run on virtually anything from a 386 to a Pentium at the time. With their new market established, Microsoft started dictating the terms of the agreement, and newer versions of windows would completely stop supporting devices that worked with prior versions of Windows, such as happened when XP replaced 98, and then Vista replaced XP.

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markzz
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

All of these organisations you mention are in it to make a $..

Therefore they continue to develop new features and generally try to stay ahead of the competition.

Your question is really about backup..VMware don't really want to be a backup provider.. They dropped VCB which was a fiddly backup method but one that worked quite well once setup correctly. VMware's replacement backup product for  VCB was targeted at small sites. VMware data protection..which was appliance based and as now would only write to effectively a disk pool..

Stepping up to the next level of backup in the VMware space is where you install your choice of product and use to the VMware Storage API's to effectively grab the virtual machines..or the CBT (block change) data from a guest.

Personally I would not use VMware's data protection appliance. There are better solutions available many of which are free. (with some limitations)

These can write to disk or tape. To these products Disk or tape it doesn't matter. It's just a storage medium..

Why wouldn't VMware be too bothered about supporting tape storage mediums.

* They are not a backup provider.

* Tape Technologies are a technology of the past. Hard drive, both spinning and SSD are the future.

* VMware are owned by EMC. EMC own DataDomain. (NetApp have a similar offering to DataDomain).

What to do????

Look at the Veeam Backup and Replication.. Even the free version can do scheduled backups with a bit of scripting. (although it can not access the CBT function)

Buy the full version of Veeam it can access all features..

There are many backup products on the market all with similar features, but the Veeam products are quite good..

If your in a larger shop you might well be a TSM shop.. Again IBM have TSM 4 VE which is an excellent product although quite complex to setup.

Where I suspect your at !!

If your just starting out and you want to have a fiddle stick with Veeam Backup and Replication. Go the free version and learn about the scripting side.  Buy an icy cage and some 6TB NAS hard drives.. This will be a short term backup solution as you grow into virtualisation.

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