What is VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP)?

vSphere Data Protection is a VMware provided disk-based backup and restore solution that’s fully integrated into vCenter Server. It replaced VMware Data Recovery, which was deprecated with the release of vSphere 5.1, which included VDP. The core of VDP is built on EMC Avamar technology and vSphere Essentials Plus and higher licenses carried entitlements for VDP.

Overview

VDP is an appliance form factor that is delivered in the OVA file format. Each VDP appliance supports backup for up to 100 VMs and VDP scales out to a maximum of 20 VDP appliances per vCenter Server.

However, each ESXi host can only run a single VDP appliance. This all results in fairly limited scalability of the entire solution: 100 VMs * 20 VDP Appliances = 2.000 VMs. To put this number in context, vCenter Server 6.5 supports 35.000 registered VMs per vCenter Server.

In practice, this scalability issue was not that big of a problem though, because VDP was mainly targeted at smaller environments. Most large environments rely on third-party solutions for data protection, like Vembu BDR Suite.

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VDP

Source: https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2014/01/backup-data-storage-for-vdp.html

vSphere Data Protection End of Life

On April 5th, 2017, VMware announced the End of Availability (EOA) of VDP. vSphere 6.5 would be the last version supporting VDP and vSphere 6.7 would not support it. VMware decided to step out of the data protection market entirely and handed data protection back to the third party ecosystem. This means VDP customers need to migrate their data protection solution into a new 3rd party product. The most recent version, vSphere Data Protection 6.1, will be generally supported until 2020/03/12 and receive technical guidance until 2022/03/12.

The challenge of migrating a data protection solution

The biggest challenge with moving to a new data protection solution is the lack of interoperability between VDP and a new solution. To support the recoverability requirements of the business, given the retention policies, customers will need to keep VDP up and running in case a data restore is needed within that given timeframe.

If, for example, the retention policy states that monthly backups need to be saved for one year, customers need to keep VDP up and running for at least a year after the final monthly backup is created. If VDP would be removed from the environment, there would be no way of recovering data.

How to achieve complete data protection with Vembu BDR Suite?

VDP has always been a fairly rudimentary solution for protecting your data. It lacks some
of the features that modern businesses rely on to meet their recoverability and business continuity requirements.

Vembu BDR Suite offers complete data protection and site failover for all your workloads, ranging from VMware based Virtual Machines, Hyper-V Virtual Machines, Physical Windows Servers, Workstations and even for data stored in Office 365 & G Suite(Beta).

VMware Backup & Replication

Vembu BDR Suite includes VMware Backup & Replication to protect your VMware environment. It connects either directly to an ESXi host, or to vCenter Server. With just a few simple steps, it offers full data protection using agentless backups.

Vembu’s VMware Backup & Replication leverages the VMware vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP) framework and provides very fast backups and restorations. Enhanced technologies such as Direct SAN and Changed Block Tracking considerably reduce the strain of running backups on your environment and the time it takes to complete backups.

VMware Backup & Replication even allows you to boot VMs directly from backup with
recovery time in less than a minute through the Quick VM Recovery feature.

VM Replication allows you to replicate your backup data to another site to enable site failover and failback. This delivers an easy to consume DR solution that protects your critical business applications. Failover and Failback are fully automated and even supports re-IP mapping of your VMs if that is required for a successful failover.

VMware Backup & Replication offers a very rich feature set. If you want to learn more please visit https://www.vembu.com/vmware-backup/ for a complete overview of everything Vembu has to offer!

Be sure to download a 30-day free trial of Vembu BDR Suite here.

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