VMware has published an article on vSphere SMB blog concerning VDP advanced (VDPA) – an advanced backup solution from VMware. The product follows per CPU licensing model and offers 8TB of deduplicated backup capacity.
There are apparently some myths around which are explained in the article. One of them is agentless vs with-agent approach for backing up Exchange or SQL workloads or with a possibility to use Instant recovery vs recovery suing CBT (6times faster than normal full recovery).
There is also another thing that the article is pointing out. It's the fact that the VDPA is actually able to initiate a restore job with verification and after trigger an e-mail report from this job. This job needs to be planified separately from the backup job, let's say once a week. Veeam has Sure Backup where a “virtual lab” – sandbox environment is used where you can define the backed up VMs which needs to be verified. Or recently my recent review of Unitrends enterprise backup, where this recovery verification is possible as well. Recovery verification is important, even more than the actual backup….
There is so many backup products around since few years now that the end user needs really to start with the criteria that are needed for the company depending on DR scenarios etc. Which criteria? Let's name just a few:
- Fast backup (using CBT – changed block tracking / files with a CTK extension) – first full, then incrementals only, to keep up with the backup window.
- Fast recovery – Instant recovery, or recovery with CBT which would allows (in the case of VDPA) recovery up to 6 times faster than traditional solutions.
- SQL, Exchange and other DBs – here we need quiescing for the DB. Usually the backup solution provides a solution or you must use script to stop the DB before the backup and then have another script to start the DB after the backup job has finished. Additionally you would install an agent in those systems. SQL server for example then uses a full recovery model where the transaction logs are preserved until you back it up.
- Replication – Most of the products offers Replication capabilities where you can replicate without needing hardware based replication.
There is certainly more, but those are the principal ones. You can also use in-built tools for example in SQL server to backup the DBs from within the product. Cheaper, but it adds complexity.
VDPA product targets SMBs but IMHO, $1095 per CPU does not seems to me as really SMB product considering that other backup vendors like Veeam, Nakivo, PHD or Trilead might offer the same or more for less.
The full article called Debunking Myths About vSphere Data Protection is here.