Better backups for VMware: VADP + CBT

May 6, 2010 – The fantastic efficiencies of virtual servers can be compromised by poorly designed backup and recovery schemes. And storage specialists tasked with optimizing virtual environments (or the poor server specialists that inherited the job) know full well that backup and recovery can be the weak links in a virtual infrastructure.

The original solution to this problem –VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) – is, in short, inadequate. (VCB is deployed in less than 10% of VMware shops, according to Wikibon estimates.) Virtually all backup/recovery software vendors have been addressing the problem, with or without VCB, but VMware has stepped up to the plate with some APIs and related technology that promise to significantly improve backup and recovery in VMware environments: vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) and Change Block Tracking (CBT).

VADP, which is the replacement for VCB, integrates backup functionality via vStorage APIs, and CBT (available in vSphere 4.0) enables high-speed block-level incremental and differential backups.

At the moment, six vendors’ backup/recovery products have been certified with VADP:

CA (ARCserve)
EMC (Avamar)
IBM (Tivoli Storage Manager)
Symantec (NetBackup and Backup Exec)
Veeam (Veeam Backup)
Vizioncore (vRanger)

VADP and CBT are not standalone products to be used for backup; rather, they’re designed to be integrated into third-party backup applications.

For more information on VADP, start with this series of articles from Wikibon members: “What’s next for VMware backup” on the wikibon.org site.

And if you’re really interested in improving your virtual server backups, join us for an upcoming Webcast, “Backups That Work,” sponsored by Veeam. The link provides more information and a registration page.

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posted by: Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson, Editor-in-Chief
by Dave Simpson
Editor-in-Chief

Dave Simpson has been the Editor-in-Chief of InfoStor since its inception in 1997. He previously held editorial positions at publications such as Datamation, Systems Integration, and Digital News and Review. He can be contacted at dsimpson@quinstreet.com

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