Link to home
Start Free TrialLog in
Avatar of ThorinO
ThorinOFlag for United States of America

asked on

Anyone using VMware Data Recovery in production? Good idea?

The environment will be 5 ESX 4.1 Enterprise hosts and 1 ESXi 4.1 free host. I would like to be able to backup all the VMs in a cost effective way. I would like to be able to do incrementals, have data retention, and possibly off-site backups. I have watched some YouTube videos on VDR but have not set it up or used it yet.


I am also considering Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Virtual Edition but there is a huge cost associated with it, especially since VDR is free. However you always get what you pay for so I am wondering if anyone is using VRD in production and how it is working.


I would be backing up to something via a UNC share, no tapes or anything fancy. Ultimately I would like to be able to do a full system restore as well as file level restores for Windows and Linux guests.
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Avatar of Prashant K
Prashant K
Flag of India image

Link to home
membership
This solution is only available to members.
To access this solution, you must be a member of Experts Exchange.
Start Free Trial
SOLUTION
Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Flag of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland image

Link to home
membership
This solution is only available to members.
To access this solution, you must be a member of Experts Exchange.
Start Free Trial
VMware Data Recovery is a good option when you take cost effectiveness into consideration.

A single VDR Virtual Appliance can backup upto 100 VMs and can use data deduplication techniques based on vStorage APIs for vSphere.

File Level Restore for Linux VMs is available with version 1.2 of VDR.
version 1.2.0.1131 is the latest stable version. It integrates well with vSphere Client, backup and resrtores are quick, and DeDupe works well.

I would also consider Veeam Backup, VizionCore vRanger Pro and phd virtual eSXpress, all are available for download, free trials - Veeam Backup is easiest to setup.

Some of our clients use, two products. vDR and another.
Personally, I wouldn't use Acronis Backup & Recovery 10 Virtual Edition, as it's new in the market place compared to the leaders Veeam Backup, VizionCore vRanger Pro and phd virtual eSXpress.
Well acronis itself is not new, but the most important point is they have a good support team.
Another gotcha is that the free ESXi you are planning to have in the environment cannot be backed up by VMware Data Recovery as the hypervisor needs to have either Advanced, Enterprise or Enterprise Plus license for VDR to work.
SOLUTION
Link to home
membership
This solution is only available to members.
To access this solution, you must be a member of Experts Exchange.
Start Free Trial
Avatar of ThorinO

ASKER

We already own the enterprise licenses so I figure I might as well take advantage of the product rather than throwing more money at other software.

I used vRanger 4.x and it was just awful and wouldn't touch it again. I know v5 had added features but the product was just awful and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Veem was even worse.

I have used BESR but it isn't cost effective.

For the number of VMs we have Acronis doesn't make good cost sense.

At the end of the day backup software is one of those things I want to keep fairly simple since its one of those things you generally need in emergency. With that being said I don't want to go with free for cost sake and run into restore problems. I suppose ill just give it a go and see what happens.
Hi

When you say "awful", what do you mean by that? Not user friendly? Not good products?

Because, those are the 2 best products in the market for VMware Backup.

Jail
Avatar of ThorinO

ASKER

The backups were incredibly slow. We were migrating away from BESR to it but there was no way to make them go faster. BESR works differently in that it is able to do incrementals on change whereas vRanger was always doing fulls. They said v5 would improve this but we chose to not use it even after buying it.

The interface was nice, support was good, but overall the product did not work in the way we needed it to.
Hi

Sorry by Veeam have this feature since v4 and now is v5.

I have a 2Tb backup that takes only a couple of hours to finish.

In some VM incremental, backups I have only 5/10m of backup. Like DCs as example.

As an example I will add a printscreen one of my backup for Veeam(with 900Gb)

Of course any backup depends on the network, the Storage(where you put you backups) and Disks speed. All this can have many difference in a backup environment.

Jail
Veeam-Backup-Stats.jpg
Hi

Forget to inform that this backup is from a version v4.1.1

Jail
Avatar of ThorinO

ASKER

I just setup VDR and it is doing a backup of 2 VMs for testing purposes. The other thing I need to figure out is how to get a copy of this data off-site.

The VMs live at a colo which we have a 1Mbit VPN connection to. That location has a 35Mbit connection burstable to 1Gbit. Our corporate office has a 65Mbit connection.

My thought is to utilize the bandwidth and copy the data over the WAN to the corporate office. I know there is nothing built into VDR to do this for me, but could I do some crude copy like FTP or something?

My concern is because everything is deduplicated and has a backup Windows rather than a scheduled time that it would be difficult to get a reliable off-site backup that is constantly updated.
We use ALL the backup products, and they are as FAST as your infrastructure.

The fastest is NetApp Snapshots, with SnapMirror to Off-site SAN for DR.

ftp or robocopy of the vDR CIFs share. Specify the time-window for your vDR backups, and then at another time-window, a robopy job with /mirror option or incremental option, you first copy robocopy job will be the largest.
Avatar of ThorinO

ASKER

I guess I will have to test it out, I could cut a windows out a night to not do vDR backups and try the robocopy like you suggest. My concern is that the changed data will be large, not sure how the files are broken down yet.
vRanger does not always do full backups.  It can be configured to do full and synthetic incrementals so that it doesn't copy deleted blocks, empty space, etc...  Not sure why you're doing full backups but full/incremental is extremely efficient.

BESR has a virtual edition so it may be cost effective depending on license but in our testing it is 200%-300% slower doing restores since you have to use vmware converter and the process goes at about 400-800MB/s, way slower then vRanger or Veeam. I was on the beta test group for BESR and vRanger does much better job and is agentless.

My $.02

Avatar of ThorinO

ASKER

vDR seems to be doing a good job so far, I have also tried the file level restore in Windows which was really easy. I still have to test a full system restore but I assume that will go as planned as well.

The deduplication has saved a lot of space and I am very happy with that. I am going to setup Email alerts per the blog below. I realize that it is not as robust as some paid options previously mentioned, however even at $500 per socket for say vRanger we would end up paying $2500 to backup ~20 VMs.


http://blogs.vmware.com/uptime/2010/09/would-you-like-an-email-when-vmware-data-recovery-finishes-a-job.html

With my bad experiance with both vRanger and Veem in the past I am not inclined to spend that kind of money for their product.
Glad you are happy with vDR it's a good product and getting better, watch out for new features in the future releases.
Yes, at present email alerts are missing and VMware are aware of this "feature", but our concentrating on the stability of the engine. Look for new features in the future. (one reasin to keep you Support maintenance in check!)