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Vmware backup options

Hi All,

we recently set up vmware vsphere in our envirnment. I would llike to know what my options are for VMware backup and what the best choice would be and why.

Couldy someone please advise.

Thanks
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fireburn11
Asked:
fireburn11
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1 Solution
 
bgoeringCommented:
Veeam Backup and Replication (http://www.veeam.com) seems to be one of the most popular - it was awarded "best of show" at the last VMworld. It handles backups and restores at both the image level and the file level.
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coolsport00Commented:
Depends on a few things - do you have paid version/edition of vSphere? If you do, you have access to VMware's vStorage APIs that allow 3rd party tools for VM backups. The best VM b/u solution is Veeam Backup & Replication. Storage Craft, Acronis, Symantec, Quest Vizioncore, & VCB are all other solutions you can test as well.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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coolsport00Commented:
If you have free ESXi, your b/u solution will be a bit more limited...

~coolsport00
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Veeam is happy to provide a FREE NFR server license to certified engineers, trainers, and bloggers.  It allows for the non‑production use of Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows. This license is valid for five workstations and two servers.

 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
options are:-

1. Veeam Backup andd Replication (World  Leader, and won many awards)
2. vizioncore Vranger Pro
3. phd Virtual esxPress
4. VMware vDR (maybe included in your License)

all the above require the licensed version of ESXi to operate.

there are free backup alternatives, but you must have a licensed version of vSphere ESX/ESXi
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Free Backup Tools


ghettoVCBg2 - Free alternative for backing up VMs

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-9843

http://communities.vmware.com/message/1029047

But you must have a licensed version of the software to use the above.
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fireburn11Author Commented:
Thanks guys for your input. We have licenced vsphere 4.1.

What about symantec netbackup and vmware vcb? are they any good compair to Veeam Backup and Replication?

Thanks
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you already have the licenses for Symantec Netbackup and VCB, they are a good partner.

Do you want to backup to tape, because Veeam doesnt!

If you have a requirement to backup to tape, and keep tape archives, you would have to use Veeam to provide the backups to a data location, and then use Symantec Netbackup to archive to tape.
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coolsport00Commented:
Just my 2¢...nothing compares to the features of Veeam, BUT either of those will do what you're probably needing (VM backups). Veeam provides file-level restore, as well as enhanced features such as SureBackup (see on their site from "bgoering's" link above).

~coolsport00
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Are you using a SAN?

If so you could consider using SAN based Snapshots. Which provides much better storage efficiency, and is the fastest backup and restore of any product! (as it's performed at the SAN).
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fireburn11Author Commented:
yes, we have a SAN. but is a HP EVA SAN, I know netapp has the product called snap manager to do vmback up on SAN level, since our $h*()tty engineer decided to go with HP, i dont know if we have a good SAN level backup option availalbe. If you know HP also offers a good SAN level backup, please advise.

Thanks

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fireburn11Author Commented:
So if we have a SAN and the SAN offers SAN level snapshot backup, can I say that it will be my best backup choice? If SAN don't offer this, then I should consider veeam backup and replication?

Thanks
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bgoeringCommented:
HP EVA has available snapshot, snapclone, etc. that can be used for zero downtime backups - but it is licensed per terabyte managed and not very cheap. At one point we were looking at Hitachi USP (same thing as HP EVA as Hitachi makes the EVA for HP) and shied away because of the per tereabyte licensing cost as opposed to midrange storage like netapp, Hitachi AMS, and HP MDS where the advanced features are typically either included or licensed per box.
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bgoeringCommented:
check with your " $h*()tty engineer" to see what software he has licensed to go with the EVA and maybe we could provide some recommendations as to what would integrate. I know HP's Data Protector product provides the integration points but would have to research others.
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bgoeringCommented:
I wouldn't necessarily say that SAN snapshotting features are the (best) option once you factor in all of the cost to do it that way. I would say that Veeam's solution is the best that I have seen for VMware. Check out the features on their web site. For example - there is a feature where if you lose a vm, you can actually restart and run the vm from the backup without restoring.
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coolsport00Commented:
I guess my take on it is that Veeam is the best for the $$ for sure. It only runs about $500US per CPU socket. SAN snapshot could cost much more, but you'll have to check with HP (or your "?? engineer" :) ).

~coolsport00
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fireburn11Author Commented:
Thansk Bgoering. I will find that out and let you know. Very appreciate all of your help.!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you have an EVA, forget SAN Snapshotting, some picked the wrong SAN!

Anyway, you'll be okay witgh Veeam, but of you require tape based backups you'll need to archive to tape still with Symantec Netbackup.
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fireburn11Author Commented:
Thanks guys again for all of your input.

One thing I am still not clear is that in Hanccoka's comment.

We do have a requirments to back it up to tape and archive it.

So if that is a consideration, then our best option is to Veeam backup with Netbackup ? May I know why? SAN snapshot manager wont allow you to backup to tape? Please clarify this.

Thanks
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If using Veeam, you need to get Veeam to store the backups on a server, and then use Symantec Netbackup to backup those "saves" onto tape.

Hence, why I asked the question, and stated you may be better off with Netbackup and VCB, using FC to get backups to tape, because I bet that's what you could be doing at present.

Otherwise you've got a different procedure, and alerting to train Ops on with using Veeam, as well as Syanmantec, checking two backup products have run, and you have saves to tape.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Snapshots on the SAN (not to be confused with Snapshot Manager in VMware), can be backed up to tape, generally this is what you do, you connect a Fibre Channel Tape Drive, to the SAN, and via NDMP controlled by Symantec Netbackup, Netbackup backs up the Snapshots of the SAN LUNs, it's very fasts, because the snapshots (are the deltas) between the backups.

If you have your VMware Infrastrucutre on a SAN, you setup schedcules to snapshot the SAN LUNs, hourly, daily, weekly, the snapshots, are then saved to disk (part of the LUN/Volume storage/SAN), and then you backup to tape, or you mirror offsite to another SAN (at DR location), and then hang a tape drive on that DR SAN, (it runs all day not affecting production, backing up to tape, and Ops staff can change and store tapes in fire safe!)
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fireburn11Author Commented:
Hi Hanccocka,

We currently don't have VCB or any Vmware image backup, We have Netbackup to backup C, D drives to a location then to tape.

As you can see, we dont have any Vm image level backup at all.

So is Veeam with netbackup is still the best choice for us to use?

Thanks very much for your advise!  

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. Veeam Backup and Replication is a good product, but you've still got some additional work to do, with the Veeam Backups to get them to tape. Using Netbackup to backup the Veeam Backup Server C: or D: drive to tape, you may need to purchase an additional agent (for the Veeam Backup Server) to do this.

or....

2. Use existing Symantec Netbackup with VCB, to Backup VMs directly to tape. If you are licensed for VCB, there's no additional cost here. (other than the time to setup this environment, and it's tricky at best to get right). Also VCB is end of life, and being retired by VMware in favour of VMware vDR (that you may already be licensed for, what VMware Licensing do you have?)

1. above is quick to implement, but has additional cost, and lots of features.

2. above is almost (free), but takes time to implement correctly, but little change in your organisation, as far as backups and restores are concerened.

If I was advising you as a client, and Veeam Partner, (and trying to bag a sale!), I would ask you to trial Veeam Backup and Replication, get some costs, and have a look at setting up VCB.

on the above, I would then make an informed decision after the above, as to what WORKS for your organisation.
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fireburn11Author Commented:
Hi Hanccocka,

Thanks for your awesome input!

We also have the requirement for DR site. during the disaster, we want our DR site to come on line ASAP. If that is a consideration, then the SAN level backup would be our choice, yes? or using # 1 or 2 is still a good choice?

Thanks
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
This is why, you need to look at the "whole picture" and feed in requirements.

What is ASAP? minutes, hours or days?

Veeam Backup and Replication, has the ability to Replicate to other vSphere ESX servers, across a WAN link, which can be scheduled, so all your servers could be at the DR site waiting for power on. (if you've got ESX hosts, and storage). Veeam can also run Virtual Servers from a backup copy - this may be an option.

(you also need to think about IP addresses at the DR site, are they the same as current production!?).

If your backups exist on Netbackup with VCB, you've got a long restore ahead.

Alot of poeple forget, at the DR site, you may need to have a running Backup product to restore your environment.

If using EVA SANs, and you have a SAN at the DR location, and ESX hosts, SAN based backup, SAN snapshotting, SAN LUN/Clone Mirror to offsite location (DR) is the fastest backup/restore.

Well it's not backup/restore, because the LUNs are already there at DR, ready to go live!!!

(providing you've got the bandwidth between DR sites, and your SAN snapshots are running, and scheduled correctly - this is a human thing!).

And that's why with clients that have this requirement, we complete SAN based Backup Solutions. I'm afraid Veeam, vRanger, phd etc cannot match these strengths. (and shame you didn't go NetApp, because they are VERY strong in this area with VMware, HP are years behind!).
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
But HP still have similar products.

It depends on how quick, how much storage you want to assign to backups, and archiving to tape.

SAN based Snapshotting, ticks all these boxes for you, but is costly, but you cannot compare this to Veeam Backup and Replication, they are different products, so it's difficult to compare like for like.

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SelfGovernCommented:
Just to clear up Bgoering's comment -- Hitachi makes the system that HP sells under the name "XP".  The EVA is a much different system that is HP-designed and built.   The XP is for the highest availability (99.9999%) situations, whereas the EVA is high availability (99.999%) and is midrange to enterprise.

I expect the pricing to be different -- perhaps significantly -- on the XP vs. EVA.
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bgoeringCommented:
What kind of bandwidth do you have available to your DR site for replication? If it is sufficient you can consider SAN based replication, the Veeam Replication solution, or some other solution such as a virtual tape library that does dedup and replication. If there is a requirement to ship tapes and restore them at DR site then, as Hanccocka indicates, Veeam does not do that by itself as it is a disk based solution. Another step would be required to move the data to tape in order to ship to DR or archive offsite.
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bgoeringCommented:
Ah thanks SelfGovern for the clarification - that is absolutely correct. I get my HP systems a bit confused sometimes as we have a combination of Hitachi and EMC storage. The USP/XP is the system I had in mind that I confused with EVA :)
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nappy_dCommented:
My $0.02 is:
- you need separate, stand alone disk space for DDT(Disk to Disk to Tape)backups. You should get at least 2x you storage for DDT
- you could then get Symantec Backup Exec or Arcserve(which I use, some don like it)
-license it for DDT and data deduplication. This will allow for faster D2D backups.
- this will work with your EVA over fiber or gigE or 10gigE.

With the D2D backup, you only recall your migrated tape Dara if and when the D2D fails for whatever reason.
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Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure Engineer Commented:
Hi

I have some costumers that have HP EVA and also HP Dataprotector. But even on that costumers, all of them use Veeam Backup.

Backup during the night Veeam Backup to local Storage(or different SAN Storage), then during the day just backup that Veeam Backups into tapes, or in some cases just do week backup to put tapes on in a off side Site.

In my opinion, Veeam at this point have competition on Virtual Backups, for the features that are using or providing with the last version. Even earlier version was a step forward from other backup solutions.

The rest I think EE Experts have give valid opinions.

Jail
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Paul SolovyovskyCommented:
As an aside just found out that EVA has a vCenter plug-in.  Don't work on them too much it's a nice thing to add if you want some insight and management inside your vCenter. Also works with MSA and Lefthand models..had to wait for HP to approve download, that was the part that was lame.
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