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Vmware backup options

fireburn11
fireburn11 asked
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
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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Top Expert 2010

Commented:
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.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
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
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
If you have free ESXi, your b/u solution will be a bit more limited...

~coolsport00
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
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
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
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.

Author

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
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
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.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
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
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
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).

Author

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

Author

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
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
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.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
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.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
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.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
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

Author

Commented:
Thansk Bgoering. I will find that out and let you know. Very appreciate all of your help.!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
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.

Author

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
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
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.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
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!)

Author

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!  

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
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.

Author

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 PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
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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Commented:
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.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
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.
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
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 :)
Irwin W.There are a 1000 ways to skin the technology cat.
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Commented:
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.
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  
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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
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
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Top Expert 2008

Commented:
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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