Just a few weeks ago we announced the introduction of vSphere Data Protection (VDP) Advanced, the new edition in VMware’s backup and recovery lineup. VDP Advanced extends the capabilities of VDP, included with vSphere, with greater scalability (4 times that of VDP) and integration with MS Exchange and SQL Server.
When we announced VDP Advanced we also talked about how it delivers the most efficient backup capabilities with the simplest management for vSphere. Today, we are happy to show you the data supporting our claims.
VMware asked the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) to test and develop a Lab Validation Report on VDP in order to quantify the efficiency in data deduplication and recovery time, as well as to qualify the ease of use delivered by the product. For those of you considering giving VDP Advanced a go when it becomes generally available during Q1, let me remind you that both VDP solutions share the same underlying technology, so these findings will be of great interest to you too.
4X less backup storage consumed
ESG found that VDP can reduce backup storage by up to 99% compared to not using deduplication. However, some level deduplication is pretty much a table stake among backup solutions, so the following should put the results in clearer context. ESG also found that VDP’s unique variable-length deduplication can decrease backup storage by a factor of 4 compared to commonly used fixed-length deduplication technologies. According to these findings, backup solutions using fixed-block deduplication would require 7.1TB of storage capacity (60 days retention period) to backup 1.6TB of primary data, or approximately 20 virtual machines (assuming an average 80GB of data per VM). Using the same 7.1TB of capacity and same retention period, VDP can protect an astonishing 6TB of primary data, or 75 virtual machines of the same size. Ultimately, what this means is that VDP and VDP Advanced customers get a much bigger bang for their buck, either protecting larger environments with the same capacity, or redirecting their existing storage investments to other business priorities. The report includes an interesting “Cost of Ownership” analysis that shows how this efficiency could save you over $100K on storage depending on the size of your environment and the tier of your arrays.
6X faster recovery time
Another aspect tested by ESG was the time necessary to achieve full recovery of a virtual machine to production. Unique to our VDP solutions is the ability to leverage Changed Block Tracking (CBT) during recovery, not just during backup like most solutions do. VDP uses CBT to determine the differences between an existing virtual machine and the restore point, so that only changed blocks need to be restored. With VDP, ESG successfully recovered a virtual machine in less than 3 minutes. This was over 6 times faster than a full restore of the same virtual machine using a conventional backup utility, which took close to 19 minutes. Some backup products claim recovery of virtual machines within minutes, but if such a restore is performed from the backup datastore, the recovered virtual machine running from compressed storage will suffer in performance. Additionally, the vSphere admin will experience additional management overhead as he needs to reconstruct the virtual machine back to production from what was only a temporary solution. As you can learn from the ESG report, VDP and VDP Advanced can restore and boot up your virtual machines back to actual production in a matter of minutes.
Easy to use and tightly integrated with vSphere
We all know how important ease of use is when it comes to backup. VMware placed special attention to this aspect in the development of both VDP and VDP Advanced. But don’t take my word for it; here is what ESG had to say: “ESG Lab confirmed that VDP is a robust and easy-to-use solution that provides tightly integrated data protection for VMware vSphere environments. VDP’s simple, intuitive user interface is built specifically for virtualization and the solution is delivered as a virtual appliance, making implementation and management easy”.
With these data at hand I have two advices for our vSphere customers: first, please download VDP and try it out if you haven't already - it will cost you nothing as save you money. Second, stay tuned for the upcoming GA release of VDP Advanced if you want to take advantage of greater scalability and app-aware backups.