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VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is a backup and recovery solution that was introduced with vSphere 5.1. VDP leverages mature, proven technology from EMC Avamar to provide reliable, space-efficient, disk-based data protection for VMware virtual machines (VMs). VDP is fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server and the vSphere Web Client. One of the real beauties of VDP is its ease of deployment and management which explains why thousands of VMware customers have already downloaded VDP since it was introduced just a few short months ago. Today, VMware announced VDP Advanced which further extends the capabilities of VDP. Here are the highlights of the new functionality found in VDP Advanced:

  • Higher scalability (up to 8TB of de-duplicated backup data)
  • Application-aware backup and recovery of Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange
  • Dynamically increase capacity
  • Migration from VDP to VDP Advanced

Let’s dig into these in more detail…

As many of you already know, VDP (included with vSphere Essentials Plus and higher) scales up to 2TB of de-duplicated backup data. VDP Advanced extends that capability to 8TB of de-duplicated backup data. VDP Advanced also supports protecting a maximum of 400 VMs per applianced (VDP supports up to 100 VMs).

Perhaps the most notable enhancement is application-aware backup and recovery for Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange. VDP Advanced provides an agent for SQL Server and Exchange that is installed in the guest operating system of a VM running either of these applications. This agent enables more granular backup and restore capabilities. For example, you can select individual databases for backup or restore. The agent also provides client-side de-duplication, application quiescing, and more advanced backup options such as log truncation, the option to choose a full or incremental backup method, and the ability utilize multiple backup streams.

VDP Advanced allows dynamic capacity growth (unlike VDP). For example, you can start with a VDP Advanced appliance that is configured with 2TB of de-duplicated backup data capacity and grow that capacity to 4TB, 6TB or 8TB when needed. It is also possible to migrate from VDP to VDP Advanced and preserve existing VDP backup data.

If you are new to VDP (or need a refresher), here are some of the features and benefits of these solutions:

VDP and VDP Advanced:

  • Fast, efficient backup and recovery for VMware virtual machines
  • Backup data disk space requirements are significantly reduced by using a patented variable-length de-duplication technology across all backup jobs
  • VMware vSphere APIs for Data Protection (VADP) and Changed Block Tracking (CBT) are utilized to reduce load on the vSphere host infrastructure and minimize backup window requirements
  • Full virtual machine (VM) restore – or “image-level” restore – and File Level Recovery (FLR) without the need for an agent to be installed in every VM
  • Deployment and configuration are simplified using a Linux-based virtual appliance form factor
  • Administration is performed utilizing the vSphere Web Client
  • Appliances and data are protected using a checkpoint and rollback mechanism
  • Windows and Linux files can easily be restored by an end-user with the web-based vSphere Data Protection Restore Client

VDP Advanced (only):

  • Scale up to 8TB of de-duplicated backup data capacity and protect up to 400 VMs per VDP Advanced appliance
  • Protect mission-critical Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server workloads with in-guest agents designed to facilitate application-consistent backups and more granular backup and restore capabilities
  • Dynamically add capacity as backup requirements grow
  • Upgrade from VDP to VDPA

More information:

VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced

VMware vSphere Data Protection