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VMware Data Recovery offers an efficient mechanism for backing up virtual machines hosted on a vSphere environment via a virtual backup appliance.  Its disk-based and agent-less design allows users to easily deploy a backup solution for their vSphere environment.  All the backup data are deduplicated and stored in a destination store (a.k.a. a dedupe store), which is a virtual disk, along with all the metadata and indices.  In other words, a destination store is self-contained and it alone is what you need for recovery of your virtual machine data.  If your VDR backup appliance fails, you can simply detach the destination stores from it and re-attach them to a new VDR backup appliance to continue protecting the virtual machines or to recover the data you need.


Yet what if you lose the destination stores?  You need to take precautions and archive the destination stores:

1.       Options to copy the destination store to a different location

There is a spectrum of options:

a.       Array replication (if writing to a vmdk);

b.      In-guest agents backing up the vmdk;

c.       Use VMware Consolidated Backup or 3rd party backup solutions that are compatible with vSphere API for Data Protection to backup the destination stores.  These backup solutions will be able to take a point-in-time snapshot of the destination stores and store a copy of the snapshot in another disk-based storage device or tape;

d.       A popular and inexpensive way for archival is to use a CIFS share as the target destination store;

2.       Best practices during archival of destination stores

In general, we recommend that you make sure that the archival process does not happen when the dedupe store is being accessed – less of an issue with array replication and VCB backup.  To ensure that the dedupe store is NOT being accessed, follow the procedure below:

a.       Ensure that there is no VDR activity, such as integrity check, reclaim and backups, running;

b.      Unmount the destination store;

c.       Copy the destination store using one of the options mentioned in section 1;

d.       Remount the destination store after step c;


Thank you,