since the start of virtualization backing up the virtual machines in a good way was one of the major subject of interest.
The backup of a virtual machine could be approached in different way:
- "Same as physical server" approach, using the network and an agent installed on each virtual machines, maybe dedicating a port group just for backup (no best practice)
- Use of different solutions existing on the market (Veeam, Nakivo, ...) that use snapshots and advanced features of the underlying shared storage
- VMware Data Protection (a.k.a VDP)
I've tested this last approach in my home lab and I think that's a good way to backup your datacenter Virtual Machines. VDP is not the evolution of the old VCB (VMware Consolidated Backup) approach, where a proxy server take care of talking with the backup product and the leveraging the quiesce/snapshot features of VMware, took the backup of the Virtual Machine.
VDP is a Virtual appliance, that get installed and configured in less than one hour and give the power of scheduling the backups, using the vCenter Web Interface, as well as restoring complete VMs or file from a backed up VM: all the metadata/backup gets saved on the underlying shared disks.
The installation of VDP is straightforward, and it's depicted in the following video: first of all you must reserve an IP pool range; the you must import the Virtual appliance file and configure the IP/NM and default gateway. At the end of the import task, power on the VM and you'll get a Linux console that will run a web interface daemon ready to be accessed by the browser of your choice.
More on VDP in next post.