VMware is officially announcing a significant upgrade to their data protection capabilities in vSphere. With version 5.1 vmware vshere will now come with embedded Avamar code and will officially be called vsphere data protection. This is significant but not a complete data protection solution depending on the size of your organization and other caveats. Let’s dig into some details.
VMware vSphere Data Protection (code named Toy Story)
To simply say that Avamar is embedded into VDP doesn’t really do it justice. What VMware did was go through a selection process to identify what technology would help them increase their capabilities beyond VADP (the Data Protection API’s built into vSphere 5, etc).
vSphere Data Protection (VDP), an entirely new backup and recovery solution included with vSphere 5.1. It replaces vSphere Data Recovery and included with all editions of vSphere Essentials+ and above. (note; not included in base Essentials version)
First, VDP is very space efficient. The usage of a variable-length deduplication algorithm utilizes minimum amount of disk space is used and reduces ongoing backup storage growth.
Data is deduplicated across all Virtual Machines (VMs) associated with the VDP virtual appliance. A change at a beginning of a file will be processed to find that change – not considered as an entire file change. This type of algorithm has the highest rates of deduplication with an average of 99% seen in file systems and 96% in databases.
Second, VDP reduces the load on hosts and required network bandwidth. Through vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) integration, VDP leverages Changed Block Tracking, sending only daily unique changes over the network in order to minimize traffic. The process is transparent and automated, enabling up to eight VMs to be backed up concurrently. Since VDP resides in a dedicated virtual appliance, backup processes are offloaded from production VMs.
VDP is integrated with vCenter, allowing users to quickly set up backup policies. And everything can be managed directly from the vSphere Web Client. Setting backup schedules is simple and efficient, since administrators can define different policies based on specified retentions and schedules. Policies are applied to groups of virtual machines, based on business needs and data types.
Finally, VDP is based on EMC Avamar and provides numerous capabilities and performance optimizations for VMware Virtual Machine backup and recovery. The underlying technology found in VDP has been successfully deployed at over 6000 customers, so you can rest assure your data is reliably protected.
This initial version of VDP is ideally suited to protect smaller environments with up to 2TB of deduplicated storage or 100VMs. Larger environments can be protected by scaling out multiple VDP virtual appliances. The downside of that is you’ll loose the global dedupe efficiency.
My net conclusions
I believe this will offer a significant value in SMB, where this fits and if this gets used. I also believe it provides a very convenient path for EMC to pilot a sample usage of Avamar for commercial and enterprise organizations. Remote office could be a key solution use case here!
I do not believe this is the end of the universe for VMware VADP solution partners. Branding is key, reputation is key, and so is innovation of total solution!
Lastly, with software defined data centers (SDDC) being evangelized as the future you have to wonder about when this kind of an integrated solution just becomes part of the SLA scheme and execution.