VSAN & VDP Interop

In this post I though it might be useful to share some information about VSAN interoperability with VMware’s flagship backup and restore product, vSphere Data Protection also known as VDP. First a note about versions -  that you will need to use the March 2014 release of VDP (version 5.5.6), not just to backup VMs running on VSAN, but to back up VMs running on vSphere 5.5U1. Here is a comment taken from the release notes for ESXi 5.5 U1:

  • vSphere Data Protection. vSphere Data Protection 5.1 is not compatible with vSphere 5.5 because of a change in the way vSphere Web Client operates. vSphere Data Protection 5.1 users who upgrade to vSphere 5.5 must also update vSphere Data Protection to continue using vSphere Data Protection.

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Where to look when troubleshooting VDPA backup issues

vdpaI had the pleasure (?) recently of troubleshooting some backup issues on my vSphere Data Protection Advanced (VDPA) setup. To be honest, I had not spent a great deal of time on this product recently, other than a few simple backup and restores. However, in my new role I now have a number of other projects which requires me to understand this product’s functionality a bit more. When things were not going right for me though, I spent a lot of time searching for some log files which might give me some clue as to the nature of my problem. After some assistance from some of the GSS guys based in Cork, we narrowed it down.

For me, the install and configure part went fine. I could also create backups with relative ease. The issue related to running the backups in certain environments, which were failing. So how then could I determine why this was happening?

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vSOM and VDPA Releases

In case you missed it, VMware released two interesting additions to the product portfolio last week.

vSOM – vSphere with Operations Manager

It became apparent that vCenter’s UI, while adequate for a lot of activities such as VM provisioning, does not provide the level of detail or forecasting required to manage large and complex infrastructures on a day to day basis. This is why VMware has introduced a new SKU which bundles the vCenter Operations product with vSphere. vCenter Operations Manager (vCOps) is the most comprehensive product for monitoring the health and performance of your virtual infrastructure. It  also monitors capacity & over provisioning and helps you to anticipate performance bottlenecks. Great to see it included with vSphere. Read more about it here and here.

VDPA – vSphere Data Protection Advanced

VDPA, as you might expect from the name, is building on top of VDP (vSphere Data Protection) which we released last year alongside vSphere 5.1. Scalability enhancements in the new VDPA include a larger store (up to 8TB) for storing deduplicated backup data and the ability to grow this store dynamically (in case you started out with a small store and now require a larger one). Another major feature, possibly the best feature of VDPA, is the ability to do backups and restores of Microsoft® SQL Server™ and Microsoft® Exchange Server™, both at the image-level and at the guest-level. Read more about VDPA here.