What is new in VMware vSphere Data Protection

This post is part of a series of blogpostings on VMworld 2013 announcements. See here for a complete overview of all announcements.

VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is VMware’s backup and restore tool. It is provided for free with vSphere Essentials Plus and higher editions.

So far the features of the tool were very limited. Use cases  of VDP are small companies, remote offices etc.

vSphere Data Protection

With this release, vSphere Data Protection (VDP) gains the following capabilities:

  • Disk-level granularity
  • Detachable/remountable data partitions
  • Replication to the cloud. Data can be replicated to a cloud provider who has EMC Avamar
  • Time-of-day scheduling
  • Removal of the blackout window
  • Restore without dependancy of vCenter. Direct to host “Emergency Restore” for any VM

vSphere Data Protection Advanced (VDP Advanced) offers all the features available in VDP, plus these:

  • Replication
  • Data Domain integration
  • Exchange message-level recovery
  • SharePoint integration
  • Automated backup verification

more info on the VMware website.

One of the new features in  VDP is the ability to select individual .vmdk files for backup. To avoid backing up an OS page or swap file, perhaps it now makes sense to create a separate .vmdk file for the page/swap file, which could then be excluded from VDP backup jobs.

Another new feature is that scheduling of backup jobs is now much more granular. The time of the start can now be set. In the past VDP selected the runtime by itself.

The datastore where to store the VDP operating system disk and the data disk can now be individually set. In the past this had to be on the same datastore. This now enables a scenario in which the VDP OS is lost due to a disaster. A new VDP virtual appliance can be installed and point to the original VDP data disk.

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