Posts Tagged ‘PHDvirtual’

VMware Data Protection 5.1 reviewed

People who have been using VMware Data Recovery quickly discovered that this product had issues. VMware’s take on Data Recovery was that they wanted to have a backup product for the smaller shops with a short time-to-market. Too bad it was this product that drove a lot of users to Veeam or PHDvirtual because of its many problems. In secrecy VMware started working together with EMC’s BRS division to build a brand new backup product leveraging EMC’s Avamar technology under the codename “Project Toystory”. This product has seen the light of day as “vSphere Data Protection 5.1” or vDP for short. In this post I will be looking into vDP version 5.1, which is actually the initial release.

Introduction to vSphere Data Protection 5.1

This is the first release of vDP, so actually a 1.0 version. I will not be expecting a fully feature-rich product, but one that actually WORKS would be nice. After all, it is a “free” product Read the rest of this entry »

Veeam Backup vs PHDvirtual Backup part 3- Handling disaster recovery

After a rather successful part 2 of this series, it is high time to kick off part 3, which covers Replication and Disaster Recovery (DR). Most important to note, that backup and DR are two completely different things, and one should not be tempted to combine both unless you are positive your solution will cover all business requirements for both DR and backup.

Read the rest of this entry » on Veeam’s podcast!

As some of you may have seen, Veeam’s podcast episode two features an interview with VMdamentals, by yours truly. Check it out here:

Veeam Community Podcast Episode 2 – VMdamentals shootout!

Veeam Community Podcast

Veeam Backup vs PHDvirtual Backup part 2- Performing Backup and Restores

In part 1 of this series, I looked at two solutions for making virtual backups: Veeam and PHDvirtual. In this part, I’ll be looking at installing, making backups, verifying backups and of course restoring items.

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Veeam Backup vs PHDvirtual Backup part 1- Introduction

For a long time I have been a fan of PHDvirtual (formerly esXpress) and their way of backing up virtual environments. Their lack of ESXi support has driven a lot of people towards other vendors, and the one that is really on technology’s edge nowadays is Veeam’s Backup and Replication. Now that PHDvirtual has released their version 5.1 with ESXi support, it is high time for a shootout between the two.

Some history on drawing virtual backups

In the old ESX 3.0 and ESX 3.5 days, there was hardly any integration with 3rd party backup products. Read the rest of this entry »

Veeam Backup part 3- Final fiddling on target storage

Just when I thought I had done a pretty complete tuneup on the storage path from Veeam backup to an Iomega IX2-200 NAS, two things came up I wanted to test. The first one (why didn’t I think of that) is to set compression to “low”, saving CPU cycles and hopefully getting more throughput. The second one was starting a second job on the same Veeam VM to the same target storage.

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Veeam Backup part 1- Optimizing IX2-200 backup speeds

Thanks to Veeam’s Happy Holidays gift, I now have a license for several Veeam products. The one I really wanted to try in my home lab was Veeam Backup and Replication.

In this blogpost, I will try various ways to connect the Veeam appliance to my Iomega IX2-200 NAS box. This setup is very tiny indeed, but it clearly shows the options you have and how they perform compared to each other. Read the rest of this entry »

General Availability of PHDvirtual Backup 5.1

After a very long wait, at last the ESXi supporting version of PHDvirtual Backup is here! Version 5.1 just went GA.

PHDvirtual 5.1 GA - At last!

Finally PHDvirtual has got ESXi support for their backup product. I keep admiring them for their efforts: Because they solved problems years ago when nobody else could, their solution got dated as VMware finally integrated some almost vital backup features to their vSphere product.

Now PHDvirtual has done an almost complete rewrite of their product in order to modernize up to the standards of the vStorage API in vSphere.

Be sure to check out their solution!

PHD Virtual Backup 5.1er – First Impressions

Today I got my hands on the new PHD Virtual Backup Appliance – version 5.1-ER. Following in the footsteps of its XenServer brother, this new version uses a single VBA (versus the previous versions where multiple VBA’s were used). Best of all: ESXi support at last!

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PHD Virtual Backup software with XenServer support: One down, ESXi to go

PHD Virtual, creators of the backup product for VMware environments formerly known as esXpress, have introduced a new version of their PHD Virtual Backup software with support for Citrix XenServer.

The PHD Virtual Backup product is the first “virtual only” backup product with full support for Xen based virtualization I know of. But then again, I am no XenServer expert. For me, this is not too important at the moment, because I’m still very focussed on VMware only. But it is a major step for PHD Virtual; a lot of vendors are roadmapping support for all leading virtualization platforms, but today PHD Virtual actually delivers!

Keep going guys! The backup solution they have on the market right now for VMware is simply brilliant, especially in its robustness and its almost famous “install and forget” ability. I actually installed the product at several customer sites, and it started backing up. Fully automated, no headaches. No one ever bothered again. New VMs are automatically added to the list to backup if configured to do so. Simply brilliant. In many ways VMware has been looking closely as to how esXpress has been doing backups. Prove of this is VMware’s Data Recovery, which basically is a poor copy of esXpress in its way of working.

Some other vendors have been shouting about this great “hotadd feature” they now support. People tend to forget that esXpress has used similar technology for several YEARS now! Because hotadd did not exist then, they were forced to use “coldadd” , meaning their Virtual Backup Appliances (VBAs) needed to be powered down between backups (to clarify: NOT the VMs to be backed up).

Whether you use hot- or cold-add, backup speeds are great in any case. But cold-add has a drawback: The VM performing backups has to be powered up and down, reconfigured etc. That takes time. Especially now that Changed Block Tracking (CBT) is used by most vendors, a backup can take as little as 20 seconds if not too many blocks have changed within the virtual disk to backup. And this is where “cold-add” start to hurt: Reconfigure, power up and down of the VBAs for every virtual disk to backup easily takes a 3-5 minutes to complete.

PHD Virtual has been working hard on a version which is compatible with ESXi. Especially now that VMware is pushing even more towards ESXi, this is more important than ever. I hope to see a beta version soon of the ESXi compatible product; I cannot wait to test 🙂 . This will also solve the “cold-add” overhead, because I’ve been told this version will use a single VBA per ESX node which hotadds multiple disks in parallel and then performs the backup also in parallel. Very exciting: Hopefully we’ll see both backup efficiency and robustness like never before. Add replication in the mix (which is a part of the product by default) and you have a superb solution at a relatively low cost.

PHD Virtual Backup with XenServer support link:

Soon to come
  • Coming soon

    • Determining Linked Clone overhead
    • Designing the Future part1: Server-Storage fusion
    • Whiteboxing part 4: Networking your homelab
    • Deduplication: Great or greatly overrated?
    • Roads and routes
    • Stretching a VMware cluster and "sidedness"
    • Stretching VMware clusters - what noone tells you
    • VMware vSAN: What is it?
    • VMware snapshots explained
    • Whiteboxing part 3b: Using Nexenta for your homelab
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