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Vizioncore Offers Advice to Help Users Understand VCB for VMware Infrastructure 3
Confused about how VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) fits into your virtualized environment?

Vizioncore Inc., a leading provider of virtualization support software, offers some key advice for those companies who are evaluating this component of VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3). For a deeper dive into backup strategies, Vizioncore offers a white paper entitled, "The Fastest Hot Backups for VMware Infrastructure 3," on its website at www.vizioncore.com/fastestbackups.html.

The following highlights from the white paper provide guidance on VCB and enterprise-level backup solutions.

Top Five Things to Know About VCB

1. VCB is a backup PLATFORM, not a backup solution or application.

VCB was specifically designed to off-load the backup process from the host to a secondary proxy server to help improve the performance of the overall system. The VCB framework incorporates a centralized Windows machine as a proxy server, which can be leveraged by third-party backup vendors, such as Vizioncore, to allow our backup applications to complete file and/or image-level backups.

2. Use VCB to SUPPORT full image and file-level backups of VI3 from a central Windows® server.

VCB will leverage snapshot technology that is delivered with VI3 to either:

  • Export the entire .vmdk
    (like the legacy image export vmkfstools e command)

OR

  • Mount the .vmdk on the VCB proxy server for file-level backups
    (not an image backup, but a VIEW of the FILES in the .vmdk)

When using esxRanger Professional with our VCB plug-in, the first method can be performed without scripting, is much faster than backing up though the host server, and consumes fewer system resources. Additionally, esxRanger Professional can perform file-level restores from a fully exported compressed VCB image.

With the second method, a backup agent and scripting interaction can be used so file-level backups of the guest can be performed on the VCB proxy server. This approach is similar to traditional agent-based backups, except the negative performance associated with file level guest backup is eliminated. However, this approach still requires complex scripting and lacks restore functionality.

Both approaches can be used to provide differential or incremental backups; though again, using esxRanger Professional will streamline the process.

3. Use VCB to CONSOLIDATE agents on one host.

While VCB can consolidate agents to one host and improve performance, it does not eliminate agent-based backups. Companies looking to implement "agent-less" backup solutions in their environments can use esxRanger Professional in place of agents in many cases. esxRanger Professional offers full and differential backups with full and file-level restore capabilities without requiring agents to be utilized. Users can simply mount the esxRanger Professional image and select specific files to be restored to a running virtual machine.

4. Use VCB to enable faster LAN-FREE backups.

The architecture of VCB leverages SAN storage and can eliminate the backup traffic over a LAN resulting in faster more efficient backups. In addition, using esxRanger Professional with VCB can boost speeds by an additional 20% over VCB alone, by redirecting the VCB data stream through memory, compressing the data, and eliminating additional disk activity. This approach also reduces temporary storage needs on the VCB proxy server. The result is the fastest backup solution available on the market today.

5. COMBINE VCB and esxRanger Professional for a powerful and comprehensive backup solution.

Your investment in VCB can go further when paired with a proven industry standard tool like esxRanger Professional. Combining the two delivers a complete backup and recovery method that provides a full complement of functions to protect your datacenter, including:

  • Intercepting the export prior to being written to the disk, allowing the backup process to begin in memory and be delivered to your chosen destination directly.
  • Performing full image hot backups once a day or more frequent backups of just the differential data throughout the day.
  • Restoring virtual machines and their configurations by any level administrator.
  • Agent-less file-level restores for true backup agent consolidation.
  • Elimination of host overhead no CPU, network or expensive disk I/O used.

Again, a detailed overview of VCB and esxRanger Professional work together can be found in the white paper entitled, "The Fastest Hot Backups for VMware Infrastructure 3," on the Vizioncore website at www.vizioncore.com/fastestbackups.html.

Pricing & Availability

esxRanger Professional 3.0 is available immediately with pricing starting at $499 per CPU socket. The price includes one year of support. Enterprise licensing is also available. For more information about esxRanger Professional 3.0 and all Vizioncore products, please contact sales@vizioncore.com.

Published Tuesday, January 23, 2007 10:22 PM by David Marshall
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