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Is VMware Improving Backups?

Backing up virtual machines within a VMware environment could be getting easier.  VMware Infrastructure 3.0 will hopefully improve the backup capabilities with a product called "consolidated backup".  That's the good news.  But in spite of all the marketing and press coverage that the new product has been receiving as of late, people are still asking, what exactly is VMware Consolidated Backup and what can it do? 

That's exactly the question that Damian Murdoch hopes to answer with his article, VMware Consolidated Backup, on his Website - OZ VM's dot com

In it, he writes:

VCB has been designed to improve the backup infrastructure of a virtual environment in a number of ways.  These include :

  •  Leveraging technology found in VMWare products to improve the standard filesystem backup. These technologies include those found in the VMFS and the ability to snapshot a server and write the changes to a redo log while you perform a backup of the files found in that snapshot.
  • Removing heavy backup cycles from the ESX server. Normally an organisation's backups run at similar if not the same time, this incurs a huge CPU time cost on the virtual host. With VCB, this can change as backups are moved to one or more backup proxy's which then handle the load. 
  •  VCB also reduces the cost of this backup technology as it will work on a SAN without vendor supplied and mostly expensive software to perform the same type of tasks. This reduces the complexity of the backup environment and still remains simple to implement and maintain!
  • VCB eliminates the need for backup agents on each virtual machine as the backup proxy performs the data backup to removable storage.

VMware Consolidated Backup is a seperate product and is licensed as such, it also is NOT backup software. VCB enables you to perform backups of data but does not actually perform the backup. To perform the backup you still need software such as Netbackup, Legato and the like.

Check out his article, here, where he goes into more detail about what it actually does, and what options are then available to restore the backups.

Published Thursday, June 22, 2006 9:30 PM by David Marshall
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