VMware Data Protection


Small and mid-sized businesses, and more specifically their IT departments, continue to search for a stable backup solution for their virtualized environments. VMware, too, has offered several solutions for this problem: think VCB and VDR (VMware Consolidated Backup and VMware Data Recovery, respectively). But those solutions haven’t been able to scale well with the growing data in even the smallest environments. Enterprise-class backup solutions can be costly, as can the engineers needed to keep those systems running properly.

VMware’s latest attempt to solve this problem was announced this week: VMware Data Protection, or VDP. First things first, yes, VDP is a product of collaboration between EMC’s Avamar de-duplication. But it’s not Avamar (see Jeff Hunter’s post for the official VMware position on this matter). And it’s not specific to shops that use EMC as their storage vendor.

Those of you who deployed VDR in vSphere 4 will no doubt remember two painful experiences: long-running integrity checks (that were usually successful…) and (if you were forced to use a CIFS share for your backup location) hitting that 500GB network file storage limit MUCH faster than you anticipated. You’ll be happy to learn that VDP addresses both of these issues (which one could say were really two symptoms of the same problem).

VDP uses Avamar’s variable-length de-duplication to reduce the size of your VM backups. It’s a great way for a small or mid-sized environment to reduce the amount of data stored on their SAN. And here’s the cool part, from the end-user perspective: self-service restore. Virtual infrastructure admins can allow end-users to restore their own files without help from IT (well that’s what VMware says, and it sounds great, but… yeah).

Short version (or tl;dr if you’re into that sort of thing): VDR is VMware’s best backup and recovery offering yet for SMB. In my next post, I’ll put together a list of configuration considerations that will help you avoid squirrely behavior down the road.

If you’ve got questions specific to VDR or to virtualization in general, I’d love to hear them. Post them below!


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Nick Kelly

Cybersecurity Engineer, Cisco

Nick has over 20 years of experience in Security Operations and Security Sales. He is an avid student of cybersecurity and regularly engages with the Infosec community at events like BSides, RVASec, Derbycon and more. The son of an FBI forensics director, Nick holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is one of Cisco’s Fire Jumper Elite members. When he’s not working, he writes cyberpunk and punches aliens on his Playstation.


Virgilio “BONG” dela Cruz Jr.

CCDP, CCNA V, CCNP, Cisco IPS Express Security for AM/EE
Field Solutions Architect, Tech Data

Virgilio “Bong” has sixteen years of professional experience in IT industry from academe, technical and customer support, pre-sales, post sales, project management, training and enablement. He has worked in Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) as a member of the WAN and LAN Switching team. Bong now works for Tech Data as the Field Solutions Architect with a focus on Cisco Security and holds a few Cisco certifications including Fire Jumper Elite.


John Cavanaugh

CCIE #1066, CCDE #20070002, CCAr
Chief Technology Officer, Practice Lead Security Services, NetCraftsmen

John is our CTO and the practice lead for a talented team of consultants focused on designing and delivering scalable and secure infrastructure solutions to customers across multiple industry verticals and technologies. Previously he has held several positions including Executive Director/Chief Architect for Global Network Services at JPMorgan Chase. In that capacity, he led a team managing network architecture and services.  Prior to his role at JPMorgan Chase, John was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco working across a number of verticals including Higher Education, Finance, Retail, Government, and Health Care.

He is an expert in working with groups to identify business needs, and align technology strategies to enable business strategies, building in agility and scalability to allow for future changes. John is experienced in the architecture and design of highly available, secure, network infrastructure and data centers, and has worked on projects worldwide. He has worked in both the business and regulatory environments for the design and deployment of complex IT infrastructures.