With the release of VMware vSphere 5.1, VMware dropped their complementary backup product, VMware Data Recovery (VDR) (included with vSphere essentials and above) and replaced it with a new product, vSphere Data Protection (VDP). In this article, I’ll tell you how to install and configure vSphere Data Protection. In a follow-up article, I’ll go further with vSphere Data Protection: Backup and Recovery.
Like its predecessor, VDR, this all-new backup and recovery product is included with vSphere essentials plus (and above). VDP is meant for small- and medium-size companies (SMB) who need to backup vSphere and don’t want to purchase a large, more costly, and comprehensive virtualization backup solution.
This new virtualization backup solution, VDP, is has the same limitations of VDR (and maybe one new one) but offers a much better user interface and integration with the new vCenter Web Client interface.
As with any solution, there are always pros and cons. Let’s start out with what’s good about vSphere Data Protection.
VMware recently announced a new vSphere Data Protection Advanced. It is a separate commercial license but with vSphere Data Protection Advanced you gain application-specific agents to ensure application-consistent backups and more granular recovery of Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange Server.
Let’s say that your company is a good fit for using VDP and you want to install it for testing. If you are already have a vSphere license, you can download vSphere Data Protection. However, if you have no vSphere or VDP licenses, you can evaluate vSphere and VDP at no cost for 60 days.
On the VDP download page, you’ll find that VDP comes in three sizes: .5TB, 1TB, and 2TB. These sizes are based on the size of the preconfigured backup disk, which controls how large your backup data repository will grow.
After you download the VDP .OVA virtual appliance, you deploy it from the vSphere Windows client under File -> Deploy OVF Template or in the vSphere Web Client under the actions menu (same menu option).
From here, the Deploy OVF Template wizard will come up and ask you a series of questions. Specify the source to the OVA file that you downloaded.
Next, accept the EULA and select a destination location for VDP in your vCenter infrastructure.
Specify the datastore for deployment.
Configure a static IP address for the virtual machine, and check to power the VM after deployment. Then click Finish.
After a few minutes, you’ll have a working VDP appliance in vCenter.
To use it, you’ll need to perform a quick configuration. If you go to the VDP VM console, you’ll see that you are told to configure VDP by going to https://x.x.x.x:8543/vdp-configure (x.x.x.x is the virtual appliance IP address.)
You’ll get a login prompt after you get to that IP. Login using the VDP default credentials: root and changeme
From here, as this is the first time that you have used it, you’ll get a configuration wizard. The wizard walks you through the process of reconfiguring the IP address and hostname of the VDP VM (if needed), the time zone for the appliance, changing the VDP root password, and – most importantly – registering the VDP appliance with your vCenter server by providing the vCenter hostname and credentials.
Note: It’s recommended to create a DNS alias for the IP address you use for the VDP appliance.
When completed, you’ve got a VDP appliance that is ready to backup your vSphere virtual infrastructure!
Keep a lookout for my next article about vSphere Data Protection: Backup and Recovery.