VMware quietly updates virtualization backup and restore solution

VMware takes a bigger step into the backup and restore market for virtual machines with the latest release of VMware Data Recovery 1.1 (VDR)

VMware administrators may be interested and happy to know that VMware is finally offering a product to help with the burden of virtual machine backup and restore. The product is called VMware Data Recovery (VDR), and while it isn't exactly brand-new, VMware did recently update it to version 1.1, though without much fanfare.

Much like physical machines, there is a tremendous need out there to back up virtual machines. If a mission-critical virtual machine has a problem, you need a quick way to get it back up and running. Remember, virtual doesn't mean "problem-free."

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While many people believe that VMware had already introduced a backup application prior to VDR, that just isn't the case. VMware did introduce VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), and despite its name, it doesn't actually back up and restore anything. Instead, what it does is provide others with a mechanism to access the VMFS file system in order to back up and restore virtual machines. With VCB, administrators were able to either create custom scripts to perform backups or leverage third-party backup software from VMware partners.

What has VMware quietly created? VDR is VMware's introduction into the backup market, and it is a disk-based backup and recovery solution that is easily deployed as a virtual machine. It is fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server, and it enables centralized management of backup jobs. It also includes data de-duplication to save on disk storage.

So if backing up and restoring virtual machines is so important, what took VMware so long and why aren't they tooting their own horn? Like so many other features added into vSphere, VDR is a welcome addition to the vSphere virtualization suite. However, it too puts VMware directly in competition with its long-term ecosystem partners like backup solution providers PHD Virtual, Symantec, Veeam, and Vizioncore.

Doug Hazelman, director of the Global Systems Engineer Group for Veeam, agreed that VMware has been quiet about this latest product. "We believe that's because they don't intend this as a strong move into the backup market, and they don't want to upset their ecosystem partners," he explained.

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