Installing and Configuring vSphere Data Protection Appliance 5.8


Continuing on my series on installations of VMware products as I build my lab environment MGMT components, backup is, of course, a crucial piece.  There are several products out there that work very well with VMware like Veeam, vRanger, etc.  I chose to stick with VMware’s offering based on EMC Avamar technology, vSphere Data Protection.

I gain all the benefits of Change Block Tracking that is an integral part of Avamar and now, vSphere Data Protection. Deduplication (edited per comment, should have reviewed prior to posting) will save me a considerable amount of capacity by only storing disparate data to what I already have stored.  I have very limited storage capacity for the MGMT Components within my EMC PX4-300d NAS, since one drive tray out of four holds an SSD used for Cache functionality so the space savings with help tremendously.

First and foremost, you can obtain the latest vDP Appliance, 5.8 here.  The .OVA file is around 4.6GB.  As with all appliances we should always plan ahead and obtain hostname, DNS entry, and IP information prior to deployment.  Once we have that, we can deploy the .OVA.  I’m not going to go through the .OVA deployment as I did in my last post.  Once you done a couple of these, you should start to become very familiar with vApp deployment.  I will say that they are not all the same, however. Some require more options, some require an IP Pool like vCenter Operations Manager, however, the premise is the same.

VMware has been kind enough to show the complete install so I will not go into that detail.  I will pick it up after the video to show how I tested my vDP deployment.  Here is the video for the installation:

After successful deployment, let’s move on to test to make sure your vDP Appliance is working.

You can access the vSphere Data Protection within the Web Client:

VDP-CONNECT

Click Connect and you will be sent to the vDP Main Page:

VDP-MAIN

Now let’s create a Backup Job.  I have deployed a VM in my Lab called vDP-TEST.  It’s a Windows Server 2012 R2 instance with no customization, just a folder in the center of the Desktop called: VDP Test

VDP-TESTWIN

Now select Create Backup Job (In my case I choose Full Image):

VDP-CREATE

Choose a Backup Target (In my case it’s the VM I created for this test,vDP-TEST):

VDP-Target

As for Schedule and Retention Policy I stuck with Defaults as again, this is only to test and validate a working vDP Appliance and the Backup Job will be deleted when the test is successful:

VDP-SCHEDULE VDP-RETENTION

Let’s give the Backup Job a name:

VDP-JOBNAME

Validate the settings and select Finish:

VDP-READYTOCOMPLETE

Select the Backup tab in the menu to validate the Backup Job has been created successfully.  Select the  Green Arrow Point Backup Now to initiate a full backup:

VDP-BACKUP

VDP-BACKUPNOWSUCCESS

Let’s make sure the backup has kicked off.  In the left hand pane of the Web Client choose Tasks.  Here you can see that the backup task has been kicked off:

VDP-BACKUPTASK

VDP-BACKUPTASKDONE

When the task is completed go back to the vDP Appliance Dashboard within the Web Client and select Reports and click on Job Details and check the Result Columns displays Success.

VDP-REPORTS-JOBDETAILS

Now that we have a full backup, I went ahead and created a text file within the VDP Test Folder called HI.  The next backup will only backup this Text File because it’s the only “Changed Blocks” shown within the VM since the last full backup. Let’s initiate another backup by selecting Backup Now again from the Backup Tab.

VDP-TESTTEXT

You’ll noticed that this backup was much quicker in that through the use of CBT (Change Block Tracking) vDP is only backing up the new data that caused the blocks of storage to change.  You’ll notice that it takes a snapshot before the backup takes place to maintain point-in-time consistency (edited per comment, thank you).

Now..let’s delete the text file HI and complete a Restore Action to see what occurs.  After deleting the file I shut the VM down:

VDP-DELETETEXT

Go back to the vDP Dashboard within the Web Client and select Restore.  Check the box next to the image to restore and select Restore:

VDP-RESTORE

Validate the restore point:

VDP-RESTOREOPTIONS1

Set the Restore Options:

VDP-RESTOREOPTIONS2

Review the Restore Request and select Finish:

VDP-RESTOREOPTIONS3

Let’s validate that the Restore Task has been kicked off without issue.  Go to the Tasks Menu within the Web Client to check:

VDP-TASKSRESTORE

After the restore completes let’s fire up the VM and check to see if the text file “HI” is returned in the correct place:

VDP-RESTOREVALIDATE

Here you can see the text file is restored.

There ya have it, a fully working vSphere Data Protection Appliance deployed, configured and tested.

Stay tuned as we turn our sights towards the vSphere Replication Appliance, quite possibly the easiest VMware Appliance to deploy to date!

2 thoughts on “Installing and Configuring vSphere Data Protection Appliance 5.8

  1. On a point of factual correctness, I believe the snapshot is taken to get a consistent point-in-time view of the VM being backed up, not to “compare the backup to the snap to see what’s changed” – that’s what CBT is for. Consider that blocks will change during the backup, and a backup is supposed to be a point-in-time copy.

    Also note that there are no space savings from using CBT – the only benefit is that it makes backups faster through facilitating easier incremental backups. Space savings are realised through the deduplication engine in vDP. (For backup products that don’t deduplicate the destination there may be a space saving through being able to do incrementals, but CBT is not the only way to do incrementals. Neither scenario applies to vDP though.)

    • Agreed…that’s my fault for not doing a deepdive on this product. As for CBT space savings, I mistyped that..yes..it should’ve said dedupe. This is what I get for not reviewing before posting. Thanks for keeping me striaght.

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