Understand capabilities of vSphere Data Protection, including SQL-, Exchange-, and SharePoint-aware backups, Changed Block Tracking (CBT), and incremental updates.
- [Instructor] In this video, I'll explain vSphere Data Protection's capabilities, and some of the features that are supported by vSphere Data Protection. Now, before we get into that, let's talk about some of the benefits that are introduced by vSphere Data Protection. VDP performs deduplication on all backed up data. This allows us to save space on the data that's actually getting backed up by taking any data that's exactly the same, any blocks that are identical, and only storing those blocks of data once.
So this deduplication can provide a major savings on storage when we're backing up our data. vSphere Data Protection also uses something called Change Block Tracking for incremental backups. What this means is that vSphere Data Protection is going to track any blocks of data as they change, and when we hit our next scheduled backup, only the blocks that have changed since the last backup are actually going to get written. Finally, vSphere Data Protection can now function even when vCenter is down.
So even if vCenter has failed, we'll still be able to back up and restore virtual machines. This is really important, because vCenter is often run as a virtual machine. And if vCenter is down, the vSphere web client won't be available, and that's our primary management tool for vSphere Data Protection. In vSphere 6, vSphere Data Protection can function even when vCenter's not available. Now let's take a look at the configuration of an example backup job.
When we create our backup jobs, we can choose the retention policy. We can keep each backup forever, we can keep each backup for 30 days, or we can set a certain date on the calendar, or we can create a retention policy. And this is probably the most common way to set up any backup job, is to say we want to keep one daily backup for 30 days. We want to keep weekly backups for 12 weeks. We want to keep one monthly backup for six months.
And an annual backup for two years. So we can set these retention policies to comply with whatever our corporate policies happen to be. We can also configure replication on a vSphere backup job. vSphere Data Protection can replicate backup data from one vSphere Data Protection appliance to another, and it can even replicate to EMC's Avamar product. And all of this replicated data is compressed and encrypted.
We can also use this backup job and clone it to create future backup jobs. So after a backup job has been created, it can be edited or deleted, or you can also clone it to create a new backup job. And this makes it really easy to configure future backup jobs with the same retention policy. vSphere Data Protection can perform application backups of Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint. In order to do this, we must install a vSphere Data Protection application agent in the guest operating system.
And the job of this agent is to ensure that the data is in an application-consistent state prior to the backup. This is really important for solutions like SQL, Exchange, and SharePoint. vSphere Data Protection also supports SQL server clusters and Exchange server database availability groups. The vSphere Data Protection agent can also be installed in physical Exchange, SQL, or SharePoint servers as well. Another important feature of the vSphere Data Protection appliance is the ability to perform file-level restores.
Now, again, we have to install the vSphere Data Protection client inside the guest operating system. And we can then use a web-based vSphere Data Protection restore client to perform these restores. We can even give our end users access to this interface to perform self-service restores. The end users can actually browse their file system as it was at the time of the backup, and when they locate the item they want to recover, they can pick a destination for that restored item and start the recovery.
And they can monitor the progress of that restore job using the vSphere Data Protection restore client. We can restore files or folders to the original location or to a different location. So let's do a brief review of what we've learned here. vSphere Data Protection provides backup and recovery for virtual machines. It's specifically designed for vSphere environment, and is managed using the vSphere Web Client. We do need to deploy a virtual appliance called the vSphere Data Protection appliance, which can perform incremental backups using change block tracking.
It also deduplicates the stored backups to ensure that identical blocks are only stored once and to save us space. It also provides file-level protection and application-aware backups. These are critical in case we need to do file-level restores or in case we need to restore some application such as SQL, Exchange, or SharePoint.
- Deploying a vSphere Replication virtual appliance
- Configuring VR jobs
- Installing and configuring vSphere Data Protection
- Creating a vSphere DP backup
- Taking, deleting, and consolidating snapshots