Part 6 : Install and configure VMware vSphere Data Protection

OVERVIEW
From vSphere 5.1, VMware released a new backup and recovery solution for virtual machines called vSphere Data Protection (vDP). vDP is fully integrated with vCSA and provides agentless, disk-based backup of VMs. vDP is powered by EMC Avamar which uses data de-duplication technology. As shown in the below Image

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After the initial copy of VM , Deduplication Technology comes into picture. The each block of data are assigned with an unique ID. If a block matches the contents of previously copied block then it is saved only once, there by reducing the duplicated data.
The unique blocks are only stored and it dramatically reduces the size of the back up. Along with this vDP also uses Changed Block Tracking (CBT), vSphere or VMkernel keeps a note of those blocks that are changed and will only copy these changed data and there by reducing the network bandwidth as well.

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The above image shows the high level architecture of vDP. vDP integrates with our vSphere Web Client and it becomes fairly easy for the  management. Each vCSA supports  10 vDP appliances. Latest vDP supports 8TB of deduplicated backup data capacity and 400 VM’s per appliance.

DEPLOYMENT
The vDP is deployed with four processors (vCPUs) and 4GB of RAM. The configurations of usable backup storage capacity are as available: 500GB, 1TB , 2TB, 4TB, 6TB and 8TB which respectively consumes 850GB, 1.3TB , 3.1TB , 6TB, 9TB and 12TB of actual storage capacity. Designing the size is critical, We must consider the number of VM’s participating in the Backup Job and possible consideration of scaling for the future and also retention periods, and data change rates.

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Browse the .ova or .ovf and Accept EULA and Click Next . In this screenshot I am using a vDP 6 appliance,  Provide the name of the appliance and Choose the Datacenter , Cluster and Hosts you want to deploy this appliance .


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Choose the Datastore Format, Ideally choose Thin provision only for a Lab setup. Final step is to provide the Networking properties such as Gateway, DNS, IP Address and Subnet Mask. Click Next and Check “Power on After Deployment”.
After the appliance has been deployed and powered on,We must use vSphere Web Client to access the vSphere Data Protection configure utility to perform the initial configuration.

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The first time a user connects to the vSphere Data Protection configure UI, it runs in “install mode.” With the “install mode” wizard, items such as IP address, host name, DNS, Host Name and Domain details are configured. Choose the appropriate Time Zone and Click Next.

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The above image shows vCenter Registration , Kindly register the vDP with vCenter Server by providing the necessary credentials for it. Click Test Connection , It should ideally pass and Click Ok and Click Next.

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Carefully vDP capacity and it would consume more space which is mentioned in the beginning of Deployment Section . in the above image vDP storage is 4TB and therefore it consumes about 6TB totally.

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Choose Thin Mode only if it is a Test Environment, Ideally VMware recommends Thick Eager -Zeroed for production environment.
Choose Defaults for CPU and Memory and Click Next.
Choose if you want to participate in VMware Customer Experience Program or not.
Do not Run Performance Analysis on Storage configuration , If you run this it could hours before completion of the deployment. Review the Complete Settings and wait until the deployment completes.

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After the configuration is complete , the appliance will reboot. We can now restart the vSphere Web client we now can see the vDP integrated with it. We can start creating Back up Jobs, Replication , Restores for VM’s. First time it will ask us to connect to the vDP appliance .

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Finally we can now start creating Back up jobs for VM’s , Creating a correct back up plan is very important , and therefore we must take a lot of care in designing Back up Jobs for our VM’s. Which will be covered in further Posts.

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