Introduction to vCloud Hybrid Service Data Protection

vCloud Hybrid Service Data Protection

Just over a month ago, vCloud Hybrid Service launched a new offering called Data Protection.  I wrote a blog article when the offering was released, which can be read here: vCloud Hybrid Service Data Protection but I wanted to go into a little more detail about the offering.

vCloud Hybrid Service Data Protection

So what is Data Protection exactly?  Well Data Protection is an agent-less, self-service, policy-driven backup and recovery service with image-level backups to ensure all operating system, file system and application data residing within a virtual machine are captured as a snapshot image before committed to backup media.

So how does it work?  The below graphic gives you a high level overview of the procedure steps:

vCloud Hybrid Service Data Protection

In a nutshell:  Data Protection uses snapshots to take the image level backup of Virtual Machines.  When a backup is initiated, a snapshot is taken of that Virtual Machine.  Once the snapshot is taken, it is then stored on the Data Protection storage for the duration of the retention period assigned in the policy.  Once the initial full backup is taken, Data Protection leverages Change Block Tracking (CBT) and only backups the deltas.

The Data Protection Dashboard has been designed with ease and simplicity at the forefront.  This is my favourite part of the vCloud Hybrid Service.  The Data Protection dashboard shows all the information you need, without over complicating things.

vCloud Hybrid Service Data Protection

vCloud Hybrid Service Data Protection Video Demonstrations

Below you will find two videos that I recorded recently providing a demonstration of the offering.  These video’s give you a step by step walkthrough.

In this video, I walk through the Data Protection User Interface, and the features that are included in the offering.

In the second video, I give a walkthrough of how to perform a backup and restore quickly and easily.

vCloud Hybrid Service Data Protection FAQ

There are a few frequently asked questions that come up around vCloud Hybrid Service Data Protection and I thought it would be good to list these out here.

Q. What backup policy options are available?

A.  Policies can be defined for a single virtual machine (in the form of a vAPP) or for an entire Virtual Data Center. Each protected item can set a different data retention policy of up to 365 days with selectable backup start times. Backup of a vAPP or Virtual Data Center can also be manually started in the vCloud Hybrid Service UI.

Q. What recovery options are available?

A.  Recovery from backup can be from any available recovery point. Recovering from a backup can either replace the protected virtual machine (in-place restore) or be deployed as a separate virtual machine (out-of-place restore).

Q. Do the backups consume storage from my cloud instance?

A. No.  The storage used by Data Protection is specifically assigned to the Data Protection offering.  Backups will never consume storage from your cloud instance.

Q. Does each backup taken consume the same amount of storage every time?

A. Data Protection leverages synthetic full backups with change block tracking to backup Virtual Machines (vApp or VDC level).  When a backup is initiated a first time full backup is taken of that virtual machine, after that initial backup, only the deltas are backed up, saving on storage consumption.

Q. What period of time does it take to restore a vApp or Virtual Machine?

A. The recovery period depends on the size of the virtual machine, and the storage tier you are restoring too.  For example, a 40GB virtual machine being restored to SSD-Accelerated tier would complete in a shorter period of time, than a 200GB virtual machine being restored onto the Standard Storage tier.

Thanks for reading


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