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We've had a VSphere install (Essentials Plus) running for a few months are looking to upgrade our backup plans. Currently we backup to file level on all affected VM's - This is done with legacy shell scripts we had running before moving to the VM environment. This has worked well for us in the past, but we're now looking to something that allows faster recovery in the event of a failure - At the moment we need to rebuild a VM, then recover the data files (Web/MySQL servers so still relatively quick). Ideally we'd want to be able to restore VM's quickly in the event of a complete failure.

With our Essentials plus license we have VDR, so are looking to use this. Ideally we'd want this to be backing up offsite - Our office is connected to the data centre through a 100Mb Fibre connection. Will this work ? If so - what are the best options for hardware at the other end to backup onto - I'm assuming we use an NFS share - connect that to the VDR appliance and backup to that if it works ?

What are the other options for an offsite backup ?

Thanks Alain

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VDR will provide faster VM recovery but if you are planning to backup to storage on a remote site over a 100MB link then you need to establish if you can recover full VM's over that link faster than your current approach of rebuilding the VM and carrying out a standard restore with your existing backup infrastructure. 100Mbps links will support a restore speed of around 5-8Megabytes/sec if everything is going well, a 20GB VM would take just over an hour to restore, if you have 10 of those it's going to take about 12 hours to bring everything back up. That may not be an issue at all though, it all depends on what sort of DR objectives you need to meet. The initial backups will take some time too (obviously) but day to day backup speeds will be much better as VDR backups are incremental in nature.

One other point about VDR is that file level restore is still considered experimental by VMware so you will still want to keep your existing backup architecture for that (if its any good).

There's no problem with using NFS for the VDR datastore. You can actually use a SAMBA\Windows share too if you want - the VDR appliance supports that even though ESX doesn't.

There are a lot of other options, most major backup vendors provide direct vSphere aware plugins for their products which are pretty good but if you are looking for something that is more specific to a small vSphere environment Veeam Backup & Recovery might be a worth taking a look at - it has a lot more features than VDR.

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