Feeds

VMware adds EMC daddy's deduping backup to vSphere

Prepares for backlash of the backup vendors...

The essential guide to IT transformation

VMware is embedding EMC's Avamar deduplicating backup software into ESXi with the vSphere Data Protection product, making VMware seem more like EMC's baby than an open child.

What VMware wanted to do was provide virtual machine (VM) data protection for small and medium businesses (SMB) and enterprise departments that was an improvement on the existing vSphere Data Recovery. The company asserts it "plans to continue investment in the vSphere Storage APIs for Data Protection to enable seamless integration of third-party backup and recovery with the VMware vSphere platform." However, it is now extending its data protection to include EMC-owned deduplicating backup technology – thus shutting partners out of that part of the virtualised server market.

The vSphere Data Protection (VDP) technology is delivered as part of vSphere 5.1. VMware states it includes variable-length deduplication, supports Changed Block Tracking, and provides single-step restores "to minimise storage resource consumption, reduce backup windows and enable fast recovery".

VDP backs up at image level to a datastore that is limited to 2TB in size and is hosted in a VM. Users can restore individual files, having multiple restore points in time to mount if they need. But there is no replication facility to send the data off to another server, even an off-site one, for disaster recovery.

Bogomil Balkansky, senior veep of cloud infrastructure products at VMware, said: “Backup and recovery is a critical element of virtualisation implementations. Our selection of EMC Avamar technology enables us to deliver better backup and recovery capabilities directly from the VMware vSphere platform."

In other words, as we might view it, the existing backup and recovery capabilities were inadequate, and popular partner backup software products can revert to being mere interfaces, using the Avamar technology inside vSphere 5.1 as their backup and restore engine or, worse, they can be ignored.

Why bother buying additional backup and restore software if vSphere does it for you?

EMC blogger Chuck Hollis said: "I can't believe that the other backup vendors in this space will be especially overjoyed about this – they now have another obstacle to overcome in a highly competitive marketplace. Unfortunately, things that are easier to consume tend to get consumed more, and VDP will be exceptionally easy to consume going forward."

How does VDP differ from the external EMC Avamar product? According to EMC blogger Storagezilla:

VDP is an image level backup product capable of protecting up to 100 virtual machines per VDP instance. Avamar is capable of protecting thousands of virtual machines be that as image level or application-consistent agent (guest) level backups. VDP today isn't integrated with Data Domain via Boost, Avamar is. VDP doesn't have extended retention for long term preservation of backups on virtual or physical tape. Avamar does. VDP doesn't backup physical systems or Network Attached Storage devices using NDMP. Avamar can.

It may well be that VMware will extend VDP functionality so that it better protects an enterprise's VMs as well as SMB and departmental VMs, giving it more functionality and greater scale.

The new backup and restore functionality can be managed directly from the vSphere Web Client and uses vSphere Storage APIs for Data Protection to enable agent-less backup.

More and more basic data centre and server system software functionality is getting embedded in VMware as it uses commodity server engines to execute software functionality in vSphere – the same function previously performed by system software and server middleware produced by third parties. It's a constant encroachment on third-party server middleware and system SW that cuts out their core functionality and turns their technology into agents doing vSphere's bidding, or castrated products that merely interface with vSphere.

They'll have to hope that other hypervisor vendors, like Red Hat and Microsoft, have a more partner-friendly view as they fight the EMC-VMware behemoth being built before our eyes. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.