In previous versions of VMware vSphere, the data protection feature was a rather rudimentary implementation that was generally considered “better than nothing” for small shops on limited budgets, but was never really considered to be a serious enterprise level backup solution.
vSphere Data Protection (VDP) has been steadily improving, and with vSphere Data Protection 5.5.5, it has become a very credible, full-featured solution that will fulfill the needs of many small to mid-sized businesses. While vSphere Data Protection does not have all of the features of CommVault Simpana or Veeam Backup & Replication, it does protect data effectively and reliably, and for those on a tight budget, Basic VDP is already included in the price of your vSphere license. VDP Advanced, introduced in March of 2013, is available as an additional licensed product, and is licensed per processor, just like vSphere. vSphere Data protection Advanced is included with the vSphere with Operations Management Enterprise (vSOM) and Enterprise Plus acceleration kits.
What is the difference between the Basic and Advanced versions? VDP and VDP Advanced run on a virtual appliance, and the basic version of VDP supports up to 100 virtual machines per appliance; the VDP Advanced version supports up to 400 per appliance. VDP Advanced available storage size is also quadrupled at 8TB, opposed to the 2TB storage limitation of VDP. Both support image level backups, individual disk backups, image-level restore jobs, image-level replication jobs, direct to host recovery, detachable/remountable data partitions, and file level recovery. The Advanced version additionally supports application-level replication, ability to expand current datastore, backup to a Data Domain system, ability to restore to a granular level on Microsoft Servers and automatic backup verification. VDP Advanced also supports guest-level backups and restores of Microsoft SQL Servers, Exchange Servers, and Share Point Servers, providing for application consistent backups of these servers.
For a small to mid-sized business seeking to protect their virtual environment without the need for more advanced features, vSphere Data Protection and vSphere Data Protection Advanced provide an efficient, reliable backup solution.