As you may have heard from VMware, the end is near for their VMware Consolidated Backup product, or VCB. It has been superseded by a new technology called vStorage APIs for Data Protection, or VADP. See their posting at http://app.connect.vmware.com/e/es.aspx?s=524&e=12880125.
In NetBackup 6.5.1, we introduced "NetBackup for VMware" which requires VCB from VMware. The VCB requirement remains in all later NetBackup 6.5.x releases. There are no plans to support VADP in NetBackup 6.5.
In NetBackup 7, which is now available, we support both VCB and VADP. In fact, we support mixed environments of both, which recognizes that customers do not likely upgrade all ESX servers at once.
There is even more good news: you do not need to upgrade to "vSphere 4" to leverage VADP (but vSphere is loaded with other advantages). Once you deploy NetBackup 7 for VMware, these are the minimum requirements for using VADP:
- You use vCenter 2.5 or later. In that case, NetBackup 7 can protect VMs on ESX server 3.0.2 or later.
- You use ESX server 3.5 U2 or later.
If that does not apply, NetBackup 7 will attempt to use VCB. We will continue to support VCB deployments through NetBackup 7. It's uncertain at this time, but I don't anticipate continued VCB support after NetBackup 7.
Lastly, if you are using VCB today, the transition to VADP is relatively simple. What is known as the "VCB proxy server," or the NetBackup Client for VMware, continues to be the off-host backup server. The significant improvement in VADP is the backup host no longer needs a large disk staging area to hold a copy of the VM snapshot. With VADP, NetBackup now reads the snapshot directly from the ESX server, eliminating the inefficient VCB copy and the associated staging area. This improvement alone should reduce the VM backup time in half!
NetBackup 7 also supports other VADP enhancements, like block-level incremental backup of VMs. (Note, BLIB is one of those VADP capabilities that does require an upgrade to vSphere 4.)
For more information, please attend a webcast for "NetBackup 7 for VMware" at http://www.netbackupdemo.com. Or for the serious enthusiast, you can download the latest user guide at http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/docs/340112.htm.
NetBackup Product Manager