This document looks at and compares the various ways of protecting VMware® virtual machines (VMs) with NetBackup and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
1.0 Executive overview
In the past few years, much has changed relative to virtual-machine protection. Deduplication technologies are now an important part of protecting VMs. With embedded deduplication, Symantec NetBackup 7.1 makes implementing this ultra-efficient backup technology easier and more flexible than ever before. VMware vSphere™ 4 and the vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP) have significantly changed how VMware-based VMs can be protected. No other hypervisor vendor provides this advanced level of protection and no other backup vendor outside of Symantec provides better backup integration with this application programming interface (API).
Beginning with the 6.5 release, NetBackup has provided an advanced, awardwinning backup technology designed specifically for VMware VM protection. A lot has changed since that release. Besides featuring a unique Granular Restore Technology™ for Windows® and Linux® VMs, NetBackup 7.1 also now features:
- Native support for VMware VADP
- Extremely fast and efficient block level incremental (BLI) backups
- Searchable, instant granular (single) file restores from both Windows and Linux VMs
- File-level restores directly from BLI-based backups
- Embedded “VMware aware” target- or source-based deduplication
Advanced VM protection technologies are certainly desirable but they can also introduce new data protection questions and challenges. Is it best to protect the VM by backing it up via a NetBackup deduplication client or using NetBackup for VMware VADP integration? The relative advantages and disadvantages of these backup configurations will be discussed in detail in this document. We will also provide guidance for successful implementation of these tools.
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