One of my partners, Vembu, recently approached me to review their new product called Vembu BDR Suite v3.6.0. For those that are unaware, Vembu has been around for awhile (2002) but only recently been inside the VM backup scene. Vembu BDR supports a lot of options for backup. Physical Servers, Hyper-V, desktops, Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Google Apps, VMware vSphere, SharePoint to name a few. You can backup offsite, onsite or to a cloud like Amazon Web Services.
For this product review, I will document the install process for vSphere. I will be running the tests in my home lab, The lab consists of 3 hosts, 20-25 virtual machines and various storage options whether it be shared or local disks. My primary device for storage is a Synology DS1515. So I’ll be using that to backup my VMs to.
I started by downloading the evaluation copy from here. I will use the Installation Guide posted here.
The install was a fairly straightforward process. I installed it on a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine I had running in my lab.
It popped up and asked to install the following prerequisite software.
- MySQL RDMBS (5.5.40)
- MySQL Connector (5.2.4)
- MongoDB (3.2.0)
After clicking next, you can take the defaults or customize the configurations.
After clicking install, it took about 5 minutes and started the services. The installation was a very simple process.
First Login and Backup:
Upon logging into the web portal you are greeted with a configure time zone page and then a page to create a unique ID. Once you configure those options it send you to the product dashboard page. The page was responsive and you can see the various options you can use. I am testing the vSphere functionality so I will add my vSphere 6.5 environment to Vembu.
Once installed browse to the management webpage at https://fqdn:6061.
The default username and password was admin/admin.
Select a time zone for the deployment.
Entering a unique BDR ID.
The Vembu Dashboard.
Adding in my vSphere credentials to Vembu.
After entering in my vSphere credentials, it found all of the hosts in my environment. You can select the VM you’d like to backup and then setup backup frequencies, application aware backups, and additional full backups.
Additional Full Backup options.
Application Aware and GFS Retention Advanced Settings:
The Application and GFS Policy settings are great features. Application awareness helps to optimize the work structure and efficiency of the sub-system in control. Due to this application aware backup is needed in most workloads today.
Application aware backup are used to:
- Improve RPOs.
- Maintain consitensy with application aware backups.
- Save storage space.
Some benefits of the GFS Retention Policies:
- Reduce the time taken to restore backed up machines and most importantly reduce the size of merged image files in the storage location.
- Avoid long chains of incremental backups, ensuring safety of backup data and allows you to meet the requirements of your retention policy. Additionally, enabling retention option will remove the requirement for additional full backups.
Check out this post on the Vembu blog for more info in GFS.
Once you select the options you’d like you submit the job. I went to grab a bit to eat and 15 minutes later the job had finished. The backups completed successfully.
Virtual Machine Recovery:
Next up we’ll try to restore the VM we backed up in the prior task. Under the recovery options you have to select from a few restore options.
It is also possible to replicate VMs under the same console, this is configured under Replication.
Under Management you can do things like add storage, add offsite backups along with updating the software.
Selecting which version to restore.
Restoring the VM to vCenter, you can select a new VM name, destination datastore and host.
During the recovery process:
My new RecoveryTEST virtual machine came up with a VM MAC Conflict so the backup pulled that information from my old VM as well which is good to see. One of my minor annoyances happens to be machines that aren’t exactly the same when it comes to backups! Now if you’re planning to run this on the same network as the original, tread carefully here. That will need to be addressed before power on.
The product itself installed easily and can do many different features within a single console. It’s a powerful backup suite of software. The backup market has a lot of different options available to you but rarely do they have an all in one console like this.
My lab runs on desktop grade hardware and performance was great. The backups and restores all completed quickly with no issues.
Their product pricing is very competitive for this industry.
If you would like to try out the product, register for a free trial at the address below.