Vembu Backup & Replication for VMware vSphere [sponsored]
Vembu BDRSuite is a robust, scalable and reliable Backup & DR Solution for VMware vSphere VMs. This product overview will provide details on the key features the solution provides and a general overview of how the platform works. For an overview of what was released in version 5.3, please take a loot at this article. For more information from Vembu, please take a look at the product page at https://www.bdrsuite.com/vmware-backup/.
Vembu BDRSuite for VMware vSphere key features
BDRSuite is a comprehensive and feature-rich solution to protect your VMware vSphere VMs. It provides the following key features:
- Agentless Image-level VM Backup & Replication
- Near Continuous Data Protection
- Application-aware VM backup
- Instant VM Boot with Live Migration
- Instant File and Application Item-level Recovery
- Failover & Failback of Replica VMs
- Automatic Backup Verification
Vembu provides a flexible licensing model to meet customers where they are. They have a Standard Edition license, and an Enterprise Edition license, and the provide a Free Edition that supports up to 10 VMs for free with all the capabilities of the Standard Edition. How cool is that! This is great for personal use and homelab enthusiasts.
|Enterprise Edition||Standard Edition|
|Full functionality edition for VMware and Hyper-V backup modules||Offers a subset of the functionality of Enterprise Edition for VMware and Hyper-V backup modules|
|Enterprise Essentials includes the same functionality as Enterprise edition and is available only for businesses with up to 10 CPU-Sockets or 100 VMs||Standard Essentials includes the same functionality as Standard Edition and is available only for businesses with up to 10 CPU-Sockets or 100 VMs|
Available for all the backup modules and includes the following functionalities:
- VMware & Hyper-V VMs – Backup 10 VMs for free with all the functionalities of Standard edition
- Workstation Image Backup (Windows) – Backup entire disks or selected volumes of 10 Windows Workstations for free
- AWS – Backup 10 AWS EC2 instances for free
- Microsoft 365 – Backup 10 Microsoft 365 users for free
- Google Workspace – Backup 10 Google Workspace users for free
- Workstation File Backup(Windows & Mac) – Backup files & folders from 10 Windows & Mac Workstations for free
Check out https://www.bdrsuite.com/vembu-bdr-suite-free-vs-paid-edition/ for a complete overview of all features and capabilities in the different offerings.
VMware Backup & Replication Overview
I installed Vembu BDRSuite v5.3 on a Windows Server 2022 VM in my homelab. I created a simple backup job for a small demo application consisting of two webservers, an application server, and a small MySQL database server.
Vembu BDRSuite offers all the key features for Backup you expect:
- Agentless VMware ESXi Backup & vCenter VM Backup
- Incremental backup using VMware Changed Block Tracking
- Application-Aware VMware vSphere backup
- Backup job template for faster backup configuration
- Faster backup using Direct SAN and Hot-Add transport modes
- Native tape backup support
- VembuHIVETM – for efficient backup storage
You can do incremental backups, and synthetic full backups, where a full backup and subsequent incremental backups are merged into a full backup. In terms of retention options, Vembu BDR Suite offers full Grandfather, Father, Son (GFS) retention support with either Full Backups or Incremental Backups. This allows you to set up a very resilient backup of your VM data.
The recovery of VM data is the cornerstone of any data protection solution. Vembu BDRSuite offers a wide range of restore type options, ranging from Instant Boot VMs, to Virtual Drives mounted to the BDRSuite server, to File Level Recovery:
I tested the Instant Boot VM option, where I restore and boot the web01 VM (normally running on my nested vSAN cluster) directly on my physical ESXi server:
For Instant Boot VM recovery, you need to select provide the target ESXi or vCenter Server where you want to recover to:
For a robust data protection architecture, it is of course essential to replicate data outside of your data center. VM Replication provides you this capability. In the following screenshots, I replicate the web01 VM from my nested vSAN Datastore to my local SSD of my physical ESXi server. This way I can simulate replication between two vSphere environments:
You can provide the replication scheduling details:
Next, you select the target ESXi server or vCenter Server:
When replicating between different vSphere environments, it could be necessary to re-map the networks, or even re-IP the Virtual Machine:
Vembu BDRSuite is a very feature-rich platform and I really like the Free Edition option so I can use it in my homelab environment. If you are interested, check out their website and download a free trial of Vembu BDRsuite!