Using VMware Consolidated Backup: Considerations and admin tips

This resource guide on VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) provides tips, articles and information on VCB configuration, considerations and training.

VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) is a backup tool for VMware ESX and vSphere 4. The resources in this guide will help you gain a better understanding of a VCB configuration, as well as provide valuable information on VCB training.

If you're a newer VMware administrator or someone studying the VMware infrastructure as a whole, be sure to check out our VMware Consolidated Backup definition for further information on what VCB is.


Five things backup administrators should know about VMware Consolidated Backup
By Rich Brambley for SearchDataBackup.com
VCB is a break from traditional, physical server backup products. As such, a server environment may need additional prep work before VCB can be deployed. This article provides five things administrators need to know before performing a VCB installation.

Substitutes for VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB)
Researching additional virtual backup options? Check out the following resources:  

Alternatives to VCB for VMware backup  

SearchServerVirtualization.com's 2009 Products of the Year winners: backup and storage category  

Demystifying VMware data protection: Data backup products 

To learn about VMware's latest backup product, VMware Data Recovery, check out SearchDataBackup.com's VMware Data Recovery installation guide.
When should you use VMware Consolidated Backup?
By David Davis for SearchVMware.com
This tip provides a general overview of VCB. It explains how VCB works, the various third-party applications it supports and discusses VCB's shortcomings.

Choosing between VCB and SAN-based backups comes down to snapshots
By Ioan Donea for SearchVMware.com
VCB and storage area network-based backup products use a snapshot approach for virtual environment backups. This method is vastly superior to file-based techniques, which can result in I/O bottlenecks. But which backup option should you use? In short, it depends on your virtual environment. This tip explains when to use VCB instead of SAN-based backup products to protect a virtual infrastructure.

Is VMware Consolidated Backup right for your enterprise?
By W. Curtis Preston for SearchDataBackup.com
VCB may not be the best backup option for your environment. One downside to VMware's backup tool, for example, is that it requires a separate, dedicated Windows server next to an ESX server. That could be problem for some enterprises. This tip spells out VCB's pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision about using it in your VMware environment.

Troubleshooting VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB)
By Andrew Kutz for SearchVMware.com
Occasionally, VCB produces confusing error messages. In this tip, you'll learn about the debugging data found in VCB logs and what that information means.

VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) script additions
By Andrew Kutz for SearchVMware.com
VCB is not a powerful, standalone backup tool. Instead, it provides a framework for third-party vendors. Using scripts, vendor backup products can tap into VCB for complete virtual environment snapshots. The following article provides the prevailing VCB scripts that will greatly enhance your backup procedure.

VMware Consolidated Backup: Adding an iSCSI LUN to ESX Server
By Andrew Kutz for SearchVMware.com
For those interested in using the iSCSI protocol with VCB for backing up VMs, this tip provides step-by-step instructions for attaching an iSCSI logical unit number (LUN) to an ESX server.

Configuring Windows as a VCB proxy: VCB with iSCSI
By Andrew Kutz for SearchVMware.com
Piggybacking off of the previous article, this tip explains how to configure a Windows 2003 server as a VCB proxy, which can also use the iSCSI protocol.

Keith Kessinger is the assistant editor of SearchServerVIrtualization.com and SearchVMware.com. . He is responsible for editing tips, creating editorial guides and recording podcasts. Prior to joining TechTarget, he graduated from Northeastern University in 2009 with a B.A. in journalism and minors in both economics and sociology. You can reach him at kkessinger@techtarget.com.

This was first published in March 2010

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