Backup has always been essential to maintaining IT infrastructure, but it is also the most underestimated task. And when it comes to virtual infrastructure, things are pretty much the same. The virtual server backup market features four major providers that specialize in backing up your virtual infrastructure and restoring data. I hear friendly competitive fighting between them about how fast they can do backups and how few resources they use on the ESX hosts, but the real question is, what about usability and management?
Can these technologies for virtual environments compete with old-fashioned backup solutions that are mostly file-level backups? I decided to find out and created a test environment in which I put four virtual server backup technologies to the test. This was not performance testing, so you won't see columns and reporting on statistics in this report, but usage testing – after all, isn't that what it's all about? If an admin has trouble using a product, he will probably choose something else.
The four products -- in no particular order -- are:
- Veeam Backup and Replication 3.1
- Vizioncore vRanger Pro 4 Data Protection Platform
- esXpress 3.6 VMware Backup
- VMware Data Recovery 1.0
I would like to thank these vendors for supplying me with their software, answers to my questions along the way, and help when things didn't go smoothly.
Gabrie van Zanten (VCP) has been in the IT industry for 12 years. Currently he is a virtualization architect for a worldwide consultancy company and has designed and maintained virtual infrastructures for a number of customers. He has written articles for magazines and frequently publishes in-depth articles at his weblog, GabesVirtualWorld.