If you haven’t heard, the “legacy” backup method of using VMware VCB will be removed from the next release of vSphere, and the “modern” method will be to use the VMware Storage APIs for Data Protection (VADP). From the letter available here at VMware’s site:
The purpose of this letter is to inform you of our vSphere backup product strategy, ongoing enhancements, and end of availability plans for VMware Consolidated Backup.
VMware Backup Product Strategy
VMware released vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) with the vSphere 4.0 release in May, 2009. VADP is the next generation of VMware’s backup framework. We have also been working with several backup partners to integrate VADP into their solutions to make backup of vSphere Virtual Machines fast, efficient and easy to deploy compared to VCB and other backup solutions. Several of our major backup partners have already released VADP integrated backup products and we expect most of the major backup partners to have VADP integrated backup software by the upcoming feature release of the vSphere platform in 2010.
Future Product Licensing
Given the strong interest and adoption of VADP by our backup eco-system and the benefits offered by VADP compared to VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), we are announcing the End of Availability for VCB starting with next vSphere feature release in 2010. Starting with the next vSphere platform feature release, VCB will be removed from vSphere platform. VADP integrated backup products (including VMware Data Recovery) will be the recommended option for efficient backup and restoration of vSphere Virtual Machines. This will allow us to focus new value added feature development on VADP instead of two backup frameworks (VCB and VADP).”
This means if you plan on upgrading to vSphere and use VCB, you will want to have in your planning and budgeting a way to migrate to a backup vendor that supports VADP. Contact your preferred backup vendor today to see what their plans are for VADP support.
I personally recommend Veeam Backup and Replication ( HiperLogic is a Veeam Gold Partner, so maybe I am a bit biased) for the simple matter of fact that ESX 3.5 users can use it today with their 3.5 installation, and migrate seamlessly to current and future vSphere releases. There is some peace of mind that the mechanism you back up with today will let you restore tomorrow.
VMware has a backup appliance bundled with vSphere that uses VADP known as vDR (VMware Data Recovery), but as of the current vSphere release I typically don’t recommend it, see the post on this subject vDR vs Veeam Backup. It is quite possible that VMware’s vDR product will get some more development pumped into it once VCB is removed from vSphere this year, by then though Veeam SureBackup will be out.