VMware Data Recovery (VDR) is a graphical user interface backup tool that lets you back up your virtual machines. You can view it as an add-on to your vCenter server and a VM inside your VI client.
For the beginning, it is of utmost importance to note that VMware VDR will not fully assist you in backing up your crucial VMware data. The VMware company itself recommends a third-party VMware backup for your fully operational tasks to be constantly available, and no data will be gone for good.
Multiple VMware recovery tools have emerged on the market. You only have to choose the most appropriate ones for you and your business to run your virtual machines entirely. Incremental backups shall be used tobackup VMs and have restore points from where to recover data file system setup.
Just a quick hint prior to performing anything related to VMware VDR – Before installing VMware Data Recovery, make sure that the VMware vSphere Client and VMware ESXi host are installed.
VMware is one of those companies (and perhaps the most famous) that offers VM creation software or virtual machines. A VM allows one computer to mimic an operating system on another computer.
For example, you may be running a Linux platform and need access to a program running Windows 7. Simply loading a Windows 7 VM on your Linux platform will allow you to run Windows and any Windows program you want.
Virtual appliance and virtual infrastructure of VMware grant individual files resources.
A VM or virtual machine consists of more files on a virtual disk. VMware Virtual Disk Files have a .vmdk extension. The .vmx file if a config file that contains the name of the first VMDK file in the set.
VMware data recovery recommendations
VMware recommends that you follow these guidelines to protect you from further data loss for best results:
- If crucial data is unavailable due to accidental deletion, device malfunction, or damage, turn off the volume offline and disconnect immediately;
- Remember never to install data recovery software on a volume if you need deleted data to recover. Installing software creating or copying files into a book can permanently overwrite the data in the volume’s free space and make it irreversible;
- Never try to force a member disk on the Internet unless you have painted all the member disks;
- If you decide to restore the data yourself, always work with a backup or image file of your data, volume, or VMDK file;
- Re-initializing or reformatting a problematic volume will remove all data and complicate data recovery attempts;
- Restore a RAID array only if all of its disk drives are fully saved, or you have a fully functional and certified backup.
One of the latest features in vSphere is VMware Data Recovery incorporated in the Essentials Plus solution package or the advanced version of vSphere. You can also recover accidentally deleted files in your VM with the File Level Restore (FLR) tool.
It is provided as a virtual machine in your vSphere environment that fully integrates with the vCenter server to contribute you thoroughly centralized management of your backups. In order to backup vSphere, Data Recovery dramatically enhances the original VMware Consolidated Backup by offering an entire GUI management interface with various wizards to help set up and manage all your backup/recovery tasks.
VMware Data Recovery is not the best solution for your backup demands, even though it can significantly improve your disaster recovery. There are two main reasons for this. The first reason is that it only supports disk-based backups, so you still need to provide some form of off-site storage.
The second issue is that while there is a file-level recovery feature, it only supports Windows-based VMs and has no add-ons for specific applications like Exchange or SQL. VMware DR is ideal for situations where you need to restore an entire VM as soon as possible.
Furthermore, you will still need your usual backup application when you need to get back an essential email to your company CEO.
Deploy VMware vSphere Data Recovery
There are two crucial parts of installing Data Recovery:
- installing the management plugin
- importing a virtual device
Both parts are delivered on the same image on an ISO CD, so the prime thing you must do is “burn” it to a CD or mount it on your vCenter server using a virtual CD application like Daemon Tools.
It should activate automatically once you have done that; otherwise, double-click on the CD to start the launcher.
Select a storage location for backup data
When the virtual disk is created, you can specify that all disk space should be allocated for storage, and VMware should allocate all disk space. There are two fundamental kinds of storage endowed by a data recovery device:
- VM storage on a virtual disk at the vSphere Data Store
- network storage such as a shared Windows folder
Local VM storage will typically be much more prompter than network storage. That being said, network storage can be more flexible, especially when making secondary backups of your DR data.
Yet, the two are not mutually exclusive, so testing is more accessible for novices, and local storage is recommended for security. When planning your live backup configuration, you can switch to network storage if needed.
Fundamental Characteristics – Features of VMware Data Recovery appliance
- Fully integrated and VCenter aware, it will continue to back up VMs when they are moved to another host;
- Full and enlarged Virtual Machine image backup and file-level backup/restore for Windows VM;
- De-duplicate data to reduce storage requirements for backups;
- Disk-based storage using the standard range of connection protocols – iSCSI, FC, NAS, or localhost storage;
- The VCenter-based management console for centralized GUI management and intuitive operation simplification wizards;
- VSS support for Windows VM for application consistent backups.
VMware Data Recovery is not harmful as the first backup/recovery product to have a VMware GUI. This type of product is helpful for small businesses worldwide due to the fact that it is light and functional. Check your diaries from time to time to make sure everything is working correctly. The principle is simple, just set it and forget it.
In practice, more sophisticated products are on the market, but this is another story. VDR is a solid product that uses only a particular processor and space in the middle of your virtual infrastructure to help you stay safe. Take even further steps towards your security if VMware Data Recovery fails to deliver your preferred results.