Distinguishing Features of Large, Midsize, and Small Enterprise VMware vSphere Backup Solutions

VMware offers APIs that backup software may use to integrate with vCenter to centralize and administer data protection. Backup providers may also leverage separate VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection (VADP) and Storage vMotion features. These APIs accelerate and simplify the backup software’s deployment and the ongoing VM backup and recovery management.

These integrations with and leveraging of the VMware APIs influence which types of enterprise environments these backup solutions best fit. DCIG just recently completed and released TOP 5 reports on large, and midsize, enterprise VMware vSphere backup solutions with a small enterprise edition forthcoming shortly. Here are distinguishing characteristics of each type.

DCIG 2022 23 TOP 5 Large Enterprise VMware vSphere Backup Icon 600x600 1Large Enterprise VMware vSphere Backup Solutions

  1. Leverage VADP in VM backup and recovery. All large enterprise backup solutions universally incor­porate VADP into their VMware vSphere backup offering. Backup solutions targeted at smaller environments certainly can and do support VADP. However, organizations must first confirm if those solutions support it and how they implement it.
  2. Protect the data of VMware-specific applica­tions. VMware offers multiple software tools to help large enterprises orchestrate and manage their virtual infrastructure. These include tools such as vCenter Server, vRealize Orchestrator, and vSphere with Tanzu Objects, among others. These tools create their own application data. All these backup solutions offer options to protect data stored in one or more of these VMware-specific applications.
  3. Support for multiple types of backup media targets. Ransomware’s prevalence has forced enterprises to rethink how and where they store their backup data. Ransomware attacks may target backup software and its backup data stores. These attacks may put backup data stored on direct- and/or network-attached disk storage at risk.

All large enterprise backup solutions help mitigate this risk by support­ing multiple other backup media targets. These include object storage in public and private clouds and potentially tape. Stored on these alter­native media types, backup software can take advantage of the data immutability features they offer.

DCIG 2022 23 TOP 5 Midsize Enterprise VMware vSphere Backup Icon 600x600 1Midsize Enterprise VMware vSphere Backup Solutions

  1. Optimized for the backup and recovery of vSphere environ­ments with up to 10,000 VMs. Some of the solutions covered can back up vSphere environments with more than 10,000 VMs. However, DCIG finds these solutions and their feature sets most appropriate for vSphere environments with 1,000 to 10,000 VMs.
  2. Support leading guest operating systems (OSes). The breadth of guest OSes the backup software protects comes into play in midsize enterprises. All these solutions protect the primary OSes midsize enterprises likely possess. For instance, they protect all recent versions of Microsoft Windows Server (2012, 2016, & 2019). The majority (90+ percent) also support the Red Hat Enterprise and SUSE Linux OSes.
  3. Integrate with and create application-consistent backups for leading Microsoft applications. 90+ percent of these solutions integrate with and can create application consistent backups of the following on-premises Microsoft applications: Active Directory, Exchange, and SQL Server.
  4. Support for block, file, and cloud storage backup media targets. All these solutions support using local block and network-attached storage devices for storing backups. They also support using off-premises, S3-compliant cloud storage to store backup data. Of these solutions, 90 percent have gone the extra step to certify AWS S3 as a cloud storage target.
  5. Provide multiple restore options for VM file data and images. Using almost any of these solutions, midsize enterprises may perform multiple types of restores. All support granular file and folder restores. They also all support VM image restores to the same vSphere host, a different vSphere host, or restoring the VM with a different name.
  6. Email, phone, and web chat support. All these solutions afford midsize enterprises the option to contact them for support using email, phone, or web chat.

 Small Enterprise VMware vSphere Backup Solutions

  1. Optimized for the backup and recovery of vSphere environments with up to 1,000 VMs. Some of the solutions covered can back up vSphere environments with more than 1,000 VMs. However, DCIG finds these solutions and their feature sets most appropriate for vSphere environments with 50 to 1,000 VMs.
  2. Focus on protection of Microsoft Windows guest operating systems (OSes). Small enterprises largely host their applications, data, and workloads on Microsoft Windows platforms. All these backup solutions protect recent versions of Microsoft Windows Server (2012, 2016, & 2019) as well as Microsoft Windows 10.
  3. Integrate with and create application-consistent backups for leading Microsoft applications. Nearly 90 percent of these solutions integrate with and can create application consistent backups of the Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server.
  4. Support for replication. More small enterprises want to copy and store backup data to another on-premises location or off-site for disaster recovery (DR) purposes. Of these solutions, nearly 90 percent support replication of backup data.
  5. Provide multiple restore options for VM file data and images. Using almost any of these solutions, small enterprises may perform multiple types of restores. Nearly 90 percent support granular file and folder restores. About 80 percent support VM image restores to the same vSphere host, a different vSphere host, or restoring the VM with a different name.
  6. Same-day and online support. About 80 percent of these solutions provide small enterprises with access to support the same day they initiate a call. The same percentage also provide an online knowledgebase they may use to freely research issues they may encounter.

Get the Reports

Download the 2022-23 DCIG TOP 5 Midsize Enterprise VMware vSphere Backup Solutions Report at No Charge with Registration.

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