PHD Virtual Backup version 6.0 is here

By the time this article is published, PHD Virtual Backup version 6.0 has been announced. There were a few features that impressed me and thought I would try it out and see how well it performs in my lab.

I will start covering the features from the least exciting to the most fascinating feature to keep you reading to the end of the post. Yeah! You heard it right they have come up with some fascinating features that worth checking out at VMworld 2012.

PHDVB v6.0 Top Feature #5: PHD Virtual Backup is Easy to install

Many of the fantastic backup solutions out there are so tough to setup, PHDVirtual is not one of them. They have made it even easier to deploy by delivering it as a virtual appliance. Installing PHD Virtual Backup is nothing but a simple 6 step process as illustrated below:

1. Download PHD Virtual Backup v6 here, then Install the PHD Virtual Backup Console and Plug-In by double-clicking the installation executable.

2. When the installation wizard completes, deploy the PHD Virtual Backup VBA by deploying the appliance OVF.

3. When deployment completes, make sure the VBA has an IP address then connect to the PHD Virtual Backup Console by right-clicking the VBA VM and selecting

PHD Virtual Backup > Console.

4. In the Configuration area, General tab, enter the Hypervisor credentials.

5. Next, click the Storage tab and define the backup storage location.

6. Click Save and restart the appliance.

These 6 simple steps will get your PHD Virtual Backup Solution installed and ready for you to start backing up your VMs. In 10 minutes or less.

PHDVB v6.0 backup screen

Figure 1: PHDVB v6.0 is ready to be used to backup my VMs

For those who love to see the instructions in video, then your wish is granted and below a step by step video of how to install PHD Virtual Backup v6

PHDVB v6.0 Top Feature #4: Application Aware Backups

Any backup expert will tell you application aware backups are not usually the easiest things to achieve. Further, It is even harder to achieve application aware backups when involving images/snapshots technologies unless your backup software has such consistency planned and created the modules to ensure it. PHD Virtual backup v6.0 seems to go a long way on this.

PHDVB v6.0 provides the ability to take application aware backups for any application. Application aware backups include the ability to properly quiesce the application prior to backup, as well as perform any post backup processes, such as automated log management (truncate, shrink, etc). This is done by leveraging a very small guest application called the PHD Guest Tools.

Microsoft Exchange is fully integrated with the application consistency feature of the PHDVB v6.0, where most other applications can integrate with it through a bit of scripting. The cool thing is that PHD and its customers can even share these scripts as they become available. I am told that SQL Server is in the works.

PHD Virtual Backup Application Aware backup

Figure 2: PHD Virtual Backup v6.0 Application aware backup setting screen

PHDVB v6.0 Top Feature #3: Encryption

For those customers who require that extra backup data security, PHD Virtual has thought of you as well. PHDVB v6.0 offer multiple types of industry standard encryption levels. PHDVB v6.0 does not only encrypt the data at rest after arriving to the VBA, but as well secure it in transient while the backup is being processed.

PHDVB v6.0 Top Feature #2: Instant VM Recovery

Actually this is the most fascinating feature with this release of the product. The next feature I cover is built upon this one, so I’ll describe it next. Instant VM Recovery is truly my favorite feature of the product. It’s almost as exciting to the backup world as VMotion announcement was to the Virtualization world. Actually I would call such a feature something like backup Motion.

PHD Virtual Backup 6.0 instant VM Recovery is a feature that actually allows you to bring your VMs online from backup instantly. Instant VM Recovery will allow you to power on the VM from backup without having to wait for it being restored. After powering on a VM from the backup, then you can move it to your production datastore using either storage VMotion (Zero downtime) if you are licensed for it. Or, you can use PHD Motion, which requires a brief downtime, which can be scheduled for off peak hours or during maintenance window. This will help you achieve one of the lowest RTO that is achievable by a backup solution available on the market.

While I was a bit skeptical when I first read about Instant VM Recovery, as I thought I can do the same if I do my backup of the full VM folder and make my backup destination just an ESXi host. The problem with that would be the usage of too much disk space, & thought PHD Virtual Backup would fall for the same trap. After investigating in my lab, I have discovered that my expectations were not true at all with PHD Virtual Backup v6.0. They actually use a highly deduped backup datastore, which can save you a lot on backup disk space and still allow you to do instant VM Recovery. This was very cool!

PHD Virtual Backup VM running from Backup using instant recovery

Figure 3: A VM running from backup using VM Instant Recovery

The following video shows the PHD Virtual Backup Instant VM Recovery feature in action.

PHDVB v6.0 Top Features #1: Backup Testing / Verification

Verifying & validating your backup is as important as taking it. No matter how often you take your backup, if you cannot restore it to fully operational state – then it counts for nothing. Many backup admins don’t get to test their backups as often as they would like, as it’s a very time consuming task with traditional backup solutions. For that PHDVB v6.0 has made testing your backup a breeze. You don’t have to restore your backup to test it, but you can just power it on from the backup itself and ensure it powers on, connects & operate as expected. And since this type of test may not necessarily catch data corruption in all areas of the backup, you can also leverage PHD’s block level verification, which occurs during the backup process itself. PHD will help many backup admins sleep better at night.

For more info about PHD Virtual Backup v6, please visit: http://phdvirtual.com/solutions/new-6-version

At last the ITComparison team has just posted a good comparison between Veeam Backup & Replication & PHD Virtual Backup & Replication that can be found at: Veeam vs PHD Virtual. Further, they have opened a space for discussion and comments on the comparison here

If you give PHD Virtual Backup 6.0 a try, then please leave a feedback in the comment area below.

Comments

  1. Sounds exactly like Veeam now.

  2. Morgan D. says:

    Looks like PHD Virtual is mimicking Veeam’s Backup & Replication which has been performing application aware backups, instant vm recovery, and verification of backups since version 5 (currently on v6.1). Interesting…

  3. Hi Morgan/Thomas,

    I guess with PHDVirtual stepping up the competition, I am positive we will see more innovative features from both Veeam & PHD Virtual in the near future.
    As always a healthy competition will just improve the customer experience & can even be nicer to his pocket as he has a more options for negotiation :).

    Enjoy,
    Eiad

  4. I would say that it’s incorrect to say that PHD Virtual is “mimicking” Veeam’s Backup & Replication just because it has now included some of the same features that are now expected of an un to date enterprise level backup solution.
    PHD’s earlier versions had distributed architecture that could move a lot of data before Veeam did. They included that in v6.0, but I wouldn’t have called their update “mimicking PHD”.
    I think it’s great to see PHD move back up the field level with Veeam.

    I agree with what Eiad said, competition and innovation will only serve to improve customer experience and give consumers more choice when it comes to price and functionality.

  5. Paul Martney says:

    As far as I know, the Veeam has the last 2 features patent-pending. How are you planning to handle that? Will you return money to your customers if court orders you to remove these features from your product?

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