vSphere Data Protection Advanced Licensing your hosts

I have seen a consistent growth lately in the number of my customers that shift to using vSphere Data Protection (VDP). I guess with VDP standard edition being a freebie nonetheless all the powerful features it come up with has made it an easy choice for many customers in the SMB market. VDP standard comes loaded with many features including: (Find out more about each of these features at: http://www.vmware.com/ca/en/products/vsphere/features/data-protection.html )

  • Variable-length de-duplication
  • Global de-duplication
  • Changed Block Tracking backup (CBT)
  • Changed Block Tracking restore
  • One-step recovery

Though as with every free thing in life it comes with few limitations, where most of them are waived when upgrading to the paid version called VDP Advanced. Below is the main limits of the free VDP Standard Edition:

  • Each VDP appliance supports backup for up to 100 virtual machines..
  • Support a maximum of 2 TB of deduplicated backup data.
  • Each vCenter Server can support up to 10 VDP appliances.

Upgrading to the vSphere Data Protection Advanced Edition waive most of these limits as below:

  • Each VDP Advanced supports backup for up to 4,000 VMs in comparison to only 100 in the Standard Edition
  • vSphere Data Protection Advanced expand the maximum supported deduplicated backup datastore to 8TB from 2TB in the standard edition
  • vSphere Data Protection Advanced still limited to 10 VDP appliances per vCenter.
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vSphere Data Protection error – operation failed due to existing snapshot

After I have helped one of my customers deploy VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced to replace their old VMware Data Recovery, and helped them schedule their environment for backup, we came back the next day to find out that few VMs have failed with the following error: “VDP:¬†operation failed due to existing snapshot”.


As most of our VMs backed up successfully we were pretty sure it is not the VDP software, and that the problem is related to these specific VMs. It end up just like the error is indicating these VMs have Snapshots that have not properly been removed and needed to be cleaned up before VDP can backup these VMs. Below is the action we have taken to fix this problem:

  1. Check the Snapshot Manager for VMs that failed to backup.
  2. If Snapshot Manager showing any snapshots delete them, then proceed to step 4.
  3. If Snapshot Manager not showing any snapshots, just proceed to step 4.
  4. After deleting all snapshots showing in snap manager, create a new snapshot.
  5. Hit Delete All in Snapshot Manager after the new snapshot have been completed.

The above procedure in most cases should clean up your VM from none consistent dirty snapshots, and you should be able to backup these VMs after that using VMware VDP.… Read More