VDR is pretty flexible with backup destinations – you can choose to back up VMs to a CIFS share, VMDK, or RDM. A few of the benefits of vDR are:
- Uses changed block tracking (if the VM hardware is version 7) to only send the changed data blocks to the backup destination.
- Ability to expand the storage destination on the fly (up to 2 1TB dedupe volumes per backup appliance)
The first step is to create a VMFS datastore on your disk where you want to put the backup files. You could have up to (2) 1TB dedupe volumes per backup appliance. Format the datastore with a 4MB block size.
Download the data recovery ISO from VMware and install the Data Recovery Client Plug-In
After the install is completed open the vSphere Client and go to Manage Plug-Ins and make sure that VMware Data Recovery is enabled.
Now that the client is installed it’s time to install the vDR backup appliance, from the vSphere Client go to File –> Deploy OVF Template
Select the option to Deploy From File and click Browse
Browse to the VMware Data Recovery CD and go into the VMware Data Recovery-ovf folder, select the VMwareDataRecovery_OVF10.ovf file and click Open.
Continue through selecting the default options, when you get to the IP Address Allocation screen you will have to leave it at DHCP – you can set a static IP address later through the vDR console after it boots up.
After it is done importing, edit the settings of the virtual machine and add another hard drive. In my case this VMDK will reside on the backup datastore I created from my 1TB SATA disk.
Power on the vDR virtual machine and after it boots select Configure Network and assign the appropriate network information
From the vSphere Client select Solutions and Applications –> VMware Data Recovery. Enter the IP address of the vDR and select Connect. Enter the appropriate username/password when prompted.
By default it will create Backup Job 1, click Edit on this job. I needed to format the VMDK I gave the vDR appliance yet, after you format the volume it will automatically mount it as well.
On the next screen you can set your Backup Window times, see the note at the bottom of the post about backups that exceed backup window times.
On the next screen you can define your retention policy.
It automatically kicks off the first backup job, and you can see the backup when you click on the Restore tab
- The default schedule for backups is Monday through Friday at night, as well as Saturday and Sunday. vDR will attempt to backup the VM once per day, however if the backup does not complete during it’s backup window the backup will not continue – it will stop and resume during the next backup window. Something to keep in mind if you are backing up a large amount of virtual machines (the maximum is 100)
- Does not backup templates