What is VMware vSphere Data Protection In 2023?- Is It The Best Backup Solution?

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In this blog, I am going to share about VMware vSphere Data Protection.

What is VMware vSphere Data Protection?

  • What is vSphere Data Protection?
  • Why did VMware discontinue vSphere Data Protection?
  • Is there any native alternative to vSphere Data Protection?
  • What are my third-party backup options?
  • What was the latest VMware version that had vSphere Data Protection?
  • When is the end of general support (EOGS) for vSphere Data Protection?

What is VMware vSphere Data Protection?

As a VMware customer, you may ask a question: What was vSphere Data Protection? The answer to this question is twofold.

There was a time when VMware had a native data protection backup solution called vSphere Data Protection. Let’s briefly review what this solution had to offer. The vSphere Data Protection provided:

  • Agentless backup
  • Changed Block Tracking (CBT)
  • App-consistent backup
  • Backup verification
  • File-level recovery
  • Disaster Recovery

Several versions of Vsphere Data Protection were released between 2012 and 2019, the latest of which was vSphere Data Protection 6.1.1-6.1.11 (2015-2019/Release Notes) However, VMware declared the End of Availability of vSphere Data Protection (EOA) back in 2017. The FAQ associated with the discontinuation of vSphere backup solution are:

However, VMware declared the End of Availability of vSphere Data Protection (EOA) back in 2017.

vmware vsphere data protection

vsphere features

VMware Vsphere Data Protection Best Practices

Before choosing a backup solution for your VMware environment, you need to review best practices for VMware vSphere data protection.

Knowing best practices can help you organize your VMware Vsphere backup and recovery process with higher efficacy.

Use the latest version of your backup solution

Always purchase and use the newest version of your backup software to avoid bugs and security issues.

The latest version has the most advanced features and tools for running and managing your VMware backups, and the latest security patches.

Define your main recovery objectives

You need to determine which of your applications and databases are of the highest importance and should be backed up first.

Once you establish your backup order, you can set your Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs). These metrics can help with setting up your backup schedule and avoiding downtime in case of an emergency.

After you define your recovery objectives, you need to assess if you have enough resources to meet those objectives without using too much of your resources.

These resources include CPU, storage capacity, and the availability of appropriate personnel. If you don’t have enough resources, try to redefine your initial goals or look into extra expenditures to meet those goals.

Protect your backups from unauthorized access

It’s not just enough to generate backups. It is necessary to figure out how to safeguard your backups from both inside and outside intruders.

To ensure your backups are safe, create backup copies directly from backups without accessing your ESXi hosts or VMs.

Create at least three backup copies and keep them in a remote location; you can send your copies to the public cloud storage, such as Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, or Wasabi cloud storage.

Optimize your backup process

An efficient backup solution with all top-notch features in place can help you shape your backup process by making it more time-efficient, automated, compact, all-inclusive, and resource-saving.

Your backups should be:

Small: You can reduce your expenses and save storage space by making your backups as small as possible.

To make your backups smaller, you can employ such techniques as change block tracking, compression, deduplication, swap files exclusion, and log truncation.

App-aware: To include all data along with pending transactions, you need to produce app-consistent, app-aware backups.

To run app-aware backups on a Windows machine, your backup solution implements Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) service.

However, if you run a Linux environment, you can use pre-freeze and post-thaw scripts to create app-consistent backups.

Verifiable: Finding out that your backups are corrupted, and that you can’t perform a recovery during a disruptive event, is the worst-case scenario!

At this point, it’s too late to do something about the backup. And, if the result ends up distorted or incomplete, you may experience a full or partial data loss.

To ensure your backups are in good condition, you need to verify them every time you run a backup job.

A modern backup solution can verify your backups and send you a verification screenshot via email or you can look up the results on the solution’s dashboard.

To make your data protection process even more robust you should:

Select the best recovery option

Analyze your specific case and choose either a full or granular recovery option. Go with granular recovery when you need to restore individual files, folders, or objects.

Usually, granular recovery is used when you accidentally delete a single item or two.

On the other hand, you need to use a full recovery if you need to restore an entire VM or several VMs were deleted or became corrupted in the course of a disaster.

If you run physical-virtual hybrid environments, you can run P2V recoveries which allow you to restore your physical backups as VMs.

Foster automation whenever possible

Automating backup and recovery activities saves time and reduces human error. Therefore, try to automate your backup tasks whenever you can.

A solid backup solution allows you to automate such tasks as job chaining and backup scheduling. You can automatically add or remove VMs based on the VM’s name, tag, or size.

Third-Party Backup Solutions

The five backup solutions below are effective alternatives to vSphere data protection:


nakivo review

NAKIVO Backup & Replication is an agentless and lightweight backup solution that can protect your VMware VMs and ESXi hosts from a single pane of glass.

NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers high-speed backups with reduced storage capacity, error-free recovery (granular and full), and backup automation.

2. Synology

synology review

Synology offers Network-attached storage (NAS) integrated backup solution for your VMware endpoints that you can manage from a single console.

The Synology platform allows you to recover your VMware infrastructure quickly with minimum downtime.

3. Thinware

thinware backup

Thinware provides host-level and agent-free backups for your VMware machines and ESXi hosts. Thinware is an enterprise-level backup solution.

Thinware can backup and restore an unlimited number of VMs that incorporate the most modern data protection features, such as app-consistent backups, file-level restore, integration with vStorage APIs, etc.

4. Rubrik

rubrik data security

The rubric gives room for simple data migration to the cloud. Customers can easily transfer their VMware VMs to Azure and AWS environments.

Rubrik enables you to run automatic backup jobs and create smart backup and retention policies. Rubrik also offers multiple recovery points, reducing the Recovery Points Objectives (RPOs) to a minimum.

5. Acronis

acronis backup

Acronis enables you to run agentless, image-based backups of your VMware VMs. With Acronis, you can store your backups to multiple locations.

You can reduce the backup load on your production environment by transferring your VM snapshots to NetApp SAN storage. Acronis offers a hypervisor-level speedy recovery and remote restore of your data.

The FAQ associated with the discontinuation of the vSphere backup solution are:

Why did VMware discontinue vSphere Data Protection?

In place of the Vsphere data protection solution, VMware is currently focusing on further developing its software-defined data center storage options. Therefore, VMware’s current primary goal is to further advance its storage APIs.

🙆 Is there any native alternative to vSphere Data Protection?

VMware does not plan to create another backup solution. However, instead, Dell EMC offers a data protection and recovery solution across software-defined data centers (SDDCs). This solution is based on Avamar Virtual Edition, a virtual appliance that serves a major role in backing up and recovering data across SDDCs.

🧏 What are my third-party backup options?

Most customers who used vSphere data protection have by now switched to third-party backup options that offer data protection services to physical and virtual environments. Those solutions include Ivo, Synology, Thinware, Rubrik, Acronis, etc.

👍 What was the latest VMware version that had vSphere Data Protection?

The latest VMware version that included vSphere Data Protection was VMware Vsphere 6.5. Later versions such as 6.7 and 7.0 do not include VMware Vsphere data protection.

👉 When was the end of general support (EOGS) for vSphere Data Protection?

The intention to end general support for vSphere Data Protection was announced on April 5th, 2017. The EOGS date was March 12, 2020. Now, let’s go back to the other part of the question. True, vSphere Data Protection from VMware no longer exists, but there are alternatives. Today, you can protect your VMware vSphere environments by using third-party backup solutions. There are a variety of solutions on the market known for their user-friendliness, affordability, and availability of additional features, such as forever incremental recovery, instant recovery, encryption, etc. Now, before briefly going over some leading backup solutions currently available, let's cover the best practices for protecting VMware vSphere environments.

Quick Links

Conclusion- VMware vSphere Data Protection 2023

VMware vSphere Data Protection was a native backup solution by VMware that was no longer supported as of March 12, 2020.

However, VMware data protection did not disappear with the departure of VMware’s data protection offering. On the contrary, there are a variety of third-party alternatives that can serve a similar role.

To provide high-end protection for your VM infrastructure, explore the third-party backup options and follow data protection best practices for VMware vSphere.

NAKIVO Backup & Replication is a powerful, yet affordable solution for your VMware infrastructure.

NAKIVO Backup & Replication can protect your VMs in any type of scenario from a single instance data loss to disaster recovery. To learn more about vSphere data protection, click here.

Andy Thompson

Andy Thompson has been a freelance writer for a long while. She is a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Digiexe, a digital marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. She has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing & affiliate marketing too. She likes sharing her knowledge in a wide range of domains ranging from ecommerce, startups, social media marketing, making money online, affiliate marketing to human capital management, and much more. She has been writing for several authoritative SEO, Make Money Online & digital marketing blogs like: ImageStation, & Newsmartwave

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