Vembu BDR’s New Release , New Features

It’s been while Vembu BDR version 3.8 was released. Due to other commitments, I could not cover the release. I have divided this blog into two sections. New features and Enhanced features. This version is focused on reducing management overhead and increasing efficiency of backup operation.

New Features in Vembu BDR 3.8 Release

Real Storage Pooling

Storage Pools are used to aggregate the space available from different volumes and utilize them as a storage for specific backups. The hybrid volume manager of Vembu BDR Server supports scalable and extendable backup storage for various storage media such as Local drives, NAS(NFS and CIFS) and SAN(iSCSI and FC). Vembu BDR provides storage pooling option for both backup level and group level.

Decreases management overhead as you have now single console to manage all backup storage.

Encryption of backup Jobs

Users can now provide additional security to their disk based backup jobs by assigning custom-password to the backup server, such that all their backup data will be encrypted and can be restored/accessed only by providing the custom-password.

Protection Against Ransomware is the Need of the time. Vembu backup is encrypted by default using their proprietary algorithm. With Backup Job encryption additional security layer is added to protect against Ransomware attack

Reduced Bandwidth Utilization for Initial Seeding

Storing the copy of backup data for DR requirements is now an easy task to be accomplished by seed loading backup server data to the desired offsite data center. This saves loads of time and bandwidth from being consumed.

Optimize bandwidth utilization and reduce replication window. Earlier the two sites sync, better is the chance of declaring data is protected on the DR site

FLR from GUI (Backup & Replication)

File Level Recovery(FLR) is now available for both backup and replication jobs where the user can choose specific files and folders from VMware/Hyper-V/Disk Image backups and VMware replication, to be restored quickly.

Gives the end user privileges to restore data be it replicated or backed up data. This feature reduces the service request logged by the end user to restore data. It improves IT Backup service

Reduced Installation Time

Users will now get the client agents installer as .msi format also.The installer will check for the following packages based on the OS types (32 bit or 64 bit), and it will install the following (if not installed previously),

    • Visual C++  2008 redistributable packages x86
    • Visual C++ 2008 redistributable packages x64
    • Visual C++ 2013 redistributable packages x64
    • Visual C++ 2015 redistributable packages x86

This is my favorite addition to the product. I like the installation packages checked and installed without separately downloading the product and restart the installation process. Installation becomes more integrated, streamlined and reduce overall time to install the product

Enhancements in v3.8

Enhancements touch those features of the product which were either present but not used due to various clicks or which were improved to make a product more efficient. Primarily enhancements find their way into the product via customer feedback, Support teams feedback. In short, the focus is partly towards reduced troubleshooting time.

Ease of Restore Disk Management Mount(Hyper-V)

This option lets you instantly attach backup data to disk management as a VHD/VHDX file and proceed with the restore process. The VHD/VHDX file is created by virtually mounting the backup data on the Vembu virtual drive. Users can access backup data via disks attached to disk management.

Once done with the requirement, unmount backup data. This will resume the backup job so that incremental will run as scheduled.

It becomes far easier for Backup operation team to restore and explore data if end user is unaware of the location of the data

Disk level download option for VMware & Hyper-V plugins

Users can download backup data in multiple disk file formats such as VHD, VMDK, VHDX, VMDK-Flat and RAW.

Similarly, if the user needs to download individual disks in a virtual machine, he can perform disk level download by selecting the disks.

From a group of virtual machines in a host backup, multiple disks can be downloaded with same disk file format.

This features was there right in the product, now you can select multiple VMs and mass migrate it. I have posted a blog post on in the past. Again operational overhead is reduced

List VMs in an alphabetical order

Virtual Machines that are present in the host will be listed in alphabetical order based on the ASCII table values, thereby making it simpler for the user to search and configure the backup. In the Review Configuration page, the Virtual machines that are chosen for backup are listed in the selected order.

Note: Virtual Machines will be listed in the following hierarchical order <special characters>, <numeric characters>, <Uppercase letters>, <lowercase letters>.

Search option for VMs in backup config page & restore list page

This option allows the user to search the Virtual machines that are available on the ESXi host. Also, the user can search VMs/ host/cluster from a vCenter server. By specifying the required VM name in the search option, you can select the VMs that are to be backed up from an ESXi host/vCenter Server.

Both the features aimed at making Backup operation simple, faster and easier. Initially, it was bit of a task to find a VM, the search eliminates scrolling task and aids in location VM quickly in Vembu Backup console

VM level reports in OffsiteDR Server

This page lists all replicated jobs configured from backup server to the offsite server where you can see a report option alongside every replicated job

New menu for consolidated VM level report in BackupServer & OffsiteDR

VM level report gives the user the centralized report page of all VMs that are configured for backup. It allows users to view the detailed backup reports of virtual machines configured from both ESXi or Hyper-V Host.

Reporting of backup job has multifaceted effects. First and foremost it helps management learn how much data is backed up and what is getting backed up. Secondly, it helps in categorizing VM per Business Units/Tenants. With this feature, an additional filtering option will allow to distinguished what is being backed and on which hypervisor. I feel this feature can be further integrated into your costing model

Enable or Disable retention for VMBackup / ImageBackup

User can enable or disable retention policy for the backups based on their requirements.

Disabling retention allows user to maintain all the backups without any merging of the incremental timestamps. This option is used when the backup size is low.

Additional Enhancements

  • Admin\Read Only Access privileges at both Backup Server and Group Level which make Role Based Access control manageable
  • Email Settings in Backup Agents
  • Email Report for OffsiteDR
  • Backup Verification Email Report (Backup Server & OffsiteDR)