Just been playing around with a VDR appliance on one of my sandbox machines. Its really quite neat , and while its not a complete backup solution for a large vmware environment, I’ve thought of a way it can still add value to and become a useful appliance in a VMware Admin’s tool kit.
From my own experience and those of some fellow community members on twitter , long running snapshots can be a significant thorn in the side of an otherwise happily running environment. when I’ve questioned shapshot requesters to their reasons for needing these long running snapshots , and it is commonly for something like a code deployment.
We already have a running backup infrastructure within the VM’s but currently we dont use a backup system that takes complete vm level backups. However, even if we did , then an out of schedule backup might not always be easy. This is where VDR comes in handy.
Ad-Hoc backups of VM’s as an alternative to snapshots. These are not too common , and rarely for the larger VM’s in the environment , so the limitations on the size of datastore you can attach to the VDR appliance are not really a problem.
I’m going to start offering a VDR backup to application teams in place of those snapshot requests and see how they take it. fingers crossed I’ll eliminate those snapshot problems for good !