Having a look at Vembu BDR
Over the weekend I have been looking into Vembu BDR, which is a suite of Backup and Replication products. In this article I will make a general description of the Vembu BDR features and initial configuration to get a backup job running.
The Vembu BDR Suite can be used by both the big, medium and small businesses, offering agentless backup and replication for both vSphere and Hyper-V platforms. Application aware processing is possible when using agents. According to Vembu they “offer the best of breed technology in providing manageable solution at affordable cost”. They also state that with Vembu Backup it is possible to achiev an RTO and RPO of 15 minutes.
Vembu BDR can be installed on a Windows (2008 R2 or 2012) server, but is also available as a appliance. For evaluation purpose Vembu recommended to use the Windows version. The appliance version was indicated to be used for specific scenario’s. To what those scenario’s are I din’t really get a clear anwser.
The installation of the software on a Windows server is pretty much straightforward. After installing Windows, the only prerequisite I had to make was installing the C++ 2003 redistributables. If you haven’t done so before starting the Vembu installation, the setup will give you a reminder and the option with a direct download.
During the installation you get the option to accept the default settings or go with a customized install. I choose for the customized route and I would recommend this for everyone. The customized install offers some options that, 9 out of 10 (eq. database and backup location) you are likely to change.
After the installation you are able to connect with the webconsole on “https://serveradres:6061“. The first time you will be asked to enter the correct time zone and enter a unique “Vembu BDR ID”. This ID is used to separate multiple BDR server instances.
Now you enter the main administration page and offers you the ability to add systems to backup. You can choose to add a Hyper-V host, physical server or appliacations (the last two need an agent you can download). In this case I choose to add a vCenter server for my test, which was easy as you can see in the screenshots.
Create backup job
On the last screen for adding a vCenter server there is a link / icon in the “backup now” colum. This allows you to directly setup a backup job. Most steps again are fairly basic / simple, but the “configure retention” page might take a bit longer. The “application aware” option allows for some extra options when dealing with applications running within certain virtual machines. And the “Advanced Retention” radio button makes it possible to use a GFS (Grandfather-Father-Son) schema.
Although my homelab isn’t equipted for a performance test, the pace at which I could install and configure the software was pretty good. The webconsole was responsive and easy to use. In that respect they make true on their promise regarding “providing manageable solution“.
The pricing for Vembu has several models, depending on the product you want to use. For backing up a vSphere or Hyper-V host they use an annual per CPU license model, much like other vendors do.
In the testing setup I was not able to test statement for an RTO and RPO of 15 minutes. Assuming this can be achieved then this could give them an edge on other products in the market. Appart from the RTO and RPO I have yet to find something that would really set them apart.
Yet I do believe that Vembu BDR is worth the time to check out. From what I have seen the product can compete with other in the market. So If you are looking to try out a new backup solution then Vembu BDR could be what you need. To try it out, you can download a trial here.
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