Do you still need a VM-specific backup solution?

Probably not … but not for the reasons that you think. As most folks are getting ready for VMworld next week, ESG has published a brief, Is a VM-specific Approach to Backup & Recovery Still Necessary in 2017?

The real answer comes in a few parts:

The need for VM-specific tools had been predicated on legacy backup utilities struggling to back up VMs, which has mostly been mitigated by advancements in VMware APIs for Data Protection (VADP) and Microsoft VSS support. To be fair, there is still differentiation in how well various backup tools protect VMs, but the fundamental question of “can you reliably get a backup of a VM” is mostly solved by VADP and VSS.

And while the “unified” solutions now boast better VM-capabilities, the predominant leader in VM-specific capabilities has since added physical- and cloud-service agents, thereby no longer being “VM-specific” themselves.

There is more to both sides of the discussion, which is covered in the video below and in the brief (which is available to ESG subscribers).

To be clear, not every backup solution is equitable around VADP and VSS, so some still lack that fundamental capability (which will continue to fuel VM-specific supplements to legacy tools for the foreseeable future).  But once you get past that, then a whole range of other differentiators become even more interesting:

  • Agility and reliability to recover, including BC/DR and availability outcomes, as well as migration and proactive scenarios.
  • Manageability, including ease of use across a heterogeneous, hybrid, multi-platform infrastructure of servers and services.

So, as you walk through the halls of VMworld US and VMworld EU … listen not just to the claims around VMware protection/recovery alone, but also to how those data management (protection, recovery, preservation, and availability) capabilities will fit within a heterogeneous world. THAT is what I’ll be looking for at this year’s VMworld events, as well as a few other industry conferences this Fall.

And if you want to visit on the topic, ping me at @JBuff to share coffee or ideas.

As always, thanks for watching.

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