First Impressions of PHD Virtual Backup 6 @ VMworld

Wow!  As always VMworld is crazy, nuts, busy, sleep deprived and full of great information.  Throughout the crazy hustle I had a chance to stop by the PHD Virtual booth and have a look at the new release of their flagship product and award winning PHD Virtual Backup.  6.0 marks this release of their software and let me tell you it looks pretty sweet!

First off let me say that this is truly a feature release.  They have added a ton of new functionality, some of my favorites are highlighted below.but for a full list be sure to check out the release notes.

PHD Instant Recovery

Probably the biggest feature in the bundle if you ask me.  When disaster occurs or a failure happens the most important factor in your recovery is time.  PHD has certainly addressed this with Instant Recovery.  No more lengthy restore process, no more restoring individual virtual disks, just simply power on your VM directly from the backup storage/files.  That’s right, it runs directly from the compressed and encrypted (i’ll get to that later) files located on your backup storage for an immediate recovery.  Once up and going you can simply use VMware’s Storage vMotion to move this VM back to your production or whatever storage you would like to for that matter.  No storage vMotion licensing, no worries!  PHD has also included a technology called PHD Motion which will help you get that recovered VM back into production by basically beginning a restore process at the same time as performing an Instant Restore.  When you are ready to switch back to the restored VM, a syncing process will commit all changes from your Instant Restore VM back to your production VM.

Application Aware Backups

Having the ability to quiesce a file system before a backup is great.  That way you are sure that there is no I/O at all occurring within your OS and you can be sure that you have whats called a ‘Crash Consistent’ backup.  Having the ability to quiesce the applications running within the OS is even better.  PHD Virtual Backup now includes that ability.  Now you can be sure that not just the OS but the applications as well are completely aware that a backup is taking place, thus allowing them to quiesce and to truncate logs, perform shrinking operations, or do anything you want really as you can completely run custom scripts both pre and post snapshot.

Encryption

We all worry about encryption right?  We take measures to protect and ensure that our production data is safe and secure but often the backup data is completely ignored.  Well, PHD Virtual Backup v6 can now encrypt and secure not only the data residing on your backup storage, but they also perform and encryption on the data as it is ‘in transit’ to its’ final destination.  This gives you complete piece of mind that your precious data is completely protected and encrypted from source to target while backing up with PHD Virtual.  Also, the security certificates and firewalls on their virtual appliances are fully customizable, something you don’t normally see when deploying third-parties locked down Virtual Appliances.

Full/Incremental Backup Mode

PHD Virtual provides users with the ability to have a ready to go full backup at all times.  This is fabulous for recovery time and makes the restore process very easy.  That being said this does cause a burden on certain situations where businesses like to completely duplicate their backups to either the cloud or some sort of off-site storage.  With PHD Virtual Backup v6 you can now implement (if you chose to) a more traditional Full/Incremental backup strategy, which will cut down on the size of those incremental backups as well as not always ‘tickle’ your full backup causing it to be copied off-site every-time.  Now users will have less data to move resulting in savings in time, bandwidth, and storage costs.

These are just a few of the new features within PHD Virtual Backup 6.0, there’s many many more including Email Report Enhancements, File Level Recovery enhancements, etc.  If you are at VMworld go and check them out for yourself at Booth 314.   If you were unable to make the show (ugh!  I’m sorry) they have a ton of resources/videos over on their website outlining everything that is new.