Community Blog Protect Data Effectively with Hybrid Backup Recovery for vSphere

Protect Data Effectively with Hybrid Backup Recovery for vSphere

Alibaba Cloud launched the Hybrid Backup Recovery (HBR) service for vSphere to protect vSphere virtual machines even when the bandwidth is low.

Alibaba Cloud launched the Hybrid Backup Recovery (HBR) service for vSphere at the Computing Conference ¨C Shanghai Summit held in early June, and started public testing in July.

Virtual machine images can be backed up to the cloud using the Hybrid Backup Recovery (HBR) service, avoiding complicated software deployment, storage resource planning, and data protection in remote backup. The data of vSphere virtual machines is effectively protected, even when the bandwidth is low.

Challenges of Conventional Virtual Machine Backup Technologies

A conventional virtual machine backup technology treats virtual machines as separated hosts, installs backup software on each virtual machine, and backs up data to local storage devices. While effective, this technology is only applicable to an environment with a small number of virtual machines. If there are a large number of virtual machines, deployment management is complex, O&M efficiency is low, backup may fail, and data cannot be protected effectively when the conventional method is used.

Main Problems with the Conventional Backup Method

  1. Backup management is complex. The backup clients and backup policies are managed separately.
  2. The local backup storage needs to be deployed and maintained, and the storage space scale-up requires a long period.
  3. The duplicate data cannot be effectively deleted and compressed, increasing the cost.
  4. The production environment and backup devices are deployed in the same IDC. Once a disaster occurs, all production and backup data may be lost.

These problems have plagued data backup administrators for a long time. HBR for vSphere simplifies backup and recovery policies, reduces manual operations, and relieves the administrators of complex routine maintenance work.HBR provides a complete backup solution for vSphere virtual machines and supports VAPP one-click deployment. Administrators do not need to deploy backup servers and devices locally. Data is backed up to the cloud quickly, securely, and efficiently after being deduplicated with variable lengths on the integrated global client.

Application Scenario of HBR for vSphere


Users can easily back up virtual machines on VMware ESXi by deploying HBR backup VAPP in the IDC. The vSphere environment is connected to Alibaba Cloud through the public network or leased line. The highly available Alibaba Cloud backup vault provides the multi-copy function, which ensures the security of backup data.


HBR uses the Change Block Tracking (CBT) technology to implement faster data backup and recovery. Compared with the full backup in which all VMDK data is backed up to the backup vault, the CBT-based incremental backup stores only the modified data blocks since the last backup.VMware ESXi creates a ctk file for each CBT-enabled virtual disk, for saving the metadata of modified blocks.Based on CBT, HBR transmits only the modified data blocks. During the backup, the modified data blocks are combined with the indexes in last backup to form a full backup, greatly improving the backup efficiency.

Advantages of HBR for vSphere

  1. Fast backup: The CBT technology backs up only the incremental data, effectively narrowing the backup window.
  2. Low cost: The images of different virtual machines can be backed up to the same backup vault. There is massive duplicate data between virtual machine images. An effective deduplication and compression algorithm can greatly reduce the required storage space in the backup vaults.
  3. Simple O&M: Administrators do not need to manage the backup servers and vaults. The backup client can be installed and configured easily. The backup data is transferred to the cloud quickly and centrally monitored on the cloud.

The HBR for vSphere service of Alibaba Cloud provides the end-to-end virtual machine backup/recovery and cloud management functions, allowing the user to fully protect virtual machines during the virtual machines' lifecycle.

HBR can back up the data on the physical and virtual machines in the IDC and on the virtual machines on the cloud, and back up the images of vSphere virtual machines. In future, HBR will apply to more user application environments.For more information about Alibaba Cloud Hybrid Backup Recovery products, visit www.alibabacloud.com/product/hbr

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