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Tested: PHD Virtual Backup 6.0

PHD Virtual Backup is a backup and recovery solution for VMware and Citrix environments. PHD Virtual Backup version 6 is released. We tested this new version with VMware vSphere.

What’s new in PHD Virtual Backup version 6:

PHD Virtual Backup version 6.0 contains the following major enhancements:

  • PHD Instant Recovery: Instant Recovery lets you access your backed up data right away. The VM(s) will be powered on directly from the backup storage. Instant Recovery can be used for verifying backups or when needed mission critical data immediately. 
  • Application Aware Backups: PHDVB v6.0 provides the ability to take application aware backups for any application.  Application aware backups include the ability to properly quiesce the application prior to backup, as well as perform any post-backup processes, such as automated log management (truncate, shrink, etc.).  This is done by leveraging a very small guest application called the PHD Guest Tools
  • Full and incremental backup mode: Prior to v6.0, PHDVB provides a single backup mode called the virtual full.  Virtual Full backups include source-side deduplication across all backups within a backup target.  They are very efficient for storage utilization and backup and restore speeds. There are certain configurations that are not optimized to handle the many files that the virtual full leverages.  Therefore, PHD is implementing a traditional full / incremental backup mode for those configurations such as using a CIFS share or deduplicating hardware appliance as the backup target or using 3rd party tools to copy full and incremental files off-site or to tape.
  • Email Enhancements: The enhancements include: test Email, get HTML summary reports and fewer alerts
  • Encryption: Those requiring strict requirements for backup data security can now choose to enable one of many types of industry standard encryption levels for PHD Virtual Backups.  When enabled, data will be encrypted at the file system level of the VBA to ensure that it is secure in transit to the backup target and at rest when it reaches the backup target.
  • Enhanced File Level Recovery (FLR): In PHDVB v6.0, users will now be able to select an option to use CIFS for FLR, whereby the backup will be mounted to the VBA and presented out as a CIFS share. This allows the admin to share backup data so that other users can recover files or application items.  For additional flexibility, you can also choose or ability to present backups out as an iSCSI target from the VBA so that other machines can mount the backup as a local disk.  

Read moreTested: PHD Virtual Backup 6.0

New updates available on VMware vCenter, VMware View, Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter and Veeam Backup & Replication

Over the last days the following updates are released:

  • VMware vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1b
  • VMware View 5.1.1
  • Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Plug-in for VMware vSphere beta
  • Veeam Backup & Replication 6.1 Patch 1

Below are the enhancements listed per product.

VMware vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1b

What’s New:

VMware vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1b is a patch release and offers the following improvements:

  • vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1b introduces support for the following vCenter Databases
    • Oracle 11g Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition, Standard ONE Edition Release 2 [] – 64 bit
    • Oracle 11g Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition, Standard ONE Edition Release 2 [] – 32 bit
  • vCenter Server Appliance Database Support: The DB2 express embedded database provided with the vCenter Server Appliance has been replaced with VMware vPostgres database. This decreases the appliance footprint and reduces the time to deploy vCenter Server further.
  • Resolved Issues: In addition, this release delivers a number of bug fixes that have been documented in the Resolved Issues section.

vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1a has been removed from the VMware download site due to issues encountered when upgrading with an Oracle database for Windows. vCenter Server Update 1a is replaced by vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1b, which is functionally identical to vCenter Server 5.0 Update 1a and includes the fix for the issue encountered when upgrading with an Oracle database for Windows. Please refer to KB 2032277 and the Resolved issues section of the release notes for more information.

More information can be found here.


VMware View 5.1.1

VMware View 5.1.1 is a maintenance release that resolves some known issues in the previous releases. Resolved Issues:

View Administrator

  • When the number of View entities managed by one group of View Connection Server instances exceeded 10,000, View Administrator had intermittent problems displaying desktop pools, desktops, and user/group references. The intermittent display problems caused many administrative operations to fail. A View entity can be a desktop pool, desktop, or user/group reference.

View Persona Management

  • View Persona Management failed to replicate a user profile that contained very large files to the remote profile repository. The incomplete replication could result in data loss or data corruption in the user profile.

User Profile Management in View

The following resolved issues concern desktop session management by View Agent and View Connection Server. In certain situations, View closed sessions prematurely, affecting user profile synchronization. In View 5.1.1, View Agent and View Connection Server wait for user profile replication to be completed before closing desktop sessions.

  • When a user logged off soon after adding a large amount of data to the user profile, View shut down the View desktop before the user profile had finished being replicated to the remote profile repository. The incomplete replication could result in data loss or data corruption in the user profile. This issue is resolved when PCoIP or RDP is used.
  • If a user logged off from a View desktop and immediately logged in to a new desktop session within the same pool, user profile data that was created in the new session could not be saved. The user could also lose data that was created in the previous session. This issue applied to desktops running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or later Windows operating system releases.

More information can be found here.

A new document on VMware View 5 and SSL Certificates is published. The document provides an example that shows how to obtain signed SSL certificates from a Certificate Authority and ensure that the certificates are in a format that can be used by View servers. More info: Link


Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter Plug-in for VMware vSphere beta

The Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC) Plug-in for VMware vSphere Client is a Microsoft-supported solution for IT pros or solution providers who want to convert VMware-based virtual machines to Microsoft Hyper-V®-based virtual machines from vSphere Client. This plug-in extends vSphere Client to facilitate conversions from a virtual machine context menu and without changing configurations on the source VMware host. It is built upon Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter release candidate.


Veeam Backup & Replication 6.1 Patch 1

Veeam Backup & Replication 6.1 Patch 1 brings the following additional changes and enhancement:

•Increased synthetic full transformation, and reverse incremental backup performance (up to a few times depending on backup storage).

• Improved Direct SAN Access mode performance by disabling excessive VDDK logging.

• Processing engine should now be much more tolerant to network packet loss.

• Added PowerShell cmdlet for VeeamZIP operation.

• Added new registry value that reverses the sequence of application-aware processing, making jobs try network-less processing mode before network one.

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\VeeaM\Veeam Backup and Replication
  • DWORD: InverseVssProtocolOrder
  • Value = 1
  • To disable (default behavior), value is 0 (false)

• Increased certain network-less application aware processing timeouts to make it work more reliably with applications requiring longer time to perform VSS quiescence.

• Added internet access from virtual lab environment for VMs using port groups other than first.

• Reduced the amount of logs application-aware processing produces on guest VMs.

• Added support for application-aware processing for VM’s that use EFI boot.

More information can be found here