vSphere Data Protection

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vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is a robust, simple to deploy, disk-based backup and recovery solution. vSphere Data Protection is fully integrated with the VMware vCenter Server and enables centralized and efficient management of backup jobs while storing backups in deduplicated destination storage location.
vSphere Data Protection has two tiers:
  1. vSphere Data Protection (VDP)
  2. vSphere Data Protection Advanced (VDPA)

Below is a summary of the two editions.

Feature VDP VDPA
Virtual machines supported per VDP Appliance
up to 100 up to 400
Maximum datastore size
2 TB 8 TB
Ability to expand current datastore
No Yes
Support for image-level backups
Yes Yes
Support for guest-level backups of Microsoft SQL Servers
No Yes
Support for guest-level backups of Microsoft Exchange Servers
No Yes
Support for file level recovery
Yes Yes

The main difference of the two other than scalability is the agents provided for Exchange and SQL servers for application consistency. For me, VDP Advanced is suitable for SMB requirements and both editions does not support for tape backup so you would definitely work with your existing enterprise backup to do that.

Here is some of the FAQ which you can read from here for more information.


Traditional backup methods magnify this by storing all of the redundant data over and over again. vSphere Data Protection uses patented deduplication technology to eliminate redundancy at both the file and the subfile data segment level. vSphere Data Protection uses an intelligent variable-length method for determining segment size that examines the data to determine logical boundary points, which increases efficiency. Both VDP and VDPA has the same deduplication technology.

vSphere Data Protection’s algorithm analyzes the binary structure of a data set (all the 0s and 1s that make up a dataset) in order to determine segment boundaries that are context-dependent. Variable-length segments average 24 KB in size and are further compressed to an average of 12 KB. By analyzing the binary structure within the VMDK files, vSphere Data Protection works for all file types and sizes and intelligently deduplicates the data.


  1. VDPA can’t store backups outside of either vSphere or Data Domain. No other options are available.
  2. VDPA has a published maximum configuration of only up to 8TB of deduplicated storage per virtual appliance.
  3. Agents are required for VDP to interact with Exchange, SQL, or SharePoint.
  4. VDPA is not supported native tape.
  5. VMs can not be booted up from the backup file directly (sandbox). You need to restore it first.
  6. File Level Restore does not support the following virtual disk configurations:
  • Unformatted disks
  • Dynamic disks (Windows) / Multi-Drive Partitions (that is, any partition which is composed of 2 or more virtual disks)
  • GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks
  • ext4 filesystems
  • FAT16 filesystems
  • FAT32 filesystems
  • Extended partitions
  • Encrypted partitions
  • Compressed partitions

Hope this helps better understand how VDP helped and better fit your environment.


One thought on “vSphere Data Protection

    […] vSphere Data Protection (VDP) vs vSphere Data Protection Advanced (VDPA) comparison  […]

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