Eating our Own Dog Food with vRanger Pro 4.5

Before vRanger 4 was released vizioncore IT used vRanger 3.x to perform only uncompressed Full backups to their de-duplication appliance. The reason for only performing full backups on the weekends was because vRanger 3.x didn’t support uncompressed differential backups. As a result of only performing full backups, their backup windows were 48 hours and could only be performed on the weekends. vRanger 3 also sent zero blocks, so this was a one to one transfer over the network. If you had a 100 GB VMDK with 20 GB of data the network transfer was 100 GB to the de-duplication appliance. If running compassed backups this meant that vRanger Pro 3.x would spend time compassing zero blocks and this would remove the network send but would lengthen the over all backup window.

vRanger 4.0 was released in July of 2009, backup windows got better but the server console speed was cut in half by VMware. Even with the service console speed cut in half, the power of vRanger 4.0 was able to outperform vRanger 3.x. vRanger 4.x is also able to remove the need to even compress or transfer zero blocks. This cut Vizioncore’s IT backup window down from 48 hours to 12 hours, that’s a reduction of 75%. With this new found backup window, Vizioncore’s IT team was also able to introduce nightly uncompressed incremental’s for an overall better data protection strategy.

January 2010 VMware releases the patch ESX400-200912001 to solve the speed issue in the service console. Vizioncore’s IT team rushed to apply this patch hoping to see an even bigger drop in their backup window. VMware does hit the mark with this patch Vizioncore’s IT team was again able to cut their backup from 12 hours to about 4 hours, that’s a reduction of 64%, now that VMware released this patch vRanger 4.x was able to shine even more.

We now move to present day. 4.5 is doing well in Vizioncore’s IT virtual infrastructure. With vRanger Pro 4.5 two key features have helped to dramatically reduce the backup widow. First vSphere Change block tracking (CBT) and Second is Vizioncore’s patent pending Active block Mapping (ABM). CBT removes the need to scan for changes as vSphere keeps track of the changes, allowing vRanger to query for a list of changes and immediately just backup the changed blocks. ABM is a patent pending vizioncore technology that allows vRanger Pro 4.5 to skip backing up deleted data contained in windows VM’s. This helps to reduce the backup window time and foot print size. By running vRanger 4.5 in production, Vizioncore’s IT team was able to see their backup window drop down to 42 minutes that’s a reduction of 80%. The addition of ABM the IT team was also able to reduce data transmit and storage by about 100 GB that’s a 15% reduction of the overall backup foot print.

If your still running vRanger 3.x looking at numbers from 3.x to 4.5 using CBT and ABM, we saw a 98.5% better backup window and 99.6% smaller storage foot, it might be time for you to consider upgrading from 3.x to 4.5 with these kinds of benefits.

If you’re on 4.x the upgrade to 4.5 is painless and is just a patch update, using CBT and ABM you could also get 80%+ better backup windows and 15%+ smaller storage foot by upgrading from 4.x to 4.5.

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