By Alison / Last Updated September 5, 2022

Important: VMware vSphere Data Protection End of Availability (EOA)

VMware Data Protection (VDP) is a robust disk-based backup and restore solution that fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server and VMware vSphere web client. It enables centralized and efficient management of backup tasks while storing backups in deduplicated destination storage.

VDP has replaced the deprecated VMware Data Recovery (VDR) since vSphere 5.1. However, starting from vSphere 6.5, VMware Data Protection is also announced the end of availability.

VMware Data Protection EOA

According to VMware, vSphere 6.5 is the last release that includes vSphere Data Protection. Future vSphere releases will no longer include it. All existing vSphere Data Protection installations with active support and subscription (SnS) will continue to be supported until their End of General Support (EOGS) date.

This means that VMware has decided to exit the data protection market and focus its investments on VMware vSphere Storage APIs. As the task of data protection is handed back to the third-party ecosystem, customers will then need to migrate their backup policies to other third-party software.

In this article, I will further explain it and introduce a great alternative to VMware vSphere Data Protection.

What are the key features of VMware Data Protection

VMware Data Protection is primarily targeted at small-medium enterprise environments. As each ESXi host can only run a single VDP appliance, each vCenter Server supports up to 20 VDP appliances and each VDP appliance supports backup of up to 100 virtual machines. Its key features include:

  • Image-level virtual machine backup
  • Offsite restore
  • Backup verification
  • Web browser–based administration
  • Capable of restore VM when vCenter Server is offline
  • Backup and restore databases in standalone configurations and clustered environments

For more information, you can refer to VMware’s official documents: VMware vSphere Data Protection 6.1 Technical Overview

Will it affect VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection (VADP)

As I mentioned, VMware has decided to step out of the data protection market and is committed to investing in VMware vSphere Storage APIs – Data Protection. You may be wondering what is it, and will the EOA of VMware Data Protection affect it? Or can it replace VDP?

Yes and no. VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection is VMware’s data protection framework that enables backup products to do centralized, efficient, off-host LAN free backup of vSphere virtual machines. It is not a backup software, but many backup vendors provide solutions based on it.

VADP

To replace deprecated VDP, VMware will continue to enrich vStorage APIs’ feature set, so that the third-party software based on it can better protect the VMware VM data.

A Free alternative of VMware Data Protection - AOMEI Cyber Backup

With the announcement of VMware Data Protection End of Life, you may want another VMware backup solution to protect your VM data afterwards. In this section, I will introduce a great free VMware backup software that based on vStorage APIs – AOMEI Cyber Backup. It has the following benefits:

✦ Agentless Backup: create complete and independent image-level backup for VMware ESXi VMs.
Automated Execution: create backup schedules to automate virtual machine protection.
Restore Entire VM: restore immediately available VMs from any selected restore points.
Perpetual Free: you can use AOMEI Cyber Backup Free Edition with no time limit.

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions. Next, I will demonstrate how to create an automatic backup task that covers multiple ESXi VMs. You can click the following button to download the freeware.

Download FreewareVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.

3 easy steps to backup and restore multiple ESXi VMs

1. Bind Devices: Access AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device > VMware ESXi > + Add VMware ESXi to add a host, and then click > Bind Device.

Note: Once bound the host you do not need to repeat this step later.

Add VMware ESXi host

2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task > + Create New Task, and then set the Task Name, Backup Type, Device, Target, and Schedule.

Create a VMware ESXi backup task

  • Device: cover multiple VMs on the host in one backup task.
  • Target: selecting to back up to a local path, or to a network path.

Select a network path

  • Schedule: performing full, differential or incremental backup, and automate execution according to the frequency you specified.

Backup schedule type

Now you can click Start Backup and select to Add the schedule and start backup now, or Add the schedule only.

Start Backup

3. Restore VM: Click > Restore on the backup task to open a wizard, and click Select Content to specify a restore point. Select to Restore to original location, and click Start Restore.

Restore to original location

While the Free Edition covers most of VM backup needs, you can also upgrade to Premium Edition to enjoy:
Backup cleanup: Configure a retention policy to auto delete old backup files and save storage space.
▶ Restore to new location: Create a new VM in the same or another datastore/host directly from the backup, saves the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.

Restore to new location

Summary

If you are using VMware Data Protection to backup VMware ESXi VMs, you will need to migrate to another backup software, since it won’t be included in the later versions of vSphere 6.5.

In this article, I explained some details of End of Availability for VMware Data Protection, and introduced a great alternative for it.

AOMEI Cyber Backup is a simple, flexible free VM backup solution. You can centrally manage and automate the backup and restore of multiple VMware ESXi and Hyper-V VMs. Free yourself from the heavy workloads. It’s definitely worth a try!