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Using VMware vSphere Storage APIs for Data Protection

Given the ever-increasing prevalence of big data processing and storage in the 21st century, it's easy to see how data backup can be a rather daunting task. There have been a plethora of solutions used in order to make big data management a little bit easier, including deduplication and drive snapshots, but these options have their drawbacks.

While both deduplication and drive snapshots are capable of adding to your overall level of data protection, the additional costs associated with the functionality, as well as the advanced scope of the solutions themselves, mean they aren't viable options for every scenario. In contrast, virtualization can provide a cost-effective, efficient and user-friendly means of protection data through regular backups.
VMware's Storage and Protection APIs

One specific solution to the issue of big data management that has already proven a bit more efficient than the other available options involves the use of VMware's vSphere Storage APIs, which offer backup protocols that are fully scalable. Included in all versions of vSphere, the VMware vSphere Storage APIs can save IT administrators hard work, hassle and headache by streamlining the entire backup process.

For starters, VMware's vSphere Storage APIs let you choose the exact type of backup and restoration protocol that best suits you needs: either incremental, differential or full. Once this is established, you'll be able to work with a backup system that caters to your enterprise's specific needs and requirements.

VMware's vSphere Storage APIs for Data Protection, known as VADP for short, allows for centralized VM backups without the need to run separate agents on each virtualization instance. With image-level backup functionality and file-level restoration capability, VADP is one of the more useful solutions to date.

Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Services

Moreover, virtual machines that are running certain Windows operating systems can take advantage of Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Services, known as VSS for short, which helps to ensure data consistency and integrity through point-in-time backups, which are also referred to as shadow copies. VSS made it possible to provide volume snapshots that were completely uncorrupted by eliminating torn writes via flushing certain data from a system's memory.

Additional APIs

Other APIs can be used in tandem with those meant for data storage and protection in order to provide further efficiency and functionality. For instance, the vSphere API for Array Integration, VAAI, gives users access to block-based storage, including such functionality as block copy and block zeroing to the array. The vSphere API for Array Integration is included with VMware vSphere Enterprise Edition as well as vSphere Enterprise Plus.

The VMware vSphere API for Storage Awareness, or VASA, can also be used to disseminate specific information concerning disk arrays within a system. Pertinent information includes virtualization information, current server health, configurations, storage capacity and more. This ultimately allows for greater cohesion amongst storage protocols and virtual frameworks, thereby easing the process of storage resource management within virtual machines. Furthermore, VASA can be used in tandem with some of vSphere's most popular features, including VMware vSphere Storage DRS and their Profile-Driven Storage option.


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