Looking at a couple of backup soltions for a customer I stumbled upon PHD Virtual as a promissing solution for them. When contacting the people at PHD they asked me to do a review of their PHD Virtual Backup v6.0 .

A few of my fellow bloggers already provided some excellent guides for installing the needed components so I’ll just link to their sites for the installation guides:

Ivo Beerens Has a great installation guide at ivobeerens.nl. Use this link

Marco Broeken also has a post on vclouds.nl. Use this link

Vladan Seget is the last great installation resource on vladan.fr. Use this link

Introduction to PHD Virtual Backup and Recovery 6.0

PHD Virtual Technologies is in the Backup and Recovery industry for more then 6 years now, and already won multiple awards for Data Proection. with a company philosophy that states: develop simple, elegant and scalable solutions to complex data problems while providing excellent support to our customers and partners. PHD Virtual Technologies has already more then 4300 customers that use the PHD software to protect their business critical environments.

By providing an all in one Virtual Backup Appliance (VBA) and a VMware vCenter intergrated management interface, PHD Virtual provides an perfect and easy method to backup, replicate and recover your Virtual Machines.

What’s New

As I already said PHD Virtual started in 2006 with their software and version 6 is build on their already heavily used unique, patented virtual appliance architecture to deliver the most powerful, feature-filled, easy to use backup solution for virtual servers at a fraction of the cost of competitive alternatives. Some of the new features within this version are:

  • PHD instant Recovery
  • Full and Incremental Backup Mode Options
  • Application Aware Backups
  • Enhanced File Recovery
  • Encryption and Security Compliance Improvements
  • Email Report Enhancements
  • Virtual Backup Appliance (VBA) Tools for Import/Export, VBA Health, Inventory Management and Migration

Let’s take a closer look at these features:

PHD Instant Recovery

In your virtual environment it is of the up most importance to be able to restore VM’s as quickly as possible. By the option to running an VM directly from the protection datastore the downtime will be just minutes instead of days.. By using VMware Storage vMotion or PHD Motion the VM can then be moved to the production storage. For more information watch this video:

Full and Incremental Backup Mode Options

PHD virtual offers two methods for the Backup:

The high-performing, award-winning Virtual Full Backup Method which are easy to manage and highly efficient.

graph virtual-full

But PHD Virtual added an extra backup method in version 6, namely the traditional full/incremental method. This method is made possible for organizations where this methology has already been used for many years and is also great for:

  • Leveraging third party tools to copy full and incremental backup files to the Cloud, offsite, or to tape.
  • Utilizing a deduplication hardware appliance or a CIFS share as the backup target.

graph full-and-incremental

Application Aware Backups

application-aware-microsoft-exchange With PHD Virtual Backup v6 the backup of mission critical applications can be taken care of without the fear of crashing the application due to quiescing the VM when an backup is being performed. This is a great feature in a world where virtualization is becoming the standard.

For more information on Application Aware Backups look at this video:


Enhanced File Recovery

PHD Virtual Backup v6.0 with the new file recovery method makes your life as a backup admin a lot easier. Through introducing this method PHD Virtual Backup v6.0 uses much fewer resources and provides more flexibility with file recovery, by eliminating the need to allocate additional virtual appliances dedicated to the process. Simply select the new CIFS file recovery option to present your backup data out to any user that needs to recover files, Exchange emails, or other application items. Those that currently enjoy the flexibility and security of sharing backup data out using iSCSI can continue to use that method as well.

Email Report enhancements

Managing and maintaining a backup, recovery and replication is a hard daily job taking lots of time of one or multiple people. By providing an easy to read HTML email which provides the summary of all the jobs that ran and details on the status of all the VM’s and Datastores.


Encryption and Security Compliance Improvements
Data is hot, and because it is hot it’s also a wanted object…. Sadly there are lots of people in the world trying to take that data and use it for the wrong purposes. PHD Virtual Backup v6.0 gives you the possibilty to encrypt the data during the backup process as well as when it’s on the backup datastore. You also have the oppertunity to encrypt the replication stream to make sure no data is compromised.
6 0-encryption-graphic
Virtual Backup Appliance tools
Administration of a virtual environment is challenging and with the simplicity of creating VM’s environments are growing fast. Configuring and maintaining your backup environment is also a big task and with the VM environment growing fast this task often gets even more challenging taking it’s toll on the administrators. PHD Virtual Backup v6.0 has features build in to help you solve these challenges:
  • Migrating VBA information from an excisting VBA to a new one
  • The Health monitor tool shows the VBA’s performance statistics for troubleshooting the backup infrastructure
  • Backup and recovery of an VBA just like all the other VM’s. So, real easy


PHD Virtual provides mature, easy to install, and easy use backup and replication software. By adding all these new features, and making the live of an system administrator this much easier, PHD Virtual Backup and Replication v6.0 is software you should take a look at when looking for (a new) backup/replication solution for your virtual environment. Backups can be placed on attached virtual disks and NFS or CIFS shares. Also the possibilty to easily scale up the VBA environment to keep your backup schedule within bounderies and the ease of adding and restoring VBA’s are excellent new features.

For more information on the software and an trial version (5.4 which will be upgradeable to 6.0 when it arrives) follow http://phdvirtual.com