PHD’s road to the Cloud!

A few months ago I reviewed the 6.0 version backup tool from PHD Virtual. A couple of months later I wrote a post on what’s new in version 6.1 . PHD has introduced their next major update 6.2 and I finally had the chance to review this new major update.



The installation

The thing I really love about PHD Virtual backup is the simplicity of installation. Once you have downloaded and extracted the zip file, the installation of the PHD virtual Appliance is as simple as deploying a OVF. Just follow these steps:

In the vCenter Manager window choose File and click on Deploy OVF Template… In the popup window Browse for the PHDVBA.ovf file and click Next


In the OVF Template Details window click Next


In the Name and Location window provide a VM name, choose the inventory location and click Next


In the Hos / Cluster window select the Cluster which will host the VM and then click Next


In the Specify a specific host window select the host where the VM will land on and click Next


In the Storage window select the Datastore the VM will land on and click Next


make your choive for the Disk Format you want to use and click Next


In the Network Mapping select the network the VM will be on and click Next


In the Ready to Complete window check all settings, check the Power on after deployment checkbox and click Finish


That’s it… The OVF will be deployed and when this is done you must install the PHDVirtualBackup Client installation package. After this you should reconnect to your vCenter server.

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Setup CloudHook

After installation you should change a couple of configuration settings to get be able to backup to one of the Cloud Storage providers supported by PHD:

  • Amazon S3
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Rackspace Cloud Files
  • OpenStack/Swift

In vCenter right click the VM and go to PHD Virtual Backup –> Console


In the Console Choose Configuration –> Write Space and configure an attached virtual disk


After this is done go to Backup Storage and give in the cloud storage provider and fill in the details provided by the provider you’ve choosen.


After this I needed to finetune some settings on both sides and I was able to start doing a backup to the cloud…


First of all I would like to say to PHD: Job well done guys! As said in earlier posts “PHD Virtual provides mature, easy to install, and easy to use software.” Providing “Build in Data reduction”, “Assured security”,”Rollback Recovery”, “Flexible Retention” and “Forever Incremental Backups” you get a great product that works very well. PHD makes BAAS easy. Again, job well done.

PHD Virtual What’s new in 6.1

A couple of months back I did a post on PHD Virtual Backup 6.0 (take a look here). Last week PHD announced their Virtual Backup 6.1 suite.

In this post I want to show you the new and improved features in version 6.1:

Rollback Recovery for Immediate Data Access

With the latest PHD Virtual Backup 6.1, users can get their virtual machine back in minutes with Rollback Recovery. Instead of a lengthy, full VM restore process, you can simply roll a VM back to an earlier state by restoring only the virtual disk changes over top of the existing VM resulting in a substantial decrease in RTO for a full VM recovery.

PHD Instant Recovery Eliminates Downtime Permanently

PHD Instant Recovery (for VMware) is now extended to Full/Incremental backup modes to help reduce and eliminate downtime. By using the Full/Incremental backup mode,
individuals are able to back up to network shares or deduplication appliances and leverage PHD Instant Recovery to drastically decrease RTO and effectively test backups.

PHD Instant Recovery allows users to make an application available as quickly as possible in the event of a failure, without the need for additional infrastructure or a lengthy restore process.

Reporting Enhancements Reduce Risk and Ensure Compliance

Many organizations are required to report on backup status and data protection risks to upper management and regulatory bodies for compliance purposes. PHD Virtual has enhanced the reporting capabilities of the VBA to meet these needs. The first enhancement allows users to track backup status more easily across the entire environment by exporting the job history as an Excel report. The second enhancement provides a simple to use inventory report that monitors data protection risk by displaying all VMs in the environment and the date of their latest available backup.

Job Copy Accelerates Backup Scheduling

With the click of a button, users can now select a backup job and copy it as many times as needed spending less time creating and scheduling backup jobs. This accelerates the backup job creation process, allowing users to scale even more easily than before.

“This latest version builds on our unique patented virtual appliance architecture to deliver our most powerful backup product to date,” said Joe Noonan, Senior Product Manager, PHD Virtual. “We have expanded the unmatched value of our award-winning data protection software for an even faster and ‘set it and forget it’ solution for the virtual environment – something our users demand.”

Like its predecessor, PHD Virtual Backup 6.1 provides customers with the scalability and flexibility they need and makes the backup process easier to manage and more efficient, while also providing fully recoverable data at a moment’s notice.

“PHD Virtual continues to take the pain out of virtual machine backup and recovery. It’s new rollback recovery delivers the type of instantaneous recoveries that users increasingly need to provide in their virtualized environments,” said Jerome Wendt, DCIG Lead Analyst and President. “This new functionality, coupled with its enhanced reporting capabilities and more flexible backup job scheduling features, puts organizations on a path to more confidently protect their growing virtualized infrastructure.”

What Arjan thinks of it:

In my last post on PHD Virtual Backup I wrote that PHD is doing a great job on backing up your virtual environment. With these new and improved features they show the backup world they are claiming their share. With VMware vSphere 5.1 as well as Windows 8 and 2012 support PHD is one of the first to give full support on these hypervisors.

For more information please visit

PHD Virtual Backup and Replication 6.0

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 Use this link

Marco Broeken also has a post on Use this link

Vladan Seget is the last great installation resource on 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