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Vinchin Blog WHAT'S NEW in Vinchin Backup & Recovery v6.0 - Improved Backup & Restore Efficiency

WHAT'S NEW in Vinchin Backup & Recovery v6.0 - Improved Backup & Restore Efficiency

2020-09-17

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In this article, I'll introduce you with some detailed new features, including improvements in backup & recovery efficiencies.


Improved Backup & Restore Efficiency

CBT for XenServer & XCP-ng

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The first new feature, CBT support for XenServer and XCP-ng is now also available on Vinchin backup and recovery v6.0 besides VMware vSphere.

CBT is as known as Changed Block Tracking, it tracks the changes of a virtual machine since the last backup, so this technology can be used for incremental backup of virtual machines. By using CBT technology, it tracks the changes of a virtual machine from a CBT log file instead of by comparing the last backup with the virtual machine's disk snapshots, this can rapidly locate the changes of a virtual machine since the last backup, so it can greatly reduce the amount of time for incremental backups. And also it can dramatically reduce the backup storage usage by storing the new and changed data.


Forever Incremental Backup

Forever incremental backup is now available for more virtual platforms in Vinchin Backup & Recovery v6.0.

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What is forever incremental backup? It will automatically perform a full backup for the very first time, and then the following backups will be incremental backups forever. This will create a backup chain, each backup in this chain is indispensable, as losing any of the restore points, you cannot restore the virtual machine to the latest state. When the restore points in the backup chain exceeded the retention policy, the full backup T1 showing in the diagram will be merged with the first incremental backup T2 as a new full backup at the beginning of the backup chain. 

Let’s see how to restore from forever incremental backup, as showing in the diagram, to restore the virtual machine to the latest state, you have to choose the last restore point Tn, then Vinchin backup server will merge all backup restore points from T1 to Tn to restore the virtual machine to the latest state.

If you want to restore the virtual machine to a previous state, for example, to the state of the time when T5 incremental backup is performed, so you select the restore point T5 to restore, and Vinchin backup server will merge the restore points from T1 to T5 to restore the virtual machine. 

To achieve forever incremental backup by using Vinchin Backup & Recovery v6.0, you only need to select incremental backup from the schedule bar. Forever incremental backup is temporarily not supported with Microsoft Hyper-V, all other hypervisors supported by Vinchin backup and recovery can do forever incremental backup.


Backup Proxy for VMware

The next new feature is Vinchin backup & recovery proxy, it is a new backup architecture component developed by Vinchin, for VMware virtual infrastructure.

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It is applicable to those virtual infrastructures without SAN storage. It will need to be installed on the VMware ESXi server as a virtual machine, while backing up or restoring the virtual machines on VMware vSphere, the vstorage API will use the ESXi server's hot-add technology to hot-add the vmdk to the proxy, and the data will be transferred between Vinchin backup server and proxy for virtual machine backup and recovery.

The benefits of using Vinchin backup proxy including direct virtual machine disk access for high-speed data exchange. And as a result, this can reduce the time windows of virtual machine backup and restore.


LAN-Free Backup & Recovery

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Ok, the next new feature, LAN-Free backup & recovery. As shown in the diagram on the right side, the backup and restore data flow goes through a separate storage area network rather than using the production LAN. The storage area network could be fiber channels the FC SAN, and iSCSI, NFS, or CIFS the IP SAN, they will be used for backup and restore data transmission only, and the data will be transmitted directly between production storage and backup storage.

The precondition of using LAN-Free backup & restore requires Vinchin backup and recovery server to be installed on a physical server instead of as a virtual machine on the hypervisor. And Vinchin backup server needs to be able to connect to the fiber channel switch for FC SAN connection or dedicated network switch for IP SAN connection.

Using LAN-Free backup and recovery can help eliminate the bandwidth bottlenecks of LAN-based server storage. So the transmission could be very efficient and at the same time, it will not impact your business-critical operations in the production environment. And with the storage area network, rapid backup, restore and migration can be achieved, and the backup and restore can be performed at any time when needed.

By the way, LAN-Free backup and restore is temporarily not supported with Microsoft Hyper-V, other platforms are all supported.


Multithreading Transmission

Ok, next, backup and restore speed improvements by using multithreading transmission.

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When performing a backup or restore job, Vinchin backup and recovery server will create multiple threads for data transmission of a single job, even when processing a single virtual machine disk multithreading transmission will still be applied, as the other virtual machine backup products in the market now, only one thread will be used to process one virtual disk at the same time, so Vinchin backup and recovery can greatly improve the overall processing speed than other products in the market now.

Here’s customer feedback of screenshot from Vinchin customer with version 6, it's a government project from China who uses Openstack virtual infrastructure, and this screenshot is taken while they were performing backup jobs, as you can see the total speed exceeded 1.5 GB/s, the peak speed of a single job exceeded 1GB/s. So multithreading can dramatically improve the backup and restore speed.

Multithreading is also temporarily not supported with Microsoft Hyper-V.


Speed Controller

As the high-speed transmission requires plenty of bandwidth and I/O resources. And as a result, multithreading transmission might slow down your business-critical operations. So we developed a new feature "Speed Controller" to allow you flexibly control the data transmission speed.

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By using a speed controller, you can fully utilize your network bandwidth and I/O resources, yet not to impact your production environment. As strategies can be configured to schedule when to limit and when to not. For example, during the day time, your production environment will support heavy business operations, but during the night the business operation load will descend, so you can set no speed limitations at night, at this moment, backup and restore jobs can be performed smoothly without any limitations. Of course, you can also permanently limit the transmission speed if your production environment provides 7/24 hours of critical services.

Ok, the above features, XenServer CBT support, forever incremental backup, VMware backup proxy, LAN-Free backup and restore, and so on, are new features that we have added on Vinchin backup and recovery version 6 to help our customers to improve virtual machine backup and restore efficiencies. Next, we will take a look at some new data protection features.


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