VMware backup follow-up

Last month I wrote a blog post about how I thought that Hyper-V was ahead of VMware in the backup race.  If you haven’t read, you should read it before reading this follow-up.  Before you read that post, however, you should probably know about what’s in this post that explains Windows VSS and why you should care.

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s summarize, shall we?  Although the vStorage API fixes most of the problems with VCB, it still has one gaping hole to be fixed.  It does not fully leverage Windows VSS to the point that it is not possible to get an application-consistent backup of Windows 2008 guests without putting some kind of agent in the VM.  You can get app-consistent backups of Windows 2003 apps, but the apps won’t know you backed them up because VMware uses VSS_COPY and not VSS_FULL_BACKUP when it creates the snapshot. And that’s why we’re here.
Continue reading