From v7.6 onwards Altaro introduced a Continuous Data Protection (CDP) feature which reduces data loss by providing Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) of up to 5 minutes. Altaro CDP works by saving a point in time copy of the virtual machine based on snapshots at set intervals, configurable per host or per virtual machine. The frequency options available are every 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, every hour, 4 hours, 8 hours, or 12 hours. Each version of a CDP backup is retained for 4 hours since the last successful backup, after this CDP backups are merged into a single recovery point and kept in accordance with your own configured retention policy.
- If you do not already have Altaro VM Backup installed see the Altaro VM Backup Install and Overview post. You can download a copy of Altaro here.
- The CDP Settings option can be accessed from the navigation pane of the Altaro VM Backup management console, under Setup. Hosts that have been added to Altaro are listed, along with any discovered VMs.
- Use the Enable CDP check box and Maximum Frequency drop down to configure CDP with the desired settings.
- When configuring CDP there should already be a backup schedule and backup location in place for the virtual machines. If you have not yet configured this part then see the install and overview post referenced above.
- Click Save Changes to commit the CDP configuration.
- The first time you configure CDP backups the VM Backup management console will display a warning about the Backup Health Monitor. The Backup Health Monitor verifies the state of backup data, during which time backups cannot run.
- Depending on your environment and desired configuration you can change the schedule of the Backup Health Monitor to not conflict with CDP backups.
- Once CDP backups are in use they become available restore points for restoring virtual machines.
- The Backup Health Monitor can also be configured from the navigation pane under Sandbox & Configuration.
In summary, Altaro CDP boosts business continuity by allowing administrators to recover to a more granular point in time; thereby reducing data loss from virtual machine restores. The feature is easy to configure and the frequency options provide near continuous data protection with the maximum data loss being up to 5 minutes, this along with application consistent backups should be sufficient protection for most business critcal applications. When planning implementation of a CDP model you should consider other factors such as network bandwidth, and hypervisor performance, for example having a high number of machines taking snapshots every 5 minutes on the same host may add a CPU/memory overhead.
Altaro CDP with VMware support is available now, you can download here.