How To: vSphere Data Protection – Part 1: Installation & Configuration

I have been playing around with different back-up software lately in my lab and I think this is the first time I took a closer look at the vSphere Data Replication (Advanced) and its features and possibilities. So, first let’s see how vSphere Data Protection is defined by VMware.

“VMware vSphere Data Protection is a backup and recovery solution from VMware. It is fully integrated with VMware vCenter Server and VMware vSphere Web Client, providing disk-based backup of virtual machines. vSphere Data Protection is based on the industry-leading EMC Avamar backup and recovery solution and is available in two editions:

  • VMware vSphere Data Protection, included with VMware vSphere Essentials Plus Kit and higher
  • VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced, purchased separately”

Source: VMware vSphere Data Protection 5.8 Technical Overview Whitepaper

Alright, that is quite clear. So, what are the differences between the Standard and the Advanced edition? Here is a quick summary taken from the vSphere Data Protection Administration Guide.

vSphere Data Protection-P1-S01

Now, let’s have a look at the installation process. But before you begin, make sure you created a forward and a reverse lookup record for the VDP in your DNS server or you may run into some configurations issues during the deployment.


  1. Open the vSphere Web Client and log in to the vCenter Server.
  2. From the Action menu, select Deploy OVF Template.
  3. Select the source for the installation. In my case, local file and click Next.
  4. Review the source details and click Next.
  5. Accept the EULA and click Next.
  6. Enter a name and select a destination folder for the VDP appliance.vSphere Data Protection-P1-S02
  7. Next, select a cluster for the VDP appliance.
  8. Select the virtual disk format, VM Storage Policy if you are using one and select the datastore where the VDP appliance will be deployed.vSphere Data Protection-P1-S03
  9. Next, configure the appropriate network port group and click Next.
  10. Enter the network properties for the VDP appliance and click Next.vSphere Data Protection-P1-S04
  11. Review the settings in the summary, select “Power on after deployment” check-box and click Finish to start the deployment process.

The deployment process can take a while. Proceed with the initial configuration of the VDP appliance when it is finished.


  1. When the VDP appliance is deployed, navigate to https:// <IP_or_FQDN>:8543/vdp-configure and login with username root and the default password changeme.
  2. Click Next at the Welcome
  3. Verify the Network Settings and click Next.
  4. Select the appropriate time zone and click Next.
  5. Change the default password and click Next.vSphere Data Protection-P1-S05
  6. Enter the credentials for the vCenter Server registration. Click the Test Connection button to test the settings.vSphere Data Protection-P1-S06
  7. Select your VDP license and click Next. If you are using the Advanced edition of VDP, you will have to enter the license key at this point.
  8. Create new storage space or attach an existing VDP storage. Click Next.
  9. In the Device Allocation window, allocate the VDP storage disks.
  10. Next, leave the CPU and Memory settings at its defaults and click Next.
  11. In the Ready to complete window, you can run a performance analysis of your storage if you choose to. Click Next to continue.vSphere Data Protection-P1-S07
  12. You will see a warning stating that the following process will start the strorage configuration and it cannot be undone. Click Yes to continue.
  13. When the process completes, the VDP appliance will be restarted.

The restart process can take a while. Once it completes, you can log back in to the web interface and you should see the configuration of the VDP appliance.

vSphere Data Protection-P1-S08Here you can change the settings, manage proxies, check storage, upgrade the appliance if necessary etc. Open the vSphere Web Client and you should also see the vSphere Data Protection added to the Home page. Click the Connect button to make a connection to the vSphere Data Protection and you will be presented with the Getting Started page.

vSphere Data Protection-P1-S09One last thing, select the Configuration tab and click the Email button. Here you can configure your SMTP server if you want to receive emails from the VDP appliance.

This concludes the installation and the initial configuration process of the vSphere Data Protection appliance. In the next part we will take a closer look at backup & recovery of the VMs in the vSphere Data Protection.


– Marek.Z


  1. Can we also backup removable devices connected to VM. Example can we backup UBS directly connected to any VM and restore the data?

  2. Backing up a USB device connected to the VM shouldn’t be a problem. Not sure about the restore though…


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