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VMware: PHD Virtual Backup and Replication v5.4 review

Few weeks ago I received from my sponsor PHD Virtual licenses to install and review the Backup and Replication v5.4.. after I installed this software in my vSphere 5 test lab I was exited how easy I can backup and restore virtual machines.

After installing the PHDVBA appliance, configured a static ip-address I installed the PHD Virtual Backup Console to start the configuration. The first startup the software discovered (subnet discover) the PHDVBA appliance,

Appliance and Backup Console configuration:

First I connected the software to my vCenter server, created the storage type as backup destination (in my case I used “Attached virtual disk”). If you chose this functionality you only need to add a new .vmdk file to the appliance:


After I added the 50 gb .vmdk file the appliance auto detect the new storage without rebooting.. nice!

Other backup destination options are:


Other optional functionality to configure:

– Appliance options: Time zone, Region, NTP server
– Hypervisor credentials: vCenter Server

– Network: IP-address, subnet, gateway and DNS servers:


– Email: you can configure easy email notifications about the backup solution, if there some errors you will be informed by email and event-log


– Backup Retention: configure the time to store backups at the backup destination. I my case I used the default values


Connectors: configure the shares and connector credentials, after the backups are created you can browse the backup at the VMDK/NFS/CIFS target. After the backup is successful you can open the share and take the .vmdk file of the backupped virtual machine to restore manually


Job configuration:

To configure a backup job you can use the wizard


– Select virtual machines you want to backup


– Schedule you’re backups, you can create for each job a custom schedule.


– Options: Configure job name, and configure custom options: Backup verify, Quiesce the VM,  and block tracking


– Summary: Some overall job information with configured parameters. Most important.. check if the data size isn’t bigger then the configured backup destination .vmdk file in the


– Finish the wizard



– You can wait the schedule or start the job manual


– Once the backup is completed you can view the backup results at the History tab. You can see the backup’ed .vmdk files, schedule time, average speed (sorry, low array performance in my home lab), data written and dedupe ratio.

After creating a second backup of the same virtual machine the dedupe ratio is huge!




– Select appliance to perform the restore


– Select virtual machine by date to restore


– Select host, restore name, select default network (or leave it 1:1)


– Schedule options: Now or later


– Finish the job, the restore will start


– The restore is in progress, by clicking the job details you can see job creation, job started, average speed, duration and data written


– Finished: Even later the restore job is finished, in my vSphere vCenter inventory I see the restored virtual machine VMPROS-SNIFFER_Restored_test.. the restore process is a success!!


PHD Virtual Backup is a very nice piece of software to backup you’re virtual environment:


– Very easy to install with .ovf template;
– Very easy to configure;
– Very easy to restore;
– High deduplication ratio;
– Couldn’t test the performance because my homelab insn’t fast enough;
– Nice single restore functionality  by mounting iSCSI target
– Agentless


– No encryption to target location;
– No tape support;

More information: PHD Virtual
Download information: PHD Virtual


Sander Daems is founder and author of this blog and working as a Lead (Sr.) Consultant by UNICA ICT Solutions. Sander has over 15 years experience in IT, primary focus: virtualization and modern worksplace.

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  1. Peter K.
    April 1st, 2012  (Quote) at 02:18  (Quote) | #1

    Very nice review Sander, thanks alot!

  2. Steff Amino
    April 3rd, 2012  (Quote) at 03:27  (Quote) | #2

    I’m also planning to install PHD, very easy way to backup my complex environment

  3. Lucy Hale
    April 8th, 2012  (Quote) at 00:46  (Quote) | #3

    Same conclusiong, performance is also good and stable

  4. Fell
    April 11th, 2012  (Quote) at 08:55  (Quote) | #4

    Good read!

  5. April 12th, 2012  (Quote) at 15:11  (Quote) | #5

    Nice review S!

  6. Excel
    April 24th, 2012  (Quote) at 07:33  (Quote) | #6

    Nice review, gonna use this one in my technical design 🙂

  7. June 19th, 2012  (Quote) at 04:22  (Quote) | #7

    As a PHD developer who worked on both features, they will be in shortly!

  8. June 19th, 2012  (Quote) at 04:23  (Quote) | #8

    By both features, I mean the cons you mentioned.

  9. June 19th, 2012  (Quote) at 08:37  (Quote) | #9

    Kyle :

    As a PHD developer who worked on both features, they will be in shortly!

    Nice, keep up the good work!! 🙂 very nice piece of software

  10. Prakash
    August 23rd, 2012  (Quote) at 10:36  (Quote) | #10

    How can i know functions calls made for this UI to work so that i can use it in command line ?
    For example if i want to get configuration of VBA in XML ?

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