VSquare Backup – A Backup Solution for Virtualised Environments
While we have a lot of experience, with a number of different backup solutions – we can’t cover them all! Every so often we come across a product we haven’t seen or heard of before. VSquare Backup is just one of these which we’ve come across recently.
About VSquare Backup
Based in Italy; VSquare backup has been around since 2014. The main focus is on the virtualised environments; predominantly Hyper-V and VMware Esxi.
There are four plans offered for VSquare starting from a free version (which protects upto 3 VM’s); all the way to their Corporate level for around €100.
More can be found at their website.
TMB’s impressions of VSquare
First of all; we have used the ‘Start Up’ (in other words ‘free’ for this evaluation) of VSquare Backup v3.0.0. The reason for this is that it’s based off the most basic of functionality which is a great measure for how a product works.
Firstly; we found the user interface wasn’t as intuitive as we’d usually be expecting. Some areas you’d expect to be able to click on; weren’t able to and vice versa.
When attempting to connect to our Hyper-V server (VSquare was installed on the host); we entered the IP address, username and password as that’s what was provided. However a connection couldn’t be made.
When creating a backup; attempting to configure the e-mail server settings to receive a backup report was difficult. Even though the SMTP settings were correct; the test button indicated it had sent a request to the VSquare server and we’re still waiting for the test e-mail to come through.
It’s difficult to navigate configuring a backup; with menus within menus. However once you’ve been able to figure it all out – the options available are quite powerful – especially the backup retention screen.
Backing up our guest machines seemed quite efficient. The outcome meaning that a straight copy of the guest machine files is placed on our backup destination. We really like this as you can see the .vhdx or .vmdk files on the drive – meaning you’re able to get direct access if you have any problems.
Unfortunately there isn’t any way to tell exactly what the backup job is doing easily (other than a green progress bar). Also backup report notifications can be difficult to configure at times (which we’ve kind of covered above under user interface). This is a glaring hole as far as we’re concerned.
The Start Up version also doesn’t allow for any cloud functionality; which means it makes it more difficult to implement the 3-2-1 backup strategy.
The recovery of guest machines in both Hyper-V and VMware went fairly smoothly. The only issue is that the backup destination you have configured in your backup job, seems to be different to what’s required when pointing the restore features to the backup.
If I selected to back up to my F: drive; Vsquare will create a file structure under this where the lowest folder contains the .vhd or .vmdk files. This is what needs to be entered for the restore to find the backup (which is a little confusing based on consistency through the UI).
With the support structure that’s setup for VSquared; only paid versions receive e-mail support. The highest subscription tier (Corporate) receive ‘Premium Direct’ support (which we could only believe would be phone support).
Unfortunately; the Start Up level is only able to access their online community (in which there doesn’t appear to be a lot of traffic as there are only around 25 threads on their forum in 4 years).
While we understand why they’ve used this support method; it can make it difficult when using the product for the first time (which we outlined earlier).
This product does appear to be fairly raw with a lot of improvement required. The features available are up with some of the modern features you’d expect with a backup solution.
We like the premise of the product, and believe there is a lot of promise. However; some of the execution (such as the user interface and restoration causing the software to crash) can lead to user confusion which make it hard for inexperienced users; not only of backup solutions in general, but especially inexperience with the VSquare backup solution.
Need help with a backup strategy for your virtualised environment?
Our team has been in and around the backup and restore space for more years than we’d prefer to admit to. From the days of tape backup being the dominant backup storage; all the way through to the cloud taking over in a big way.