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Top Practices to Backup Virtual Infrastructure

Introduction:

Whether you’re a newbie to virtualization or administering hypervisors for a while, it’s now time to decide the virtual infrastructure backup design and backup product features in use. This will ensure that you are both optimally protecting your virtual infrastructure as well as taking advantage of the latest virtualization backup features which will make your life easier.

We will now learn the top practices to backup virtual infrastructure.

  • Choosing the Right Tool: Just because a backup tool says it can backup virtual machines, doesn’t mean that it can actually backup well. Choose the backup tool which can understand your virtual infrastructure. Many backup tools use the traditional file backup agents which backs up the physical machines to backup the virtual machines which is inefficient and might affect virtual infrastructure performance.

Select the backup tool which can perform block level backups of virtual machines such that only changed blocks of virtual machine disk files are backed up. But those changed blocks can be combined with the original file to provide the most recent current image-level backup as well as the option to restore individual files.

Backup tools should communicate with Visualization Management Tool, such that when image-level recoveries need to be done, those virtual machines can be automatically created through the hypervisor or centralized management tool using the hypervisor’s API calls.

  • Application Aware Backup Tool: Your backup tool should be intelligent enough to know what application is running on the guest machines. So that it can communicate with the appropriate API’s and perform online database backup without disturbing the production environment.

Many IT-admins are finding it difficult to manually truncate the transaction logs of database. They require a tool which can automate a process of truncating the logs after the backup is completed. Hence select the backup tool which can truncate the transaction logs after a backup.

A backup tool should use Microsoft’s volume shadow service (VSS) to be able to quiesce the Windows file system, inside a virtual machine, to ensure that backups of files have integrity. From there, they could take it to another level and ensure that Microsoft applications inside the VM (such as SQL Server and Exchange) are quiesced when the backup is performed.

  • Cross Platform Recovery: Recovering a virtual machine shouldn’t be that difficult when you have a backup of that machine. The backup tool should be capable of performing instant boot of the backup in a hypervisor until the desired machine is restored.

This option makes life easier for admins who work in a highly productive environment. The most important thing to be noted when choosing a virtual infrastructure backup software is that the software should be able to perform cross platform restore. A backup taken from hyper-V (.VHD) should be recovered as Vmware (.VMDK) guest machines or vice-versa.

  • Replication: Backup of virtual machines to a local server drive and recovering them in minutes is really great but what happens if that backup server is crashed? So the smartest way to choose a backup tool is to check whether the backup tool offers replication. The data which is required to build the backup server should be restored from the replicated server and recovered.

Conclusion:

Not all backup tools are the same. Ensure that you take advantage of evaluations which tool best fits the needs of your organization. Our easySERVICE™ Program helps organizations design, build, migrate, manage, and protect their Cloud-based environments. This especially designed backup solution helps small to medium sized organizations meet RPOs and RTOs, save time, eliminate risks and dramatically reduce capital and operational costs.

At easySERVICE™ Data Solutions, our hybrid cloud delivers strategic advantages to the business by redirecting resources from lights-on to innovation. Only an open hybrid cloud delivers full strategic business value from cloud computing because it is the only approach that:

  • Enables portability of applications and data across cloud
  • Fully leverages existing IT investments and avoid creating new silos
  • Spans physical servers, multiple virtual platforms, and the broadest choice of public cloud
  • Provides portability of applications and life cycle management of those applications across heterogeneous infrastructures
  • Allows organizations to evolve towards the cloud, delivering incremental IT value along the way
  • Keeps organizations firmly in control of their own technology strategy

cropped-125x125-logo-1.pngWhether you are looking for easySERVICE™ Disaster Recovery Planning or solutions for your unique IT requirements, we have a solution specially designed for you. No matter the size of your business, you will always get the kind of support that goes far beyond the ordinary. At easySERVICE™ Data Solutions, we have collected our most noteworthy resources in one convenient disaster recovery guide to answer all your questions and help you decide if launching a DRaaS offering is the right move for you.

If you’d like to discuss any of the above best practices or lessons learned with us or to learn more about how we are partnering with companies just like yours to ensure the availability of mission-critical applications, please contact us at (855) US STELLAR.

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One comment on “Top Practices to Backup Virtual Infrastructure

  1. StellarPhoenixS
    February 23, 2015

    Reblogged this on Stellar Phoenix Solutions.

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