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Backing Up the Virtual Environment – What You Should Know

The worldwide server virtualization market has experienced tremendous growth in past several years, with the trend now edging towards maturity. The factors that have spurred the increased adoption of the technology are well documented, some of which include maintenance, cost, centralized accessibility, etc.

However, where a virtual environment improves almost every aspect of a business’s IT operations, backup and restoration continues to make its deployment difficult and debatable in some quarters.

The Backup and Restoration Challenges Associated with Virtualization

To clear things up, virtualization does not break the process of data backup and recovery. However, its influence does lead up to make the whole process inefficient, causing management to re-think the strategy under implementation. This is especially where the many elements of the backup strategy resonate with the requirements of a traditional physical server setup, virtualization can limit its effectiveness.

1. Traditional Backup Operations Can Be Slow to Execute

Traditional backups, such as backup software agents, because of their inherent characteristic of being resource intensive perform the desired operation slowly when running in a virtual environment.

2. Using Virtual Disks as an Alternative Option Does Not Always Generate the Best Results

Some IT managers may prefer to use virtual disks instead of agent based software solutions to avoid resource contention. This means creating a storage volume on the same platform where the VM data resides. This can be a problem as when it comes to catenating the backup generated from physical servers with the backup present in the form of virtual disks, the stored file may have structural issues and non-uniformity.

3. The Presented Challenge of Integration

Backup software are not designed to automatically detect a newly created VM; IT administrators have to manually integrate the two. This creates a possible loophole in the data protection strategy.

4. The Presented Challenge of VM Migration

This serves as an extension to the previous point, implying that migrated VMs also need to be manually integrated with a backup software, since the traditional backup solutions are not designed to automatically accommodate such migrations.

With the challenges and problems been reviewed, we will now look at some tips that would help you effectively execute data backup operations in a virtual environment.

Tips for Effective Backup in Virtual Environment

When backing up your virtual environment, you should consider the following:

  • Practice deduplication of the data you are backing up.

  • Use tools that permit simultaneous backup and restoration to avoid resource bottlenecks.

  • Deploy backup tools that do not require pre-staging.

  • Select a software vendor that allows easy and dynamic management of both physical and virtual environments.

Where virtualization can make things easy, it can also make processes complex, particularly the process of backup. However, through proper planning and the use of application fit tools, businesses can effectively backup and restore their virtual environments.

Need Help?

CloudBacko Corporation can help. The company provides backup solutions for VMs that can seamlessly integrate with your physical and virtual server environments. Along with VMware backup and Hyper-V backup solutions, the company also offers other application-fit software to cater businesses with individual needs.