Backing Up the Virtual Environment – What You Should Know

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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. Continue reading

What Are Virtual Machines Used For?

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A virtual machine is piece of software that functions as a virtual computer. The program runs on the operating system (host OS) installed on your computer and provides the virtual hardware required to run another operating system (guest OS) on the host OS.

The guest OS controls all the virtual resources provided by the virtual machine and runs as if the host OS is not present.

Virtual machines are usually employed to experiment with other operating systems or run programs in an environment that is different from the one your computer’s OS provides. The virtual resources provided by virtual machines include a virtual CPU, network interface, memory, and other important devices that are necessary for the proper functioning of a computer system. Continue reading

What VM disaster recovery options you have if VMware Site Recovery Manager is over your budget

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VMware Site Recovery Manager is a great disaster recovery solution for protection of an organization’s VMware virtualization infrastructure, if you have the budget and the expertise to deploy it. But its mid four digits starting price is not small business friendly at all. And it’s neither easy to use. Without a certain level of VMware literacy, a general IT technician just won’t be capable of getting it properly configured. Most small businesses who are currently using VMware’s virtualization solution (paid and free ESXi hosts) on one site just don’t have either the budget or virtualization expert to get the solution deployed within their infrastructure. If your company is one of them, what other VM disaster recovery options do you have? Continue reading

Essential tips to back up VMware virtual machines using CloudBacko

Essential tips to back up VMware virtual machines using CloudBacko

Amassing accumulation of data represents a company’s most valuable asset. These data must be backed up, protected, stored, secured and made available to the organization whenever it is needed. Getting the backup plan right takes good planning and execution. CloudBacko makes it easy for the backup and restore process. Here are 5 tips for you to better design your data protection strategy.

Tip 1: RTO and RPO agreement expectations

Backup requirements should be a business decision. Business leadership needs to be involved in setting recovery time objective (RTO is the amount of downtime tolerable to get back up and running) and recovery point objective (RPO is the tolerable amount of data loss during an availability incident). It is important to invite all stakeholders to agree on RTO and RPO requirements. The trade-offs between RTO and RPO are best handled openly between business and IT leadership.

Tip 2: Target location should be different from host

As cloud storage service charges fall sharply in recently years, it’s highly cost-effective for organizations to implement off-site backup with limited time and resources. Off-site backup keeps companies afloat from local disaster as backup is kept in a different host or location.

Tip 3: Consistent VM names in source and target

Proper documentation prevents errors and confusion. When the number of virtual machines grow, clear naming of VM can help organize managing the VMs. VM names should be meaningful and self-documentary. Same names or patterns can be used from production source to backup sets and backup target.

Effort in maintaining clear naming reduces risks in choosing the wrong version of VM to restore when disaster strikes,  wasting precious time to restore the wrong backup set, restoring the whole VM only to find that the deleted files are not there.

Good management skills can save the day when system crashes and restore is mission critical. It keeps you from chaos.

Tip 4: Back up the CloudBacko settings file

There are times when you need to retire your server, and CloudBacko needs to be re-installed to a new machine. It is also possible that the machine that have CloudBacko installed has failed, and you need to restore windows systems and files from a remote backup. You need to first install a new copy of CloudBacko in the new machine. However, without the settings file from the original CloudBacko instance, remote cloud backup cannot be accessed.

The setting file store all the backup set information. If the Backup Server is down or user wishes to move CloudBacko to another machine, the setting file should imported into a freshly installed CloudBacko. You can then access the backup sets as before. As a result, our Tip 1 is that the settings file should be backed up and kept in a safe place after new backup sets are added or any changes are made in backup sets. This advice is important because if this file is lost you not be able to gain access to your data.

Refer to the previous post “Back up settings file for disaster recovery” on how to backup the settings file.

Tip 5: Regularly Test Restore

The purpose of data backup is to enable restore, and the purpose of restore is to keep your company running. As hardware fails regularly, IT should lead regularly scheduled restore tests and share the results with business leadership. If backup plan is implemented correctly, the results should comply with the preset recovery time objective and recovery point objective.

7 reasons to choose CloudBacko for VM cloud backup

7 reasons to choose CloudBacko for VM cloud backup

CloudBacko focuses on supporting businesses and backing up critical data in case of disaster.

In this digital world, data is the blood of most businesses. This article expounds on the benefits of using CloudBacko, as compared to other major brands in the backup software market.

1. Designed with cloud backup in mind

CloudBacko has a unified approach to cloud backup. The only prerequisite is to have Java installed. CloudBacko is connected to most major cloud storage service providers, providing easy interface for you to back up to cloud storage, including Amazon S3, AWS compatible storages, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, FTP / SFTP sites, external USB drive, and local / mapped network drives. More brands will be included in later update versions.

2. Less money for more. Tailored for Small Business

We have listened to users. CloudBacko lets you spend few and receive  comparable functionality. With less than $40, you can back up unlimited virtual machines in one host. We are committed in supporting small business and help you sharply reduce IT budget and do more.

CloudBacko can backup and restore all kinds of applications and VMs, Microsoft Exchange Server (EDB and mail level backups), Microsoft SQL Server, VMware vSphere ESXi (both Paid and Free versions), Hyper-V, Lotus Domino, Lotus Notes, Oracle Database, MySQL, Windows System, Windows System State, as well as Files.

3. Great Ease of Use

We believe backup tasks can be very simple. The CloudBacko interface consists of tiles, like touch panel. The intuitive user interface enables users to learn and set up backup jobs quickly and effortlessly. No more long-hours staff training is required. The help button on each page provides helpful instructions on how to use CloudBacko.

Creating a backup task only requires a few clicks and you are good to go.

4. Configurable backup options

In devising a backup plan, many factors affect the configurations: size of VMs, operating systems in VMs, the applications used, source and target locations and . CloudBacko provides a wide range of configurations, such as configurable max concurrent backups, configurable min file size to trigger incremental backup and trigger full backup by number of delta and/or total delta size.

Virtual machines require a collection of virtual resources of CPU, disk, ram and network bandwidth. These hardware resources also affect your backup plan. CloudBacko provides configurations that can easily adjust your backup plan.

5. Changed block tracking for backup

Changed Block Tracking (CBT) is an incremental backup technology for VMware virtual machines (VMs).Virtual machines running on ESX/ESXi hosts can track disk sectors that have changed. If any blocks were changed since the last backup, Changed Block Tracking tags them and stores the information in a CTK file. CBT tells the Cloudbacko only to copy these changed blocks, avoiding copies of the entire VM.

This technology can greatly reduce backup image size, hence using less cloud resources and network bandwidth. CloudBacko utilizes this feature to ensure that you can enjoy faster backup and restore.

6. Encryption of filenames in cloud storage

Cloud storage raises security concern among many users. The widespread stories on newspaper about data breach exposed the risk of using cloud storage. As we have discussed in previous post, “Cloud backup should come with encryption”, when data leaves the PC or the internal network on the clear, it is potentially leaked to the general public. Only with encryption that it protect your important data from cloud operators’ prying eyes. CloudBacko encrypt both data and filenames with a 256-bit truly randomized key with AES algorithm, the most advanced encryption standard, protecting your valuable data in cloud backup storage.

7. Report and email help management

Anything can break. With exploding volume of data, system admin faces the challenge of managing them all. When something bad happens, you want to be immediately notified and take suitable actions to minimize any risks. With CloudBacko’s reporting tool, you can get crystal clear visibility into the backup details of all destinations, including usage trend, backup and restore reports, log for warnings and errors, etc. CloudBacko can also be configured to send reports by email, hence any interruptions or job completion will be reported.

 Conclusion

CloudBacko is the clear choice for organizations concerned with end-user satisfaction at a reasonable price. CloudBacko is the VM backup tool you can trust.