VMware backup best practices
When it comes to backing up virtual machines in VMware vSphere, you need to work with the strengths of virtualization to maximize your VMware backup efficiency. You also need to know what to back up as well as how to back it up. The following are some best practices to think about when performing a VMware backup.
This is to cover VMware specifically within a backup strategy. We recommend reading our blog post on backup strategy as well.
Select a backup solution that fully supports VMware backup & recovery tasks
Many of the backup solutions available on the market will advertise that they’re VMware backup capable. However we’ve found the most reliable (in our opinion) include Veeam, Altaro and Nakivo based on their solutions being built around virtualized environments.
It’s also a good idea to keep the selected backup solution up to date to make use of the latest functionality and avoid potential bugs which prevent backups from completing successfully.
By running a backup solution that incorporates VMware best practices to protect your VM’s. This means end to end coverage when it comes to VMware backup and recovery!
Enable Change Block Tracking (CBT)
Change Block Tracking is a method to perform incremental based VMware backups. This was first implemented from ESX/ESXi 4.0.
CBT backs up only the blocks that have changed, rather than backing up each individual VM every time a backup runs.
This VMware article describes the process of enabling CBT on each VM.
A Snapshot is a Snapshot (not a VMware Backup)
Ever Wondered what the term “Snapshot Chain” refers to? Virtual Machines contain specific files, snapshot is also a part of these files. These files are dependent on the VM disks. Hence they are referred to as a Snapshot Chain. When a VMware Snapshot is taken it’s not a proper VMware backup.
Be sure to backup vSphere and vCenter configuration
If you ever lose a host or vCenter Server, you can easily rebuild them, but you lose all your configuration information. Therefore, it’s a good idea to periodically back up the information. When you back up a host, you’re typically only backing up the VMs and not any of the files that reside in the host’s management console. While you shouldn’t back up the files inside the management console, you should back up the configuration information to make it easier to rebuild a host.
Perform regular test recoveries of your VMware backup
Don’t wait for your VMware environment to suffer a critical IT incident. It’s important that you verify that you can recover any backup immediately. Periodically test the entire backup restoration process.
Test My Backups are VMware backup & recovery specialists
Specializing in VMware backup and recovery; TestMyBackups understand the challenges of regularly completing test recoveries of data. We can help regulate this (and have done so) for anyone from a small business up to large enterprises.