Virtualization Backup and Recovery Tips
Virtualization has become a big deal over the last decade; with more and more businesses adopting the technology. From small to medium sized businesses, all the way to large enterprises. However with all new technology comes added challenges – backup and recovery isn’t any different. Below outlines some quick tips that’ll make virtualization backup easier to manage and more reliable.
Deciding where your virtualization backup originates
There are many levels and layers when it comes to virtualization. When it comes to backup, there are three areas which you can begin with:
– backing up the entire host including the virtual machines (aka guest machines)
– backing up just the virtual machines from the host level
– back up from within the virtual machines
The choice of how to run a virtualization backup will impact which recovery options are available.
Example: If you back up from within the virtual machines and the physical host fails, then the host will need to be re-built before the virtual machines can be available again.
Use a dedicated backup solution to perform your virtualization backup
Backup of virtual machines using anything other than a backup solution dedicated for this purpose will lack reliability. The reason is simple: without proper integration with the environment (e.g Hyper-V and VSS integration) files may be missing or corrupt and one would never know. That is until the backup is actually used for a recovery.
If you factor in all the work needed to write a great backup script (or figure out an alternative backup method), it’s more economical to purchase a dedicated virtualization backup solution instead.
Perform a regular virtualization backup on a reliable schedule
Based on the decision to run virtualized environment; it’s likely that the guest machines:
– contain critical data.
– run mission services.
As with any form of backup strategy, it’s important to run your virtualization backup on a regular schedule. An industry standard would be at least once a day up to continuous data protection.
Apply updates to both host and guest machines regularly
It’s vitally important to apply all updates to ensure that you have all the latest bug fixes and interoperability fixes. Also, the majority of larger virtualization solutions are ‘hot’ and continuously improved. Added functionality and plugins can make management and maintenance easier overall. This means that it’s important to apply all updates within each virtual machine as well as the physical host machine.
Perform regular test recoveries of your virtualization backups
Don’t wait for a critical event to be the first time that you verify backup data. It’s important that you verify that you can restore any backup immediately after the backup completes. Periodically test the entire backup restoration process.
Specializing in Hyper-V and VMware environments in the virtual space; the team at 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.
You’ll gain peace of mind while ensuring that restored virtual machines will function properly after a recovery.