If you’re shopping for a new VMware vSphere backup tool, there are many things you should take into account when deciding between the different VMware backup solutions on the market. Buying backup software for a virtualized environment is more complicated than buying software for traditional servers because the virtualization architecture changes the way backup and recovery is performed. In this tutorial, we look at the questions you’ll face when choosing VMware backup software. Then, you can download our free VMware backup solution checklist.
Does the backup software support virtualization?
The obvious first question you need to ask is if the product supportsvirtualization and, if so, to what degree. Some vendors were slow to adapt their existing backup products to support virtualization, but almost all backup products today support it in some way. Other vendors like Veeam and Quest(formerly Vizioncore) developed backup products from the ground up specifically for VMware backup. When looking at backup software, check and see how deep the product’s integration with vSphere is, and if the vendor has fully embraced the virtualization architecture and the features that make backups more efficient in vSphere. It is possible to perform backups of virtual servers in the same manner as physical servers using a backup agent installed in the guest OS. However, this method is inefficient and can cause poor performance due to excessive resource usage.
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When it comes to backing up virtual machines in VMware vSphere, you need to leverage the strengths of virtualization to maximize your backup efficiency. You also need to know what to back up as well as how to back it up. In addition, you can’t use the same principles that you use in a traditional environment to back up a virtual environment. The following are eight vSphere backup best practices.
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Veeam approached me recently and asked if I was interested in writing a white paper for them to coincide with their launch of latest version of Veeam Backup & Recovery (4.0). The timeframe for writing it was short but I accepted it because I was interested in learning more about the vStorage APIs and also Veeam Backup & Recovery. While doing research for it I did learn a lot about the new vStorage APIs that I had not known before. Typically unless you’re a vendor or developer you don’t deal much with APIs, but I’m the curious type though and like to dig deep and find out how things work. There are many important new features in the vStorage APIs and other storage-related APIs in vSphere that are real game-changers for vendors if they choose to take advantage of them. Even if you’re not a developer you should know a bit about them so you have a better understanding of how things work in vSphere.
I learned two additional things while writing the white paper for Veeam, the first is their new 4.0 version of Veeam Backup & Recovery is the first of the many disk to disk backup applications to take full advantage of the new APIs in vSphere, the second is that there are some pretty smart folks at Veeam that are very passionate about their products. I’d like to thank Doug Hazelman & Anton Gostev for answering my many questions about how things work behind the scenes with their product. So go checkout the white paper and more importantly Veeam’s new 4.0 version which I’ll guarantee you’ll be impressed by. Also look for an upcoming tip on searchdatabackup.com that I did that compares how disk to disk backup vendors are using the vStorage APIs and where they are at with their product releases.