Virtualization can increase efficiency. But if you use traditional backup methods rather than virtual server backup strategies, your infrastructure may not realize its full potential.
Many backup tools and strategies work in both physical and virtual infrastructures. They essentially serve the same function: to protect against data loss. But there are stark differences between physical and virtual server backup tools.
Virtual server backups also tax the network and storage infrastructures. Unlike many physical infrastructures, which primarily use local storage, virtual servers usually use shared-storage arrangements. In this setup, virtual server backups increase the traffic volume and information that's stored on networked storage.
These challenges are not insurmountable, but as you transition to a virtual infrastructure, you must account for them . So don't learn these backup lessons the hard way. Instead, check out the resources in this virtual server backup tutorial, part of our Virtualization School series. After reviewing the following virtual server backup information, take our quiz to test your knowledge.
Virtualization School: Virtual server backup tutorial
Virtual server backup strategies
By Stephen J. Bigelow, Senior Technology Editor
Organizations that deploy virtualization must re-evaluate their backup methods. In some cases, traditional backup techniques provide adequate protection for virtual infrastructures, but there's no guarantee. Depending on your organization's needs, some virtual server backup hurdles require new technologies and strategies. When considering virtual machine backup strategies, evaluate how they will affect your infrastructure's performance.
Lesson 2: Virtual server backup methods for quick VM recovery
By Greg Shields, Contributor
Imagine that you need to immediately restore a mission-critical VM that just crashed. The traditional file-copy process will take too long. So what can you do? Two VM backup methods can bring a failed virtual machine back online in minutes.
Lesson 3: Six virtual machine backup mistakes to avoid in Hyper-V
By Greg Shields, Contributor
Virtualization complicates backups, but the benefits can outweigh the challenges. Choosing one of the numerous virtual server backup options, for example, is a hurdle, but the challenge isn't necessarily bad. To simplify the backup process, you should also avoid these six virtual machine backup mistakes in Microsoft Hyper-V infrastructures.
Lesson 4: Backing up virtual machines in VMware vSphere
By Marc Staimer, Contributor
Longtime VMware users will remember how problematic virtual server backup used to be. But the release of vSphere 4 brought several backup and recovery improvements. New vStorage application programming interfaces (APIs), for example, give companies more flexibility when backing up virtual machines in VMware vSphere. Vendors have also embraced these new APIs.
- Quiz: Virtual server backup quiz
- Did you do all the assigned reading? There's only one way to find out. Take this short quiz and test your knowledge of virtual server backup strategies. At the end, you'll receive your score and additional resources on virtualization backup tools and strategies.
Additional resources on virtual server backups
- Virtual backup: Still caught between two worlds
- Virtual machine and VMware snapshot guide
- VM snapshot backup process explained
- What are Hyper-V snapshots? It depends whom you ask
This was first published in March 2011