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VRealize Automation is not a single thing but rather a complex interaction of software components and database activity capable of composing and delivering IT services to enterprise users. Consequently, a complete backup must involve each of those interrelated components -- preferably within a narrow time window to minimize any discontinuity between data and device states. There are several practices that can help you back up vRealize Automation.
First, minimize the number of active transactions that take place in vRealize Automation during the backup process. This will reduce the possibility of lost data or data discontinuities creeping into a backup set. So, plan backups during periods of minimal vRealize Automation activity, such as evenings or weekends.
While traffic is minimized, it's important to back up vRealize Automation appliance instances and databases simultaneously -- or as close to simultaneously as possible. The actual number of components that can be backed up together will depend on factors such as network bandwidth, and extensive deployments might impose too much of a bandwidth load to be backed up simultaneously.
If there's more than one instance of the vRealize Automation appliance, it's a good practice to back up any software load balancers servicing the virtual appliances.
Backups are typically recommended after updating certificates for identity and access management. Once certificates are updated, back up the certificates along with any vRealize Automation appliances, associated load balancers and infrastructure-as-a-service components deployed in the infrastructure.
What to avoid
When you back up vRealize Automation appliances using VM snapshots, it's typically not necessary to quiesce VMs before taking the snapshot. This would basically pause the appliance, which isn't a good practice. In addition, snapshots of the appliance are generally performed through exporting or cloning, so it's usually best to avoid taking in-memory snapshots of the appliance.
Finally, it's critically important to test backup and restoration processes periodically. The vRealize Automation system can involve numerous components, so administrators must be sure that all of the components are backed up properly. Even more importantly, administrators must be able to restore the backups and verify that the system is restored to a proper working state.
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