This content is part of the Essential Guide: Enable VMware automation with these top tools and techniques

Strategies for protecting the vRealize Automation appliance

To adequately protect the vRealize Automation appliance, you should employ a variety of strategies and tools, including clones, configuration file copies and vSphere Replication.

Administrators can use a variety of tools and approaches to back up the VMware vRealize Automation system, including cloning (snapshots), traditional backups and other tools.

Backup strategies

The most direct approach to protecting the vRealize Automation appliance is the use of snapshots. If the appliance fails or experiences corruption, snapshots can be restored quickly and easily to return the appliance to its last working state. However, it's important to use clones rather than simple snapshots. Ordinary snapshots only take point-in-time copies of the machine state, allowing administrators to revert to that state later on. But ordinary snapshots are incomplete and often can't recreate the previous state from scratch. Administrators should rely on VM clones to properly protect the vRealize Automation VM.

For best cloning results, disable in-memory snapshots and quiesced snapshots to ensure the VM is captured without changes taking place during the cloning process. Also, be sure to place cloned VMs in a storage location other than the original vRealize Automation appliance itself – often, a different disk, storage array or data center location will help to ensure that the clone is guarded against more extensive failures in the infrastructure.

It's important to note that protecting the appliance doesn't protect the entire vRealize Automation system, which typically includes numerous components and data. This can include databases, load balancers, infrastructure-as-a-service components, configuration files and more, in addition to the vRealize Automation appliance. Administrators can employ more traditional full, incremental or differential backups and restores of vRealize Automation components and files. Most modern, third-party, VM-aware backup tools will provide suitable results as long as all of the components and data are included in the backup and captured together. Backups can also support bare-metal -- i.e, nonvirtualized -- components of the vRealize Automation system, whereas snapshots can't capture nonvirtualized instances.

If administrators choose to forego backups because of time or performance constraints, it might be possible to simply copy configuration files for system components -- not the components themselves. If a failure occurs, the affected components will need to be reinstalled, but copies of configuration files can at least restore the desired configuration.

The ins and outs of backing up vRealize Automation

Follow these strategies to back up the individual components involved with vRealize Automation, pay special attention to protecting infrastructure-as-a-service components and employ these general tips for vRealize Automation backup and restoration.

Tools for backup and protection

Administrators can select numerous tools to help protect a vRealize Automation deployment. For example, the vSphere export function will create a clone that backs up a VM to a common VM format, such as an Open Virtualization Format or Open Virtualization Appliance file. Similarly, organizations that use vSphere in conjunction with management platforms, like vCenter Server, can employ clones to duplicate and modify VM copies.

Administrators can also select from several advanced protection tools. For example, VMware vSphere Data Protection can create backups of the vRealize Automation appliance. vSphere Replication can replicate the virtual appliance to another site in order to provide geographic protection from data center faults or incidents. And VMware Site Recovery Manager can back up the appliance to a different data center to allow high availability through fast, remote recovery.

Note that there is no single or authoritative backup approach for a vRealize Automation deployment. One size doesn't fit all, and administrators can use different products and policies simultaneously to protect different constituent components and files.

Next Steps

Learn more about snapshots

Understand how vSphere Data Protection works

Install and configure vSphere Replication

Dig Deeper on Disaster recovery, failover and high availability for virtual servers