Prepare and prevent: Virtual recovery and backup strategies

Last updated:January 2014

Editor's note

Backup and recovery are two of the most pressing issues for virtual servers. If you plan to prevent downtime and have a virtual recovery plan in place when it does happen, you're going to be ahead of the game. When an issue arises, there is almost a guarantee of prolonged downtime unless you're prepared.

One of the best ways to deal with an issue is to be proactive and try to prevent it. Choosing the proper level of high availability, as well as developing a disaster avoidance plan, are just two steps to take to actively prevent a disaster.

If something does happen, it's also important to have a virtual recovery plan. Developing disaster recovery strategies might seem unimportant when you haven't experienced an issue, but having a plan will go a long way in minimizing downtime when a problem does occur.

1Virtual recovery and backup planning strategies

If disaster does strike, it's important that you have a virtual recovery and backup plan in place. Having a plan will help minimize that downtime. There is no single method when it comes to recovery, so it's important to develop your own strategy to quickly get your applications back up.

2Using snapshots as part of your virtual recovery and backup plan

One popular method that should be a part of your virtual recovery plan to prevent downtime is using snapshots. Snapshots can help you quickly roll a VM back to a previous state to prevent prolonged downtime if a configuration change causes unexpected problems. Unfortunately, snapshots don't always work as expected. Here are some guidelines that can help you decide how often to take snapshots and how to troubleshoot when one fails.