Essential Guide

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Best practices, tips and tools for VMware virtual recovery and backup

Introduction

As more companies depend on virtual machines to streamline costs, it becomes imperative that a systems administrator has a solid backup and recovery system in place. Many businesses have a mixture of physical and virtual servers, but regardless of the infrastructure, data loss and system downtime have the same impact.

In these complex environments, the IT staff needs to know how to best utilize the battle-tested techniques and tools to accomplish a virtual recovery, resuscitating virtual machines that have flat-lined following system crashes, equipment failures or an upgrade gone awry.

1Strategies-

The best approaches for virtual machine backup and virtual recovery

Where and how you store the backups of your virtual machines and the data they create depends on the size of your environment and the needs of your business. Do you trust the cloud to keep your virtual machines safe, or would you prefer to keep them under lock and key in your data center?

Tip

Five reasons why a VM backup-software purchase can go wrong

Storage administrators must consider the needs of their entire environment when purchasing VM backup software or complications could ensue. Continue Reading

Feature

The state of virtual server backups

Backing up virtual servers was once a kludgy and network-choking process, but backup apps have evolved to handle the needs of virtualized servers. Continue Reading

Answer

Working with the limitations of storage-area-network-based backups and backup tools

Neither SAN-based VM backups nor VCB can do it all. When you understand the scope of each method, you'll make a better disaster recovery decision. Continue Reading

Tip

Comparing VMware vSphere backup software options for small and medium-sized businesses

SMB admins have a lot of VMware vSphere backup software options, including the free VDP appliance. Here's how VDP stacks up to third-party options. Continue Reading

Tip

Virtual machine backup strategies

Virtualization admins can mix traditional data backup technologies and newer tactics for safer, more efficient virtual machine backups. Continue Reading

Quiz

How well do you know vSphere backup technologies?

VMware evolved its vSphere backup features to reduce resource burdens and integrate with third-party tools. Test your knowledge of VDP and VADP. Continue Reading

Tip

The best VMware backup options in the cloud

Cloud-based storage and backup options for vSphere are low-cost and readily available. Check out the five best VMware backup options in the cloud. Continue Reading

Feature

Reasons to move business-critical applications to virtual environments

Companies have a natural reluctance to virtualize business-critical applications, but are these fears now unfounded as virtualization has matured? Continue Reading

2Snapshots-

Using snapshots to defend and resurrect your virtual machines

While VMware does not recommend using snapshots for backup and virtual recovery, some systems administrators find their flexibility and ability to restore critical virtual machines quickly attractive enough to offset the risks.

Feature

Relying on snapshots and replication in a backup and recovery strategy

Rachel Dines with Forrester Research discusses the role of snapshots and replication technology as part of your backup and recovery strategy. Continue Reading

Tutorial

Virtual server backup and recovery FAQ

Restoring VM data quickly requires a solid virtual server backup method. Snapshots, deduplication and third-party tools can help you achieve VM backup success. Continue Reading

Tip

VMware snapshot size and other causes for slow snapshots

Snapshots offer multiple restore points for VMs, but add complication. Poor performance can stem from the VMware snapshot size and other root causes. Continue Reading

Answer

VMware vSphere Data Protection offers data protection for small organizations

Independent backup expert Brien Posey discusses VMware VDP in this Expert Answer. Continue Reading

Quiz

Pop quiz: VMware snapshots 101

VMware snapshots play an important part in backing up many virtual infrastructures, but how well do you understand how they work? Take this quiz to find out. Continue Reading

3VCenter Site Recovery Manager-

Switch virtual recovery efforts to autopilot with vCenter Site Recovery Manager

When virtualization administrators are conducting a recovery effort in a complicated virtual environment, the last thing they want is a misstep that will pour more gasoline on the fire. For entirely vSphere-based data centers, VMware's vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM) automates the recovery process to reduce downtime.

Tip

Navigate VM availability acronyms: VMware HA vs. FT and SRM vs. VADP

VMware's options for virtual machine availability and backup can look like an alphabet soup. Get a handle on VMware VADP, SRM, HA and FT features. Continue Reading

Tip

SRM replication choices: vSphere Replication vs. storage replication

VMware's disaster recovery manager SRM has two replication options: via the hypervisor or via storage. The choice involves scalability and cost. Continue Reading

Tip

Selecting the right storage configuration for Site Recovery Manager

Crafting a comprehensive DR plan with VMware Site Recovery Plan is no easy feat. It involves choosing a storage configuration, replication technology and recovery time objective. Continue Reading

Tip

Five common VMware SRM error messages and how to resolve them

VMware Site Recovery Manager is a disaster recovery product that uses vSphere replication to protect virtual machines and their applications. As is the case with any software, you may unexpectedly receive error messages. This tip discusses five of the most common VMware SRM error messages and their solutions. Continue Reading

Tip

Disaster recovery hosting in the cloud eliminates redundant data centers

Despite the benefits of disaster recovery hosting in the cloud, VMware admins will find that SRM and vCloud Director don't make cloud-based DR easy. Continue Reading

4Disaster recovery-

Be prepared when big trouble comes knocking

So, your business depends on your virtual machines to do the heavy lifting with those tier-one applications, but how well-prepared is your company for a worst-case scenario? Migrating workloads to physical servers is one way to keep things afloat, but having a disaster recovery plan will downgrade a disruption from being a calamity of biblical proportions to being a minor inconvenience.

Tip

Creating a VMware disaster recovery plan

A VMware disaster recovery plan reduces downtime and ensures that vital data is safe. But it involves several technical and political considerations as well as the right DR tools. Continue Reading

Tip

Improving business continuity via a virtual disaster recovery strategy

Update your business's disaster recovery strategy to take full advantage of virtualization's time- and cost-saving benefits. Continue Reading

Tip

Building a remote VMware disaster recovery site

Constructing a remote VMware disaster recovery site ensures that your business stays running after a disaster. But without proper planning, you’ll waste a lot of time and money. Continue Reading

Tip

VMware disaster recovery strategy for small environments

Developing a VMware disaster recovery strategy for a small environment means understanding your backup needs. It also changes things if you have more than one site. Continue Reading

Podcast

What you need to know about bare-metal recovery

Marc Staimer, founder of Dragon Slayer Consulting, explains the variety of bare-metal recovery options available and how to test a bare-metal restore. Continue Reading

Tip

VMware vSphere Replication breaks disaster recovery storage barriers

VSphere Replication eliminates expensive disaster recovery storage requirements. SMBs no longer have to be jealous of enterprises’ DR plans. Continue Reading

5vSphere Data Protection-

VMware promotes another safeguard for virtual infrastructure

VMware listened to complaints its customers had with the VMware Data Recovery (VDR) product, putting it out to pasture and replacing it with vSphere Data Protection (VDP). But there are still some limitations with the new offering that continue to vex VMware customers.

Feature

VMware VADP and vSphere Data Protection FAQs

VStorage API for Data Protection replaced VMware Consolidated Backup and VMware Data Recovery. It works with VMware Data Protection and other tools. Continue Reading

Tip

Comparing differences in vSphere Data Protection versions

The free version of vSphere Data Protection (VDP) has some limitations and lacks some features of the advanced version. Continue Reading

Tip

Backup is easy with VMware VDP, but scalability limits the free tool

VMware VDP overhauls the vSphere backup appliance. VDP is free, simple to set up, stable and easy to manage, but not right for every data center. Continue Reading

Answer

VMware Data Protection vs. third-party backup applications

Colm Keegan of Storage Switzerland compares VMware Data Protection with third-party backup applications in this Expert Response. Continue Reading

News

VMware VDP and VDPA upgrades unlock more Avamar features

VMware adds cloud backup and Data Domain support to vSphere Data Protection (VDP) and VDP Advanced (VDPA) apps, which use EMC Avamar under the hood. Continue Reading

6Third-party tools-

Recovery and backup products from vendors

Not all companies are using VMware products to stand guard over their virtual machines. Systems administrators worth their certification will investigate the competing offerings to see how things stack up in the field of ESX and ESXi.

Tip

VMware disaster recovery options: Beyond Site Recovery Manager

VMware offers its own disaster recovery tools, but there are a number of viable third-party products you can use for VMware disaster recovery. Continue Reading

News

HotLink unveils Amazon Web Services BC/DR solution to protect VMware

HotLink DR Express offers a plug-in BC/DR solution that leverages Amazon Web Services to protect VMware vSphere virtual machines. Continue Reading

News

Veeam ties backup monitoring into VMware management app

Veeam Software integrates its virtual server backup with its Management Pack, enabling management of backup monitoring in Microsoft System Center. Continue Reading

Feature

Canfor speeds data replication with Zerto disaster recovery software

One forestry products manufacturer turned to Zerto to update its data recovery and replication strategy. Continue Reading

7Definitions-

Key terms for backup and virtual recovery

Check this glossary to further your knowledge of VMware backup and virtual recovery terms.

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