Mind your business with proper VMware View backup, recovery methods

The VMware View Security Essentials book dives into the proper backup and recovery methods for your vital VDI environment.

Every systems administrator knows how important security is, but there's more to protecting your data center than focusing on firewalls and network monitoring. A solid VMware View backup and recovery plan is fundamental to the livelihood of the business, but something that can be overlooked.

Daniel Langenhan's VMware View Security Essentials takes a new look at security in the corporate environment by explaining the four major View security areas and offering ways to implement a higher standard. More than just a "how-to" book, it goes into the background of View security for a deeper understanding about why certain View backup and recovery methods work best.

Chapter 5, titled "Backup and Recovery," is available to download and read in full here (PDF). Langenhan looks at the three containers of every View environment: VMware View Server, vSphere and infrastructure.

This chapter gives step-by-step instructions as well as screenshots that show how to back up each of the three containers. Langenhan discusses what really needs to be backed up -- and when. One of the most important components for backup and recovery is one of the simplest: having comprehensive documentation that details how applications were installed with particular configuration settings for a proper, and prompt, restore.

Highlights from Chapter 5 on VMware View backup and recovery

You might want to back up the vSphere management VMs if you have added special configurations into the operation system, such as firewall rules or certificates. Most enterprises use tools from the storage or backup vendor to back up the complete data stores where all the VMs are stored. This makes the recovery of the base vSphere environment much easier and faster. But as said before the central pieces is the backup of the SSO and vCenter database. If you lose the database you will lose all configuration information of vSphere, which includes the configuration you set up for View (for example, users, folders, and many more).

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The View environment consists of the View Connection Servers, the View Security Servers, the View Composer (and its database) as well as some other components. The good news is that backup is a bit easier using the View Manager. The View Manager is able to extract all needed information from all the View servers and back them up centrally. However, the View Composer database should always be backed up regardless.

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Next to the VMware vSphere environment, the common Infrastructure environment is rather important in the backup process. The clearest target for backup is the database server that contains the vSphere, View Composer database, and the View Connection server event database. How to back up these databases is up to the best practice of the database vendor. However, these databases should be backed up regularly. Restoring these databases requires that the system that uses them is shut down.

This was first published in January 2014
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