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These VMware and third-party VM backup tools make your job easier

With the right tools and resources, VM backup and recovery can be easier. Consider factors such as product compatibility and future business needs before deciding what to use.

The right tools enable organizations to capture host and guest states quickly and often with a high degree of automation. Not only do VM backup tools figure prominently in operations, but the choice and deployment of VM backup tools can profoundly impact the organization's business continuity, disaster recovery and regulatory compliance posture.

VMware offers several native tools that to can help with VM backups and restorations. IT administrators can take -- or even script -- protective actions through vSphere CLI and PowerCLI. VMware vCenter Server includes native capability for backup and restoration. VMware Consolidated Backup protects VMs by offloading the backup workload to the backup proxy server. More sophisticated options include VMware vSphere Replication and DR products, such as VMware Site Recovery Manager.

There is also no shortage of third-party tools to assist with VM backup and restoration under major hypervisors. Veeam Availability Suite provides VM backup and image-based VM replication for full DR. Zerto IT Resilience Platform offers data protection and DR for on-premises and hybrid or multi-cloud environments. Acronis Backup presents a flexible backup and recovery platform for ESX hosts, VMs or clusters to hybrid storage across the entire virtualized environment. Commvault Complete Backup and Recovery delivers backup and recovery for on-premises and cloud resources.

When considering any VM backup tools, admins must evaluate factors such as current and future business needs, product performance, product compatibility/interoperability, product support, licensing and other tool costs, and product features roadmap.

When considering VM backup tools, admins must evaluate factors such as current and future business needs, product performance, product compatibility/interoperability, product support, licensing and other tool costs, and product features roadmap. Admins should take the time to experiment with each potential product and conduct thorough proof-of-principle evaluations of finalists before committing to any specific VM backup and restoration product.

The notion of a backup might sound almost archaic in today's virtualized data centers, but backups continue to play a vital role in everyday workload protection and sound business governance. Virtualization has brought new options and alternatives to backup tasks, but organizations must still apply diligence and best practices to make the most of backup operations.

Next Steps

Now that you know what tools you can use to help back up your VMs, go over some VM backup best practices, explore the various backup methods for your VMs and learn how to use vSphere CLI or PowerCLI to back up your ESXi host.

This was last published in April 2019

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Veritas Backup Exec is also reliable application for VM backup and restoration.
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