In recent years, backing up virtual servers has been another source of headaches for backup administrators. When server virtualization first gained mainstream acceptance, the backup process had a lot of catching up to do. Most backup applications were not virtualization aware, and backup administrators were only beginning to understand the ways in which virtual environments differed from physical server backups.
Initially, most backup administrators chose to back up virtual machines by deploying backup agents to each individual virtual machine. Ultimately, however, this approach proved to be inefficient at best. As virtual machines proliferated, managing large numbers of backup agents became challenging. Never mind the fact that, at the time, many backup products were licensed on a per-agent basis. Resource contention also became a huge issue since running multiple, parallel virtual machine backups can exert a significant load on a host server and the underlying storage.
For that reason, virtual server backups can experience severe bottlenecks when using traditional backup methods that copy data from each virtual machine (VM) as if it were a physical server.
The answer here is to avoid backing up data from the guest VM and instead to deploy backup applications that can copy directly from the host using backup-specific application programming interfaces (APIs). One benefit of running host-based backups is that traditional backup agents can be eliminated, removing a whole set of maintenance and management tasks needed to keep the agents up to date.
Veeam Backup & Replication
Veeam Backup & Replication is an availability, data protection and disaster recovery solution for VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual environments of any size and complexity.
To provide the most comprehensive protection of your virtual infrastructure, Veeam Backup & Replication complements image-based backup with image-based replication. You can backup any VM, VM container or VM disk, as well as replicate VMs onsite for high availability (HA) or offsite for disaster recovery (DR), across local area and wide area networks.
By leveraging the latest technological advancements of the virtualization technology, Veeam Backup & Replication delivers unprecedented replication speed. It provides near-continuous data protection (or near-CDP) at a fraction of the cost of traditional CDP systems. You can capture changes and update VM images as often as every few minutes as the replication job can be set to run continuously.
Veeam Backup & Replication offers vPower – Veeam’s technology that allows you to:
• Instant VM Recovery. Immediately recover a failed VM, thus reducing downtime of production VMs to the minimum. Instead of making users wait while you provision storage, extract the backup and copy it to production, restart a VM directly from the backup. With Instant VM Recovery, you can recover a failed VM in as little as 2 minutes.
• SureBackup. Verify recoverability of every backup by starting and testing VMs directly from VM backups in an isolated environment.
• Restore guest OS files. Recover a file from any guest OS and file system directly from an image-level backup—without booting the VM, and from virtualized applications with Veeam Explorers for Microsoft Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft SQL.
• U-AIR® (Universal Application-Item Recovery). Recover individual objects from ANY virtualized application without agents, additional backups or software tools.
• On-Demand Sandbox. Run VMs from a backup in an isolated Virtual Lab for testing or troubleshooting.