Virtualization has become the standard vs. the exception. It is no longer the “bleeding edge”. As virtual servers start exceeding physical servers, it is important to make the right choice to protect your workloads. Evaluating and selecting the right backup & disaster recovery solution for your virtual environment is key. What capabilities should be included? Select the proper technologies and build your process.

What should I do if we lose a workload/VM? What should I do if we have an application or database that appears corrupted? What if we have hardware failure? What if there is a power interruption to our datacenter?

Backup verification:  The assurance that you have a good copy of your most critical VMs without actually having to do a full VM restore, which can take a long time depending on the size of the VM. There are several software vendors that offer backup verification as part of their backup and replication software package.  Make sure backup verification is included in your decision making process.

Backup Dedupe:  Deduplication of backup data is an important feature in any VM backup software. Considering that VM backup solutions offer a complete image based backup; this sometimes requires a large amount of repository free space. Also, considering that company policies may call for extended backup retention period lasting months, even up to a year or more. Dedupe should be an essential category in the decision making process.

File Level Restore:  The ability to restore a file, rather than a whole VM image is a key feature to look for in a VM backup solution. More backup vendors are introducing indexing mechanism within the backup process to allow for quick and easy file level restore. File Level Restore should now be an expected feature. This saves you time in situations when you need to restore a file, instead of a whole VM.

Object Level Restore:  Restoring say an active directory user account that was accidentally deleted, or maybe restore of a user’s mailbox, these are some of the restore options that are expected when planning for a backup and restore solution.

 Encryption:  Best practice for backup is 3 copies, 2 types, 1 off-site location.  Encryption for data in flight (data sets that you move to an off-site location over the wire) and data at rest is important.  Security has to be a part of your backup and disaster recovery operations.

We work with most of the major backup software publishers and our engineering team has opinions on most of the products on the market. There are some really great products on the markets plus virtualization changes how we approach disaster recovery planning. Let us know if you have any questions!

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