Methods of backing up and protecting data in virtual machines has changed a lot in recent years, but the process continues to become simpler and more secure. When it comes to backing up, there are really only two serious choices one has to make, choosing a traditional backup, or a more specialized backup solution-specifically targeted at virtualized environments. Both have their likes and gripes, but as virtualization hits the mainstream the smaller specialized solution providers are coming out top. Veeam is one of these providers and offers a service touted as being very powerful, yet easy to use; specifically catering towards virtualized applications and data on VMware’s vSpehere.
Veeam’s backup and replication gets rid of managing separate backup agents, and the entire process is setup to be very un-intrusive, this means the backup operation no longer requires monitoring time after time, and Veeam assures the recoverability of each backup can easily be verified each and every time. Compared to traditional recovery solutions, Veeam’s service also allows virtual machines to be booted straight from the back up, much like a carbon copy. This feature removes the middle steps almost all other recovery options go through-no more waiting for extraction and copying to production! Veeam claims this operation is done in little as 2 mins, real world numbers are a bit of, but nonetheless the recovery time is relatively quick. The recovery features don’t stop there, U-AIR (Universal Application-Item Recovery) is one of Veeam’s highlighted features which is used to recover individual applications from a backup- a feature thats very powerful if multiple apps are running in a single virtualized environment. The next big features are SureBackup and On-Demand Sandbox , both features are used to run VM’s in an isolated environment. SureBackup is used to run and test backups to ensure recoverability, whereas On-Demand Sandbox is used to run and troubleshoot VM’s or for testing. With Veeam’s near-CDP technology you can almost immediately switchover to a standby VM incase a VM goes down.
All of these features are great, but they have to be easy to use when implemented-Veeam has got you covered. Both the backup and replication aspects of this service are tied into a centralized management console (web-based), from here you can monitor backups from multiple servers, edit jobs, and search across each individual backup. You can also manage your recovery options and initiate replication if the need arises. This also means you don’t have to acquire multiple licenses and manage different agents across your servers for the back-ups to take pace-everything is laid out for you in one place.
These specialized backup providers offer tools that are very powerful and cater directly to the virtual environment the backup is targeted at. This is great if you manage environments that use similar APIs but most larger organizations have virtualized applications and servers running under many different environments. In this case traditional backup solutions fair much better as they may lack some of the tools found in the specialized backup solutions (Veeam for VMware’s Vsphere), but they can encompass a broader range of APIs and environments virtual machines are housed in. In this case the extended features found in specialized solutions are outweighed by the need to purchase and implement several different backup solution specific to each environment your organization may be running. The traditional backup may not be the easiest and fastest, but will be much easier to monitor compared to using several different backup solutions at the same time.
When deciding on a backup, specialized solutions are great for organizations that are using only one type of virtual machine across the board, but if you are managing very different machines, traditional backup solutions will fit better as they will provide coverage for almost all of the APIs and virtual machines you are running.
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