First of all, know that backing up your VMware VMs is a choice but a must-do practise, and protecting critical data in your VMware vSphere environment from unforeseen disasters requires effective backups.
There are, in fact, numerous reasons why you should keep regular VMware backups. Not only should you keep an eye out for natural disasters, but also equipment failure, human errors, potential cyberattacks and malware infections, and many others.
There are several practices considered to be the best for effective backup and recovery of data in your VMware virtual infrastructure. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Snapshots are not backups
One huge mistake often made by enterprises is taking snapshots of virtual machines and thinking these snapshots would serve as a substitute to backups. Snapshots, in fact, should never be used as a primary VMware backup means, as they are only good for short-term and ad-hoc VMware backups.
Not only that, but snapshots can also cause some irregularities in the operating performance of your environment. To briefly explain, whenever a snapshot is created, all of the writes to the VM’s disk file are veered to a new delta disk file, leaving the original disk in read-only mode. The delta disk file further develops increments as more data is written to it, and each increment places a lock on the LUN on which the delta file resides, eventually leading to degraded performance or failure of your Vmware VM. The more snapshots you take, the more disk space consumed, and therefore when you run out of disk space on data stores, your VMs could then shut down.
Use Changed Block Tracking (CBT)
Using Changed block tracking allows for fast and effective data backup and replication jobs in your Vmware vSphere environment. VMware’s CBT technology, also known as CBT, enables vSphere to track the changes made at the VMDK block level. The Changed block tracking technology, developed by VMware, will then identify the changed data since the last backup job and backs it up instead of backing up the whole virtual machine all over again.
This is highly beneficial when creating VMware backups and recovery because the backup solution will only copy the changes made to your data since the last backup, reducing backup storage and backup time windows. When choosing the right backup solution for your environment, make sure your solution supports VMware vSphere CBT to reduce the data amount that needs to be backed up.
Use of VMware vSphere Technologies
When considering disaster recovery and the availability of business-critical data, some organizations, commendably, begin with the basics and navigate their way to success. VMware vSphere technologies provide advanced features and capabilities like vSphere clusters, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and vSphere High-availability (HA) that can drastically improve efficiency, flexibility, and agility for your entire environment.
VMware vSphere clusters, for example, contain internally manufactured technologies at the vSphere cluster level that allow organizations to easily account for hardware failure and performance. VMware HA technology enables you to restart your virtual machine on a healthy host if the primary host of the VM is down for some reason. VMware’s Distributed Resource Scheduler allows for VM migration between hosts, majorly depending on particular load and performance metrics.
One more important thing to keep in mind to ensure effective VMware backups and recovery is a reliable VMware backup solution that meets the needs of your infrastructure. While several solutions offer VMware backup, only a few can provide concise and easy VMware backup and recovery. Vmware Virtual machines can be intentionally or unintentionally deleted, lost or damaged at any time, putting your business in danger of costly downtime and permanent data loss, so go ahead choose the right VMware backup solution before the bill comes due.