Technology Software

Are Your Virtual Machine or Virtual Server Backups Useless?

One of the benefits of running a virtual machine (VM) environment on a Storage Area Network (SAN) is the ease and speed of backing up hundreds or thousands of VMs. A single click or scheduled task instantaneously backs up every VM in a datastore with a crash-consistent snapshot. In most cases this snapshot can be used to restore a VM to a functioning state, but it does not protect open files or databases well.

The difference between crash-consistent and application-consistent backups is stark. In a nutshell, a crash-consistent backup creates a snapshot that, when restored, creates a virtual machine that resembles one that has had the power abruptly turned off. The snapshot will return the virtual machine's operating system to its pre-crash state, but do little to preserve the consistency of open files or transactional databases that reside on it. On the other hand, an application-consistent backup will ensure that all database transactions are committed and all disk transactions are completed prior to a snapshot. This ensures the data integrity of open files and databases on every backup. Because of this, recovery from a failure will happen without data loss, and can proceed instantly, as a data consistency check is not required.

Given the advantages that application-consistent backup's offer, why would they not be the norm? Creating a crash-consistent snapshot is easy and free; every SAN vendor includes this feature with their hardware. Getting application-consistent snapshots requires additional software, and storage vendors charge a premium for this advanced solution. Implementation of this type of solution can be complex, depending on the SAN vendor. Many IT departments lack the skills to implement such a solution.

Another answer is lack of understanding; either by IT staff, or a cloud services provider. It is critical that the differences between these two backup schemes be well understood by whoever is maintaining virtual machines for the enterprise, and the question of whether application-consistent backups are being provided should be asked up front, rather than after the fact. A cloud services provider should be aware of, and offer to provide application-consistent backups whenever they are required.

If a virtual machine is running services such as Active Directory, Exchange, Oracle, SQL, or SharePoint, it is imperative that an application-consistent backup be performed. This will ensure that a complete recovery without data loss will always be possible, and that it will take less time. The potential benefits arising from a fast response to a failure situation, coupled with the security of knowing that the data is intact, should make an application-consistent backup standard procedure in any organization.
SHARE
RELATED POSTS on "Technology"
How Do I Print Business Cards With Microsoft Publisher?
How Do I Print Business Cards With Microsoft Publisher?
How to Reduce the Size of Photos Using Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0
How to Reduce the Size of Photos Using Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0
Features and Benefits of Project Portfolio Management
Features and Benefits of Project Portfolio Management
Fix Registry - Fix Registry Errors Easily
Fix Registry - Fix Registry Errors Easily
Business Intelligence Solutions and Services
Business Intelligence Solutions and Services
AutoCAD Architecture
AutoCAD Architecture
Best Social Networking Apps
Best Social Networking Apps
IKE
IKE
Help Desk Software by help-desk-software
Help Desk Software by help-desk-software
What's Better - Building a BPM Solution Or Buying One?
What's Better - Building a BPM Solution Or Buying One?
How to Make Music Fade out in Moviemaker
How to Make Music Fade out in Moviemaker
How to Shrink a DVD With Nero Instructions
How to Shrink a DVD With Nero Instructions
Live Chat Software: Four Tips To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Software
Live Chat Software: Four Tips To Help You Get the Most Out of Your Software
How to Stop Rootkits
How to Stop Rootkits
3 First-Rate Foundations for Making Movies
3 First-Rate Foundations for Making Movies
How to Build Game Downloads
How to Build Game Downloads
The Linux Modem How-To
The Linux Modem How-To
Text-Terminals on Linux - 11.6 Terminal Server Connection
Text-Terminals on Linux - 11.6 Terminal Server Connection
The Linux Loadable Kernel Module How-To
The Linux Loadable Kernel Module How-To
How to Create Photo Albums With CSS
How to Create Photo Albums With CSS

Leave Your Reply

*