Special Report

Performing virtual machine backups with VMware Consolidated Backup

Many companies use traditional backup tools to perform virtual machine backups (VM backups), but doing so has meant potential limitations -- for instance, a kludgy restore process and a performance impact on server I/O. To address the backup complexities introduced by virtualization, VMware released VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB). While VMware Consolidated Backup enables backups to be performed at the virtualization layer, it requires a middleman, a proxy server, between the backup device and the target disk. And VMware has made VCB obsolete in vSphere, replacing it with APIs that backup vendors can use to directly connect to virtual server targets to back up the VMs. Yet, VMware Consolidated Backup still remains in many virtual machine environments that have not yet upgraded to vSphere.

We've compiled some of our recent articles on virtual backups to help you determine the benefit of VMware Consolidated Backup for your storage environment. Start by examining whether VCB makes sense in your environment and then discover five things you must know about VMware Consolidated Backup. And if you'd like to examine alternatives to VMware Consolidated Backup, our last tip below will be a good resource for you.

Is VMware Consolidated Backup right for your enterprise?
VMware Consolidated Backup is VMware's answer to the virtual backup dilemma, but is it right for your organisation? In this tip, data backup expert W. Curtis Preston discusses how VMware Consolidated Backup works in environments with Windows-based virtual machines, how to restore a VM and how VCB will affect VMware's vSphere.

Five things you need to know about VMware Consolidated Backup
For storage administrators who are used to traditional physical backup solutions, effectively using VMware Consolidated Backup will require some preparation and understanding. This tip examines five things you should know about VMware Consolidated Backup, including why VCB should be installed on a dedicated Windows Server and why VCB should not be the entire backup solution for a virtual infrastructure.

Data backup for virtual machines: Alternative methods to VMware Consolidated Backup
In addition to VMware Consolidated Backup, there are a number of other technologies that you can deploy today to make VMware backups better. W. Curtis Preston returns in this tip to discuss some alternative methods to VMware Consolidated Backup. Learn about some of the other methods for virtual machine backups, including the use of point products, continuous data protection (CDP) and near-CDP approaches, and the use of data deduplication technology.

This was first published in June 2010

 

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