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June 2010, Vol. 23

Virtual machine backup strategies

Virtualization has brought a new focus on management efficiency and the effective use of valuable computing resources. But as fewer physical servers host increasing numbers of virtual machines (VMs), IT administrators face a new series of data protection and backup challenges. Today, it’s more than just making a copy of important data files. Each VM state must also be protected and kept readily accessible. Each organization must re-evaluate its backup needs within the context of its virtual infrastructure and then select the most appropriate technologies to provide the best data protection. That may mean adapting traditional backup approaches to a virtual environment, while other cases may warrant a shift to other backup paradigms. The need for server backups is fundamentally the same in a virtualized server as it is for traditional nonvirtualized servers. Backups guard against data loss caused by factors such as hardware failures, application or operating system failures and human error. But there are some important differences...

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