7 Best Practices for VM Backup You Must Know 

Businesses have different needs when it comes to Virtual Machine backup. Some businesses may require frequent backups in order to meet compliance regulations, while others may only need occasional backups. Regardless of your business needs, there are some best practices that should be followed for all VM backups.

In this blog post, we will discuss seven of the most important best practices for VM backup.

Best Practices while VM Backup

Understand your requirements

The first step is to understand your backup requirements. What type of data do you need to backup? How often do you need to perform backups? What is your budget for backup storage? Once you have answered these questions, you can determine the best backup solution for your needs. When you know what are the requirements to backup a virtual machine, you can easily find the best practices that fit those requirements.


Determine your RTO and RPO

The next step is to determine your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RTO is the amount of time that you can tolerate your VM being down, while RPO is the amount of data you can tolerate losing. Once you have determined your RTO and RPO, you can select a backup solution that meets those objectives. Apart from that, you also need to consider the time required to restore your VM in case of a disaster.


Choose the right backup solution

There are many different backup solutions available on the market. It is important to choose a backup solution that meets your specific needs. Some factors to consider when choosing a backup solution include:

  • The type of data you need to backup
  • How often do you need to perform backups
  • Your budget for backup storage
  • Support for multiple hypervisors, deduplication, and compression

Once you have considered these factors, you can narrow down your choices and select the best backup solution for your needs. Considering that one of the best VM backup tools is Altaro VM Backup.

Altaro Virtual Machine Backup and Replication

Altaro VM Backup is a powerful and easy-to-use backup solution for VMware and Hyper-V. It’s a fast, cost-effective, and high-performance backup and replication tool that comes with an amazing user interface. The application is simple to manage and provides detailed reports on your backup process. It also allows you to set up granular recovery points, so you can restore your VM to a specific point in time if necessary. You don’t require any special training to use this tool, and it’s very affordable.

  Altaro Office 365 Backup Review

Plan your backup window

It is important to plan your backup window carefully. You need to ensure that your backup process does not impact the performance of your production VM. To do this, you need to determine the best time to perform backups. This will vary depending on the type of business you are in and the workload of your VM. You may need to perform backups during off-peak hours or on weekends.


Monitor your backup process

Once you have implemented a backup solution, it is important to monitor the process to ensure that it is working as expected. You should monitor the performance of your backup solution and check the logs regularly. You should also monitor the amount of storage space your backup is using. If you notice any problems with your backup process, you should investigate and resolve them as soon as possible. Keep in mind that your backup solution should be able to meet your RTO and RPO.


Know how Quiescing and VSS work

Quiescing is the process of taking a snapshot of a VM while it is running. This ensures that all data is in a consistent state and no data is lost. VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) is a Windows service that helps create quiesced snapshots. It is important to understand how these two mechanisms work in order to properly configure your backup solution.

If you’re backing up VMs that contain transactional applications like database and email servers, you must quiesce them so they’re in the proper state to be backed up.


Snapshots are not Backups

Snapshots are not backups. A snapshot is a copy of the VM at a specific point in time. It does not include the actual data of the VM. If you delete or modify a VM, the snapshot will not reflect those changes. In order to create an effective backup, you need to use a backup solution that copies the actual data of the VM. Snapshots are acceptable for short-term, ad hoc VM backup, but they have costs.

When a snapshot is taken, all writes to the VM’s disk file are redirected to a new delta disk file, and the original disk becomes read-only. As data is written to the delta disk file, it increases by 16 MB at a time, requiring a lock on the LUN in which it resides that can degrade performance. The more snapshots you have active at once, the more you’ll impact the performance of all VMs utilizing that LUN.

Snapshots consume more disk space on your data stores, with each one potentially growing to the size of the original disk. If you run out of disk space in your data storage, all of your VMs will be disabled.

In addition, because snapshots are creating new virtual disks that refer to the origin, some features may not be accessible. This can lead to difficulties with disk mapping when you have a lot of snapshots. Snapshots should be utilized sparingly and promptly deleted once they’re no longer needed.


Summing Up

Backing up your VM is critical to ensure that you can recover from a disaster. There are many different ways to backup a VM, but not all of them are created equal. In order to create an effective backup solution, you need to understand the best practices for VM backup. By following the tips in this article, you can be sure that your VM backup solution is effective and reliable.

If you have any questions about VM backup, or if you would like help implementing a backup solution, please contact us. We would be happy to assist you.

What is the best time to perform backups?

The best time to perform backups will vary depending on the type of business you are in and the workload of your VM. You may need to perform backups during off-peak hours or on weekends.

How often should I monitor my backup process?

You should monitor the performance of your backup solution and check the logs regularly. You should also monitor the amount of storage space your backup is using. If you notice any problems with your backup process, you should investigate and resolve them as soon as possible.

What is quiescing?

Quiescing is the process of taking a snapshot of a VM while it is running. This ensures that all data is in a consistent state and no data is lost.

What is VSS?

VSS (Volume Shadow Copy Service) is a Windows service that helps create quiesced snapshots. It is important to understand how this service works in order to properly configure your backup solution.

What is a snapshot?

A snapshot is a copy of the VM at a specific point in time. It does not include the actual data of the VM. If you delete or modify a VM, the snapshot will not reflect those changes.

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