Thursday, February 14, 2013

I want to backup my Virtualized environment

Every institution wants to backup  virtualized  environment but is it really necessary to do so?  Yes it is necessary but we should know what component is really necessary. Most of the time we plan for hypervisor backup . Hummm how long does it take to build any hypervisor either its VMware or XenServer ?

For VMware I can build it within host in 3 minute using EDA /UDA . All the configuration is stored within virtual center SQL/Oracle database . So if I backup my VC database I can bring up the environment. If my ESX host crash I can build one new in 3 minute . Now why do I need to backup my ESX host ?

If my XenServer host crash I can build new one in 5~10 minutes . XenServer configuration is stored on metadata and this can be backed up on NFS from where it can be transferred to  tape. It would be not more then few 100 MB's . So do we need to backup hypervisor ?

If we have to backup Citrix virtual envoirnment which consist of XenApp and XenDesktop/PVS, just backup SQL server and webinterface server .Should I also be backing up Lic server ? Hell no , you can build new one within 5 minute . So how about virtual machine how should we back these up. Yeah here comes the strategy because backup will consume lots of bandwidth. So should I do snapshot level backup or agent level backup?

Now its era of 10G network and any backup infrastructure if designed properly , I will always prefer agent level backup . It is so simple to backup and restore.

The idea for this debate is to ensure that we do not create overhead for our IT operation team . At the same time we should save some buck on un-necessary backup infrastructure like Storage/Tape management (Iron Mountain) .

Details is not in scope of this blog :)

Open for debate so post your comment below.

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