Improving Virtual Backup & Data Recovery In Large Enterprises

by Patrick Redknap on December 12, 2013

A while back vExpert Mike Preston did a great PHD Virtual whitepaper on “Improving Virtual  Backup & Data Recovery In Large Enterprises”.

I thought i’d use today’s post to highlight a couple of the key ways he highlighted to improve backup and recovery in larger environments!

  1. Enabling “bare-metal-like” Recovery
    By coupling the benefits of encapsulation and hardware independence along with adding a virtualization focused backup solution, the ability to create and perform image level backups in turn leads to the ability to perform a “bare-metal” recovery. A bare-metal recovery by definition essentially means restoring a complete server from scratch. Traditional bare-metal restore processes usually included having additional hardware available, installing a guest OS, then utilizing agents to restore the data and settings to that machine.
    Solutions such as PHD Virtual give administrators the ability to perform bare metal restores by simply selecting a restore point and selecting a target. Essentially, you just need to restore the fi les that make up the VM to any host in your infrastructure whether it is similar or dissimilar hardware. No agents, no operating system install, just restore a complete duplicate of your VM.

  2. Effective Deduplication
    Throughout the last 10 years data growth has been and will continue to be one of the biggest challenges aff ecting IT and businesses of all sizes. More data coupled with ‘VM Sprawl’ poses significant challenges when it comes to backup and recovery. One of the biggest challenges is that of having enough raw disk space to facilitate and house the backups of all of these VMs. Deduplication and compression are a couple of the solutions that are directly addressing these issues. Deduplication in its basics is a technique that is used to eliminate copies of redundant data. In essence, this allows you to greatly improve your storage utilization and optimize your disk capacity by detecting unique chunks of data or byte patterns and only storing one copy of these, while using a pointer technique  to replace the duplicated information; meaning you never backup the same data twice.
    Deduplication coupled with compression has quickly become a standard feature in most all backup vendors’ products; however each solution  tends to perform the deduplication diff erently.
    PHD Virtual for instance uses what they call the ‘TrueDedupe’ technology. TrueDedupe performs a true source-side deduplication of the data; meaning the deduplication and compression of the source data is performed before sending the information across the WAN/LAN and before the data is written to disk.
    As you can imagine, performing these processes before the actual transfer reduces the impact on your network as it only needs to send a minimal amount of unique data across to your backup targets. Its well-known that data growth will continue to occur while your bandwidth and WAN speeds are staying constant, thus making a solution such as PHD Virtual’s TrueDedupe even more scalable as it will continue to save you on bandwidth, cut down on the overall backup window time, increase your RTO, and significantly reduce the storage capacity required to house your backups.
    When considering deduplication in large environments, be sure to note that not all deduplication is created equal; PHD performs deduplication by comparing REAL data existing on the backup target while ensuring to eliminate duplicate copies of data across ALL VMs stored on the target. This is more robust than many other
    vendor solutions that only perform deduplication only across the VMs within a single job, and are known for using the fi rst VM in a job as a template VM to deduplicate against. These type of job level deduplication dependencies force users to perform unnecessary job management in order to achieve storage efficiencies.

    PHD saves those users time, headache and up front training/knowledge by being as efficient as possible out of the box.

Find out more about PHD Virtual Recovery Management Suite and how it can be the one solution that covers all your backup and disaster recovery needs!


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