Video: Separate VM backups or Unified Protection?

As many in the IT industry are getting ready for VMworld, my mind always wanders back to what seems to be the perennial question – “Use a separate backup solution for protecting VMs … or a single solution for physical and virtual servers?”

It used to be that the Virtualization-specific solutions did an inarguably better job than the Unified players did, because they had done the extra effort to make up for insufficient backup APIs in the hypervisor(s).  But those days are over.  VMware vStorage APIs for data protection (VADP) and Microsoft Hyper-V’s Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) mechanisms ensure that every backup solution that wants to do a good job of protecting VMs can.  That is NOT to say that all VM backup solutions are equal!!  What it does mean is that “can I back up a VM?” is no longer the right question. 

Instead, the differentiation among virtualization solutions is:

  • How agile is my restore?
  • Can I restore individual items from VM backups? (flexibility)
  • Can I power up the VM from the backup pool’s storage, without first restoring it to a hypervisor? (RTO)
  • How little data (efficiency) is my backup solution sending from the production hosts to the backup storage?
  • What kind of instrumentation (visibility) do I have on how my backups and restores are occurring?
  • How well does my backup solution integrate with my hypervisor or private cloud toolset (ease-of-use)?
  • Am I getting enough value out of the product itself? (TCO/ROI)
  • And if I choose to use a separate solution for protecting the VMs, does the recovery-agility and alternative pricing model outweigh the operational benefits of a single UI and a single deduplicated storage pool?

A single blog post won’t answer all of those questions, but I did look at just 1 of 50 data points within ESG’s recently published “Trends for Protecting Virtualized & Private Cloud Environments” Report  (CLICK HERE for the REPORT)

This 5 minute video unpacks our findings and recommendations on:

  1. Are IT Pro’s using a Separate or Unified VM protection solution today
  2. What is their intent (separate or unified) moving forward
  3. What you should be looking for when making your VM protection choice

if this is interesting data and you are going to VMworld, ping me.

As always, thanks for watching.

[Originally posted on ESG’s Technical Optimist .com]

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