Why Should You Implement a VM Backup in Your Company

Virtualization has become an essential part of computing in today’s digital age. It enables businesses to get the most out of their resources and gain greater flexibility, efficiency, and security. At the core of virtualization lies the virtual machine (VM) – a software-based version of a physical computer.

Comprehending what a virtual machine is, how virtualization operates, and why businesses utilize it is critical for keeping up with the modern business world. Moreover, with the rising dependence on virtual machines, it’s necessary to comprehend why VM backup is indispensable and the various VM backup alternatives.

This blog post will examine these topics and provide actionable steps to execute VM backup in your organization.

Overview of Virtual Machines

A virtual machine (VM) is a software emulation of a physical device, allowing for the creation of a distinct, isolated operating environment from the host system. This indicates that multiple VMs can be run on a single physical machine, optimizing the utilization of hardware resources. Widely used virtual machines in the industry include VMware Workstation, Oracle VM VirtualBox, Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM, and Parallels Desktop.

Virtual Machines vs. Physical Machines

A significant distinction between virtual and physical machines is that a Virtual Machine (VM) operates on a software-emulated virtual hardware platform rather than a predetermined hardware configuration. Consequently, numerous VMs with different operating systems, settings, and programs can exist on a single physical machine.

Benefits of VMs

The utilization of virtual machines has numerous advantages. Primarily, it enables the consolidation of IT infrastructure. Running several virtual machines on one physical machine reduces the necessity for hardware, which can help save money on equipment and maintenance costs. This edge, in turn, helps to use available resources and decrease energy consumption efficiently.

Furthermore, using virtual machines is simple and convenient. It only takes a few clicks to create a virtual machine, install an operating system and applications, and have it ready for use. This is especially helpful for testing and development, where one can quickly create new environments to test software without requiring additional hardware.

Overview of Virtualization

Simply put, virtualization is creating a virtual version of something, such as an operating system, a server, or a network. This virtual version runs on a virtual platform replicating the hardware, making it possible to run multiple virtual versions on a single physical machine, thus optimizing IT resources.

How Virtualization Works

Virtualization utilizes a hypervisor, a layer of abstraction, between the physical hardware and the OS/application. This hypervisor is responsible for allocating resources from the physical machine to the virtual machines, each of which runs on its own isolated virtual hardware platform. Industry leaders like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft use virtualization to fuel their expansive networks and data centers. Furthermore, numerous small and medium-sized businesses utilize virtualization to expedite their IT resources and increase business productivity.

Why do Businesses Utilize Virtualization?

The advantages of virtualization are numerous. You can reduce hardware costs by running multiple virtual machines on one physical machine. Also, it allows for more efficient use of your hardware since resources can be allocated to each virtual machine as needed instead of having separate hardware for each application. Moreover, virtualization offers fast and straightforward management of virtual machines. You can create and install an OS and applications on a virtual machine in a few clicks and have it up and running quickly.

This advantage is precious in testing and development, where you can quickly create new environments without additional hardware. Finally, virtualization provides increased safety because each virtual machine is isolated from one another on the same physical host. This implies that any issues occurring within a single virtual machine will not impact the host or any other virtual machines, thus allowing applications or software to be tested without damaging the rest of the IT system.

Why is VM backup important?

VMs are an integral part of today’s IT infrastructure, providing businesses with cost savings and improved efficiency. Yet, with the right backup solution in place, companies can avoid the potential risks of data and application loss, associated downtime, revenue losses, and reputational harm. Furthermore, as data volume and complexity continue to grow, so does the potential for data corruption; implementing a backup system is a must for all IT setups.

Benefits of VM backups

VM backup allows businesses to quickly recover lost or corrupted data, minimizing the impact of system failures and other IT disasters. Also, it allows restoring their data and applications to a previous state, guaranteeing continuity of operations and minimal disruption.

In addition, VM backup provides businesses with enhanced flexibility and scalability, allowing them to rapidly deploy new virtual machines, move applications between physical servers, and replicate data to remote locations to meet their changing business needs better.

Finally, with VM backup, businesses can feel assured that their data is safeguarded and secure following regulatory requirements and data protection laws. This can give them peace of mind that they are fulfilling their obligations and avoiding penalties or legal issues.

Types of VM backups

Several types of VM backups are available, each with advantages and disadvantages.

  • Full VM Backup

A full VM backup is the most complete form, including its data and applications, taking a complete copy of the VM. This type of backup is precious in the event of a disaster, as it is the fastest and most reliable for restoring the entire VM. Nevertheless, these backups can be resource-intensive, lengthy, and require additional storage space.

  • Incremental Backup

Incremental backups capture only changes made since the previous backup, helping to save space and time and stay within a backup window. However, restoring an incremental backup can be more complex, as it necessitates restoring multiple backups for the complete VM.

  • Differential Backup

A differential backup captures changes made since the most recent full backup rather than from the last incremental one. This backup method is faster to restore than an incremental backup, as it only involves two backup sets but can take up more storage space.

  • Snapshot Backup

Snapshots are a form of backup that records a VM’s present state. This type can be beneficial for recording the VM before a software update or for trial and error. Nonetheless, snapshots should not be used as a long-term backup as they can take up a lot of space and may only capture some modifications to the VM.

How to implement VM backup in your Business

To minimize the risk of data loss and ensure quick disaster recovery, it is essential to back up virtual machines regularly and efficiently. Here are the steps for implementing VM backup:

  • Step 1: Define Your Backup Requirements

To properly implement Virtual Machine (VM) backup, the first step is to identify and understand your business needs and critical applications and to determine your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). RPO is the amount of data that can be lost, and RTO is the time necessary to restore the data. By defining your backup requirements, you can select the best backup solution for your business and ensure total alignment with your goals.

  • Step 2: Choose the Right Backup Solution

Selecting the right backup plan for your needs is the next step. Different options are available, such as agent-based and agentless, cloud-based, and on-premises backups. Ensure that the backup solution you choose is compatible with your virtualization platform, fulfills your backup needs, and is manageable.

  • Step 3: Configure Your Backup Solution

After selecting your backup solution, you must set it up to fulfill your backup needs. This form includes arranging backup times, deciding which virtual machines to back up, and deciding on backup retention plans. To protect against data loss and to ensure successful backup and restore operations, you must properly configure your backup solution.

  • Step 4: Test Your Backup Solution

It’s essential to test your backup solution regularly to ensure it is effective and fulfills your backup requirements. Doing so can also help you identify potential issues and optimize your backup strategy. Testing your backup solution is essential for a successful backup plan.

If you need a proven solution for modern workloads for your company, contact our experts who will tell you how to most effectively protect your virtual machines, cloud instances or mass memory against cyber threats and other accidents.

Best Practices for VM Backup Implementation

Setting up a VM Backup Implementation strategy is crucial to a successful backup practice. Here are a few tips on the daily implementation technique:

  • Verify regularly that your backup system is successful and your recovery operations are dependable.
  • Ensure your virtualization platform is compatible with your backup solution and can meet your backup needs.
  • Implement the 3-2-1 backup strategy, involving making three replicas of your data, storing it in two distinct media types, and keeping one offsite.
  • Consider using a backup solution with deduplication and compression to decrease the needed storage space.
  • Make sure your backup solution is simple to manage and can provide accurate reports on your backup situation and performance.

To Sum Up

Implementing VM backup is essential for any company that relies on virtualization technology. Without VM backup, businesses risk losing critical data, facing security breaches, and experiencing significant downtime that can lead to financial losses. By understanding what a virtual machine is, how virtualization works, and the benefits it offers, you can make informed decisions for your company’s future.

Additionally, understanding the different types of VM backups available and how to implement them can help ensure the safety and integrity of your data. With this knowledge, you can implement best practices for VM backup. Rest assured that your company’s data is safe, secure, and accessible when needed. Finally, by investing in VM backup, you’re investing in the longevity and success of your business.

text written by:

Paweł Piskorz, Presales Engineer at Storware