Bringing Virtual Machines into Enterprise Backup

By June 29, 2021 Compass Features

In just a few years, virtualization has become standard practice in enterprise IT environments. Virtualization is a software-based technique that divides hardware elements such as processors, memory, storage, etc. among multiple “virtual machines” (VMs or hypervisors). Virtualization delivers some compelling benefits through more efficient utilization of physical computer hardware, which leads to greater hardware ROI. By some estimates, 92% of today’s businesses rely on some form of server virtualization, and half of these are actively adopting application and storage virtualization as well. At the same time, those cost-efficient VMs add complexity to enterprise data backup.

How VMs complicate enterprise data backup operations

In a complex data environment with a mix of physical servers and VMs, managing backup operations can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Plus, gaps in visibility to the full data landscape introduce security risks. VMs need to be recovered from backup as effectively and quickly as necessary, but it’s likely that many organizations are forced to use separate solutions for backing up physical and virtual machines. Few solutions on the market offer combined physical and VM protection, and the ones that do typically approach VM backup as an add-on feature that cannot scale to meet global requirements.

In general, there are two common strategies for VM backup:

  • From the host, including virtual hard disks, checkpoints/snapshots, and configuration files (recommended).
  • From the VM itself, similar to backing up a physical machine. This approach is preferred for backing up physical disks that are directly attached to the virtual machine, also known as pass-through disks, and also for Fibre-Channel connected storage and guest-initiated iSCSI connected storage.

Managing VM backup and recovery alongside the rest of your enterprise workloads

Organizations benefit from reduced risk and administrative overhead when they can unify backup operations management into a single platform – including virtual environments. Rather than treating VM backups as an add-on function, Cobalt Iron Compass SaaS-based backup solution brings VM management into a single, consolidated solution that protects all data workloads in the enterprise. That makes Compass unique in the marketplace — VM backup is as simple as accessing the Virtual Platforms tab in the Compass Commander interface, which provides support for industry-leading hypervisors including VMware vSphere.

How does Compass support VM backups?

Depending on the application, Compass uses a combination of agents and APIs to handle VM backup. Compass’ unique architecture makes it easier to scale and add protected applications than any other technology, making Compass the ideal foundation for future-proof backup environments.

Learn more about the Compass architecture >>

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