Guide to Protecting a Virtual Environment (Part 1)

As the amount of data stored in virtual environments continues to grow, companies are becoming increasingly concerned with the expenses associated with backing data up.  These costs are not limited to the price of extra hardware.  Labor costs associated with running backups and maintaining servers, as well as the revenue lost after a disaster, also are part of the expenses.  This series of posts will look at how companies can use Symantec’s NetBackup both to reduce the overhead associated with virtual data backup (in this post) and quickly recover from a disaster (in the following post).

Easy Virtual Environment Protection

One of the most important considerations companies must weigh when selecting a virtual data backup program is how easy the application is to use.  A backup program that has a high learning curve is less likely to be run by users than a program that is easily navigated.  It does not matter how well a program works, if it is not used.  In this department, Symantec’s NetBackup excels, because it:

  • Seamlessly integrates with VMware’s vSphere System
  • Is fully compatible with other Symantec products
  • Intelligently locates Virtual Machines within a vSphere Environment
  • Uses wizard-based menus that are easy to follow
  • Has a user-friendly interface

Flexible Virtual Environment Protection

In addition to being easy to use, a virtual environment backup program must be fully customizable.  Each company has unique needs, and a program should be able to adjust to a company’s specific situation.  Symantec’s NetBackup offers flexible solutions by:

  • Allowing users to define the VMware backup host (media server, client)
  • Letting users define an unlimited number of hosts
  • Asking users which machines and data need to be backed up
  • Intelligently query the vSphere database to ensure up to date and consistent backups

Reducing Costs of Virtual Environment Protection

The best virtual environment programs will not only offer easy, flexible solutions, but they will also reduce the expenses associated with data backup.  One aspect of this is reducing the virtual space needed to store backups.  NetBackup does this by using integrated de-duplication technology from Symantec, which eliminates redundant data at the hard disk block level within a virtual environment and only copies the necessary ones.  Programs also reduce the overhead of backing up data by streamlining the process.  Through NetBackup’s policy system, users can quickly set the parameters for a backup and the software will complete the process.  This frees users up to work on other assignments, thus reducing the labor costs of backing up data.

Symantec’s NetBackup offers a simple, flexible solution for virtual environment backup, which can also reduce a company’s expenses.  All of these features, however, are useless, if the data cannot be accessed quickly. The following post will explore how NetBackup performs after a disaster and during the recovery process.