In 2015, the question is no longer “Can I get a reliable backup of a VM?”
With vStorage APIs for data protection (VADP) now being mature since 5.5, through 5.8 and up and coming in 6.0, shame on any backup solution that cannot reliably back up VMs using host-based APIs. Shame on vendors who only back up VMware and not Hyper-V with parity--but that is for a different blog, after VMworld.
Today, here are the questions that folks should be asking on the topic of “How agile can my restore of those VMs be?”
(1) Can I do ‘instant’ or ‘rapid’ VM recovery from the backup storage, without first restoring it back to a production hypervisor? How long does it really take in production? (no marketing please)
(2) And when I do that rapid VM recovery, will my deduplicated storage impact the restore (good or bad)? I need to reduce CapEx, but if it quadruples my restore time (or cuts it in half), I need to know.
(3) How can I manage my snapshots and backups and replicas in a way that gives me the most agility, without excessive storage costs due to silos of storage or redundant management impact?
(4) Can I replicate the VMs to the cloud for BC/DR? If so, what is necessary for sandboxing recoveries for testing purposes? What amount of orchestration can I pre-prepare, so that multi-VM applications start up in the right order?
(5) Will my general-purpose backup solution finally be on par (function and economically) with VM-centric capabilities, so that I might consider re-unifying my data protection strategy (or not)?
(6) What should I be considering for data protection as my production teams embrace converged or hyper‑converged systems?
(7) What should I be considering for data protection as my production teams move towards hybrid production infrastructures that leverage Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) environments? And how does that strategy change when the servers/VMs are in the cloud versus just replicated storage?In short, how can I leverage virtualization protection to help achieve IT durability or assured availability?
Will you be at VMworld?
Vendors – if your solution is announcing or demonstrating functionality described above, I’d love to see it, hear about it in advance and/or play with it in your booth.
IT Attendees – what are you using to solve these challenges? How is it working for you? What else is on your data protection challenges list? Coffee is on me, let’s talk.