This article is part of an Essential Guide, our editor-selected collection of our best articles, videos and other content on this topic. Explore more in this guide:
1. - The best approaches for virtual machine backup and virtual recovery: Read more in this section
- Five reasons why a VM backup-software purchase can go wrong
- The state of virtual server backups
- Working with the limitations of storage-area-network-based backups and backup tools
Explore other sections in this guide:
- 2. - Using snapshots to defend and resurrect your virtual machines
- 3. - Switch virtual recovery efforts to autopilot with vCenter Site Recovery Manager
- 4. - Be prepared when big trouble comes knocking
Organizations are deploying more virtual machines nowadays. Because of this, they must also understand how to provide the appropriate level of virtual machine backup. This is usually accomplished by using a third-party backup product.
Important factors in purchasing virtual machine (VM) backup software products are multi-hypervisor support and the ability to protect both physical and virtual servers. But storage administrators can't select products only for their feature sets -- they need to consider their entire computing environment when making decisions. With that in mind, here are five reasons why a VM backup software purchase can go wrong:
1. Failure to understand business requirements. A surprising number of organizations have no formally defined recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives (related to application requirements). How can anyone determine if a product is the right one without knowing what it needs to accomplish?
2. Failure to perform a proof-of-concept. Even when a vendor is scrupulously honest, products may experience failures in specific environments that could never be reasonably anticipated. "Test twice, buy once."
3. Factoring in irrelevant features. VM backup software products may have cool features, but upon examination they may be irrelevant. Examples in this category may be deduplication and encryption. Yes, they're important to backup operations, but they may be better implemented with a target appliance.
For more information on virtual machine backup
Evaluating virtual server backup products
4. Ignoring practical implementation. Storage managers may get so focused on best-of-breed that they lose sight of the integration and operational implications of a one-off product. Best-of-breed may make sense, but only if the benefits outweigh the complications of adding another product in the data center.
5. Defaulting to the incumbent vendor. This is the corollary to No. 4. Sometimes, organizations dislike their current product but assume that all the others are just as bad. Buying based on "the devil you know" may result in a huge missed opportunity to alleviate a common IT headache. Take two proof-of-concepts as an antidote.
About the author:
Phil Goodwin is a storage consultant and freelance writer.