Snapshots vs. file-level backups
Recovery of Linux Virtual Machines (VMware vSphere, Hyper-V, Xen, OpenStack KVM, etc), would seem to be an easy task. Just take a snapshot of the Virtual Machine (VM) and backup the file that contains the entire system. That sounds great in theory, but in practice this can cause a lot of unforeseen problems with speed and storage. When you back up a snapshot of a VM, you are creating a copy of the entire disk (empty space and all). These disk images are large binary files that can only be used to recover the entire system and not individual file restores.
Snapshots: Slower Recovery, Wasted Storage
Since snapshots are all-or-nothing, you have to spend hours backing up the entire system image even though you may only want the OS portion of it. During recovery, you could be wasting valuable time restoring the entire image back to your VM host just to turn around and overwrite terabytes of user data from more recent file-level backups. When creating a backup plan, you will want to keep some backups local and send some to offsite storage for Disaster Recovery purposes. Most admins will also keep a few copies of the backups locally just in case. So now that there are two different backups of the entire system (which include empty disk space), your storage requirements may have just doubled or even tripled.
SBAdmin Fast Backup & Recovery, File-Level Deduplication
Our file-level backups can be tailored to your needs by allowing you to include only the OS or by excluding certain data. Selectively limiting the data can make for a very fast backup and recovery window. Many customers have stated they reduced their backup and recovery windows from 4 hours to less than 5 minutes. Although there are ways to minimize snapshot image backups through block-level de-duplication, you’re still forced to create a backup of the entire disk image with a snapshot backup product. With SBAdmin, you can select to just back up the files you want and with our incremental and/or differential backup features, you can reduce your storage needs to a fraction of a VM snapshot strategy.
Take the risk out of recovery
DR plans are much better on paper. When an actual outage occurs, the unpredictable and unanticipated always seem to occur. Are you 100% sure that disk image you copied off is going to work? With SBAdmin, you can restore the system exactly as before or to whatever hardware or VM environment that is handy at the time. Why take the risk?
SBAdmin supports backup and recovery from:
Red Hat® OpenStack®
KVM and Oracle® VM Server