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Post Info TOPIC: What are the backup options for VMware?


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What are the backup options for VMware?
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There are multiple approaches to VMware backup. While working with virtualized resources managed by VMware, a solid backup and recovery strategy is a must. Consider one of the following options:

1. Backing up VMs as physical machines

In theory, from a user's perspective, a VM functions the same as a physical machine. That's why admins can use the same backup procedures. You can download a backup agent and program backups just like you do with a regular machine.

Pros: It is easy to work with and doesn't require any learning curve.

Cons: It protects the OS and apps but not the virtual machine itself. That's why a direct restoration of the whole virtualized environment is impossible.

2. File-based backup strategy

VMware stores each virtual machine as a virtual machine file (mainly a VMDK file). To protect entire VMs easily, you can backup these files. While OS backups tend to consume significant time and system resources, VMDK file backup is a pretty simple and prompt operation.

Pros: It is an easy solution that doesn't affect the guest OS and its applications. Backup takes ESXi server resources.

Cons: It makes a complete snapshot of a virtual machine without the option of removing certain apps or restoring a specific file. Instead, you can only recover the entire VMDK file, which may contain unnecessary and extensive data. Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is generally higher with file-based backup.

3. Third-party backup and restore solutions

The good thing about third-party solutions is that you get an all-in-one approach. Generally, what's offered is:

  • Application-aware backup
  • Backup and recovery of full VMs and ESXi hosts or separate files
  • Instant restoration
  • Incremental backups using global deduplication to save storage space
  • Network acceleration to boost the data backup process.


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