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Why Investing in Disk Imaging in 2012 for Hyper-V Backups is a Good Idea

Why Investing in Disk Imaging in 2012 for Hyper-V Backups is a Good Idea

A Contributed Article By Joseph Hand, AppAssure Software

When it comes to Windows server data loss, there are two questions any company will ask. "Can I get it back?" The second question is, "When? " When it comes to Hyper-V server backups, the answer should invariably be "NOW!"

File-and-folder technology for Hyper-V backups alone can work well for quick file recoveries, but it doesn't make for fast server-level recoveries. But building a new machine from bare metal - including operating system, application, and settings, can take hours. Who really has time to do that, and how long will it take to respond when you lose multiple machines in a disaster? The answer to these issues is disk imaging, a technology that's been around for years as an alternative to traditional file-and-folder schemes, but which will likely take over from tape as the dominant backup technology in 2012.

Disk imaging technology advances are enhancing companies' ability to recover whole virtual servers- along with files in folders - in just minutes rather than hours. As never before, small and medium-size businesses can create strong, feature-rich data protection plans that fully equal the systems used by enterprises-including powerful and fast offsite disaster recovery - but for a fraction of the cost.

But which one disk imaging solution should you choose? We suggest four characteristics that aren't too hard to find individually in a product, and if you look carefully you will be able to find all four in the same product.

1)  Live snapshot technology is very efficient because you never have to interrupt users to back up the servers they're using. In today's 24x7 world, where you may have users and partners working on your outward facing applications, this can be a huge plus.

2)  A centralized console interface is the key to efficient management. It reduces administrative workload across multiple machines. Key factors include the ability to:

  • Create backup rules across similar machines in a group,
  • Automate backups that follow backup schedules you've set in advance,
  • Check immediately after backup that a machine is recoverable (so you don't have to wait until an emergency to realize a backup from three weeks ago actually failed to complete, for instance), and
  • Carry out actual recoveries in minute

3)  Ease of use. This highly desirable characteristic is doubly important in today's multiple-platform, hybrid computing environment.  A thorough demo and a 15- 30-day full product trial will tell you how intuitive the interface is and how much time you're spending buried in documentation to do a daily task. Knowing this in advance pays huge dividends down the road, because a truly easy-to-use interface will allow you to take on and complete more proactive work than can now accomplish with your current backup and recovery scheme.

4)  Onsite and Offsite data protection. If your Hyper-V server backup software can't support both local and offsite (this usually includes cloud) recoveries, you need to look elsewhere. You need your local backup for the fastest possible recoveries onsite, whether it's a lost file or a failed server. But if your local backups or servers are destroyed, what happens next? Cloud storage and even cloud computing services have fallen substantially in price, so there's no reason to play Russian roulette by depending exclusively on your local backup. Some otherwise good backup products don't have a cloud option, so if you see that, move on!

Assuming you're successful in your search, you'll be in a better position to support your Hyper-V server backups with higher-speed, more successful recoveries.

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About the Author

At AppAssure, Joseph is the Senior Director of Product Strategy. He works directly with the Marketing, Sales, and Development teams to architect solutions to meet customer needs with the fastest growing, most exciting storage software company in the industry today. To learn more about server virtualization, Hyper-V server backup, and disaster recovery, go to www.appassure.com and be sure to go to the AppAssure blog and learn more about virtualization, the cloud, and backup, replication and recovery.

Published Wednesday, January 11, 2012 7:07 AM by David Marshall
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