When a company gets their virtual machines and virtual servers set up, the question quickly turns to backup. How do you successfully protect the VMs and their files? VM replication has quickly become a wide open market with many companies offering off-site and on-site solutions to helping maintain stability and keep servers ready in the event of a failure on the main server. Replication provides a few features that a simple backup does not. With replication, you can turn over to the fail-safe servers and have them up and running in a few minutes. With a backup, you will have to restore that backup and that will take more time. Replicating the servers and storing those backups off-site is perhaps the best way to take full advantage of replication.
For a VM replication to be successful, you have to be willing to set up the server correctly. The first and most important step is to replicate early and often. If you only replicate the server once a year, having a backup from a year ago will not actually be helpful to you. In many ways, you will feel safe but won’t have the backup that you need. Set up at least a weekly backup, with the full month kept on retainer. This will take up less data than you think it will, thanks to some advances in what is stored and what is unnecessary. After performing an important update to your main set of VM machines, be sure to do a manual backup. Having to do that work again only leads to frustration.
Be sure that you have a rolling process when you replicate. If you simply try to turn it on during off-peak hours all at once, you will significantly bottle your network. Depending on the size of your virtual machines and the amount of bandwidth, you could crash your server doing it all at once. Instead, invest a few hours to process one at a time. It will save you headaches with VM replication.
Setting up the VM replication will be the hardest part. From there, it is simply a matter of enjoying everything that it can bring to the table. Getting a good night’s rest is a lot easier when you know the integrity of your servers is not at stake. A fail-safe makes everyone happier.