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Easily manage data protection and recovery in virtual environments [IBM]

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on May 20, 2011 by Jeff Kroth

“Virtualized servers,” STORAGE Magazine reported in its December 2010 issue, “have been a boon to the systems side of the house, but a bane for storage managers.”

That’s because, while virtualization has transformed the way data centres and remote offices are managed, reducing floor space, driving up utilization metrics, and enabling new levels of service management and operational flexibility, the one measure that has not been reduced is the amount of data that’s created and managed. It continues to grow and grow and grow.In fact, though technology has made it easier to create new virtual machines (VMs), these machines have created major challenges for data protection. Backing up and restoring data on VMs is hiking management time, reducing resources, dropping performance and slowing down or halting other operations on enterprise servers.

But additional storage and hardware – backup sprawl – are no longer the only answer to managing data protection and recovery on your virtual servers.

Virtual environment incremental backups to the rescue

Traditionally you couldn’t leverage incremental backups in a virtual environment. But API-level integration with vStorage API/vSphere API makes it possible. It allows for centralized file-level restore and instant volume recovery for Windows and Linux, as well as offers the ability to change block tracking and incrementals with periodic fulls. The result is much easier progressive incremental backups – backing up only what’s changed on the server – and ultimately a reduced storage footprint.

One solution that takes care of this nicely is the new IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments V6.2. It compliments Tivoli Storage Manager by offering additional improvements for backup efficiencies and advanced recovery capabilities for VMware hypervisors.

How does it work?

Using Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments V6.2, the burden of running backups on a virtual machine can be eliminated by offloading backup workloads from a VMware ESX or ESXi-based server to a centralized vStorage backup server, which takes full and incremental snapshots of virtual machines, processes backups, and sends the results to a Tivoli Storage Manager V5.5 (or later) server.

Incremental backups occur at a block level, leveraging VMware’s Changed Block Tracking capability, and periodic full backups take a non-disruptive snapshot at the virtual machine image level. Near-instant recovery can be applied at a file level or disk volume level.

The results? Simplified and streamlined operations, improved frequency of backups to help reduce the amount of data at risk, as well as significantly reduced system overhead and disruption that traditional backups can often cause.

Learn more about incremental backups in virtual environments with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments V6.2.

Tivoli storage ebook

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