Challenges to Setting up a Virtual Server Backup
Virtualization has brought a lot of benefits to the user of servers. Virtual private servers (VPS) has provided a off-site server for businesses. For a VPS hosting provider, it has brought in savings in terms of hardware and server facility space. For users, they have a secure server which they can use in any way they want at a fraction of the cost of acquisition. However, with the use of virtual dedicated hosting, there are some issues which also cropped up. One of these is the virtual server backup.
Concerns About Virtual Server Backup
Backing up a server is usually a straightforward process. The backup software is run and the backups are scheduled. However, there are issues when backing up a virtuaal server. Initially, backing up a virtual machine was straight forward. Technically, the whole virtual machine data was backed up into a file. With the increase in number of virtual machines residing in a server, the load increases taking up an inordinate amount of processing power and time. Backing up from inside the virtual machine also had its issues, mainly with the licensing scheme. Backup software for virtual servers were licensed individually. When hosting dedicated servers, there are different licensing schemes for backing up the data on a server. These licensing plans may overlap if there is a need to pay separately for backup software on virtual machines.
With the introduction of virtual-aware backup software the above issues have been addressed. These backup software from VMWare and Microsoft no longer take complete backups of the servers, rather they can take snapshots of the contents of the virtual servers. Incremental backups can also be instituted. The virtual server backup also no longer has to licensed on a per virtual server basis. This has also lessened the cost of operations for the vps hosting provider. The cost savings is further passed on to the user, which has led to its increase in sales and popularity.
Part of the package
A virtual server backup is a necessary part of the virtual dedicated hosting package. It ensures that the data is secure just in case something bad happens to the live data. For a lot of companies, their main reason for using a VPS is to ensure that their data is safe.
Current backup strategies for a virtual server backup make use of software which can access the VM data from outside of the VPS. This allows for a single software running independently and able to take snapshots of the user’s data without using processing time from the virtual server. The VPS backup is also a discrete software which can be used to run several backup instances. The user has the option to have a backup schedule, where full backup is done regularly, with incremental backup done daily. With this scheme, there would be less archival storage space required for each virtual server.
Backup for VPS installations can make use of third-party backup software. With VMWare as the leading virtual machine software, most of the virtual server backup software support the VMWare hypervisor. Hypervisors from Microsoft, Citrix, Red Hat and others are not usually supported by backup software vendors. The choice of software is up to the web hosting company.