Answer

Mounting an instance of a virtual machine from the backup copy

I've heard that some backup applications allow you to run an instance of a virtual machine directly from the backup copy. What are the drawbacks of this approach or things to watch out for?

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Make no mistake; this is a major recovery capability advance that is quickly becoming a standard for backup software products. Many products can perform physical to virtual conversion in the backup and mount the backup VM if the production VM crashes.

The key things to watch out for are:

• Are the resources on the backup media server where the VM or VMs are mounted capable of meeting application demands? In other words does that media server have enough processing power, memory, IO, bandwidth, etc. to provide the performance required when mounting the backed up the VM or VMs? Some products require a separate physical server to mount the VMs so this is not a problem. You definitely want to make sure the resources available will meet requirements before a disaster strikes.

• Are the VM images encrypted? This can be crucial for some industries when it comes to compliance. If they are, it will take a few more steps and a little more time to mount them.

This was first published in November 2013

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