virtual server backup definition

Virtual server backup is the copying of data stored on a virtual server to guard against data loss.

Virtual server backups can be accomplished using conventional backup software. The backup software must be installed on each virtual machine, and backups will run normally to any conventional backup target. While this is the most straightforward approach, it can lead to resource contention. The additional resources needed to execute a backup may compromise the performance of the virtual machines on the physical server being backed up. In addition, a backup software license is required for each virtual machine that needs to be backed up.

Virtualization-specific backup products which interface directly with the virtualization platform and capture point-in-time snapshots of the entire virtual machine state address the issue of resource contention. But while this allows for fast and complete restoration of a virtual machine, it's typically necessary to restore the entire snapshot, even if only one file is lost or corrupted. Virtual server backup tools are emerging that address file-level restore.

This was first published in March 2010

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