Best practices for conducting a VMware host backup

A VMware host backup is a good way to protect virtual data centers, says Brien Posey, backup expert and Microsoft MVP. It's easier to do and can save money on licensing costs, he says.

"The whole concept of host backups is hypervisor-agnostic, vendor-agnostic. Host backups can be done with Hyper-V, VMware, Citrix. … There are a lot of benefits to doing host-level backups; in fact, it's usually the preferred method of backing up a virtual data center."

But there are some steps you may have to consider when conducting a VMware host backup. In this Storage Decisions video, Posey explains some of the measures IT pros should take to ensure their VMware host backups run smoothly.

Posey says that VMware offers an API that allows compatibility with other vendors -- but the company's compatibility certification is important, too.

"One of the things you have to pay attention to is VMware certification matters. It's easy to assume that VMware gives their vendors [the] API and they can interact seamlessly with VMware [and] everything is going to be smooth sailing. But that's not always the case."

While users can review VMware's compatibility document -- which is available at the VMware website -- Posey suggests visiting the sites of vendors and also researching VMware-related issues online.

"Usually, what you'll find is a link to some Internet message board where somebody's already worked through the problem you are having and tells you exactly which version of VMware is supported. The message boards out there contain a wealth of information [and] can be tremendously helpful."

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