This content is part of the Essential Guide: FAQ: Backing up virtual servers today
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How do VM backup tools fit in a cloud backup/DR environment?

How do VM-specific backup apps fit into a cloud backup/DR environment? Is there anything that VM-specific tools offer that traditional tools don't in this area? Also, what about archiving?

It's a question of how app workloads are managed. It's more difficult to bootstrap a physical server in the cloud than to spin up a virtual machine in the cloud, whether it's a production app or VM backup tools.

You could have your provider give you the resources in the cloud: CPU, storage capacity, disk, tape or both, and you can spin off VM backup tools in the cloud and replicate backup data to them. It's relatively easy to do, plus a lot of service providers are providing backup and disaster recovery as a service, or DRaaS, and often they provide the software so you don't have to create the instance yourself.

By archiving, I'm assuming you mean archiving out to tape or disk so that organizations can save backups for a long period of time to satisfy data governance requirements.

VM-specific backup apps have always supported backups to disk. But within the last couple of years, we've seen these applications provide the ability to export to tape. While VM-specific backup applications are supporting this "tape out" functionality, you still have to be mindful of the backup workload. In other words, if you have an environment that has to send a lot of data to tape, it might be best to designate that function to a traditional backup application because that's what they were designed to do.

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