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What data is actually being backed up when a virtual machine image is backed up?

This is a big difference. Typically, with traditional backup, you put the agent on there, we're backing up the files, and everyone's happy. If we need to restore a file or an email, it's fairly simple. We go back into the agent and recover it...

Virtual server backup information
Virtual server backup using traditional techniques and specialized tools

How to resolve storage issues in virtualized server environments
This is a big difference. Typically, with traditional backup, you put the agent on there, we're backing up the files, and everyone's happy. If we need to restore a file or an email, it's fairly simple. We go back into the agent and recover it.

In a virtual server environment, the actual virtual machine image is stored as a single file. So, that's very different. The operating system, the applications, and the data itself is all stored within a single file.

In VMware, this is called a VMDK file. With Microsoft it's called a VHD file.

Check out the entire Virtual server backup FAQ

This was last published in January 2008

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