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Virtual machine backup challenges

Virtual machine (VM) backup has always been a painful issue for VMware users. VM backup in a VMware virtual infrastructure has never been an easy process. This is because most storage or backup administrators don't change their data backup process when they move from backing up physical to virtual servers. It worked in the physical world, so why wouldn't it work in the virtual world? Well, it does work, but with some caveats.

Andrew Warby, senior network administrator at CRA International's Boston office, discusses a recent server consolidation project that required significant changes to how they perform backups and virtual machine backup.

CRA's Boston office backs up between 20 TB and 30 TB of data to tape weekly using Symantec Corp.'s Backup Exec 12. The consolidation project involved converting a number of physical machines to virtual machines and the company had specific backup requirements.

Warby explained that they wanted to be able to restore VMDK files as well perform file-level restores and they chose Quest's (formerly Vizioncore) vRanger to facilitate this. Quest vRanger Pro supports backing up virtual machines on any ESX host from version 3.0.1 to 4.1, and any ESXi host from version 3.5 to version 4.1 can be backed up by vRanger.

Warby said they chose this product because vRanger gives him the ability to do disk-based backup of virtual machines and file-level (brick-level) restores.

Check out the video to learn more.

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