9 Techy Recommendations for Virtualization Backup and Disaster Recovery

Posted by Mark Teter, Chief Technology Officer
September 29, 2011

Backup and disaster recovery solutions for virtualized technology environments are getting better, and we can expect them to continue to improve and evolve. The industry has recognized the challenges of implementing backup and disaster recovery in virtualized environments. As a result, virtualization technology vendors and their supporting supplier ecosystems are introducing better tools to handle various needed tasks. Moreover, some third parties have developed a comprehensive understanding of the challenges presented by different IT environments and have uncovered best practices to handle them.

Backup and disaster recovery is critical. With the progress the industry has made and the solutions now available, organizations can move forward with virtualization technology confident that they can effectively protect their critical data and quickly recover it when needed.

Here are 9 technical recommendations for virtualization backup and disaster recovery:

  • Set hard limits—no more than 15 VMs per physical host, # vCPUs < = # pCPU Cores
  • Beware of SCSI reservations. They’re used for specific operations when metadata changes are made, and they prevent multiple hosts from concurrently writing to the metadata. While SCSI Reservations are necessary to avoid data corruption, they also degrade the performance of virtual servers
  • Limit the number of running snapshots. Snapshots grow in 16MB increments, and each time they grow, they cause SCSI reservations
  • Only vMotion a single VM per LUN at any one time
  • Only cold migrate a single VM per LUN at any one time
  • Don’t power on/off too many VMs simultaneously
  • Limit VM/template creations and deployments to a single VM per LUN at any one time
  • Consider using smaller LUN sizes (<600GB) and don’t use extensions to extend a VMFS volume
  • Verify backup operations are complete

Server virtualization technology delivers clear benefits. But it also presents a number of challenges, including backup and disaster recovery solutions. While the traditional methods for backup will work, there are much better options.

About Mark Teter Before he retired from ASG in 2013, Mark Teter was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the author of 'Paradigm Shift: Seven Keys of Highly successful Linux and Open Source Adoptions.' As CTO, Mark regularly advised IT organizations, vendors, and government agencies, and he frequently conducted seminars and training programs.

Filed Under: Disaster Recovery

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