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As virtual machines proliferate, new tools help protect data and enhance performance.
Because VMs are so prolific, there are problems with backing them up, managing them, migrating data among them and controlling their sprawl. But new products help IT administrators back up and protect VMs, as well as manage and monitor the connections between them and the networked storage resources they use.
Industry pundits estimate that as many as 70% to 80% of VMs rely on storage resources from Fibre Channel (FC) or IP SANs, or NAS. With such a reliance on shared storage, the problems mount for storage administrators charged with not only managing, but backing up and protecting, the environment.
You may also need to rejigger
| the backup schedule. Because the job created for backing up one physical server may encompass backing up a number of VMs, rescheduling those jobs to occur consecutively is recommended to avoid bottlenecks.
Storage admins must also tailor each backup job to the virtualization software they're using. Most backup software packages, such as EMC Corp.'s NetWorker and Symantec Corp.'s Veritas NetBackup, will back up VMware environments. There are even some, such as VizionCore Inc.'s vRanger Pro and vReplicator, that are focused specifically on VMware. These packages commonly use agent technology in which a software agent backs up each virtual and physical host machine (see "Tips for backing up virtual machines," below).
This was first published in February 2008