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Consider server virtualization

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What experience have you had with virtual servers? Do you agree with Mike Talon that virtual servers are opening up a new world for disaster recovery? Share your comments about incorporating virtual servers into your DR plan, as discussed in the Sept. 16 Disaster Recovery e-newsletter.

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I don't think VM is ready

by ElliotRoss In reply to Consider server virtualiz ...

I have used virtualization software in Windows & Linux environments. At the end of the day its still software and software can crash.

One virtual machine crashing is bad - but the Host crashing loses all of the VM's

Personally I think sticking to hardware partitioning is the better option

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DR comments

by Gull In reply to Consider server virtualiz ...

The newsletter states

>>In most cases, the virtual disk resource exists as a physical file on a
disk, so you can back it up like any other file. This means that you can back up the entire virtual server environment without the need for
bare-metal restore technologies--just the ordinary backup software. You can
then restore an entire virtual server (OS, registry, applications, and
data) at once and redefine the virtual server itself to completely bring the
system back online in a minimum number of steps. <<

EXCEPT... that you can't back up the file (at least with VMWare, which is what we use right now), because the file is in use and is locked. The only way to do a flat file backup is to shut down the Virtual machine.

Unless Backup-Exec (or the other backup vendors) comes along with a Agent that allows these VM files to be backed up while running, their use as a DR tool is limited.

Also, Differential or Incremental Backups are impossible with this method. You're stuck with a Full Backup every night which may be too big for the limited time window during the week.

We just back up our VM machines the same way we backup our physical servers. I will admit that restoring a VM server completely IS slightly easier than a physical server because you don't have to worry about having matching hardware. If the physical server hosting a VM Server goes down, you can load VMWare on any physical server, and restore the Virtual Machine to it.

Virtual Machines have great promise for DR, but they are not there yet.


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