Backing Up Virtual Machines In the Cloud Is Safe, Easy, and Cost-Effective
Creating backups that are easily accessible is one of the most important but also often overlooked IT functions. Since in most cases backups are rarely even access it’s difficult to justify spending a lot of time and money to manage them.
For companies using VMware, Microsoft Azure offers a backup solution that makes backing up from VMware to the Microsoft cloud a straightforward and reliable solution.
Backing Up from VMware to Microsoft Azure
vSphere VMs can easily be backed up to Microsoft Azure through Microsoft Azure Backup Server. The solution uses vCenter’s API to locate VMs and copy them to Azure. The data transfer is through HTTP and there is no need to install agents locally. Once configured, any new VMs are automatically discovered and protected, meaning the old problem of missing machines in backup scripts is eliminated. Backups can be stored to disk as well as to the cloud, providing a solution for both rapid recovery and long term storage.
Advantages of Cloud Backups
Backing up to the cloud has several advantages that make it a good choice for many companies:
- Backup in the cloud is scalable. Storage space is available as needed. There’s no need to buy secondary storage in advance. Businesses don’t need to invest in owning, maintaining, and upgrading a secondary storage infrastructure.
- Backup copies are accessible from anywhere. When data is backed up to tape and stored off site, there can be a significant delay in accessing the data and recovering it. Cloud storage makes backups immediately available and shortens recovery time.
- Backups are secure. Data is encrypted before being sent to the cloud and remains encrypted while stored in the cloud. While businesses are still responsible for security of their data, cloud providers offer controls to reduce the risk of unauthorized access and data tampering.
- Backups require little administration. Once the backup is set up, it can run automatically. New virtual machines are automatically discovered and added to the backup set.
- Backups in the cloud are cost-effective. With cloud backup, you pay only for the storage you use. You also save money because your operations team is freed up to focus on business-critical activities.
Beyond Cloud Backup
Microsoft Azure offers additional features that VMware users should consider integrating into their environment. In addition to creating backups with Azure Backup Server, Azure can serve as the disaster recovery environment for VMware virtual machines. With this service, VMs can be replicated to Azure and used as a failover site for disaster recovery. There is a monthly fee for each VM stored but no compute or storage costs when the VM isn’t running. You can test your disaster recovery without impacting your running environment.
Consider Your Backup and Disaster Recovery Strategy
When thinking about your backup and disaster recovery strategy, it’s important to think about how they’ll work together to support your business. While the cloud is an excellent solution for many businesses, there are some potential issues and tradeoffs to consider, primarily the limitations of network to handle the volume of data.
Prescient Solutions is a Microsoft Partner experienced with Microsoft Azure, and our team is certified in VMware as well. We’ll evaluate your business needs to design and implement a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery strategy that is cost effective and meets your business needs. Contact us to discuss the best approach to ensuring your data and business are securely backed up and ready to support recovery when a disaster strikes.