Choosing an Effective VM Backup Solution


Your virtual machines act as the workhorse of your IT infrastructure as they constantly process and store data. To ensure high system availability and business continuity, it’s essential to regularly back up your virtual machines with an efficient system. 

When choosing an effective VM backup solution, consider the following challenges:

  • Backup Agents. In the past, most administrators chose to deploy backups by assigning an agent to each virtual machine. With the growing server virtualization demands, managing a large number of backup agents became challenging. Furthermore, since many traditional backup products are licensed on a per-agent basis, managing them can become costly.
  • Resource Contention. As the VM density within the available host servers increases, resource contention often becomes a problem. Running multiple backups on a large number of VMs can cause conflict over access to shared resources such as RAM, storage and network devices.
  • Host-Level Backup Complexity. While host-level backup solutions are far superior to the traditional agent-based methods, they rely on compatibility between the VM’s operating system and the backup application, which is not always the case in real life.
  • Virtual Machine Mobility. Since most of the running VMs can be moved from one host server to another, it’s possible that when the host-level backup is created, the host will be running a completely different set of VMs compared to the last time a backup was performed, which can cause operational disruptions and error.

While some of the above challenges are difficult to avoid, there are solutions to help tackle them. To ensure high system availability and high performance across your Hyper-V or Azure sites, consider a solution with a set of features designed to mitigate weak points in your backup strategy and provide an effective backup strategy. Take a look at the list of features below.

Hyper-V Replica Lifecycle Management

Hyper-V Replica is one of the best features available for creating standby copies of virtual machines (VMs). It can be activated immediately if something happens to the primary copy. Extended replication allows for the creation of two replicas where admins can maintain an on-site replica and a secondary replica that resides in a remote data center. Continuous replication, monitoring and alerting ensures you always discover issues before they have a chance to impact operations. This helps to prevent downtime and business losses as well as reduce the likelihood of site-wide disruptions.

Full and Incremental Hyper-V VM Backups

A full backup creates a complete copy of the source data and offers simplicity and speed of recovery needed to complete the task. Depending on the volume of data, however, full backups can take up to 10X longer than other backup types. Therefore, full backups can interfere with routine operations and consume a lot of valuable storage space.

Incremental backups, on the other hand, serve to reduce the amount of time and workload needed to run consecutive full backups. Just make one full backup first, then back up only those data blocks that have been modified since the last job. This way you will be able to run backups faster with minimal requirements for storage space.

Configurable Hyper-V Backup Compression and Encryption

Do you know what could happen if someone gains unauthorized access to your backed up VMs? Most organizations don’t take data theft lightly, and the importance of securing VMs should be high on your priority list. Some Hyper-V backup solutions provide the ability to secure VM data using military-grade encryption during backup and decrypt it when the backup is complete. These solutions also offer configurable compression which reduces the size of your Hyper-V backup files and controls the desired level of protection for each of your Hyper-V backup jobs.

Scheduled Hyper-V Backup Jobs

Scheduling Hyper-V backups to run automatically and/or repeatedly saves time and minimizes error. It also helps determine and understand what downtime is going to cost you and how much time you have to recover and make sure that your losses are at a complete minimum. The right backup solution will allow you to schedule Hyper-V backups by date, time, or depending on your retention policies.

A comprehensive data backup strategy is critical for the efficiency of your data center. It is also an essential best practice that can make a lot of difference when worst does occur. This means that your business-critical systems and applications must be backed up with advanced replica lifecycle management, full and incremental backups, configurable compression and encryption.

5nine Cloud Manager perform offers the entire VM backup on-demand immediately or by schedule. All backup jobs are started from templates initially created by the user from an easy-to-use backup wizard. The templates are stored in the library and can be applied to new jobs at any time. Recurrent and deferred backups are launched automatically in accordance with the pre-configured schedule.

5nine Cloud Manager offers an option to perform the offsite backup copy to Microsoft Azure Cloud with full and incremental backups. To keep track of changing data blocks, 5nine Cloud Manager uses changed block tracking technology (CBT) for Hyper-V virtual disks (A)VHD(X).

With 5nine Cloud Manager, you can improve resiliency and ensure high availability of your virtual infrastructure. Hyper-V backup and recovery offer the continuous operation of your VMs and keep your mission-critical data and applications safe.  

  • Securely protect and limit access to your data with AES 256-bit encryption for backup copies
  • Simplify and accelerate Hyper-V disaster recovery throughout your hybrid environment with continuous Hyper-V replication and data backups to Azure
  • Increase local storage capacity by letting Azure handle retention for you



Maria Talley

Maria Talley

Maria is a strategic marketer who brings over a decade of digital marketing experience to 5nine. As a software industry insider, she brings a fresh voice and insight into content development projects at 5nine. Maria enjoys making complex topics accessible and engaging to various audiences by addressing their pain points and tailoring solutions that help IT professionals optimize and streamline their business processes.

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