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Backup Exec

Would you like a side of warm standby with your backup?

Created: 05 Mar 2012 • Updated: 28 May 2014 • 5 comments
Jason von Eberstein's picture
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Hello. I am Jason von Eberstein, a Principal Quality Assurance Engineer at Symantec. I will be blogging about some of the new and exciting features in Backup Exec 2012 that relate to virtualization. First, a little background on me.  I started with Symantec (Seagate Software) 14 years ago in Technical Support. Back then, Backup Exec version 6.11 was the latest shipping product. Wow, how things change! J After 3 years in Support, I moved into Quality Assurance, where for the past 6 years I have focused on VMware and virtualization technologies.

                Lets face it, everyone should have a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place. For some, it might be as simple as rebuilding hardware and restoring from backups. For others, it might be a complete remote DR site. For SMBs, a DR plan can be challenging, to say the least.  Complete restores from backups can be time consuming, yet cost effective. It takes time to rebuild servers and then recover all the data, but in dollars, it doesn’t cost all that much. On the other hand, getting a datacenter back online quickly requires more expensive options like using a remote DR site. This gets everything online faster, but it’s certainly not cheap. During the design process for Backup Exec 2012, we set out to employ virtualization technology to provide fast, economical DR solutions that scale to fit the needs of our customers.

                With Backup Exec 2012, you can create a warm standby of a virtual machine from a physical computer. This VM replica of the physical computer can be created on Hyper-V or vSphere and can be powered on in seconds. You can create warm standby VMs in a few ways. In the first method, you can create a warm standby during the backup of a physical computer. We call this “physical to virtual”. During the backup, data is simultaneously copied to storage and to a HyperV or  vSphere host. The 2nd method (backup to virtual) allows you to schedule a time to build the warm standby VM following a backup. Choosing backup to virtual is useful if you have tight backup windows.  You can run backups at night and schedule to build the warm standbys during the day. Since the warm standbys are built from backup sets, there is no performance impact to the physical computer. The 3rd and final method is “point in time”. This method allows you to build a warm standby from any backup set. This is more of a one-off method as there is no scheduling involved.

Next week I will dive a bit deeper into each method and provide greater detail on how they work. If there are any topics surrounding virtualization that you would like me to cover, please drop me a line. Thanks for reading!

Jason

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Matt12345's picture

>With Backup Exec 2012, you can create a warm standby of a virtual machine from a physical computer.

Does this apply to backups of existing VMs or it is limited just to physical machines?

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Jason von Eberstein's picture

Yes and no :) You can not currently take a VM that was backed up using the VMware agent and convert it, However you can treat your VM as a Physical machine and convert that.. 

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Matt12345's picture

I think BE2012 has missed the mark by not supporting V2V standby. A lot of BE's competitors are already doing this.

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mansys's picture

I agree. It would make a good product a great product. Any plans for adding this feature in an upcoming release? 

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CanadianMade's picture

Completley agree. V2V not being part of the product is a big miss! Great, I can have a warm standby of a physical machine but what about my VM's? I have to wait to restore them to the standby Host? Come on!! I hope they will be adding this feature. Since I can already backup and restore a VM to another host it shouldn't be that hard to make it all one step? Forgo the backup and just V2V to the standby host?

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