Today most popular virtual platforms in IT industry are VMware and Hyper-V that require an efficient backup infrastructure to ensure data protection and business continuity.
This blog series will cover the top 5 backup solutions to protect VMware and Hyper-V environments where products and vendors don't follow any preference or specific order.
There are several backup solutions in the market with different features, and the selection for the most suitable backup product for a specific environment must be evaluated carefully. One of the available products that offers interesting features for data protection is Nakivo Backup & Replication, a solution that became very popular in few years with an incredible grow and a constant development.
Nakivo Backup & Replication
Currently available as version 7.2, Nakivo Backup & Replication is an agentless software solution that can be installed on Windows or Linux OSs, deployed as Linux appliance or directly on QNAP, Synology, ASUSTOR, or WD NAS. The deployment to Amazon cloud is also supported from a pre-configured Amazon Machine Image.
The management of the product is made through a clean and simple UI web-based where the user is guided in every step of the configuration.
License and available editions
The product is licensed per physical CPU socket for each ESXi and Hyper-V server on which you back up or replicate VMs and no need for socket license if Nakivo is installed on the NAS.
Nakivo Backup & Replication is available in three editions:
- Basic - only basic backup features are available.
- Pro - includes most of the available features for the workloads protection with the exception of Calendar Dashboard, Active Directory integration and BaaS and DRaaS services.
- Enterprise - all available features of the product are included.
Nakivo offers an Essential version for Pro and Enterprise editions that allows the protection of small environments with a more affordable price but limited to max 6 sockets licenses per Organization.
A Free edition is also available and includes a license for 2 VMs. To test the application, Nakivo Backup & Replication is available as 30-day trial.
A detailed pricing is available in the Nakivo website.
Nakivo protects the workloads performing an image-based backup (snapshot technology) and all VM backups are forever incrementals using the Changed Block Tracking (CBT) technology to identify and transfer only changed data to the repository. Protocols used by Nakivo to get data is the LAN-free backup mode for fiber-channel and iSCSI SANs or the Hot Add mode that offload management and production networks. To save space on the repository, all VM backups are automatically deduplicated at the block level and compressed to ensure that the least amount of space is used.
Network Acceleration feature allows to enable compression and traffic reduction techniques to speed up data transfer over slow WAN saving the 50% of network load increasing the data transfer of 2X.
Backups are performed using the application-aware mode to ensure consistency for applications data and databases (Exchange, Active Directory, MS SQL, and SharePoint). Microsoft SQL and Exchange Log Truncation feature is available to automatically truncates log files after a successful VM backup or replica.
You can protect VM folders, resource pools, host and cluster, referred as containers, where virtual machines added to the protected container are automatically added to the backup job. Swap files and partitions in VMware VMs can be skipped automatically to speed up data transfer saving storage space in a backup repository.
Nakivo supports the Instant Recovery feature to recover VMs and files as well as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft Active Directory objects directly from deduplicated and compressed VM backups. A full restore from backup is not required and the recovery is performed directly from the backup repository.
Copy backups Offsite and to Cloud
Since keeping backups in the same location of production VMs is not an ideal solution, Nakivo can send backups offsite and to Amazon through the Backup Copy jobs. You can easily setup the copy process maintaining a mirror of your backup repository or customize where and how VMs should be copied.
Replication creates an identical copy of the VMs on target ESXi hosts allowing to quickly recover a VM in case the production VM fails. To recover the VMs is required to powering on the replicated VMs only. You can have up to 30 recovery points to roll back to in case of need.
Taking backup of your VMs without testing the integrity can make the backup useless if the backup is damaged due viruses, disk errors and so on. To ensure you can recover a VM from a backup, the backup must be checked performing a recovery test. Nakivo has the capability of verifying all created backups and send a report with OS screenshots of test-recovered VMs.
Nakivo is a good product that offers all the features requested by the administrators to protect the data and recover the infrastructure from a disaster. A complete guide for the installation and configuration of Nakivo Backup & Replication can be found in this article.