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ALTARO VM BACKUP

by José Luis Sánchez Borque

VM Backup is a high-performance VM backup and replication solution. Easily back up to virtualized environments based on Hyper-V or VMware technologies.

You can download a free trial for 30 days at the following link:

Free Hyper-V & VMware Support

The application has multiple features to highlight. I add from my point of view some of the most interesting ones I have been able to see:

  • Centralized management from a single dashboard, from where we can configure and manage all backup tasks.
  • Really intuitive interface with respect to other similar tools in the sector.
  • Lossless copy scheduling of the service by leveraging Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) technology. This technology enables reliable backups of applications such as Exchange or Microsoft SQL.
  • Compression and encryption of copies, something for me very important. Many companies do not encrypt backups, making unauthorized access to information easier.
  • We can select multiple locations for copies, both locally and remotely: UNC route, Altaro Offsite Server,Azure, etc.
  • Agile and fast process in VM’s restoration
  • Copy retention policies.

In short, from my point of view, a great powerful, reliable and easy-to-use tool that will allow you to manage a good Disaster Recovery Plan

Personally I can tell you that it did not take me more than 15 minutes to start up the application and basic configuration of backup. The console really makes the job a lot easier.

I’ll dedicate some Posts to evaluating the different features of the app. In this first POST we will perform a basic application configuration to support a VMware vShpere 6.7-based virtualized environment.

The first thing is to be clear about the different versions of Altaro VM Backup and their differences:

In the following link you have the necessary information and help about VM Backup. For this lab I have based on a vShpere 6.7 environment.

Vmware

  • vSphere: 5.0 / 5.1 / 5.5 / 6.0 / 6.5 / 6.7 / 7.0
  • vCenter: 5.0 / 5.1 / 5.5 / 6.0 / 6.5 / 6.7 / 7.0
  • ESXi: 5.0 / 5.1 / 5.5 / 6.0 / 6.5 / 6.7 / 7.0

I installed VM Backup on a Windows 10 that meets the requirements indicated by the factory:

Altaro VM Backup:

  • Minimum of i5 (or equivalent) processor
  • 1GB RAM + an additional 25MB RAM for every 100GB of data being backed up
  • 1 GB Hard Disk Space (for Altaro VM Backup Program and Settings) + 15 GB (for temporary files created during backup operations)

Altaro VM Backup:

  • Windows 2008 R2
  • Windows Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 (core installation)
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 (core installation)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (core installation)
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2016 (desktop experience)

The ultimate goal of the lab will be to connect Altaro VM Backup to my vSphere development environment, to back up and backup one or more VMs. I attach image of my lab environment, based on a vCenter with three ESXi hypervisors

I omit the installation of the application, because it is only the typical wizard where the most complicated thing is to make a mistake 😊

Once the console is installed, we must access an account with the necessary administrator privileges, either on-premises or AD if it is within a domain.

As I mentioned earlier, and for me one of the strengths, is ease of use. The first step will be to add the Host to the environment. We can add both an ESXi and a vCenter. Obviously depending on the license we will be able to back up more or less VM’s.

Clicking on the «+ Add Host» button asks us for the Host technology that we are going to add.

Once the technology is selected we must enter the connection data: name or IP of the machine, as well as the login credentials. In this lab I have entered the vCenter data whose structure I have shown you above.

We quickly see how the connection has been successful, and look at how the three ESXi 6.7 hypervisors that are part of my vSphere lab environment appear.

Once we press the «Finish» button, we see on the console the entire environment, both ESXI and the VMs assigned to each of them.

Before making copies, you must specify a device to store them.

Click on the «+ Add Backup Location» button to indicate the destination of those copies.

In my case it will be an External hard drive connected to my windows machine. You can see it in the attached images.

Once indicated where we want to store the copies, we have to indicate in the «Take Backup» plant you have to specify for each VM its corresponding «Backup Location». In the attached images you can see how I have assigned the BBDD, R-PROXY and WORDPRESS VMs to the external hard drive. All other machines appear with a Warning because I have not assigned backup location to them.

To make the first Backup you only have to select the corresponding VMs and press «Take Backup».

The process started copying smoothly.

We can observe the ongoing processes on the DashBoard.

We see in vCenter tasks how snapshots are taken to perform the backup.

Backup processes must be thoroughly planned so that environment performance is not affected when making copies. Key factors include:

  • Choose times and dates for copies.
  • Set the appropriate frequency of copies.
  • Configure a separate VLAN network from the production network for copies.

We can see that the copy process is finished on the DashBoard.

We can also see the folder structure where VM Backup has stored the information.

The restoration process is equally easy and intuitive. We have different methods of restoration. For the example I decide to recover the machine as a clone. Interesting file granular restore option. That is, there is the ability to restore individual files from the VM without having to restore the entire VM.

We enter a Wizard where we are asked for all the information. First choose the location where the copy is stored:

The system examines the copies stored in the selected location, and allows us to select the VM to restore.

The last step is to choose where to restore the VM. In short, the ESXI where the clone of the BBDD machine will be created, as well as the DataStorage where it will be stored. In my case I have a NAS connected via ISCSI with the name vms that acts as a shared cockpit for the entire structure.

We can see that the process in progress:

Once finished we look at in our environment the VM created as a clone

And to finish we start it up and see how everything works perfectly.

Don’t forget to download your trial version

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