Recently, a customer of ours had a mission critical Virtual Machine “blue screen.” Yikes! Good news was their environment was leveraging Avamar Virtual Image backups. Bad news was the VM was in an unstable state for a while, and every time the VM was restored it continued to “blue screen.” Therefore, the OS was corrupted—one of the many joys of IT life!
To lose my title of Debbie Downer, let me explain that their environment also was leveraging “FLR” Avamar Virtual File Level Restore. I must say in my experience restoring applications, the data is priority one.
This picture couldn’t have been more beautiful: they had a win 2k8 template with SQL loaded, and they simply extracted the database files from the VMDK backup using FLR and restored them to the new VM, with the data intact and up to date. Take that tape! Never had to request or load tapes to restore anything 5 years later!
If you are not familiar with EMC Avamar FLR, basically it is the ability to extract single objects out of the virtual image backups. This is done with a proxy agent which exists within your virtual environment that will mount your backups and extract any data that exist within the VM. That means one single backup to your VM and the ability to restore anything within the VMDK without having to load a new VM.
This feature can be used in many ways: one being the dramatic example I just gave, another being the ability to use the data files for testing in other VMs. Although this is just a single feature example of the many abilities of Avamar, its usage will greatly reduce your RPO and RTO.
In my experience, leveraging Avamar and virtual file restore will improve your virtual restoring procedures and bring the peace of mind that your data is within arms reach anytime of the day. As I continue to post about Avamar features and capabilities from the field, I’ve developed this as my slogan for the series: Keep your backups simple … and down with tape!
Photo Credit: altemark