In a recent set of announcements the make virtualization backup and data protection companies have announced support for tape. Tape has always been supported indirectly by virtualization backup companies such as Veeam, Quantum, and PhD Virtual as well as directly by Symantec, HP, CommVault, etc. It is interesting to note that there is a convergence on tape support using two distinct methods. The first is to add support for tape libraries directly into their products: Veeam. The second is to add tape support by better integration with their existing product suite: Quantum. Even so, we know that tape still reigns for storing of large amounts of data. We just cannot seem to be rid of it nor do I think we ever will.
Data Protection is still an issue with many small businesses and smaller enterprises who virtualize; Specifically around the Data Protection Process and eventually where to store the data. When I speak to people they are struggling with whether or not to place the data on tape, blu-ray, into the cloud, or other disks. Medium and Large Enterprises already have such policies in place, but like everything else, when they virtualized the policies may have fallen by the road side and now need to be recovered, dusted off, and put into practice. The choice of where the data will ultimately reside when disaster strikes is an ongoing discussion in the virtualization community. Ultimately, Data Protection is just that, protecting the data from loss, destruction, and allowing for quick recovery.
The Virtualization Disaster Avoidance & Backup space has change fairly significantly within the last year. These changes are cumulative but have a great impact on the virtualization ecosystem. I include Disaster Avoidance in this review as there have been some great strides made in this arena that could impact the entire environment. Disaster Avoidance technologies were demonstrated at EMC World 2010 as well as at other conferences throughout the year. The impact was quite huge, but there are technological hurdles involved with its deployment within any organization.
Virtualization Backup vendors have pushed the envelope once more targeting fast backup and fast recovery of data as well as ensuring that the backups actually work. Here is a list of this years improvements in this space.
Many times we virtualization experts push for backups without the agents as these backups tend to be in our opinion, cleaner and faster. But what if you could get the benefits of your existing backup tools (such as Tivoli) but gain the power and advantages of using all the possibilities within the virtual environment. For VMware vSphere this is possible using the Pancetera backup tools.
With VMworld around the corner, it is interesting to note the new an old players within the Virtualization Backup space. The virtualization backup space often includes:
* VM Backup
* VM Replication
* Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
* Storage Hardware Replication
Pretty much anything that will maintain your VMs while allowing your data to be placed elsewhere for later retrieval; such a place could be the cloud. In this article we will avoid Storage Hardware Replication and discuss only backup software.
During the Virtualization Security Podcast on 7/8, Vizioncore’s Thomas Bryant joined us to discuss the state of virtualization backup security and forensic use of such backups. In the world of virtualization, backups are performed mostly by 4 distinct vendors: VMware Data Recovery (VDR) and VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), Vizioncore vRanger, Veeam, and PHD Virtual Backup for vSphere. Each of these provide the most basic of security capabilities:
* Encrypted tunnels for data movement (SSL)
* Encryption of the backup
But in the increasing global nature of businesses and the difference in privacy laws between townships, states, and the need for Secure Multi-Tenancy, backup companies fall short with their products while making it increasing harder to use backups as a source of forensically sound data.