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Does anyone store vm backups on their local server? We have a HyperV server with some dev VMs, and it was mentioned how we would store the backups on the local server but also at a remote location. The idea being that storing the backups locally will make it quick and easy to restore VMs, rather than getting it from the remote location. This is of course a big waste of space, amongst other things. What else is wrong with this?


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That's exactly what we do. We keep D2D backups of all our VMs; quick an easy recovery for the previous several months' backups. Every week we take a full tape backup offsite for safe keeping.

The disk array cost quite a bit; but less than a single day of downtime; which would easily be possibly if the person who keeps the backup tapes was sick/vacation/missing..

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Exactly, this comes down to two things, how much downtime are you willing to afford, and how much is it worth to you (and your company) – Get-HomeByFiveOClock Nov 25 '14 at 20:14

That makes perfect sense to me. As for the space it will take up, because the local copy isn't the primary backup why not simply use external drives, which are quite inexpensive? Normally I discourage the use of hard drives for backup but in this scenario there is no reason not use them. If/when the drive(s) fails simply create a new copy using the off-site backup.

I use a similar approach with our artwork files (I work for a printer). Because the files are so large we have to archive old files periodically to create some free space. Those archives, on tape, are stored off-site. Because the artists do occasionally need to access those files they also make copies on DVDs, which allows them to readily access the files without having to bring the tapes back in. It's a win-win situation.

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Personally I wouldn't store the backups on the same array or disks as the actual in-use VM's. Store the backups on a server in the same physical location or a separate set of disks within the server. That way you still have a really quick way of restoring your VM's in the event of a disk or other hardware failure which are by far the most common.

In addition, as you identified you can also backup your VM's to a remote location or tape which you store off site and use these to restore in the event of a total loss of machine e.g theft, fire, flood etc.

As the likelihood of this is much less than hardware failure you can get away with a less frequent backup of the VM's for the remote/tape copy of the data and still maintain a quick recovery method for 90%+ of the failures which are likely to occur.

Hope this helps.

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We make daily backups of all VM's to a local disk (i.e. not on the same storage array that all the VM's run off), with a retention of a week. Once a week we copy the newest daily backup to tape, which we store off-site and rotate weekly and monthly, for a maximum retention of 1 year.

A best practice is the 3-2-1 rule:

  • Have at least three copies of your data (the original and two backups).
  • Store the copies on two different media (e.g. disk and tape).
  • Keep one backup copy offsite.

The offsite backup is of course in case of disaster recovery, like a fire or theft, but the local copy is the one used most often. After all, it's fast (locally available) and contains the most recent data.

Duplication seems wasteful, but storage is cheap and it's usually easy to write a business case when you consider lost productivity.

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