Gartner Research

VM Backup Methods Assessment: From Headaches to Bliss

Published: 20 February 2013

ID: G00245974

Analyst(s): Werner Zurcher


The resource requirements of virtual machine backups can limit server consolidation and VM density. This document compares the efficiency of the backup methods available for vSphere, Hyper-V and other leading hypervisors and provides VM backup method recommendations.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings



  • Today's VM Data Protection Problems
  • Cold Backup
  • Snapshots: A Basis for Backup and Recovery Improvements
  • Traditional In-Guest Agents
  • Log-Based and Continuous Data Protection
  • Near-CDP
  • Hypervisor-Based VM Image Snapshot Backup Without CBT
  • Hypervisor-Based VM Image Snapshot Backup With CBT
  • Storage-Hardware-Based Snapshots and Backups
  • Off-Host Backup
  • Data Deduplication: On or Off the VM Host
  • Hypervisor Differences
    • Off-Host Backup Support
    • Scripting API Support
    • Live Snapshot Support
    • Data Protection Software Support Limitations
  • Plan From a Restore Perspective
  • Limit the Backup Load on the Physical Host
  • Segregate Data Across Multiple Virtual Disks at the Time of VM Deployment
  • Rethink Data Protection Architecture

The Details

  • Snapshot Data Consistency and VSS
  • VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection

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