Gartner Research

VM Backup Methods Assessment: From Headaches to Bliss

Published: 24 February 2015

ID: G00270459

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 that are available for VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and other leading hypervisors and provides VM backup method recommendations.

Table Of Contents



  • 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 Without CBT
  • Storage-Hardware-Based Snapshots and Backups With CBT
  • Off-Host Backup
  • Data Deduplication: On or Off the VM Host
    • Offloading Data Deduplication
    • Data Deduplication on VM Hosts
  • 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 the Data Protection Architecture

The Details

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

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