Gartner Research

Best Practices for Backup and Recovery of Large Virtualized Environments

Published: 17 October 2016

ID: G00314366

Analyst(s): Jerry Rozeman


Organizations with large VM environments are struggling to back up and restore their data. Backup operations may even be impacting the business while exceeding SLAs. Technical professionals can use this guidance to improve their backup and recovery practices.

Table Of Contents
  • Recommendations



  • Introduction
  • The Challenge
  • Traditional In-Guest Agent Backup (FSSA)
  • VM Image Backup Using Hypervisor-Based Snapshots
  • VM Image Backup Using Hypervisor-Based Snapshots With CBT
  • VM Image Backup Using Storage Array Hardware Snapshots Only
  • VM Image Backup Using Storage and Hypervisor Snapshots With CBT
  • Ancillary Approaches That Assist With Effective Backup
    • Serverless Backup
    • Source- and Target-Based Deduplication
    • Target-Based Deduplication
    • Source-Based Deduplication


  • Design From Both a Backup and Restore Perspective
  • Limit the Backup Load on the Physical Host
  • Segregate Data Across Multiple Virtual Disks at the Time of VM Deployment

The Details

  • Snapshots: A Basis for Backup and Recovery Improvements
  • Snapshot Data Consistency and VSS
  • VMware vSphere Storage APIs — Data Protection
  • Hypervisor Differences
    • Off-Host Backup Support
    • Scripting API Support
    • Live Snapshot Support
    • Data Protection Software Support Limitations

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