The Advantages of Virtual Hard-Drive Backups for System Administrators

QArea Expert by QArea Expert on July 18, 2014

The Advantages of Virtual Hard-Drive Backups for System Administrators
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Creating virtual hard drive backups is one of the best ways to move preconfigured images between private and public clouds. System administrators with the most intricate knowledge on these technologies will be able to take the initiative on this kind of project using tools such as Virtual Machine Manager by Microsoft. It is imperative that system administrators understand how these backups work so that they can implement the best practices involved with virtual hard drive backups. If your organization operates 100% inside of the boundaries of a virtual datacenter, many best practices are already built into software suites provided by Microsoft, VMWare and Citrix. Here are some things to consider.

Before you embark on your mission to be able to control, manipulate and utilize virtual hard drives, system administrators need the foresight to think about whether they can actually secure support for projects that they may be facing. Although Microsoft Windows provides ways for administrators to back up their hard drive as a single VHD file, several questions arise:

  • what happens when you need a solution that built for enterprises?
  • what if management requires you to generate reports on their current data allocations?
  • what tools are available that could help management understand what their future virtual storage allotment needs might be?

These questions represent an integral component of generating support for some of these different types of virtual hard drive backups. Many vendors offer their own programs with their own unique takes on how to implement these solutions. For example, Microsoft recommends SCCM 2012 R2, VMWare recommends vSphere and Citrix uses the Xen lineup which gives system administrators a detailed look at their virtual environments.

Vendors typically try to outclass their competition by attempting to develop the most user friendly programs that the users can gain the most from. An example of this is some vendors allow users to service their virtual hard drives both offline and online through the use of command-line tools. This naturally works to the users benefit as they are given a range of top services to choose from that are oftentimes able to cater to their specific needs.

There are some substantial benefits for owners who have the foresight to utilize these kinds of technologies. These suites give technology teams a cohesive strategy for how they should manage their media files and programs. With these types of solutions, virtual hard drives sizes and specs become unpredictable and difficult to manage. Using these solutions to back up virtual hard drives in the cloud or on a disaster recovery site allows CIOs to feel as if they have an extra layer of protection. Imagine what your small or medium sized business would have to do should a natural disaster such as an earthquake, tornado or hurricane damage one of their public or private datacenters. Would you be prepared?

Owners need to consider the advantages of ‘syncing up’ with a reputable vendor such as Microsoft, VMWare or Citrix in order to gain insights on the specific advantages for each of the projects, as based on their unique situations. Many decision makers today will appreciate the opportunity to think about whether they can update the cloud storage tools used by their organization, and which they would want to use along the way.

By now it has been extensively reported about the ongoing cloud storage pricing battle as cloud storage providers have seemingly undercut one another in efforts to gain market share. This means that since virtual cloud storage is becoming ever cheaper, as well as more sophisticated, businesses who seek out these services are able to benefit from supreme services at a budget cost.