Please note that this post is sponsored by NAKIVO. Although it is sponsored, the topics and words below are written on my own accord, and they are not those of NAKIVO.
There is no shortage of data protection products on the market these days. In fact, there probably has never been a more favorable time for consumers to find a solution that is a fit for them. But in such a crowded market, there can be a lot of considerations one has to make. Do you need to protect multiple hypervisors? What about replication? Do you have workloads in AWS?
I recently took a deeper look into NAKIVO, a product that I have been hearing about for ages. As you would expect with most data protection products, all the usual features such as quick recovery and SQL Server / Exchange / Active Directory support are available. There were a few features that did stand out to me, which I wanted to dive a bit deeper into.
Prior to jumping into those features however, I wanted to note that I was pleasantly surprised to see the various deployment methods available. Running NAKIVO is possible on Windows, Linux, as a virtual appliance, on NAS devices, as well as in an EC2 instance. That is a lot of deployment options!
VM BACKUP TO CLOUD & AWS SUPPORT
Anyone who handles backups should know that you want to keep at least one copy offsite. Whether this is another site that you control, or somewhere else, such as a public cloud, it is a good rule to follow. NAKIVO makes this particular step dead-easy.
NAKIVO has its AWS products available right within AWS Marketplace for easy deployment. You can find the model that fits what you need (including running the Free Edition) and then provision it to your AWS account. Once that is up and running, you can backup your EC2 instances. Because it is also a full-blown version of the product, you can actually have it act as a repository. This means you can easily move your backups from on-premises to your NAKIVO instance running in AWS – an easy way to get your data offsite.
One of the biggest challenges with implementing a proper backup plan is storage. IOPS aside, capacity always seems to be an issue. As retention periods get longer and/or backups occur more frequently, the amount of storage space required is always growing. NAKIVO sees this challenge and helps administrators by using deduplication at the repository level (as opposed to just deduplicating based on the job or endpoint). This means that backup data from multiple sources (e.g. VMware, Hyper-V, or even AWS EC2) will all take part in this deduplication. If you have standard templates that are used for deploying services, you can find some huge savings here.
Backups tend to be useless unless we can restore them. I remember back in the tape days where you could run a verification process. This task could easily take a couple of hours to run, but all it tended to do was verify that the data on the media wasn’t corrupt. It didn’t actually verify that the data was usable upon a restore. In this day and age of VMs, what’s the easiest way to verify a backup? Booting it up.
Through Screenshot Verification, you can quickly and easily test your backups. I really like the result that this feature produces. After a backup is complete, NAKIVO will spin up the VM from backups in the background. The VM will not be live on the network, so there is no need for concern. Once it is up and running, you’ll receive an email with a screenshot showing that the VM booted. You may still want to run some application verifications for more advanced apps. For simple servers (e.g. file and print), this is a great way to record not only successful backups, but successful test restores as well. If you are in a position that requires auditing your backups, this tool could make your life quite a bit easier.