Posts Tagged ‘altaro’

Altaro VM Backup v7

A couple of weeks ago Altaro has released the new version of Altaro VM Backup v7. Within this version there’re some great new enhancements and features. Here are some of the new features and enhancements:

  • Boot from Backup
  • Support for Windows Server 2016
  • Augmented Inline Deduplication

With all these great new features and enhancements, Altaro VM Backup is a really nice solution for backup and disaster recovery in your virtual environment.

Altaro Offsite Server existed in the previous version, but was improved and has also an upgraded user interface.

Installation process:
The installation process of Altaro VM Backup v7 is really, really easy. In just a few steps, the installation is done. Really easy, really fast and just within a couple of minutes you’re ready to rock! If the Windows Firewall is turned on, all the necessary ports are configured automatically for you. After succesfully completing the installation, you can launch the management console. From this console you can perform all the configuration and management.

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Configuration:
When you start the console the first time, there’s is quick wizard. In three easy steps, you can configure the software and you’re ready to make the first backups!

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Three steps during the quick wizard:

  • Step 1 – Add Host
    Add your hypervisor to the configuration. It could be a standalone server or cluster environment (Hyper-V or VMware). Within the new version there’s also support for Windows Server 2016!
  • Step 2 – Backup Locations
    Add some backup locations to the configuration. You can choose the following options:
    Physical Drive: USB, eSATA, iSCSI, Internal Drive
    Network Path LAN Only: Network Drive, NAS or other Network Location
    Offsite Locations: Mostly used for Disaster Recovery
    Option 1: Altaro Offsite Server over WAN/Internet Connection
    Option 2: Local backups are copied to one or more rotating drivers.

Simply add one or more backup locations and ‘drag and drop’ the VM’s to one of the backup locations.

  •  Step 3 – Take Backup
    When you take the first backup of your VM’s, they will be assigned to the default retention policy of two weeks on both Backups and Office Copies. You can change the retention to assign a different policy or create a new custom policy that meets your business goals. The default retention policies are ‘Never delete’, ‘2 weeks’ (default), ‘1 month’ or ‘6 months’.

By default the VM’s are not assigned to a backup schedule. There are two backup schedules available out of the box.

  1. 20.00 on Sa and Su
  2. 22.00 on Mo, Tu, We, Th and Fr

Off course you can create your own backup schedule or multiples schedules to meet your business goals. Easily drag and drop your virtual machines to the right schedule to assign that particular virtual machine to the schedule.

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Augmented Inline Deduplication
In pre-version 7 there was also a ‘deduplication’ technology called ‘Reverse Delta’. It’s not exactly the same technique as deduplication, but it served the same purpose. On a VM basis only the most recent data is placed in the most recent backup file. So this will save a lot of diskspace on a VM basis.

With the new version there’s a great new technology called ‘Augmented Inline Deduplication’. The backup operations are not only quicker, but far more efficient for storage as well. It will dedupe data across all your backed-up workloads!! All the backups are stored in a central repository and using a hash database to keep track of the deduped blocks. For example, 20 servers with Windows Server 2016 installed, there’re some similar files and data within each server. With the new Augmented Inline Deduplication technology, the similar files and data is only stored once!! And remember, the process occurs inline. This means that the process runs during the backup, not afterwards!!

So you don’t need to send more data to your backup repository then needed and it’s amazing fast! In my example I’ve 6 Windows Server 2016 virtual machines. When you look at the overall deduplication status, I saved about 88% percent on my storage. So this is incredibly efficient and the backup operations are really fast!

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Dashboard

When you start the management console, you’ll see the main dashboard. You can see the most important things in one overview (Backup drive status, Active & upcoming Operations, Deduplication & Compression status, Recent Operations). It’s a really powerful dashboard with all the information in one overview.

Free Up Disk Space
It might be useful to delete some older backups. You can easy start a wizard, so you can delete previous backups within a few steps. Most of the time you use this option if you’re low on diskspace.

Boot from Backup
A great new feature within the new release of Altaro VM Backup is ‘Boot from Backup’. Now it is possible to boot a virtual machine directly from your backup. There are two options available, ‘Verification Mode’ or ‘Recovery Mode’.

The verification mode is very useful just to verify your backup is useful to recover from. The second option is to start a virtual machine directly from the backup, but also performing a full recovery of that virtual machine (Disaster Recovery). As soon as the VM is booted, a full restore operation takes place in the background.

When choosing the ‘Verification Mode’ the virtual machine will be booted directly from the backup location. Also you can enable ‘Disable network card’. So the new machine is fully isolated from your production environment!
From the console, you can connect to the specific virtual machine and login to the VM. After choosing ‘Discard VM’ the virtual machine will be shutdown and removed from your hypervisor (Hyper-V in my example). Very powerful to use without interrupting your production environment.

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Sandbox & Verification
The Sandbox Restore feature allows you to test your virtual machines backups using a ‘Sandbox approach’ to ensure that the live original virtual machine is nog corrupted. This feature gives you two options:

  1. Verify Backup Folders. Verify your backup folders without attaching the virtual machines to the hypervisor. This should be used to verify the integrity of the data stored on the backup drive.
  2. Perform Full Test Restore. Performing a full test restore allows you to verify your backup data for a virtual machine as well as restore it to disk as a clone and attach it to the hypervisor to Ensure that it boots. This will not effect your live virtual machines!!

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You can also schedule some ‘Test Drills’ so the whole sandboxing process is automated for you on a given time. Very powerful to guarantee the integrity of your data and virtual machines.

File Level Restore
If you want to restore only some files or data to your virtual machine, but not the whole VM and configuration, you can use ‘File Level Restore’. From the wizard you can select the specific virtual machine, the back-up to restore from and the data you want to restore. Next you’ve to choose a local folder or a network folder where to extract the files.

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Altaro Offsite Server (Master Encryption Key):
When you’re creating a backup of your virtual machines, the data is on one single location. For disaster recovery it could be very useful to replicate the data also to another external location. In case of a disaster, you can boot directly from the ‘offsite server’ and your workloads are up and running again.

You need to configure an offsite location. This could be a physical disk, USB disk, LAN location or even a external location connected through the WAN (the Internet). In my environment I’ve attached some physical disks. Configure the new location and simply drag and drop the virtual machines to the new location. In my environment I only need two server: the domain controller (HV2016-DC01) and my webserver (HV2016-WEB01). All the other servers are included in the normal backup window.

One very important feature is ‘Master Encryption Key’. The Master Encryption Key is used for Offsite copies of all virtual machines & backups of any virtual machines which have been configured to use Encryption. Note: Encryption is disabled by default.

From the management console you can select the specific servers you want to copy to the offsite location and start the copy operations. Also very fast, very easy and powerful! Within a couple of minutes the virtual machines are copied to the offsite location(s). The speed depends on the bandwidth to the offsite location. Also in the offsite copies data deduplication is used.

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Conclusion:
Altaro VM Backup v7 is easy to install and configure. Within 15 minutes the first backup can be made. With some great new features and enhancements like ‘Windows Server 2016 support’, ‘Boot from backup’, ‘Offsite Server’, ‘File Level Restore’, ‘Sandbox & Verification’ and personally the greatest new feature Augmented Inline Deduplication, this version is a really nice solution to protect for virtual environment including disaster recovery.

Looking to the future, there could be ‘more’ cloud support, for example Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). Currently you can set up Altaro Offsite Server on Microsoft Azure. When you can backup virtual machines directly from Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS), this software should even more powerful and you have all the things you need to meet your business goals!

If you have any questions or you want to use Altaro VM Backup in your own environment, you can download the software and use it free for 30 days or completely free for 2 VM’s!!

Free eBook: A Hyper-V First Aid Kit Troubleshooting 5 common issues

Altaro released a free eBook “A Hyper-V First Aid Kit – Troubleshooting 5 Common Issues”. This eBook is very useful for troubleshooting your Hyper-V environment. This eBook covers the 5 common issues in an Hyper-V environment and some examples. Also some very useful scripts and command.

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Download the free eBook now!

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New eBook – Building a Hyper-V Cluster for under $2000

Altaro released a new eBook this week. In this eBook, Eric Siron talks about his new labenvironment he build. The big challange is to build a Hyper-V cluster for the lowest cost. If you can see, the title of this eBook is “Building a Hyper-V Cluster for under $2000. Sounds great?!

You can download the eBook from the Altaro website. Click here.

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Altaro giving all Hyper-V admins 50 free licenses of their desktop backup solution – End December 24th

Altaro, developers of Altaro Hyper-V Backup, are giving something back this holiday season and are giving every Microsoft Hyper-V admin 50 licenses of their desktop backup software, that’s up to $2,000 worth of software.

There’s no catch! All you need to do is send them a screenshot of Hyper-V that proves that you use Hyper-V and they will send you the licenses which you can use on your own machines or give out to friends, family or colleagues, to use at work or home.
The giveaway ends on Dec 24th 2012.

To claim your 50 licenses check out http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/50-free-pc-backup-licenses-for-all-hyper-v-admins
To check out their Hyper-V portal check out http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v/
For more info about Altaro Hyper-V Backup check out http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v-backup/?LP=Xmas

Win Server 2012 backup for Hyper-V – BETA – Free Nexus 7 giveaway

Altaro are giving away two Nexus 7’s to a couple of lucky testers of their Win Server 2012 Backup for Hyper-V Beta.

All you need to do is send a screenshot of the beta installed by Aug 24th. For full info check out the contest page.

We also had the chance to review the beta last week, check it out here.

New version of Altaro Backup for Hyper-V 2012

This version contains a lot of great new features. There are also a number of fixes and improvements. I’ve covered an overview of the new features, fixes and improvements below.

New features:

  • Windows Server 2012 Support, including support for VHDX files.
  • Windows 2012: support for backup and restore of VMs located on network paths.
  • Windows 2012: support for Volume Shadow Copies of SMB3.0 network paths.
  • Windows 2012: support for CSV3.0 and scale-out CSV file shares.
  • New and improved Metro-Style User Interface.

Fixes & Improvements:

  • Link to error reporter from Management Console.
  • Extra verification checks in Reverse Delta algorithm.
  • Improved free-space calculation (Backup no longer checks for full size of VM in free space).
  • Many more improvements and bug fixes under the hood.

       

       

Today Altaro released a new version of Altaro Backup for Microsoft Hyper-V 2012! In this review I’ve detailed how to install and configure the solution, as well as my take on the pros and cons. After reading this blogpost, you’ll have a much better understand of this latest Beta release from Altaro.
Whit the upcoming releasee of Microsoft Windows 2012, Altaro has also changed the interface in Metro-Style. Let’s have a closer look at the new console. The installation is very simple. double-click the executable to start the installation which will guide you.  Altaro Hyper-V Backup needs to be installed on the Hyper-V Host. After the installation has succesfully finshed, there are three shortcuts presented:

  • Altaro Hyper-V Backup Service Controller. To start, stop or refresh the services and change the backup paths
  • Altaro Hyper-V Backup Error Reporter. To report an error and send it directly to the support department of Altaro. You can easily attach some screenshots and a description to this report.
  • Altaro Hyper-V Backup Management Console. Whitin this nice Metro-Style Management Console, you can manage your backups of your Hyper-V environment.

       

In the middle of the console there’s an overview of all the virtual machines whitin your Hyper-V environment. In four easy steps, your backup environment is ready to use.

1.) Select Hyuper-V Guest VMs Here you can select the specific VMs you want to backup
2.) Select a Backup Drive Select a destination drive for storing the backups. It could be local storage (also iSCSI or fiber attached disks), UNC path, USB external drives, eSata external drives, NAS devices or RDX Cartridges.
3.) Setup a Backup Schedule Specify a backup schedule to create backups of your VMs. There are two default schedule groups created automatically. You can easelly edit thoose groups and add VMs to a specific group by dragging and dropping. Just drag and drop the specific Guest VM to the right schedule group or groups. To delete a Guest VM from a schedule group, right-click on the Guest VM and select ”
4.) Setup Notifications The last step is to setup the notifications. There are several notification options. The first is to create an event log notication. The second is to e-mail an notificaion.

After completing all the configuation steps, the backup should be vissible in the Backup / Restore Guest VMs section. Here you can see the current backup schedule or create a backup manually of a specific Guest VM or VMs.

       

       

       

       

As you can see, this product is really easy to setup and within a few minutes you have a consistent and succesfull backup of your Guest VMs in your Hyper-V environment.

Restoring a VM or just single file(s):

In Altaro you can choose the following restore options:

  • Restore a VM to its original location. This will overwrite the current guest VM
  • File Level Restore. Here you can mount a VHD or VHDX file and select one or multiple files to be restored
  • Fire Drill. The Fire Drill feature allows you to plan and execute test restores of you backups at any scheduled time. This way you can test and verify that your virtual machines are being backed up succesfully.
  • Boot from Backup Drive. Run a guest VM directly form the backup location without restoring the full VM

I’ve tested all this restore options succesfull and it’s nice to see how easy it is to perform a restore of a whole VM or just single file(s).

       

       

       

       

Conclusion

Altaro Backup for Hyper-V is a realy nice backup application. The installation and configuration is done whitin a few steps. The console is easy in use and the backup/restore options are great. In just a few minutes, your backup environment is up and running. Restoring a whole VM or just a single file or files, is a realy easy job! To make sure that you’re fully protected, you can easy setup an testplan (Fire Drill) and test an restore of your environment.

Advantages of Altaro Backup for Hyper-V:

  • The installation is easy and done in a few steps
  • Small footprint on your Hyper-V host
  • The console is realy fast
  • Central cluster management
  • Also support for core edition and Hyper-V server
  • Only delta files backup possibility through Reverse Delta technology
  • Redundancy through Mirror Backup Drive option
  • Possibility to restore to a different Hyper-V host
  • Support for CSV whitin cluster environments
  • Support for software and hardware VSS providers (such as: Dell Equallogic, HP StorageWorks, etc.)
  • Low in cost
  • Very usefull options such as single item level backup and boot from backup drive
  • Easy to perform single file(s) restore through the mount VHD or VHDX option
  • Metro-style interface
  • Great error reporting possibility

disadvantages of Altaro Backup for Hyper-V:

  • Basic reporting functionality
  • Only support for Microsoft Hyper-V, no other hypervisors like vSphere or XenServer
  • No support for backup to tape devices/libraries
  • No possibility to exclude file(s) in your backup windows
  • Needs to be installed on the Hyper-V hsot(s), so the management console must be started directly from a Hyper-V host

Altaro are also giving away two free Nexus 7’s to testers of their Hyper-V backup for Win 2012 beta. Check out all the details http://www.altaro.com/hyper-v-backup/contest.php.

Altaro – VSS Crash-Consistent vs. Application-Consistent VSS Backups (part 2 of 2)

The second and final part of the VSS Crash-Consistant vs. Application-Consistent VSS Backups is online! Today Altaro posted the second part of this great blogpost. In this part the opportunities are explained whitin Hyper-V, to make a succesvol backup of your environment. A nice thing is the explanation what is happening when taking a backup of a CSV volume.

http://www.altaro.com/blog/vss-crash-consistent-vs-application-consistent-vss-backups-post-2-of-2/

 

You can find the first part of this blogpost through the following URL.

http://www.altaro.com/blog/vss-crash-consistent-vs-application-consistent-vss-backups-post-1-of-2/



 

 

Altaro – VSS Crash-Consistent vs. Application-Consistent VSS Backups (part 1 of 2)

Today Altaro posted a great article about VSS Crash-Consistent vs. Application-Consistent VSS Backups. In this first blogpost the Crash-Consistant Backups are compared to Application-Consistant VSS Backups.

http://www.altaro.com/blog/vss-crash-consistent-vs-application-consistent-vss-backups-post-1-of-2/

 

NOTE: This is the first blog post in a 2-series post. Subscribe to Altaro’s Blog to get notified when the second article is posted. You can subscribe at the top-right of this page.