We’ve been talking about how the new direct-to-cloud server image function in Version 4.5 makes for better backups, and it does! But as anyone who’s ever had to restore a server after a major incident can tell you, backup is only half the battle. The other half – the more important half – is the recovery. And as it so happens, Version 4.5 has some improvements to make there too.
Smoother Restores through Standard Tech
When our customers make image backups with Zetta DataProtect, the image is saved in the VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) format, which is native to Windows. This offers a whole range of benefits for a smoother, simpler recovery:
Standard format. Because VHD is a native Windows format, there’s no need to convert to/from a proprietary backup format. Once you’ve recovered your VHD it’s ready to use immediately, speeding up the recovery process (and here at Zetta.net, we’re all about speed).
Compatibility. VHD is a Windows-centric format and therefore native to Microsoft Hyper-V. However, restores can be done to physical servers as well as non-Microsoft virtualization platforms like VMware.
Restore variety. “Flexible” is a seriously overused word, but this is one circumstance where it absolutely fits. When recovering a VHD, you have lots of choices how to go about it. To name a few:
• Mount and read it as a disk
• Boot it into Hyper-V
• Convert it to VMDK and put it in a Hyper-V farm
• Use standard recovery technology to burn it back on to a physical box
Better BMR. To put it bluntly, the advantage of VHD over traditional BMR is that VHD BMR actually works. In the past, BMR has been more of a nice idea than an actual functioning feature. It’s usually a very intensive, proprietary process that relies on a 3rd-party OS to try to configure new hardware for a restore. With VHD, your restore stays within the world of Windows; the entire process gets a lot simpler and less likely to go horribly wrong.
Keeping Up with Our Users
There’s a common thread in all these benefits: adaptability. It’s a cliché to talk about how the world of technology is constantly changing, but, well, it is. The system setup that works great for a user today might not be ideal for them tomorrow. And when our customers’ needs evolve, we want to evolve with them – not hold them back.
When a user needs to restore a server, VHD gives them the option to do whatever’s best for the situation they’re currently in. If they want to restore a physical server back to hardware, they can do it with fewer issues than trying traditional BMR. If they want to take advantage of a physical server’s demise to virtualize it, the image is already in a format that can be easily added to a virtual platform. And if the server is already virtual? Even better – just spin it up.
Don’t get us wrong – we’re not repositioning ourselves as a conversion tool. There are plenty of utilities out there already that do physical/virtual conversions, and we’re not interested in getting into that game. Our raison d’etre, as always, is backup & DR. But we DO want to make life as easy for our users as possible.
Let’s be honest: if you need to restore your server images, you’re probably already not having a very good day. But with VHD server images, at least we can help make it easier to move forward.