Backing up your backup solution?

Backing up your backup solution?
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This post was authored by Paul Nashawaty Chief Evangelist, Global Product Marketing HYCU

The challenge we all face when we want to simplify our IT environments and move to a 1-click solution is making sure we’re setting ourselves up for success. We’ve taken that to heart from day one with HCYU for Nutanix. We subscribe to the Nutanix philosophy of the art of subtraction. Simply put the traditional backup solutions are way too complex, hard to adopt and typically require more people to keep up and running than is necessary. So, to set yourself up for success and keep your recovery as simple as your backup, there are a few things we recommend.

As it is standard practice to backup VMs when they are created so that they are protected, do the same for your backup solution. This will allow you to recover in case of a disaster. HYCU Data Protection for Nutanix runs as a virtual appliance either within Nutanix or vCenter.

Here are a few other recommendations

If HYCU is running in Nutanix (either AHV or ESXi) and you have protection domains configured to replicate VMs to a remote data center, then include the HYCU VM in that protection domain replication. This is the easiest and fastest way to protect HYCU. This also allows to recover in case of a disaster as HYCU could be spun up at the DR site in a matter of seconds.

But not everyone has Nutanix protection domains configured. For these scenarios, HYCU has special knowledge to know when it is backing itself up. This is so can be recovered without using HYCU. In case of a disaster, you would not have HYCU around to recover HYCU itself, so the team made special provisions for the HYCU VM.

HYCU backs itself up as disk images. These images then can be used to recover HYCU and all of the catalog information. Since HYCU is a small footprint, backups occur quickly and recovery is even faster. In case of a disaster, the disk images can be used to create a VM inside another Nutanix cluster (AHV or ESX) or a standalone vCenter cluster by attaching and attaching the two disk images (one is the OS disk and the other is the data disk). HYCU VM can then be spun up and you can now access all of your backup information and you can then start recovering your VMs and applications.

There are some best practices for backing up HYCU to ensure that you have a quick recovery:
  • Backup as frequently as your shortest backup interval. If you have backups that are occurring every 4 hours, then backup HYCU every 4 hours. If you have even one VM or application that is being backed up every hour, then backup HYCU every hour. If you are backing up only once a day, I would suggest backing up HYCU twice a day.
  • Use a backup target that is at a remote site. If you do not have a remote site, a suggestion would be to back it up locally and copy it to the cloud at least daily. In case of a total disaster at your site, you would be able to recover HYCU and recover your data that is saved at a remote site or in the cloud.
  • Make note of the backup location for the HYCU instance so you know where to get the files in case of a disaster.
Backing up HYCU is easy to do and just as easy to recover. With HYCU being a small VM, backups take usually just a couple of minutes (or less) and it provides great insurance.

The HYCU User Guide describes how to back up your HYCU VM. If you have not done so yet in your environment, I suggest you do so today (it will only take a minute).

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