Cyberattacks are increasing, with 2020 seeing a big jump in data losses. Businesses take many measures to protect their systems from cyberattacks, with backups being the primary recovery measure.
Businesses are comfortable running a virtual environment, and a Hyper-V host is a popular solution. For security, the first step is to set up your virtual environment correctly, says Nakivo in their blog post, and then you’ll need the best backup solution.
This post will present a short checklist for picking the right Hyper-V backup solution for your business. Let’s start by acknowledging the best practices for backing up software.
What are Hyper-V’s best practices for backups?
Best practices for backing up Hyper-V include:
- recovery goals
- data retention policies
- using replication
- backup verification and automation processes
- data protection and cybersecurity
Let’s take a look at how to set data recovery goals.
Committing to your recovery goals
Your main goal is to ensure a safe and complete recovery of your data in case of disaster, security threat, or other types of data loss. You should be able to retrieve your data with zero downtime in your daily workflow. Thus, your future backup solution should be an excellent asset for data recovery.
With the help of your backup software, you should be able to:
- Bring your downtime to a minimum
- Maintain clean backup copies
- Encrypt your data during backup and recovery
- Be able to recover cross-platform or do a P2V (physical to virtual) recovery
- Have the right policies to perform an instant recovery
Setting up data retention policies
You must store your data to ensure complete recovery in case of a potential data loss.
If your business heavily relies on documents or records, you may require plenty of space to store all the information you need. Yet, if you set up the right data retention policies with the help of your backup solution, you can back up all of the data you need and, at the same time, save vast amounts of storage space.
Following the 3-2-1 rule
Think of protecting your Hyper-V backups around the clock by preserving at least 3 backup copies. A 3-2-1 approach states that you should keep two copies on different storage media — hard drive, cloud, or NAS and one copy offsite — cloud or tape. If a data loss incident occurs, you can always use your good backup for successful recovery. A solid backup solution should offer absolute compliance with the 3-2-1 backup rule.
Using replication to minimize downtime
Your backup solution should allow you to store your Hyper-V VMs at different locations, sites, or nodes. In case of disaster or regular server maintenance, you can always failover to your replicas, resuming your operations within seconds.
Verifying your backups
Not all backups come out just right. Some of them become corrupted or miss important information. You can use a backup verification feature to check if your backup is good to go. An efficient backup solution enables you to verify your backups after completing the backup process.
Timely verification can ensure a painless recovery! It can cause you much more distress to discover that your backup is useless when you need it the most.
Automating your backup jobs
Choose a backup solution that allows you to run most of your backup processes automatically. You can create a policy for adding or removing your Hyper-V VMs based on their name, tag, or size. You can also schedule your backups for specific times of the day or night at your convenience. By automatically rotating your recovery points, you can ensure that you have plenty of storage to back up your data while preserving all your critical information in your backups. Lastly, you can even set up an automatic disaster recovery plan!
Performing all types of backups and recoveries
You can always perform a combination of backup approaches to enhance your backup process, including full and incremental backups.
Full backups allow you to back up your entire data.
You can back up only that part of data that has changed since your previous backup with incremental backups.
When using incremental backups, you can perform full backups less frequently and let your incremental backups run regularly. By doing it this way, you can secure all of your critical information and, at the same time, save storage space.
Similarly, you can perform a full recovery of your data or a granular recovery.
A full recovery enables you to reinstate all your data as before the backup.
Granular recovery allows you to recover specific items, files, folders, or objects that have become lost.
Your backup solution should ensure a combination of all these backup and recovery types to provide high-end protection to your infrastructure.
Ensuring data security and cyber protection
Consider a backup solution that has modern data protection features.
Role-based access controls (RBAC) allow you to have only specific people do certain jobs. For example, you can assign such roles as backup or recovery operators. RBAC prevents unauthorized individuals from accessing critical data. Thus, it lowers the risks of insider threats, cyber-attacks, or accidental deletions.
If you use Amazon S3 for storage, you can use the S3 Object Lock feature to guard your data against ransomware.
S3 Object Lock can make your data immutable for the period you specify in your policy. This means your Hyper-V backup data becomes immune, and nobody can change or delete it, not even the hackers.
It’s also vital that your backup software allows you to restore your Hyper-V VM from a previous point in time. That way, during a disaster, you can recreate your data from a prior VM version and keep running your production environment without downtime.
How to choose backup software
Let’s look at how to select the most practical yet user-friendly backup software.
A perfect backup solution is a pool of the most potent and innovative backup and recovery features. Yet, it is simple to navigate and work with!
Fit your budget
Plus, while delivering the best features in a single pane of glass, your backup solution should always fit in with your budget.
Another critical point is the ability to scale — your backup software should enable you to scale up or down depending on the number of Hyper-VMs you currently utilize.
Your backup solution should scale up and provide all necessary resources and tools to protect your growing infrastructure as your business grows.
If the business diminishes in size, your backup solution should scale down and provide services only to the available number of sockets.
Fast and reliable
Lastly, your backup software should be reliable and fast. LAN-Free data transfer is an absolute must-have for improving speed and reducing the load on your network! And don’t forget about attractive design and user-friendly interface.
Research Backup Solution Providers
After you’ve grasped the criteria for selecting an outstanding Hyper-V backup solution, research the global leaders that provide Hyper-V backup services.
Do Online Keyword Searches
For example, find out more information about backup gurus that spark your interest by visiting sites that provide high-quality, objective information backup solution providers. There will be thousands of search engine results, so look for these types of sites for accurate information:
- Research centers — e.g., Gartner
- IT communities — e.g., Spiceworks
- Blogging and Social platforms — e.g., Twitter
You can always read user reviews, compare product prices and chat about a particular product on social media forums.
Leading Hyper-V Backup Providers
To help you along with your research, the leading providers of Hyper-V backups for SMBs (small-medium businesses) are:
- NAKIVO — comprehensive and cost-effective Hyper-V backup
- Acronis — with a primary focus on Hyper-V backup
- Cohesity — snapshot approach to Hyper-V recovery
- Unitrends — low downtime with Hyper-V protection
- Iperius backup — free Hyper-V backup
You could just start researching these providers and choose using the best practices guide in this article.
Data protection and recovery are uppermost in the minds of all business owners. With your Hyper-V environment, use the information in this blog post.
Take the right action to prepare for and back up your Hyper-V environment, plus ensure 24/7 protection of your critical data.