Networking: A Beginner's Guide
Backing Up Virtual Machine Data
In a production environment, you need to consider how you intend to back up the data
on your virtual machines. There are several approaches:
You can shut down or suspend the virtual machines, and copy the entire virtual
machine file from its location in your datastore to some sort of backup media.
If the virtual machine contains a number of installed applications but little
changing data, then this can be a good backup strategy. (Note also that virtual
machines can be moved between computers, so to recover a virtual machine,
all you need to do is move it to a computer running a compatible version of
VMware Server, and then import the virtual machine file and start it up.)
From within the virtual machine, you can set up a process to copy its data files
to another location on your network, which in turn might be backed up onto
a tape drive or other backup media.
Most of the higher-end backup software solutions sell add-on products that let
you back up files from within VMware virtual machines.
In this chapter, you learned the essentials of virtualization, and the benefits it can bring
to networks. You learned about inexpensive virtualization solutions from Microsoft and
VMware, and you learned how to set up a virtual machine in VMware Server running
Virtualization has become very important in business networking, because ultimately
it helps companies do more with less (a common corporate mantra). Accordingly, it is
important that people working in the networking field understand virtualization, the
benefits it can bring, and how to work with it. If you didn't actually set up a VMware
Server system as outlined in this chapter, I strongly recommend that you do so at some
point. There's no substitute for actually experiencing how powerful and useful virtual
machines can be.