Backup Exec Feature Pack 5 from a Management Perspective

On August 2nd, Veritas released Feature Pack 5 for Backup Exec introducing a new technology called “Instant Recovery”. This technology allows administrators to stand up a virtual machine directly from a backup taken with Backup Exec.

There are quite a lot articles on the Web that describe that feature and its benefits from a technical point of view. But how can it help companies from a financial and/or management perspective? Every company has to save costs and IT budgets are often one of the first to be cut down. Especially when it comes to setting up a test environment, many IT departments are kept on a short leash. Nevertheless, business continuity and disaster recovery possibilities are in everyone’s mind.

Backup Exec’s Instant Recovery helps close or at least mitigates the gap between the need to test every software update before rolling it out to production systems and also assures that all backups taken are restorable on the one hand and the limited IT budget on the other hand.

Instant Recovery enables administrators to start a copy of any backed up virtual machine on a virtualization host within seconds, without the need of providing lots of storage on that host. This is due to the fact that Instant Recovery doesn’t copy the VM’s virtual hard drives to the host. Instead, it instructs the host to create a VM with the same settings as the failed one and to use the backed up virtual hard drives on the backup server for that new VM.

Since this process is so streamlined and easy to handle, it doesn’t require lots of disk resources in the virtualization environment, we see many administrators use this technology for testing purposes. Not only to assure that the backups taken are consistent and able to be restored but also to set up test environments for “a quick test of that critical Windows patch” or that “urgently required update for software xyz”.

There are more use cases for Instant Recovery than utilizing it in testing situations: it can be used where the original VM has crashed for any reason.
Unlike the testing scenarios above, a recovery scenario will require not only the virtual machine being brought back to life, but the machine does also have to be copied back to the production virtualization environment.
So here’s the good news: this copy process of the virtual hard drives can be done, while the machine is in use. Even when the recovered VM needs a lot of data being copied back to the host, the downtime of the failed machine is only seconds, not hours.

So what’s next? Download Backup Exec Feature Pack 5 today and graduate your environment from old fashioned restores to Instant Recovery. If you are not using Backup Exec then why not try the 60 Day Free Trial Ware today?

If you have questions regarding Backup Exec or want to dive deeper into its amazing possibilities? Then get in contact with me:
Twitter: @CaroKiel

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