Recently Altaro VM Backup was released in a new version, 7.6. This VM backup solution works for Hyper-V and VMware and this version introduces a bunch of new features. In my lab environment I´m using their backup solution to back up my servers. I have written about this once before a couple of years back but since a lot has happened during the years, it´s time to write a new review.
The new stuff in this version are the following;
Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
When CDP is enabled, VMs can be backed up as frequently as every 5 minutes or the maximum frequency permitted by the backup location and environment. This ensures that in a data loss scenario only a few minutes of data would be lost.
Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) Archiving
GFS enables users to choose to archive the backup versions over and above their continuous and daily backups instead of deleting them (local backups only).
Now you can easily set up separate backup cycles to store a new backup version every week, every month and every year.
And then a couple of bug fixes. Read more about the news and bug fixes here.
Adding hosts to protect
So, it´s time to add the hosts we want to protect. For this review I´m going to back up my Hyper-V host that’s running on Windows Server 2016 and hosting my VM´s.
Simply click Add Hyper-V / VMware Host.
Setting up backup locations
In my lab environment I´m going to use two different locations. My local NAS and an Azure Storage account to store my backups.
Move over to the “Backup Locations” section in the menu and you will see an overview of the VM´s along with the options to add backup locations. I´m going to start by adding my local NAS as a backup location, followed by the storage account.
Click the picture for a larger version
Time to add an offsite location. For this example, I will use an Azure storage account to store my backups.
To be able to use this opportunity to store accounts in an Azure storage account, you need to meet the following requirements;
- Ensure you are running 7.5 or later to make use of this feature. Click here to download.
- You must be running the Unlimited Plus Edition in order to get access to this feature.
- It is supported for
- VMware hosts (the Altaro Management machine must be running Windows Server 2012 and upwards)
- Hyper-V Hosts running Windows Server 2012 upwards (the Altaro Management machine must be running Windows Server 2012/Windows 8 and upwards)
To find out more on how to set up an Azure storage account to use, look here.
In the “Backup Locations” section, you can now drag and drop your VM´s (or a Host which will include its VM´s) to the different locations.
Creating a backup schedule
In my environment, I have set up a schedule to back up my servers at 2 am Saturday nights, followed by an offsite copy. This can of course be configured to suit your needs, and you can create multiple schedules instead of just this one that I´m using.
The Event Log notifications don´t offer much configuration possibilities. The first thing that come to mind for me is that this can easily be used with Azure Log Analytics to present Successful and Failed backups in a really easy (and good looking) way.
Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
One of the news that I mentioned with this new version is the Continuous Data Protection. This allows for you to protect either all workloads or just single workloads to be protected much more often. You can protect the VM as often as every five minutes and take an application consistent backup every hour as seen below. Keep in mind that the backup will trigger a snapshot so think it through before you activate CDP protection to make sure the performance of the host(s) is affected as little as possible.
For me that don’t work with backup as a specialty, VM Backup is real easy getting started with. All in all, the installation and the configuration of the backup locations, schedules, notifications etc. it took around 30 minutes (and I could have done it way faster). It´s easy to work with and works real fast. The backups are heavily deduplicated and my SQL Server which takes up 101 GB on the host took only 25 GB once backed up.
If you´re looking for a new VM backup solution, I really recommend looking into Altaro VM Backup and you can always get your free trial of the Unlimited Plus version (the same one I´m running) here.
Find more information on technical specifications and other questions here.
To summarize all of this, I really enjoyed trying this product out since it was very easy and intuitive with it´s easy to navigate user interface.