Hypervisors like Red Hat Virtualization (RHV) have grown in prominence over the past two decades, often serving as the underpinning of modern application development and deployment.
This success is largely due to the speed in which the procurement, provisioning, and configuration of physical hardware can now be accomplished — in a matter of minutes instead of months — dramatically decreasing time-to-market for new technology resources.
While RHV has many valuable attributes, there are few compatible data protection solutions on the market. The hypervisor itself supports only full snapshots via APIs, and existing solutions with RHV support are agent-based or can’t capture full workload images.
Trilio has extended its cloud-native data protection solution to backup Red Hat Virtualization applications and VMs. Let’s dive into what that means, and how you can use TrilioVault to backup and restore new and legacy application workloads.
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Why Protect RHV Applications with TrilioVault
Virtual platforms serve a now-critical role: they allow third-party applications to provision and configure virtualized resources via application programming interfaces (APIs). Additionally, as the DevOps movement has pushed continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) to become best practice, virtualization platforms like RHV and VMware vSphere have taken shape as linchpins of automation processes.
Despite all this advancement, the complexity of protecting legacy workloads has not changed. Automation, in and of itself, does not eliminate the need for data protection. Often businesses will rely on snapshotting and backup to protect critical data, but that strategy is often circumvented as new workloads are quickly provisioned and reprovisioned on-the-fly.
Where RHV Snapshots Fail to Protect
RHV snapshots rely on two critical components, each with critical weaknesses:
- Copy on Write (COW) images
- Primary infrastructure
Firstly, RHV COW volume snapshots provide a critical facility for short-term data protection inside your virtualization platform, but those snapshots create a chain of images that represent the state of the VM’s data at different points in time. This chain is not easily broken and deleting those snapshots to free up storage may result in orphaned snapshots ballooning storage consumption in your environment.
Secondly, storing copies of RHV production data in the same RHV environment does not provide any assurance in the event of a disaster. This renders it unlikely that you’ll be able to continue operations if the underlying infrastructure — be it computer, datacenter or something else — suffers a catastrophic malfunction or mishap.
On top of that, snapshots themselves only contain changed data since their creation. They rely on the production volume (and possibly other snapshots), by way of direct reference, for all data that existed prior to their creation. This introduces a great deal of risk by linking their usability and value directly to the things that they’re supposed to protect. It’s like storing the title to your vehicle in the glove box.
Reliable workload protection requires the shifting of VM templates and mission critical data to physically and virtually separate infrastructure.
4 Steps to Moving Critical Data Outside of Red Hat Virtualization with TrilioVault
Transferring data outside of your RHV infrastructure is the first step in protecting your critical workloads. TrilioVault makes it easy to capture point-in-time images of your RHV VMs and their applications and shipping full copies to secondary infrastructure (on-site or off-site). TrilioVault does this in four simple steps:
Step 1 – Define Your Backup Policy
Group your VMs into sets that you’d like to protect with the same policy. TrilioVault calls these “Workloads.” Workloads can be either Serial or Parallel in Type:
Serial – VMs are backed up in serial fashion (one at a time)
Parallel – All VMs in the Workload are backed up at a near-consistent point-in-time
Step 2 – Add VMs to Your Workload
You’ve already chosen a name and a type. Next you’ll need to choose which VMs you’d like to add to this Workload.
Step 3 – Schedule Regular Backups
You’ve added your VMs to this Workload. Now you need to determine when and how often you’d like to back these VMs up.
Step 4 – Retain your Backups
You now have regularly scheduled backups defined for your VMs. Next, define how long or how many backups you want to retain. Additionally, you can chose to rebase your backups (take a full backup) at regular intervals. By default, TrilioVault will perform incremental backups forever, automatically rolling the first full backup forward as required by the retention policy.
TrilioVault for Red Hat Virtualization is completely agentless, instead leveraging the RHV Backup API to enable incremental snapshots of complete environments. Administrators have self-service capabilities to backup and restore Red Hat Virtualization workloads according to your company’s policies. And, just as importantly, the backup process must not disrupt running workloads, respecting required availability and performance.
Since TrilioVault is able to capture complete workloads, data recovery is much easier. Any backup copy, irrespective of its complexity, can be restored with a single click. Administrators can also restore to a new geolocation or simply a different environment. Simply choose the target platform, and TrilioVault fills in the rest, regardless of backup image resources, hypervisor flavors, networks, storage volumes, etc.
See TrilioVault in Action
Register for a demo of TrilioVault to see cloud-native data protection in action.