For VMware backup, there are different levels of VMware that can be protected — ultimately based upon what your needs are to meet your recovery objectives. Solutions like Veeam Backup & Replication will provide block-level, image backups that may be leveraged for a full spectrum of recovery:
- Host-level VMware backup — Apply VMware backup at the host level to ensure that you capture not only all of the currently residing virtual machines on the host, but also all the storage, configuration and metadata needed for even the most demanding recovery — including disaster recovery.
- Guest-level VMware backup — Within each vSphere host, you can choose to select individual guests to include or exclude from VMware backup. This method allows you to protect individual guest-level operating systems and their associated files so that you can perform object-level recovery at the guest OS level.
- Changed Block Tracking (CBT) — For all VMware backups, VMware provides a built-in capability that journals all changes made to a guest at the block level. Taking advantage of CBT allows VMware backup products like Veeam to only protect the actual data blocks of what has changed since the last backup, resulting in a much faster, smaller VMware backup.
- Also, take advantage of advanced settings for VMware backup, including VMware Tools quiesce, which will help to freeze the file system during VMware backup. Backup software that supports VMware Tools quiesce for VMware backup will capture all blocks necessary for crash and application-consistent backups.