Recently, I chatted with a sys admin about his experience with VM migrations and management challenges. His primary goal right now is creating backup copies of his VMs as part of his disaster recovery plan. The biggest hurdle? Licensing. Or rather, the cost of licensing, because he wants to avoid the cost of treating each VM like a physical box.
Right now, he’s backing up the VMs that don’t need to be online 24/7 by shutting down his guest OSes, backing up the virtual hard disks using Backup Exec, and restarting. Costs are less for backing up in this fashion, because it only takes one Backup Exec license to backup the files on the host.
But for his mission critical VMs, he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. Take the VM offline, install the Backup Exec Client and pay the license fee for *each* VM (which could get pretty expensive pretty quickly), or… don’t back up.
He’s starting to research snapshots as a lower-cost solution for his mission-critical VMs, but when I last checked in hadn’t gotten too far in the process. Any suggestions? Leave a comment and I’ll pass your suggestions along.