September 29, 2021
If this year’s cyberattacks have taught us anything, it’s the importance of server backups and data redundancy.
While part of the problem is vulnerabilities and zero-day threats catching enterprise networks off guard, the sheer amount of data currently collected, stored, and processed is becoming too much to manage.
Server backups for critical network resources address both of these problems by:
- Ensuring attackers don’t lock network users out of needed resources.
- Pushing organizations to identify and optimize data retention and security practices.
This article analyzes how server backups work, the difference between local and cloud backups, why backups are vital, and what backup solutions exist.
Table Of Contents
- What Is a Server Backup?
- How Do Backups Work in Cloud Computing?
- Local Backup vs. Cloud Backup
- Types of Data Backups
- The Importance of Offline Backups
- Managing an Ocean of Data
- Server Backup Market
- Backups: Preparing for the Worst-Case Scenario
What Is a Server Backup?
Backup servers are the high-powered computers responsible for storing and protecting critical network data for the worst-case scenario. Whether it’s a hurricane, extended power outage, or advanced cyberattack, organizations need a method for restoring lost data.
Local or cloud-based servers can back up files, folders, databases, hard drives, and more to ensure data persists outside of its day-to-day use as network resources.
With the rise of cloud solutions, backup services have become a significant vertical. Beyond the consumer cloud storage market, several vendors fight to secure the cloud server backup space for businesses.
How Do Backups Work in Cloud Computing?
With the development of cloud computing, cloud services help secure data in three ways. Rather than competing methodologies, the following often work in conjunction to serve the organization.
Simple storage of data
Automatic backup of data
Active syncing between files
Local Backup vs. Cloud Backup
Any servers or other organization devices (e.g., tapes, disks, flash drives) holding redundant data on the physical premises are known as local backups. Not dependent on a third-party organization or the internet, local backups are accessible and reload system backups faster than remote cloud backup alternatives.
Like many other cloud solutions, cloud backups are services offered by cloud providers and their army of remote servers and global data centers. Cloud backups are available on public cloud platforms (e.g., AWS, Azure, GCP), or organizations can establish and support backups via private cloud infrastructure.
The benefits of cloud backups include reduced overhead, protection from natural disasters, access to data from anywhere, more robust security, and scalability. However, cloud backups take longer to reload or sync systems, cloud providers do not make switching easy, and networks are at risk of data loss when service contracts come to an end.
Hybrid Backups and the 3-2-1 Backup Rule
While local and cloud backups both have their benefits, it’s not good practice to rely on one or to limit your backups to a single copy. Industry professionals have come to agree on the 3-2-1 principle of backups:
Designed by Sam Ingalls. © ServerWatch 2021.
For all pertinent data, you should have three copies of that data. One of these is your existing network doling out resources, while administrators should place the remaining two in different types of storage. One of those two storage mediums should be an off-site copy, such as a cloud backup.
Types of Data Backups
- Copies everything
- Heavy data load
- Slowest to back up
- High restore speed
- Restores full backup
- Copies new changes
- Medium data load
- Faster to back up
- High restore speed
- Restores last full backup and last differential backup
- Copies new changes
- Small data load
- Fastest to backup
- Slowest restore speed
- Restores last full backup and all incremental changes
The Importance of Offline Backups
In May 2021, hackers targeted the networks of energy company Colonial Pipeline and meat-processing company JBS, encrypting their data. Without access to network resources and afraid of further compromise, Colonial and JBS decided to shut down network segments or halt production. Many other companies have done the same in this situation.
One solution to deterring encrypt and extort schemes is offline backups, which remain untouched by the threat actors. In the examples mentioned above, ransomware gangs encrypted network data, preventing personnel and stakeholders from normal operations. Organizations must consider paying the ransom while continued downtime or even bankruptcy threatens the firm’s survival.
With an intact offline server backup, restoring the network could be done in the flip of a switch (and a chunk of buffering time depending on the organization’s size). While once limited to local servers, cloud backup services continue to offer SMBs access to a scalable, remote server solution.
Managing an Ocean of Data
Data can be both an asset and a disadvantage for organizations. It’s an asset because data can inform business decisions, but it’s a liability because of the risks associated with data loss. In both instances, the message is clear: take organization data seriously.
Establishing a Recovery Plan
Organizations of all sizes today rely on storing data. Employee and customer information, proprietary documents, application code, e-mail servers, and more are examples of data best kept private. However, implementing a backup and recovery plan for enterprise networks is easier said than done. Our recommendations for getting started include:
- Organize a detailed inventory of network components (software, hardware, and cloud-based)
- Evaluate and record the volume of data for different network segments
- Identify pertinent data for retention and data that can be securely disposed
- Ensure all systems, devices, and personnel adhere to regulatory compliance
Securing Data is Essential for Business Continuity
The thought that keeps cybersecurity professionals up at night is the threat of a data leak. Whether it damages the organization’s brand or puts the company in legal or financial jeopardy, consumers, public authorities, and organizations take data seriously. In addition to their clients’ sensitive information, businesses have proprietary data that allows them a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
While larger, more popular companies have received the brunt of cyber attacks over the years, no organization has ever been 100% digitally secure. Across industries, remote offline backups are an essential part of the toolkit to survive the next disaster.
Server Backup Market
Industry analysts forecasted the global server backup market was valued at around $5 billion in 2020, with the potential to double by 2026. This trend points to both the need to manage increasing amounts of data and the urgency to protect what’s most sensitive.
Cloud service providers continue to be a popular option by offering storage, sync, and backup capabilities to organizations. While Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud might be household names for consumers, businesses need to go much further in protecting sensitive data. Thus, the ability of cloud platforms to continually sync changes and automatically backup is crucial for organizations.
Server Backup Vendors
Backups: Preparing for the Worst-Case Scenario
The global economy is increasingly dependent on data. Because it’s at the heart of everything we do in a digital world, data intrinsically has a high dollar value. While natural disasters are less frequent, the digital threats presented by bad actors, malware, and human error make backup services essential. Prepare for the worst-case scenario by taking the time now to evaluate your organization’s sensitive data, server backups, and disaster recovery logistics.
What Is VMware Server Virtualization? Software and Technology Guide
By Staff Contributor on April 6, 2021
This guide will help you understand VMware server virtualization and the benefits it can bring to your business. VMware is a well-known product option for server virtualization. Choosing a VMware product—and a compatible tool for in-depth virtualization management—allows businesses to enjoy the common benefits of virtualization VMware can offer, including efficiency and cost-reduction.
In addition to outlining the benefits of virtualization VMware for businesses, this guide will also review some of the best virtual machine monitoring and management tools compatible with VMware virtualization. Of these, SolarWinds® Virtualization Manager (VMAN) ranks highest as the easiest to use, most scalable, and most versatile solution.
With a VMware virtualization software, you can:
- Take advantage of VMware virtualization more efficiently without increasing the cost of hardware and virtualization services
- Have a complete overview of your VMware virtualization utilization with forecasts of available resources for virtualization
- Get up-to-date status reports and quick alerts on events in your virtualized servers
- Get convenient and effective tips on how to improve monitored virtual servers in VMware, with the possibility to integrate this data with the software for monitoring the entire IT environment of your organization
In my opinion, a proven solution for your organization would be the SolarWinds VMAN product. A 30-day free trial of VMAN is available for download.
What Is VMware Server Virtualization?
Many businesses deploy multiple servers for their IT needs, but in many cases these servers aren’t used at their full capacity, which leads to bloated operating costs and inefficiencies. One answer to this problem is server virtualization.
Server virtualization refers to the creation of software-based versions of the physical server. The process of virtualizing a server involves dividing one physical server into several isolated and unique virtual servers. The resulting multiple server instances operate in parallel, separated in terms of function but relying on the same underlying hardware.
Server virtualization provides businesses and IT professionals with an effective way to boost agility and productivity within an organization, while in many cases reducing IT hardware expenses by reducing the need for additional physical servers. Companies may also leverage server virtualization to mask resources on a server from users of the server. These masked resources might include the identity and number of processors, VM operating systems, and certain physical servers.
How Does VMware and Virtualization Work?
Now that you understand server virtualization, you may be wondering what the relationship is between VMware and virtualization. VMware provides virtualization software and is a popular choice among companies looking to leverage the benefits of server virtualization.
VMware server virtualization software offers a straightforward way to simulate hardware and establish a virtual computing system. Using a VMware server virtualization tool makes it easier for businesses to establish and manage a virtualized environment, as described below.
Virtual environments are made up of virtual machines (VMs). In IT infrastructures, a virtual computer system is referred to as a virtual machine—an isolated software container with an application and operating system inside of it. Every self-contained virtual machine will work independently. Having multiple virtual machines on one device allows several applications and operating systems to run on a single physical server. Virtual machines are separated from the host by a software layer called the hypervisor, which allocates resources to the VMs.
Using VMware virtualization technology allows businesses to more easily create and handle this kind of virtual environment. As a result, VMware server virtualization can allow businesses to maximize server resources and minimize the amount of hardware necessary for key operations. This consolidates the server, typically improving productivity and minimizing costs.
There are three types of server virtualization, which are outlined below.
1. Full Virtualization
Full virtualization utilizes a hypervisor, a type of software that communicates directly with the physical server’s CPU and disk space. The hypervisor tracks the physical server resources and ensures every virtual server is kept independent and unaware of other VMs. Hypervisors also relay resources to the appropriate virtual server from a physical server, as applications are being run. The key limitation of full virtualization is hypervisors have their own processing requirements, which can cause a lag in application and server performance.
Para-virtualization entails the complete network operating as a single unit, which is different from how full virtualization functions. In para-virtualization, all virtual server operating systems are aware of each other, which means the hypervisor doesn’t need to consume as much power while processing and managing operating systems.
3. OS-Level Virtualization
OS-level virtualization, which stands for operating system-level virtualization, doesn’t use a hypervisor at all. Rather, OS-level virtualization uses its virtualization capability (a part of the operating system on the physical server) to perform the hypervisor tasks and responsibilities. For this to work, however, all virtual servers have to run the same OS.
Benefits of VMware Virtualization Technology
This guide has already touched on a few of the benefits of VMware virtualization technology, but there are many more worth mentioning:
- Quicker workload deployment
- Improved performance
- Increased server ability and reduced or eliminated downtime
- Increased responsiveness and IT productivity
- Increasingly automated operations, simplifying IT management processes and driving costs down
- Ability to provision resources and applications faster
- Simpler disaster recovery and business continuity
- Simplified management of the data center
- Establishes a software-defined data center
- Lower operating costs
- Mitigated server complexity
Best VMware Virtualization Management Software
As this guide has demonstrated, the benefits of virtualization VMware technology are significant. But unfortunately, implementing VMware server virtualization isn’t entirely straightforward. To make the most of server virtualization and ensure its ongoing success, it’s important for companies to use the right VMware virtualization software for monitoring and managing their deployments.
© 2021 SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. All rights reserved.
SolarWinds Virtualization Manager (VMAN) is a user-friendly, enterprise-grade virtualization management solution for monitoring and managing VMware, Hyper-V, and Nutanix machines. This highly versatile tool was purpose-built to accelerate troubleshooting by providing detailed insight into performance metrics across your virtualized environments. With VMAN’s virtual machine management utilities, you can track thousands of metrics and counters using a single user interface.
This tool features built-in dashboards, powerful reporting, and a sophisticated alerts system to keep you informed of important changes in your virtualized environments, enabling you to take steps to resolve issues proactively. I found plenty of customization options available in VMAN to tune this program to suit your unique virtualization management requirements.
In our test, VMAN’s virtual machine management utilities allowed us to efficiently analyze storage I/O performance. This solution can be used to monitor multiple storage vendors, configurations, and models, giving IT administrators invaluable insight. You can also use VMAN to improve VM performance problems by rapidly deactivating virtual machines and reallocating resources to free up latency and IOPs for additional VMs sharing a storage resource. Even with the free trial version, I found these SolarWinds features to be helpful in daily VMware optimization.
You can watch a VMAN overview in the video below:
For companies anticipating growth, VMAN capacity planning tools are especially useful. This utility let me use trends and data from a virtualized environment to predict future resource needs and growth. With the easy-to-use capacity planning wizard, you also can run modeling scenarios to predict what might happen if hardware failure were to occur or if additional VMs were added.
While I was testing this VMware virtualization software, I found it ideal for businesses of all sizes, providing an intuitive and centralized solution to your virtualization management needs. If you want to try it in your organization a 30-day free trial is available on their official webpage. License for VMAN starts at US$1,716.
© 2021 Zoho Corp. All rights reserved.
ManageEngine OpManager is a highly versatile and popular network performance monitoring tool with several virtualization management utilities, including a dedicated VMware Monitor. The VMware Monitor tool enables you to launch VMware server monitoring in a matter of minutes, with no initial configuration required. The process for getting started with this tool is easy—simply provide the host name for the VMware server host and the HTTPS credentials. This will allow OpManager to discover, monitor, and map the virtual machines in that host.
OpManager VMware Monitor offers the ability to generate virtual machine insights, help with troubleshooting, support for capacity planning and resource planning, the ability to manage both physical servers and virtual machines, and more. As an all-in-one solution covering network monitoring, storage management, and much more, ManageEngine OpManager may not be well-suited to businesses looking for a more specialist virtualization management solution. You can access a 30-day free trial of ManageEngine OpManager here. Standard edition for 100 devices and two users starts at US$1,995.
©2021 Paessler AG. All rights reserved.
Paessler PRTG is another all-in-one network monitoring solution with some notable VMware monitoring and management capabilities. PRTG can be used to monitor every aspect of your virtual environments and is pre-configured to monitor your complete VMware installation. Paessler PRTG partners with VMware technology, which means its VMware monitoring and management capabilities are highly VMware-compatible.
PRTG is a sensor-based solution, allowing you to make it your own and only pay for what you use. Its VMware monitoring sensors include VMware Virtual Machine Sensor, VMware Host Hardware Status Sensor, VMware Data Store Sensor, VMware Host Hardware Sensor (WBEM), and VMware Host Performance Sensor. You can leverage these sensors to create a comprehensive VMware monitoring solution. Subscription of PRTG Enterprise Monitor starts with 500 sensors at US$1,750. A 30-day free trial of PRTG is available here.
© 2001-2020 by Zabbix LLC. All rights reserved.
Zabbix is a simple but effective tool for monitoring and managing your virtual machine environment. This lightweight tool is accessible via a user-friendly web-based interface, making it easy to access and navigate. Its most notable VMware monitoring features include extended logging, VM host monitoring, VM resource monitoring, and ready-to-use templates
Another benefit of Zabbix is its vast community of loyal users, where you can access advice on how to make the most of the program. You can download Zabbix here.
Getting Started With VMware Server Virtualization
If you’re new to VMware and virtualization and looking for VMware virtualization software that’s easy to use but comprehensive, SolarWinds Virtualization Manager comes highly recommended. VMAN is scalable and highly specialist, providing you with everything necessary to monitor your virtualized environments affordably and efficiently. A 30-day free trial is available for download.
*Prices as of 1st of April 2021
VMware Server has fewer features than VMware ESX, software available for purchase, but can create, edit, and play virtual machines. It uses a client–server model, allowing remote access to virtual machines, at the cost of some graphical performance (and 3D support). It can run virtual machines created by other VMware products and by Microsoft Virtual PC.
VMware Server can preserve and revert to a single snapshot copy of each separate virtual machine within the VMware Server environment. The software does not have a specific interface for cloning virtual machines, unlike VMware Workstation.
VMware Server has largely been replaced by the “Shared Virtual Machines” feature, introduced in VMware Workstation 8.0 and onwards.[
What is Server Virtualization?
Server virtualization is used to mask server resources from server users. This can include the number and identity of operating systems, processors, and individual physical servers.Download Now
Server Virtualization Definition
Server virtualization is the process of dividing a physical server into multiple unique and isolated virtual servers by means of a software application. Each virtual server can run its own operating systems independently.
Key Benefits of Server Virtualization:
- Higher server ability
- Cheaper operating costs
- Eliminate server complexity
- Increased application performance
- Deploy workload quicker
Three Kinds of Server Virtualization:
- Full Virtualization: Full virtualization uses a hypervisor, a type of software that directly communicates with a physical server’s disk space and CPU. The hypervisor monitors the physical server’s resources and keeps each virtual server independent and unaware of the other virtual servers. It also relays resources from the physical server to the correct virtual server as it runs applications. The biggest limitation of using full virtualization is that a hypervisor has its own processing needs. This can slow down applications and impact server performance.
- Para-Virtualization: Unlike full virtualization, para-virtualization involves the entire network working together as a cohesive unit. Since each operating system on the virtual servers is aware of one another in para-virtualization, the hypervisor does not need to use as much processing power to manage the operating systems.
- OS-Level Virtualization: Unlike full and para-virtualization, OS-level visualization does not use a hypervisor. Instead, the virtualization capability, which is part of the physical server operating system, performs all the tasks of a hypervisor. However, all the virtual servers must run that same operating system in this server virtualization method.
Why Server Virtualization?
Server virtualization is a cost-effective way to provide web hosting services and effectively utilize existing resources in IT infrastructure. Without server virtualization, servers only use a small part of their processing power. This results in servers sitting idle because the workload is distributed to only a portion of the network’s servers. Data centers become overcrowded with underutilized servers, causing a waste of resources and power.
By having each physical server divided into multiple virtual servers, server virtualization allows each virtual server to act as a unique physical device. Each virtual server can run its own applications and operating system. This process increases the utilization of resources by making each virtual server act as a physical server and increases the capacity of each physical machine.
VMware Server Virtualization Products, Solutions, and Resources
F-Secure Server Protection
This document contains information about F-Secure Server Protection. We strongly recommend that you read the entire document before installing the software.
Server Protection supports the following operating system versions:
- Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
- Microsoft Small Business Server 2011, Standard edition
- Microsoft Small Business Server 2011, Essentials
- Microsoft Windows Server 2012
- Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Essentials
- Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2
- Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials
- Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Foundation
- Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Standard
- Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Essentials
- Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Datacenter
- Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Core
- Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Standard
- Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Essentials
- Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Datacenter
- Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Core
Note: Windows Server 2016 Nano is not supported.
All Microsoft Windows Server editions are supported except:
- Windows Server for Itanium processor
- Windows HPC editions for specific hardware
- Windows Storage editions
- Windows MultiPoint Server
- Windows Home Server
Note: All operating systems are required to have the latest Service Pack installed.
Note: For performance and security reasons, you can install the product only on an NTFS partition.
Note: The client requires .NET Framework 4.7.2 and installs it automatically if it is missing. Windows 10 versions before Windows 10 Anniversary Update (version 1607) are not supported as they do not work with .NET Framework 4.7.2.
Supported terminal servers
Server Protection supports the following terminal server platforms:
- Microsoft Windows Terminal/RDP Services (on the above mentioned Windows Server platforms)
- Citrix XenApp 5.0
- Citrix XenApp 6.0
- Citrix XenApp 6.5
- Citrix XenApp 7.5, 7.6
- Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2GHz or higher (processor must support SSE2).
- Memory: 1 GB on 32-bit systems / 2 GB or more on 64-bit systems.
- Disk space: 2 GB free disk space.
- Display with a resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher.
- Internet Connection: An Internet connection is required to validate your subscription, receive product updates, and use the cloud-based detection.
- Edge (Windows 10). Does not support extensions.
- Internet Explorer 11 (Windows 8.1).
- Internet Explorer 10 & 11 (Windows 7).
- Chrome, two latest major versions.
- Firefox, two latest major versions.
The supported languages are English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, French (Canadian), German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, Spanish (Latin America), Swedish, Turkish, Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong), Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), and Simplified Chinese (PRC).
When reporting a technical issue, please attach the F-Secure system summary report to the feedback. Run the F-Secure support tool installed with Server Protection and include the resulting fsdiag file in your report. To collect the system summary report, you need to have administrator rights.
IBM Data Server Manager (DSM) Release Notes
The Release Notes provide a list of useful topics and links to use when you install IBM® Data Server Manager (DSM).
- System requirements
- Setting up and configuring instructions
- Download of electronic images
- Known problems
- IBM Software Support
For details about Data Server Manager Version 2.1.x, see the online documentation.
For information about hardware and software requirements for installing the product, see the system requirements.
Setting up and configuring instructions
For instructions about how to set up and configure the product, see Setting up and configuring Data Server Manager.
Download of electronic images
If you download the electronic images of your product, follow the instructions in Downloading from Passport Advantage.
As problems are discovered and resolved, the IBM Support team updates the online knowledge base. By searching the online support knowledge base, you can quickly find workarounds or solutions to problems that you experience.
This link opens a query of the support database for known problems and workarounds for Data Server Manager.
IBM Software Support
For contact information and guidelines or reference materials that you need when you require support, read the IBM Software Support Handbook.
Before you contact IBM Software Support, gather the background information that you need to describe your problem. When you describe a problem to an IBM software support specialist, be as specific as possible and include all relevant background information so that the specialist can help you solve the problem efficiently. To save time, know the answers to these questions:
- What version of DSM were you running when the problem occurred? Include the build number and patches installed when you report the problem.
- What browser type and version were you using?
- Do you have logs, traces, or messages that are related to the problem?
- Can you reproduce the problem? If so, what steps do you take to reproduce it?
- Is there a workaround for the problem? If so, be prepared to describe the workaround.
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