How to configure VM backups in oVirt
People often assume that backups are not important in a cloud setup due to its automatic fail-over feature. Automatic fail-overs migrate Virtual machines in a cloud from one hypervisor to another, when any one hypervisor goes down.
But this fail-over feature does not help in cases such as degradation of RAID arrays, server hacks, malware attacks or human errors, which can lead to accidental deletion or modification of data.
Losing valuable data often cripples entire businesses hosted on the cloud. Having backups handy, helps a cloud provider to safeguard customers’ data and quickly get back to normal operations after a server failure or data loss.
Readily available backups also save time while migrating Virtual Machines (aka VMs) between different physical servers. In our recent post, we discussed how we helped a cloud service provider ‘Build an open source Cloud Hosting solution using oVirt’ .
[ You don’t have to lose your sleep over server crashes. Our world-class expertise helps us setup your oVirt infrastructure in a stable manner.]
As a part of this oVirt cloud implementation, we configured a backup solution for the customer. Here is a walk-through of how we did it.
Backup design in oVirt cloud
In an oVirt cloud, the individual VMs are hosted in ‘Host’ servers. There can be multiple host servers and all of them are managed by the oVirt engine.
There are storage servers that save the VM images and backups. In our design, we also configured an external backup server at a different location, for redundant storage purposes.
Creating VM backups
A VM backup is referred to as “Snapshot” in oVirt system. A snapshot is a state of its operating system and applications at a given point in time. It enables cloud administrators to roll-back a VM to its previous state.
oVirt admin web interface allows creation of snapshots. To backup a VM, we chose the VM from the list, and initiated a ‘Snapshot’ as shown in our Demo interface here.