Virtual Machine Protection for Citrix Xen
The Virtual Server Agent (VSA) provides a unified protection and recovery vehicle for all virtual machine (VM) data in your enterprise. The VSA is installed on a dedicated virtual machine on a XenServer, enabling the VM to serve as a VSA proxy that backs up and restores virtual machine data for a Xen pool or a standalone XenServer. A Xen virtualization client manages all VSA proxies and all data protection operations for a Xen pool. Multiple virtualization clients can be configured to manage different Xen pools.
In addition to complete protection of entire virtual machines for disaster recovery, the VSA provides granular backup and recovery options that operate seamlessly with virtual machine protection. Added options for automatic data discovery, deduplication, and reporting help ensure that all virtual machine data is easily traceable and retrievable whenever the need arises.
The Virtual Server Agent enables unified protection and recovery of VM data through the following key features:
- Complete virtual machine protection
The Virtual Server Agent backs up a complete image of each virtual machine. The backup creates a snapshot of the virtual machine disk, which includes the complete state of the virtual machine at the time of backup. Subsequently, you can restore and mount the virtual machine disk onto the host computer. The virtual machine is then ready for use.
- Granular recovery of virtual machine data
In some cases, it may not be desirable to recover an entire virtual disk for a contained subset of data. For such circumstances, the Virtual Server Agent can restore individual files from a virtual disk. You do not need to install a separate File System Agent on each virtual machine or to recover an entire virtual server disk when only a subset of files is needed.
- Load distribution on each host
A proxy computer handles all the mounting and transfer of data from the host computer to the backup media. For Citrix Xen, this proxy computer is always a virtual machine residing on the XenServer and is reserved specifically for data protection operations. As needed, multiple proxies can be deployed on a host to provide load distribution for backup operations.
- Automatic protection of virtual machines
In any virtual environment, virtual machines are added or moved on a frequent basis. This rate of change can make it difficult to track whether newly created or moved virtual machines have been protected. The Virtual Server Agent solves this problem by providing several options for automatically discovering virtual machines. The discovery process can add all new or moved virtual machines or a select group of virtual machines satisfying specified criteria.
- Block-level deduplication
Deduplication provides an efficient way of storing data by identifying and eliminating the duplicate items in a data protection operation.
Deduplication at the data block level compares blocks of data against each other. If virtual machines contains blocks of data that are identical to each other, block-level deduplication eliminates storing the redundant data and reduces the size of the data in storage. This dramatically reduces the virtual machine backup data copies on both the disk and tapes.