Virtualization Blog

Discussions and observations on virtualization.

Creating backups with XenServer

Backup is an essential part of the business workflow for many of our customers - be it SMB, Enterprise Server Virtualisation or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Making the backup experience smoother is high up on our wishlist at XenServer Engineering and the delivery of improved VM import/export performance in XS 7.1 shows our commitment to that end. To continue improving our services supporting the backup ecosystem, we would like to better understand how you use backup with XenServer

 

  • How often do you backup? Do you have multiple jobs for monthly, weekly, daily backups?

  • How do you create your backups?

    • Use VM Export to backup VM metadata + disks

    • Snapshot at the VM level and use transfer/service VM to read off the snapshots

    • Use vdi-export to create differential disks (.vhd)

  • Do you use a third-party vendor for handling your backups?

  • Would support for incremental backups be useful for your use case?

Please leave a comment with your answers and any issues you may have with your backup experience today. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you,

Chandrika

 

XenServer 7.2 now available!
XenCenter 7.1 update now available!

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Comments 24

Niklas Ahden on Saturday, 27 May 2017 20:43

How often do you backup? Do you have multiple jobs for monthly, weekly, daily backups?

We take backups every night. We have 2 jobs, one that has a retion of 2 days and another one with a retention of 7 days.

How do you create your backups?

We use Xen-Orchestra. I think the mechanism used is to take a snapshot, export it and then remove the snapshot. In other words the equal to vm-export.

Do you use a third-party vendor for handling your backups?

Yes we use Xen-Orchestra.

Would support for incremental backups be useful for your use case?

Yes very much, We tried the delta-backups but being forced to keep a "base"-snapshot at the VM and in our SR with SAS/SSD's isnt worth it.
PHDVirtual had some kind of magic-way around this, im not really sure how they managed it but it was most likely not with support from XenServer.

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[b]How often do you backup? Do you have multiple jobs for monthly, weekly, daily backups?[/b] We take backups every night. We have 2 jobs, one that has a retion of 2 days and another one with a retention of 7 days. [b]How do you create your backups?[/b] We use Xen-Orchestra. I think the mechanism used is to take a snapshot, export it and then remove the snapshot. In other words the equal to vm-export. [b]Do you use a third-party vendor for handling your backups?[/b] Yes we use Xen-Orchestra. [b]Would support for incremental backups be useful for your use case?[/b] Yes very much, We tried the delta-backups but being forced to keep a "base"-snapshot at the VM and in our SR with SAS/SSD's isnt worth it. PHDVirtual had some kind of magic-way around this, im not really sure how they managed it but it was most likely not with support from XenServer.
Olivier Lambert on Saturday, 10 June 2017 11:51

Hi Niklas,

Be advised that the author of this blog post is working to deliver a way for us to be able to make delta backup without a base! So as soon they got it, we'll expose it in Xen Orchestra!

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Hi Niklas, Be advised that the author of this blog post is working to deliver a way for us to be able to make delta backup without a base! So as soon they got it, we'll expose it in Xen Orchestra!
Aliaksei Audonin on Tuesday, 06 June 2017 22:13

>> How often do you backup? Do you have multiple jobs for monthly, weekly, daily backups?
Most of our backups are daily or on weekdays (Mon-Fri).

>> How do you create your backups?
A: Use VM Export to backup VM metadata + disks + Snapshot at the VM level and use transfer/service VM to read off the snapshots
We create snapshots first and then export. We do that bulk, without any VM filtering.

>> Do you use a third-party vendor for handling your backups?
No. We have a simple BASH script that has all logic inside.

>> Would support for incremental backups be useful for your use case?
Yes. Definitely. It may highly decrease the size of storage and make daily backups faster. This will work for us only if incremental backups will be reliable.

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[i]>> How often do you backup? Do you have multiple jobs for monthly, weekly, daily backups?[/i] Most of our backups are daily or on weekdays (Mon-Fri). [i]>> How do you create your backups?[/i] A: Use VM Export to backup VM metadata + disks + Snapshot at the VM level and use transfer/service VM to read off the snapshots We create snapshots first and then export. We do that bulk, without any VM filtering. [i]>> Do you use a third-party vendor for handling your backups?[/i] No. We have a simple BASH script that has all logic inside. [i]>> Would support for incremental backups be useful for your use case?[/i] Yes. Definitely. It may highly decrease the size of storage and make daily backups faster. This will work for us only if incremental backups will be reliable.
Aliaksei Audonin on Saturday, 10 June 2017 00:25

>> How often do you backup? Do you have multiple jobs for monthly, weekly, daily backups?
We do full backups on weekdays (Mon-Fri).

>> How do you create your backups?
We snapshot at the VM level and then we use VM Export to save the snapshot to an external NAS storage.

>> Do you use a third-party vendor for handling your backups?
We use simple BASH script that has everything.

>> Would support for incremental backups be useful for your use case?
Yes. Definitely. This will help up highly minimize the amount of data being transfered daily to our storage and make backups mush faster. Right now our daily backup takes 4-6 hours to complete.

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>> How often do you backup? Do you have multiple jobs for monthly, weekly, daily backups? We do full backups on weekdays (Mon-Fri). >> How do you create your backups? We snapshot at the VM level and then we use VM Export to save the snapshot to an external NAS storage. >> Do you use a third-party vendor for handling your backups? We use simple BASH script that has everything. >> Would support for incremental backups be useful for your use case? Yes. Definitely. This will help up highly minimize the amount of data being transfered daily to our storage and make backups mush faster. Right now our daily backup takes 4-6 hours to complete.

About XenServer

XenServer is the leading open source virtualization platform, powered by the Xen Project hypervisor and the XAPI toolstack. It is used in the world's largest clouds and enterprises.
 
Technical support for XenServer is available from Citrix.