Home Business Insights & Advice Basics of VMware virtual machine backup

Basics of VMware virtual machine backup

by Sponsored Content
26th Aug 20 6:01 pm

Backing up your virtual machines with the same zeal with which you back up your physical ones is critical. The reason is that any business can lose data on these machines the same way they could lose them on physical computers. But what does it take to use Nakivo vSphere backup in backing up your VMware virtual machines? If you have such questions regarding VMware virtual machine backup, read on to discover all you need to know about this critical preventive process.

We start our comprehensive coverage by defining VMware machine backup. Backing up a VMware machine means to copy data on it in a virtual environment to stop data loss when disaster strikes.

Snapshots and backups: How do they differ?

Before proceeding, let’s look at how backup differs from snapshots because some people confuse the two.


A snapshot differs from a backup in many ways. First, it preserves the state and data in a virtual computer at a given time to let you return to them following a disaster. It preserves its condition, for example, if it was off, on, or suspended. Second, a snapshot helps in development and testing. Third, you can use a snapshot in a production environment. Fourth, you can use it when conducting system updates that could harm it.

Therefore, they are not backups because you delete them when you erase your backups; hence, they can’t recover lost processes and data on your virtual computers.


Inversely, a backup is an independent copy of your data without any connections to your virtual PCs. Therefore, you can use it to restore your machine after suffering a data crash. Moreover, you can move it to remote cloud locations and other secure offsite locations. Moreover, a backup serves a long-term storage purpose. Unlike a snapshot, you can compress and zip a backup to optimize limited storage space.

VM backup and replication: How do they differ?

Replication is also an essential measure of VM backup. Some people also confuse replication with virtual machine backup. However, the two are different, and here is the difference.

Unlike what we saw earlier regarding backups, replication creates exact copies of source virtual computers on target computers. Execution of replication updates virtual machine replicas to make them similar to those at the source virtual computers. Replicas are complete virtual machines in power-off computer modes to avoid consuming a machine’s resources. You might also resort to them to restore your ecosystem after a disaster.

How do you back up virtual machines?

So, how do you store data on these machines? This section covers the process, plus practical tips for doing it better and successfully. It’s a must to have an original folder where you backed your virtual computer. Afterward, follow these easy steps to complete the process:

  • First, power off the machine as you copy your files. Otherwise, your copies may not boot after completing the storage process.
  • Next, access every you copy lined up for storage.
  • Afterward, right-click the folder before clicking on “copy.”
  • Next, choose your chosen transfer destination for your copy.
  • The next step involves clicking inside the folder and then clicking “paste.” Afterward, a status bar will appear indicating the procedure is ongoing.
  • Upon completing the storage, it’s necessary to switch on the copied virtual computer. The workstation will prompt you to clarify if you copied or transferred the VM.

Should you indicate you transferred the virtual computer, you will retain all the settings. But if you answer that you copied it, the system will generate a new MAC address to avoid any conflict within the network.

Tips for successful backup

Here are insights to assist you in backing your machines successfully.

  • Understand that backups are not replications or snapshots.
  • Make image-based backups.
  • Encode every backup.
  • Compress your backups to optimize storage space.
  • Authenticate every backup.

Backing up every virtual machine is an essential and beneficial precaution that prevents data loss following crashes. Thus, you must understand all the basics of VMware data backup to do it successfully. The measures discussed here will benefit you in understanding and succeeding in your backup efforts. Optimize them now to deepen your backup expertise and achieve greater VM data safety.

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