With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can quickly minimize the impact of any disruption. The replication technology in our solution allows you to resume operations in your Hyper-V-based infrastructure in no time.
Key Features at a Glance
- Automate and orchestrate DR operations with Site Recovery
- Receive screenshot-based reports to make sure replication is done correctly
- Set up policy rules to automate data protection management
- Rely on Network Acceleration to speed up Hyper-V replication
- Deploy on NAS to create a full-fledged data protection appliance
- Skip swap files and partitions to decrease the size of your replicas
- Perform replication from existing backups to reduce network load
- Create and efficiently manage multi-tenant environments
Protect Hyper-V VMs and All Application Data
Since applications and databases constantly process data in memory, simply copying the data stored on disk is not enough. NAKIVO Backup & Replication features an Application-Aware mode, which ensures that applications such as Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Active Directory, and Microsoft SQL flush data from memory to disk before a replica is made. This guarantees that replicas are application-consistent.
By default, all Hyper-V replication jobs are incremental, which means that only the initial replication creates a complete copy of a source Hyper-V VM. For every job thereafter, the product detects changed blocks of data (increments) and merges them with the VM replica, leaving the previous state of the Hyper-V VM as a new recovery point.
Flexible Retention Policy
NAKIVO Backup & Replication can save up to 30 recovery points for each Hyper-V VM replica. You can use the Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) retention policy to rotate recovery points on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Recovery points are regular Hyper-V VM snapshots, so you can roll back to any recovery point even without NAKIVO Backup & Replication.
Staged Replication (Seeding)
The first Hyper-V replication may consume a lot of time or bandwidth, because the VMs, which can hold large amounts of data, need to be fully copied. To speed up this process and offload your network, you can perform a staged replication. This means that you perform the initial VM replication onto a removable media device, and then move those replicas to your target location.
What is Hyper-V Replication?
Hardware failure, software bugs, human error, a natural disaster, or any of countless other events could suddenly render your business-critical services, or even an entire data center, unavailable.
With the Hyper-V replication feature, you can create and maintain exact copies (replicas) of source Hyper-V VMs on a target host. The replicas are regular powered-off VMs, which don’t require any resources to maintain. In a disaster scenario, you can simply fail over to such VM replicas and continue your business operations as usual.
Speed Up Replication Performance
When performed during business hours, replication jobs may consume quite a large amount of bandwidth and thus slow down your network. Network Acceleration allows you to prevent this problem and perform Hyper-V replication as efficiently as possible. To enable it, you will need a pair of Transporters – one installed locally and another one residing at the secondary location. One Transporter reads data from the source, while the other one writes it to the target. With the Network Acceleration in place, you can achieve significantly higher performance.
Lower Storage Space Requirements
Transaction servers like MS SQL Server or Exchange Server keep track of all changes to the databases and record them to transaction longs. With time, they accumulate and start taking up too much space, which can lead to data loss and disruptions in server operations. NAKIVO Backup & Replication offers the Log Truncation feature that allows for automated truncation of transaction log files after a VM replica is successfully created. This solution identifies log files that have already been committed to the database and automatically truncates them. In such a way, you can both ensure the integrity of your database and use storage space in an efficient way.
Verify Validity of Your Replicas
The product provides the Screenshot Verification functionality which allows you to instantly check the validity of your replicas. After the Hyper-V replication job is complete, the product powers on the newly created replica (with networking turned off), waits for the operating system to load, makes a screenshot, and powers the replica off. You can view the verification report in the product’s interface or have it emailed straight to your inbox. This way, Screenshot Verification provides you with proof that your replica VMs are valid and can be used to recover the source VM if disaster strikes.
Reduce Time to Recovery
In the event of disaster, your ultimate goal is to resume your business operations as soon as possible. With NAKIVO Backup & Replication’s Automated VM Failover, this goal is easy to achieve. To launch the VM failover process, you will only need a valid replica of your VM in a DR location. If any of your business-critical VMs go down, you can power on a VM replica to replace it in just a few clicks and resume service delivery in basically no time. Once your primary environment is recovered, you can transfer your workloads back to the primary location.
Policy-Based Hyper-V Replication
NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides advanced automation options for Hyper-V replication. You can create replication policies based on VM size, name, location, or other parameters. Once a policy is created, NAKIVO Backup & Replication scans your infrastructure and automatically adds new matching VMs to the scope of the job. Therefore, you no longer need to manually manage core data protection tasks and can make sure that your important VMs are always protected.
Support for Applications and Databases
When creating a replica of a VM that runs MS Exchange, SQL, Active Directory, or another database/application, it is crucial to ensure data consistency. Namely, in-memory data and pending I/O operations are supposed to be properly flushed before a snapshot is made or else application data will be lost. To achieve this, NAKIVO Backup & Replication relies on the MS VSS service that quiesces the system and then returns it to the previous state after the snapshot is taken.
Flexible Retention Options
With NAKIVO Backup & Replication, you can keep recovery points for a VM replica from any period you need and, at the same time, use storage space in an efficient manner. A recovery point is a snapshot of a VM that can be used to return the VM to the state captured by the snapshot. You can have up to 30 recovery points on each replica VM, as well as configure the retention policy using the Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) retention policy, allowing you to rotate recovery points on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis.
The Screenshot Verification feature allows you to automatically test recoverability of replica VMs. The product powers on the replica VM (with networking turned off), waits for the OS to boot, and makes a screenshot. After that, the screenshot of a test-recovered VM can be emailed to your inbox or viewed directly from the product’s interface. With the Screenshot Verification functionality, you can rest assured that your VM replicas are functional and can be instantly accessed if the source VM goes down.
Replication from Backup
Designed to offload the production environment, this functionality enables you to replicate VMs directly from existing backups. Without this feature, you would need to create two independent snapshots – for backup and replica - which is rather resource-consuming. By reducing the snapshot overhead, the feature not only enables you to free up system resources but also save time, which is especially important for large enterprises.
Dynamically Expanding Disks for VM Replicas
One of the Hyper-V replication options allows you to create dynamic-sized disks for VM replicas, regardless of the disk type of your primary VM. Dynamically expanding disks are designed for a more efficient use of physical storage space as it may be additionally allocated on demand. However, fixed-size disks are a better option for servers running resource-intensive applications as they provide better performance. In other words, the choice should depend on your specific purposes.
The Site Recovery feature provides tools for a variety of purposes, starting from non-disruptive recovery testing to multi-site disaster recovery. You can create a combination of site recovery jobs of any complexity, as well as update them when necessary. This is an opportunity to entirely automate the disaster recovery procedure, thus preventing data loss and reducing downtime. Besides, the product allows you to configure multiple Site Recovery jobs, meaning that you can develop a separate scenario for any type of an unplanned event.
Omission of Swap Files and Partitions
Even though swap files (on Windows) and partitions (on Linux) are important for the performance of an OS in general, it is better to exclude them when creating a VM replica. Stored on the hard drive, swap files/partitions are used as virtual memory if the machine’s physical memory is full. However, such files can significantly enlarge the size of a replica. Unless they are excluded, a fair amount of unnecessary data would be processed, transferred, and stored, which affects replication performance. NAKIVO Backup & Replication skips swap files and partitions automatically. As a result, the process of replication takes less time since VM replicas are smaller in size.
LAN-Free Data Transfer
The mode of LAN-free data transfer is in place to make the process of Hyper-V replication faster, as well as minimize the load on your network. It is based on a technique called Hot Add, where the key idea is that VM data can be read directly from VM datastores provided that NAKIVO Backup & Replication is installed on a server with the appropriate access. VM snapshots are mounted, or hot added through the storage I/O stack. In brief, this technique can let you segregate the replication traffic from your production LAN and in such a way as to optimize the use of infrastructure resources.
MS Exchange and SQL Server Log Truncation
To ensure data integrity, MS Exchange Server and SQL Server track all the changes made to databases and record them to the transaction logs. This is a way to restore data after unintended modification or deletion, but there is one drawback. Log files grow fast as databases are constantly changing and might eventually fill up the entire disk space. NAKIVO Backup & Replication can automatically truncate transaction log files of both MS Exchange and SQL servers. After the VM replica is created, our software identifies log files that have already been committed to the database and removes (i.e. truncates) them. You receive regular, application-consistent replicas of your MS Servers while using the disk space in an efficient way.
Making the process of Hyper-V replication less resource-consuming is crucially important, especially if replication takes place during business hours. Fortunately, there is a way to accelerate the network, namely to install an additional Transporter. This is a software component that handles all the heavy load, including execution of VM replication jobs. By default, one Transporter is pre-installed in each instance of NAKIVO Backup & Replication, but using a pair of them can reduce the amount of data sent over the network, as well as speed up replication jobs by up to 2X.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication uses AES 256 encryption, which is known as a worldwide encryption standard used by financial institutions, banks, e-commerce sites, etc. Encryption in NAKIVO Backup & Replication also relies on two transporters. It works as follows: the source Transporter compresses, encrypts, and sends data, while the target Transporter receives and decrypts it. This makes the traffic data impossible to decipher and in such a way protects it from unauthorized access.
Multi-Tenancy allows you to build a multi-tenant environment and start offering Backup-as-a-Service, Replication-as-a-Service, and Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service to your customers. This attracts interest of organizations with multiple business units, branch offices, and departments. You can create and manage up to 1,000 isolated tenants within one instance of NAKIVO Backup & Replication. With that, your tenants will be able to manage their environments without any input on your part.
Advanced Bandwidth Throttling
With Bandwidth Throttling, you can control how much bandwidth your Hyper-V replication jobs consume. You can intentionally slow down data exchange even if your network allows for higher speed. This functionality may come in handy if you schedule the replication jobs to run during business hours. There is a risk of overloading your network and in such a way disrupt your business processes. Our feature enables you to set rules to control data transfer speeds, both globally and on a per-job basis. What’s more, you can run different throttling scenarios on different schedules, which ensures even more granular control.
Automated VM Failover
With the Automated VM Failover feature, you’re just one click away from switching to your VM replica if disaster strikes your source VM. When you create a Replication job and link it to a Failover job, all new VMs added to this Replication job are automatically included in the failover job. Furthermore, the solution allows you to make the process of disaster recovery even smoother. Your primary network and the network at a DR location are likely to have different configurations but you can set up network mapping and re-IP rules to automatically change the VM network settings upon failover, saving you time and effort.
Staging (Seeding) VM Replication
Depending on the size of the source VM, replication jobs may consume quite a lot of time and bandwidth. To speed them up and avoid network overload, perform staged replication. It requires you to transfer (seed) the initial replica to a removable media such as an external USB hard drive and then move it to a new location. After this, create a new replication job and link the replica VM to the source one. All the successive Hyper-V replication jobs will be incremental, which means that only changed blocks of data will be added to the replica VM.
API for Replication Automation
NAKIVO Backup & Replication provides HTTP APIs so that you could easily monitor, automate, and orchestrate VM replication jobs. The APIs cover the product’s features completely and can be used to perform any of the data protection tasks available in the Web interface. To simplify integration, the Integration Kit includes not only APIs but also comprehensive documentation and code samples. Naturally, the use of HTTP APIs reduces the costs associated with Hyper-V replication, as well as makes the entire process flow less complicated.
Automate Replication Jobs
Workflow automation improves efficiency in any IT field, and data protection is no exception. Making routine replication jobs automatic can not only save much of your time, but can also minimize the risk of human errors. Naturally, this can also help reduce costs required for the management of replication processes and infrastructure maintenance in general. With the Policy-Based Data Protection feature, you can set up policy rules to regularly scan your infrastructure and automatically add new matching VMs to the existing jobs.
NAKIVO Backup & Replication includes other features that can facilitate automation. With Automated VM Failover, you can easily perform failover in the event of a disaster. If automated, the disaster recovery process requires less time and effort, as well as allowing you to substantially reduce downtime. In other words, workflow automation is a chance to ensure business continuity with minimal input on your part.
Having a VM replica in place unfortunately does not always mean it can be used in an emergency situation. It may turn out to be invalid or unavailable, while the worst possible moment to discover it is when your source VM is down. A simple way to avoid such a situation is to regularly test recoverability of your VMs. With the help of Screenshot Verification, the product automatically powers on a newly created replica, takes a screenshot when the operating system is loaded, and emails it to your inbox or displays in the product’s interface. In such a manner, you can always be sure that your replica VMs are functional.
Offload Your Production Environment
For some businesses, it is vitally important to reduce both the time during which their VMs are unavailable and the amount of data they will consequently lose. To achieve this, backups and replicas are performed as often as possible. The downside of this approach is that both jobs require taking snapshots, which is a rather resource-consuming process that may slow down your network and affect application performance. Our Replication from Backup feature can help you cope with this challenge. As the name suggests, it allows you to create a replica using an existing VM backup and in such a way reduce snapshot overhead. This can help you avoid extra load on your network, free up system resources, and make sure that Hyper-V replication jobs do not disrupt other running operations.
Optimize Bandwidth Usage
Although our product allows for the highest possible data transfer rate, in some cases you may need to slow it down. The matter at hand is that the process of replication requires a lot of bandwidth. If you run replication during business hours, it is better to set a limit on how much bandwidth the jobs can consume. This is possible with the Advanced Bandwidth Throttling feature. You can set both global and individual limit rules, and apply different scheduling options. You can also combine global and per-job rules to exert even more granular control over bandwidth consumption. All of this ensures that replication workloads do not affect the performance of your application or disrupt any of your key business operations.
Prevent Jobs from Overlapping
Data protection jobs consume quite a lot of time and environmental resources, which is especially noticeable in large enterprises. Simultaneously running processes may negatively affect the performance of your entire infrastructure. We have a solution, however. Our Calendar Dashboard feature allows you to carefully plan your data protection jobs and thus avoid overlaps. Calendar Dashboard displays all your jobs on it so that you can easily find free time slots for the new jobs. In other words, this is a simple tool that can help you cope with a tricky challenge of job scheduling and avoid unintentional network overloads.
Safeguard Against Unauthorized Access
Protecting your VM data while it is moving to the target location is crucial when it comes to replication. To help you cope with it, NAKIVO Backup & Replication can encrypt data in flight. With the functionality in place, data is encrypted before it starts travelling over the Internet and decrypted after it arrives to the target location. The solution uses AES 256 encryption, the worldwide recognized standard for data protection. High levels of security should become one of your priorities and our product is here to help you achieve it.