XenServer 5.6 Enterprise Edition is a powerful virtualization product for business environments. A powerful virtualization solution in an enterprise environment requires a robust backup protection solution. Arkeia Network Backup provides a powerful, integrated backup solution for XenServer virtualization environments. The purpose of this article is to detail methodologies for providing backup protection using Arkeia Network Backup 9.0 and the latest features of XenServer 5.6.
Citrix continues to provide excellent command line tools for XenServer in it’s latest release. Arkeia’s functionality allows it to continue to provide backup protection using the command line interface. Scripting of snapshots that can be exported to mounts or locally attached disk is an ideal way to backup guest machines on the XenServer host. Arkeia’s ability to run before and after scripts on the XenServer machine combined with source side deduplication allow Arkeia to provide powerful backups for most environments. If your host machine is critical and can’t afford the cycles required for deduplication, you can offload the snapshots to a mount and backup that separate client machine using deduplication. A great example of scripting is Andy Burton’s Automatic Xen Backup script.
Live Memory Snapshot
Another feature of XenServer, Live Memory Snapshot allows for further data protection with Arkeia. Using Live Memory Snapshot, you can snapshot the memory state as well as the VM itself. Of course, from that point you would also use Arkeia to backup the snapshot and the Live Memory piece to the backup server. The advantage here is that the guest will be able to return to the exact running state it was in when snapshotted. This is a powerful feature of XenServer and should be used only for business critical applications as it can be resource intensive.
Finally, a feature newly implemented in version 5.6 of XenServer is scheduled snapshots. Scheduled snapshots are interesting because the snapshots can be set to run during a period of downtime for the server, then depending on backup windows, Arkeia can backup the snapshots which are already written to disk. Overall the benefit of this is that maintaining complicated scripts are not necessary and the set up is easily done through the XenCenter interface and Arkeia’s web UI. While the Platinum Edition of XenServer is necessary, this may be the easiest solution for backing up XenServer.
A Powerful Solution
As you can see, Citrix XenServer and Arkeia Network Backup working together provide a powerful solution for your enterprise environment. XenServer scripting allows for a customized backup solution. Live Memory Snapshot gives the administrator a real-time backup of the machine state. And the simplicity of scheduled snapshots is ideally suited for small environments. As you can see Citrix XenServer provides superior virtualization software and Arkeia provides a proven enterprise backup technology to protect it. If you are using Citrix XenServer 5.6, Arkeia Network Backup should be your first choice for backup.