Data backup and disaster recovery has changed as the new technologies developed. These two terms are not interchangeable, but without backup of the data recovery of the same is not possible. Virtualization of storage and data in general changed backup and recovery and the way they are carried. Right now you can backup your data by duplicating it through virtual machines and recreating them somewhere else.
In the past, with less technology there was a certain path you would have to go through if your server crashed:
Once you get new server you have to install all the things you had on your lost server there. This can be prevented by owning several servers that already have everything you will need. This would cost you a lot of money in those days.
There was also an option of having spare server that is already running. But this would increase the cost of applications, because you have to own them on two servers. All costs are doubled in this case, software and hardware.
If you own file server only then backup may help you retrieve some data. Only problem is the data that is retrieved dates back up until end of the last working day.
As I already mentioned virtualization of data changed everything because the need of physical rebuilding of server is no longer necessary. Recovery through VM (virtual machine) can be used to backup and after that recover all sorts of data including local data, memory, settings and application software.
Recovery of the data after the crush down of server is cheaper, easier and quicker through VM, but it can get complicated as well. The complications arise in co-ordination between application VM and database VM. But that is a price worth paying due to more complete recovery of data through VM.
In this day and time there is a lot of software used for protection, backup and recovery of your data and there are different ways they achieve that. For example there are products that are tightly integrated with VM replication at hypervisor level and some of them support coordination and recovery of multiple VM’s which makes excellent coordination between application and database VM.
Then there are others that launched virtual-aware tools that take snapshots of VM’s at certain intervals. This process pause the VM for a time required to copy all data, settings and memory and it can be used to recover VM to any snapshot whenever you want and it can be done multiple times.
Some new suppliers launch tools that are specialized in virtual backup of files. Those tools are built for virtualized data from the beginning so there are many things that come with them, things like snapshooting software or network acceleration. This increases replication efficiency of the tool.
There is still a need for traditional backup, and some suppliers still provide their services, but they are evolved versions of old tools that support new types of backup and recovery as well.