[CentOS-virt] Backing up a running KVM guest
centos.org at jul17pri.co.uk
Wed Mar 25 14:22:43 UTC 2009
This new HowTo explains how to backup a VM without powering it down.
It's specifically aimed at KVM although it may work with any
virtualization software that uses Linux as the host.
Please review it and let me know what you think, particularly if you are
already doing something similar yourself, or would like to. Do you have
answers to any of the questions in the 'Questions' section?
It has not been released yet and it's a first draft, so break it to me
(The article's internal Wiki links are broken - not sure what's going on
there, but ignore that)
This article explains how to backup a virtual hard disk to a remote
location, even while it is use.
One advantage of running software in a virtual machine is that the
entire disk can be backed up in one go, including Operating System,
software, configuration files, registry, permissions, data and all.
Re-establishing a system after a failure is therefore quicker and more
reliable than re-installing software and restoring data.
The method employs LVM to take a snapshot of the guest disk and then
uses rsync to update changes to a previous backup on a remote server. If
there is a database server on the guest then it is flushed & locked at
the point the snapshot is taken. This method came into use around 2008
following wider availability and awareness of virtualization software,
cheaper faster network bandwidth, and cheaper bigger disks.
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