[CentOS-virt] Backing up a running KVM guest

Wed Mar 25 13:22:43 UTC 2009
Julian Price <centos.org at jul17pri.co.uk>


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)

A taster...

    1. Introduction

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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