Every organization that uses Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines (VMs) to host business-critical applications needs to back that Hyper-V data up. However, creating a short list of backup offerings appropriate for your organization’s Microsoft Hyper-V environment normally takes significant time. Thankfully, steps exist that one can follow to expedite this process.
Shortening Up the Microsoft Hyper-V Backup Offering Short List Process
Everyone likes the idea of creating short lists. However, identifying the criteria to create a short list sometimes take more time than simply evaluating all features on available offerings.
Here’s where DCIG can potentially help. DCIG recently evaluated approximately 30 Microsoft Hyper-V backup offerings. In evaluating them and their 100+ backup options, about 10 options merit heightened consideration to quickly create a short list. By first examining each backup offering’s support of these options, organizations may more quickly get to a short list of Microsoft Hyper-V backup offerings to consider.
Step #1: Verify the backup offering supports the deployment option or options your organization needs.
In DCIG’s recent evaluation of about 30 Microsoft Hyper-V backup offerings, each one offered one or more deployment options. These options include cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS), virtual appliance, physical appliance, software license, and even on a Docker container, among others.
However, not all backup software offerings deploy their software in all these ways. Some only make their offering available as a SaaS offering. Others only offer a backup appliance. Still others only offer a software license which require installation on a virtual or physical machine.
Notably, a sizable number (over 50 percent of those DCIG evaluated) offer more than one deployment option. Yet even then, each offering does not necessarily support every available deployment option.
Key takeaway: An organization should start by first identifying the way or ways it wants to deploy a Hyper-V backup offering in its environment. This step alone will reduce the number of offerings under consideration to under 25 and perhaps to ten or less.
Step #2: Verify the backup offering supports key security and storage options.
Mitigating and stopping ransomware before it attacks represents a priority of almost every organization. Backup offerings already play a key role in helping organizations recover from ransomware attacks. However, backup offerings also play a growing role in helping organizations detect ransomware’s presence. This explains why more ransomware strains target backups and backup offerings as part of their attack.
To mitigate these efforts, organizations should examine how well the backup offering protects itself and its backups from ransomware attacks. Each offering’s support of specific security and storage options provide insights into how well it will position an organization to recover from ransomware attacks. Options that DCIG examines include:
- Active Directory (AD) integration
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Object lock support
- Require complex passwords upon installation
- Single sign-on (SSO)
Simply establishing which of these options each remaining backup offering supports should further help organizations shorten their list of candidates. DCIG finds significant differences between available Microsoft Hyper-V backup offerings in their support of these options.
Key takeaway: The more security and object storage options the backup offering supports, the better organizations will position themselves to repel and recover from ransomware attacks.
Step #3: Verify the backup offering protects data stored in Microsoft 365.
Many organizations now use Microsoft 365 for its Exchange, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams functionality. However, as they adopt Microsoft 365, they must also take steps to protect data they store there. Microsoft 365 does offer some native data protection options. However, these are rudimentary and typically insufficient for most organizations’ data protection requirements.
Selecting a backup offering that protects Microsoft Hyper-V as well as Microsoft 365 often makes a sense. It addresses a gap in their data protection strategy and positions them to use a single backup offering to protect all their data.
The upside is that there is a good probability any backup offering under consideration will protect data stored in Microsoft 365. 70 percent of the approximately 30 Microsoft Hyper-V backup offerings evaluated by DCIG offer this option. However, Microsoft 365 backup support is not universal. As a result, organizations who want to do Microsoft 365 must verify any backup offering under consideration supports this option.
Key takeaway: Organizations can potentially close a gap in their data protection strategy by selecting a backup offering that also protects Microsoft 365.
One Final Step
Looking at these three steps one may wonder if that is all that is required to create a short list of Microsoft Hyper-V backup offerings. Unfortunately, it is not. One must first identify available Microsoft Hyper-V backup offerings and then research their support of these options listed here.
To help organizations with this final step, DCIG will produce a series of TOP 5 reports on Microsoft Hyper-V backup offerings. These TOP 5 reports will list available Microsoft Hyper-V backup offerings categorized by deployment types. Look for these TOP 5 reports in the coming months.
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Technology providers interested in licensing DCIG TOP 5 reports or having DCIG produce custom reports, please contact DCIG for more information.