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Managing Backup and Recovery for Virtual Disks

Updated: September 29, 2010

Applies To: Microsoft iSCSI Software Target

With Microsoft iSCSI Software Target, you can provide effective and efficient backup and recovery for virtual disks on the iSCSI target without stopping applications or closing files. You can then transport data to a central server for LAN-free and server-free backup. This eliminates the backup window that is needed for traditional backup solutions, and it allows application servers to continue running without disruption to clients. The primary functionality that is provided in iSCSI Software Target to support data backup and recovery includes the following:

  • Snapshots

    A snapshot is a point-in-time, read-only copy of an iSCSI virtual disk that can be used for fast system recovery in the event of data corruption from a virus attack, system security compromise, or an inadvertent user deletion. These are especially useful for interim backups of data that has changed since the previous regular backup because they are differential copies.

  • Local disk access

    Local access to data on virtual disks can be set up by mounting a read-only snapshot of an iSCSI virtual disk or mounting a virtual disk as a read-write disk on the local computer. This makes it possible to use other backup software to perform regular backups.

  • Rollback

    The rollback functionality in iSCSI Software Target makes it possible to roll back a virtual disk to a snapshot.

Using backup software requires appropriate coordination of actions between the backup software and iSCSI Software Target; for example, setting up appropriate schedules and configurations for creating and mounting snapshots, and including the locally mounted snapshots in routine backups.

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