Unitrends Bridge

This post is one in a series concerning release 8.0 for Recovery Series physical appliances and our UEB virtual appliance. The overview for this series may be found here.

Microsoft Hyper-V is growing and has been for a while now. As a result, the hypervisor powers much more critical data and applications than it used to a few years ago, and Hyper-V system admins need to ensure that they can recover quickly in the event of an outage.

The reality of the situation is that you may find that your Hyper-V protection strategy requires a mix of hypervisor-level protection and guest-level protection (we like to call it Deep Virtual protection, and we’ll post a separate blog about this concept for Hyper-V). You may also have a mix of physical servers, Hyper-V servers, and maybe even vSphere servers in the datacenter.

Such flexible protection strategies require robust recovery that can support the needs of heterogeneous environments, as well as heavily virtualized Hyper-V environments. This is where Unitrends Bridge comes in handy for Hyper-V. With the 8.0 release of our enterprise-class software that powers our Recovery Series and UEB backup appliances, Unitrends Bridge for Hyper-V ensures that you can bring up your heterogeneous systems in minutes, not hours.

First, Unitrends Bridge encompasses two forms of recovery:

  • Windows Instant Recovery (WIR) – guest level recovery for physical and virtual machines
  • Hyper-V Instant Recovery (HIR) – hypervisor level recovery for virtual machines

What do they do?

WIR provides admins with the ability to immediately recover a Windows physical or virtual machine protected at the guest-level as a VM running on Hyper-V instances using 2008 R2 and above [note: vSphere and our Recovery Series appliances are also targets for WIR].

HIR allows an admin to quickly spin up a Hyper-V VM directly from our deduplicated, compressed backup files. The VM can be recovered from Hyper-V hypervisor level backups onto a Hyper-V instance using 2012 or higher. Once the VM is running, you can choose to kick off a Live Migration of the VM back to production storage, nearly eliminating downtime.

When do I use them?

WIR is used for machines that require little downtime and are protected at the guest level. Guest-level protection is great for:

  • Physical machines
  • Granular protection of Microsoft SQL Server and Exchange
  • Large VMs with non-critical data that can be excluded from backup
  • VMs with Shared VHDX or pass through disk configurations
  • Large VMs that have performance issues using hypervisor snapshots

WIR can be leveraged to fail over a physical machine to a virtual machine. Fail over a vSphere VM into a Hyper-V environment. It can even automatically boot and send you a screenshot of your protected VM to verify backup recoverability.

HIR is great for any other Hyper-V virtual machine that is protected at the hypervisor level. Of course, it can be used to recover the VM quickly, but it can also be used for backup verification and testing, as well as spinning up machines in sandbox environments for QA or internal development. An additional benefit of HIR is that it does not require any production storage to perform the initial recovery of the VM.