Hypervisor preference - costs included



  • Re: If all hypervisors were priced the same...

    With costs being included, and needs being different across various environments which then have to line up with those (sometimes) high costs, what's your most prominent hypervisor deployed these days? We have a 70/30 mix of Hyper-V (not Server, so not done right), and VMware Essentials Plus; VMware being deployed in more environments.



  • I have a couple of Hyper-V Servers and several white-box computers with KVM for labs and some small minor productions use.



  • Hyper-V for production workloads
    KVM in some research projects
    Used ESXi & vSphere EP in the past



  • All of my clients are on Hyper-V.

    I am running my home lab on KVM now, it was Hyper-V.



  • @jaredbusch said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    All of my clients are on Hyper-V.

    I am running my home lab on KVM now, it was Hyper-V.

    Why the switch in lab but not production? Do your clients require paid support, or are you still familiarizing yourself with KVM to where you're just not ready to put it in production?



  • @bbigford said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @jaredbusch said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    All of my clients are on Hyper-V.

    I am running my home lab on KVM now, it was Hyper-V.

    Why the switch in lab but not production? Do your clients require paid support, or are you still familiarizing yourself with KVM to where you're just not ready to put it in production?

    I have a KVM on RHEL deployment coming up sometime this year. Wanted to get a little more familiarity with it.



  • It depends on the business needs. VMWare has a number of additional management and automation tools to make life easier for an administrator. But if a business doesn't need those capabilities then HyperV is what I generally lean toward.



  • No single answer, but I'll but them in order of frequency....

    KVM most of the time....
    Hyper-V for others, rarely for me....
    Xen...
    VMware only in the rarest of cases.



  • biggest issue with KVM: you have to write your own backup UNLESS you prefer agent based backup.
    Otherwise it would be my choice (it has been mine for around 1 year in my previous job).
    I've deployed hyperv, mostly because of the uncertain situation around xenserver. Otherwise both are OK.
    VMWare asks too much for my needs. I can simply get free stuff for my needs, so any price for an hypervisor is too much.



  • @matteo-nunziati said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    biggest issue with KVM: you have to write your own backup UNLESS you prefer agent based backup.

    I do, so that makes it a big win 🙂



  • @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @matteo-nunziati said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    biggest issue with KVM: you have to write your own backup UNLESS you prefer agent based backup.

    I do, so that makes it a big win 🙂

    Angentless backup is always a much better solution for the SMB at this time, and the foreseeable future.

    The SMB does not generally have the skill to implement and maintain a state system to handle things.

    A vendor provided agnetless backup system, such as Veeam and Unitrends provide for Hyper-V and VMWare, make this a simple task for the SMB generalist admin to install and maintain.



  • @jaredbusch said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @matteo-nunziati said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    biggest issue with KVM: you have to write your own backup UNLESS you prefer agent based backup.

    I do, so that makes it a big win 🙂

    Angentless backup is always a much better solution for the SMB at this time, and the foreseeable future.

    The SMB does not generally have the skill to implement and maintain a state system to handle things.

    All SMB has access to do things right. Just because someone decides to do things poorly never implies that they didn't have the option to do things well. Hypervisor backups for SMB only makes sense if you assume that they will make other mistakes but won't make this one... so we advice poorly based on one mistake assumption but not another - a fundamentally flawed approach to this kind of thing.

    If we are in the position of advising, then we can advise fixing the underlying problems rather than recommending bandaids at a higher level.



  • @jaredbusch said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    A vendor provided agnetless backup system, such as Veeam and Unitrends provide for Hyper-V and VMWare, make this a simple task for the SMB generalist admin to install and maintain.

    It does, at other costs. But SMB Generalists are a thing themselves that are often part of the problem - if your entire IT department can't handle admining servers, they should not be doing so - rather than recommending that they keep doing so and recommending tools to partway enable a high cost scenario to support.



  • @scottalanmiller So what exactly are the downsides to hypervisor / agentless VM backups that agents on everything resolves?

    I for one don't have the time to deal with hundreds of agents...

    And if I need to restore a VM or file it's so much faster.



  • @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    I for one don't have the time to deal with hundreds of agents...

    What time do they take? If they are part of your build and automation process, they should take essentially no more time than agentless. It's all automated, right?



  • @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    And if I need to restore a VM or file it's so much faster.

    If you need to restore an entire VM exactly as is, to exactly where it was, if your backup retention location is local. That's a very specific, but reasonably common, circumstance. But for most companies, that's not the main restore scenario. It's pretty rare that I am restoring an entire VM "as is".



  • @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    And if I need to restore a VM or file it's so much faster.

    If you need to restore an entire VM exactly as is, to exactly where it was, if your backup retention location is local. That's a very specific, but reasonably common, circumstance. But for most companies, that's not the main restore scenario. It's pretty rare that I am restoring an entire VM "as is".

    That's one aspect of it, right. Most need file restore, which you can do too. So why not agentless if it does both and everything is much faster?



  • @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @scottalanmiller So what exactly are the downsides to hypervisor / agentless VM backups that agents on everything resolves?

    Mostly it's human stuff. Agentless backups make people get really lazy about how they back up. It's not that agentless can't do the job, but no agents out there work broadly enough to be reliable enough to use for any company that I deal with in the real world. Every company I know has at least one workload that requires agents, so we are stuck with them already. It's a nice idea and if you fit perfectly into the really niche mold of 100% supported OSes, Hypervisors, and applications that your agentless solution supports, then great, it might be for you. But the degree to which a company has to design everything around its backups and continue to do so for forever is pretty extreme. One casually added workload that doesn't fit that exact mold and either you just accept the crash consistency risk, or you have to move to agents (or some other alternative.)

    Agentless makes people think that they don't have to know what all is being backed up and manage it correctly. It is treated as a panacea. It has a place, for sure but basically I'd never run agentless without an agent, as well. At best, it's an add on, not a replacement.



  • @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    And if I need to restore a VM or file it's so much faster.

    If you need to restore an entire VM exactly as is, to exactly where it was, if your backup retention location is local. That's a very specific, but reasonably common, circumstance. But for most companies, that's not the main restore scenario. It's pretty rare that I am restoring an entire VM "as is".

    That's one aspect of it, right. Most need file restore, which you can do too. So why not agentless if it does both and everything is much faster?

    Because it doesn't do both. No Agentless on the market handles any broad application set. Veeam is the best, and is very limited. Exchange and SQL Server are the only big apps that it supports.



  • Now if we are assuming that our key data is backed up via something automated that we make ourselves. And we are only considering agent vs. agentless for our fileservers, then by all means, most agentless solutions handle this very gracefully and that's great. Use it for that.

    But it generally means that we are only talking about a fileserver when we start talking about backing up in this way. That's normally a pretty trivial amount of the overall workloads. Restoring a single file is really only common with file servers, nothing else. Maybe desktops, but agentless doesn't apply to normal desktops (maybe VDI, sure.)

    Outside of that one use case, where either works fine under normal circumstances, most all workloads either require something special or find agentless to not really be advantageous.



  • What are most people using as a backup system for KVM? I've mostly just used StorageCraft and Veeam for Hyper-V and VMware.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    And if I need to restore a VM or file it's so much faster.

    If you need to restore an entire VM exactly as is, to exactly where it was, if your backup retention location is local. That's a very specific, but reasonably common, circumstance. But for most companies, that's not the main restore scenario. It's pretty rare that I am restoring an entire VM "as is".

    That's one aspect of it, right. Most need file restore, which you can do too. So why not agentless if it does both and everything is much faster?

    Because it doesn't do both. No Agentless on the market handles any broad application set. Veeam is the best, and is very limited. Exchange and SQL Server are the only big apps that it supports.

    Yes, it does do both. I said agentless backups do both VM level and file level back up and restore.

    You are now bringing in a 3rd apsect... application level backup and restore.

    That's a different can of worms, but even agentless backups do any application level backup that has or supports vss.



  • @bbigford said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    What are most people using as a backup system for KVM? I've mostly just used StorageCraft and Veeam for Hyper-V and VMware.

    StorageCraft is agent based so works exactly the same on KVM. Veeam has optional agents, so works just fine there. Our big KVM is Scale HC3, which has built in backups.



  • @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    You are now bringing in a 3rd apsect... application level backup and restore.

    This is the actual purpose of all backups. To get apps back to where they were. They do OS and other things only as artefacts of getting back to the data and systgems working.



  • @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    That's a different can of worms, but even agentless backups do any application level backup that has or supports vss.

    That's true, but loads of things do not.



  • @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    Yes, it does do both. I said agentless backups do both VM level and file level back up and restore.

    Right, but do you need either of those things? I totally get the "just restore the whole thing from an old snapshot" method, it is super quick and easy. But it's also unnecessary. File servers are an "app" that uses files, so that's an app specific situation. Other than that, it's all stateful data in unknown states that we have to deal with. So yea, agentless does the parts we are least concerned about. I have unlimited options for those parts. It's the apps that matter and are hard. And since I need agents 99% of the time because of the workloads, the agentless is just "more to manage". Sometimes worth it, but always extra effort.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    Yes, it does do both. I said agentless backups do both VM level and file level back up and restore.

    Right, but do you need either of those things? I totally get the "just restore the whole thing from an old snapshot" method, it is super quick and easy. But it's also unnecessary. File servers are an "app" that uses files, so that's an app specific situation. Other than that, it's all stateful data in unknown states that we have to deal with. So yea, agentless does the parts we are least concerned about. I have unlimited options for those parts. It's the apps that matter and are hard. And since I need agents 99% of the time because of the workloads, the agentless is just "more to manage". Sometimes worth it, but always extra effort.

    Not exactly.

    We have file servers.
    We have web servers.
    We have Apps... that are stateless, but connect to a database that is stateful, but does it's own backups (MS SQL).
    We have web servers that use MySQL and such, also do their own database backups.
    I don't believe we have any stateful apps, besides databases that take care of themselves anyways.

    I guess I'm living in one of your rare cases Agentless backups make sense, because we have our VM level, file level, and app level protected and restorable.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    Now if we are assuming that our key data is backed up via something automated that we make ourselves. And we are only considering agent vs. agentless for our fileservers, then by all means, most agentless solutions handle this very gracefully and that's great. Use it for that.

    But it generally means that we are only talking about a fileserver when we start talking about backing up in this way. That's normally a pretty trivial amount of the overall workloads. Restoring a single file is really only common with file servers, nothing else. Maybe desktops, but agentless doesn't apply to normal desktops (maybe VDI, sure.)

    Outside of that one use case, where either works fine under normal circumstances, most all workloads either require something special or find agentless to not really be advantageous.

    I just seen this post. Yeah.

    For the stateful servers like MS SQL, web databases, AD, etc, they are set up to do addional backup besides the Agentless hypervisor level backups.



  • @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    @scottalanmiller said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    Now if we are assuming that our key data is backed up via something automated that we make ourselves. And we are only considering agent vs. agentless for our fileservers, then by all means, most agentless solutions handle this very gracefully and that's great. Use it for that.

    But it generally means that we are only talking about a fileserver when we start talking about backing up in this way. That's normally a pretty trivial amount of the overall workloads. Restoring a single file is really only common with file servers, nothing else. Maybe desktops, but agentless doesn't apply to normal desktops (maybe VDI, sure.)

    Outside of that one use case, where either works fine under normal circumstances, most all workloads either require something special or find agentless to not really be advantageous.

    I just seen this post. Yeah.

    For the stateful servers like MS SQL, web databases, AD, etc, they are set up to do addional backup besides the Agentless hypervisor level backups.

    Oh okay, that's how we are. For everything that isn't stateless, we can build it from scratch without needing to do a restore, so no need to backup at all 🙂



  • @tim_g said in Hypervisor preference - costs included:

    We have web servers that use MySQL and such, also do their own database backups.

    I consider this an agent. Maybe that's where we have confusion. You are using what I would consider an agent, even if it just does a "fake" backup locally that the agentless then picks up.


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