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Friday, March 25, 2011
Guest post by Phil Curran
Much is being made these days about the ability to backup virtual server environments. In the recent past, we've seen many data protection and backup vendors trumpet their ability to backup virtual servers, often through integration with hypervisor tools VADP or VSS to run various backups.
However, a recent conversation with a customer brought an interesting perspective home to me. The point this person made was that the failed backup is not what puts his job at risk, but rather the failed recovery and subsequent application downtime. Yes, that's exactly right, and it's a factor missed by many vendors delivering virtual server backup solutions.
As IT shops continue to expand the scope and scale of their virtual environments, this point becomes even more critical. In my mind, advanced recovery capabilities have already become a set of must have capabilities.
Rapid Expansion of Virtual Server Environments
The benefits of server virtualization are undeniable and they are compelling. So much so, that many customers today are looking to rapidly expand the scope and scale of their virtual server environment to encompass the full spectrum of applications and services that IT is delivering to customers and end users.
This rapid expansion is being driven by the recognition of the dramatic benefits in cost reduction and business flexibility inherent in most virtualization initiatives. We're seeing many virtualization users see a 10 to 1 or even greater consolidation ratio. This means a dramatic reduction in both up front hardware purchase costs for physical infrastructure, and it means a commensurate reduction in all the associated operating costs – power, cooling, administration and management – that goes along with reducing the physical server foot print.
To take the most advantage of these benefits, most customers we work with are expanding the scope and scale of their virtual server initiatives into as many areas of their environment as they can. In many cases, this means stretching the server consolidation ratio even higher. In most cases this also means encompassing more and more applications and services delivered by IT – including Exchange and database environments.
However, most customers we see have a few key requirements that must be met before that critical database app is deployed inside their virtual server environment. What is near the top of the list? Perhaps not surprisingly, it is data protection and recovery.
IT shops looking to deploy critical apps inside their VMs are asking new questions about the backup solution they are using. It is no longer enough to simply say – it's backed up.
What about recovery? IT shops are increasingly asking pointed questions about restores and how their solution will help meet the Service Level Agreements with end users. This includes questions like:
Meeting these restore requirements is a key barrier (or enabler) to deploying larger virtual server environments that encompass more business-critical applications. If your virtual server backup solution provider does not have a compelling answer to these questions, chances are you are leaving yourself and your business open to increased risk.
Meeting Business Level Recovery Requirements for Virtual Server Environments
The following are key features necessary to ensure you can meet recovery requirements for virtual servers:
For details on the restore options available in CommVault Simpana software for virtual server environments, please see our latest documentation at:
Or visit us on the web at: www.commvault.com/virtualization.
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