Making the most of server virtualisation
With its obvious benefits, which include greater efficiency and reduced hardware requirements, IT departments have rushed to embrace server virtualisation
With its obvious benefits, which include greater efficiency and reduced hardware requirements, IT departments have rushed to embrace server virtualisation. There is, however, one potential problem. According to Steve Bailey, organisations will not realise its full benefits until they modernise their data backup and recovery processes.
It’s no surprise that the adoption of server virtualisation technology is continuing to accelerate as enterprise organisations consolidate critical applications on virtual machines (VMs). It is a technology trend that cries out for a modern approach to data management. According to Commvault’s annual end user virtualisation survey, the three most cited primary concerns surrounding the deployment of data protection solutions in virtual server environments are cost, ineffective backups and lengthy and complex restore processes.
CIOs are faced with the challenge of identifying and deploying solutions that better manage data growth, ensure their environment is protected, minimise risk of information loss or tampering, and confidently and reliably meet fiduciary and regulatory discovery requirements. But how do they implement all this in a way that allows them to deploy new technologies like virtualisation or strategies like data centre consolidation, while maintaining best practices around management of their information?
The benefits of server virtualisation are compelling. IT execs rightfully love to tout lower power consumption, fewer boxes, improved operations and management and reallocation of budget dollars for projects that matter to the lines of business. But there is an elephant in the room. And it›s a particularly big one: Euphoria-driven over-commitment to a technology they don›t have the right infrastructure for. In the mad dash to deploy virtualisation, companies have hit a snag. A snag that could shut down their business – or at a minimum slam on the virtualisation emergency brake.
There is a real concern about how to get their arms around virtual machine sprawl and then how to move data out of virtualised servers, store it, protect it and get it back without bringing the business to its knees. Many companies have rushed to virtualise servers, expecting their basic backup and recovery to just work, only to find it doesn’t. Then there are companies that want to do more server virtualisation, like deploy mission-critical applications on virtualised environments, but are reluctant to do so until they are assured business continuity is not affected.
With more and more critical data residing in virtual environments, application availability is paramount. The risk of downtime is huge. But with backup windows shrinking and the demand for recovery increasing, it is all organisations can do to simply manage their physical environments, let alone their virtual ones.
Data growth has magnified the problem, adding more pressure to networks that are already overburdened. Today’s data centre challenges are enormous: How to manage growing data stores while still maintaining some level of efficiency across remote offices, the data centre, virtual and cloud environments?
How to deliver complete virtual machine protection and recovery for improved peace of mind? How to meet recovery SLAs in real time to better compete in an ever changing business world?
The need to modernise backup and recovery has been brewing, and growing, for several years now. Countless studies from leading industry firms have all indicated that re-architecting their legacy backup solutions is in the top three of budgeted IT projects.
End users recognised that what they were using flat-out handcuffed them in many ways: infrastructure upgrades, OS and APP upgrades, fast access to data, staff to manage and maintain, and out of control costs.
Modernisation of data management processes should take place before embarking on virtualisation rollout, or at a minimum, should happen simultaneously. If not, many of the shortcomings and problems inherent in your physical environment will plague your virtual environment as well.