Data protection key to virtualisation
Dubai, October 6, 2013
Middle East enterprises should understand the fundamentals of virtual server data protection as they adopt data centre virtualisation, said an expert.
Allen Mitchell, senior technical account manager Mena at CommVault Systems, said that the lure of virtual server deployments is having unintended consequences for data storage and data protection. The consolidation of physical servers and networking is resulting in a massively converged IT infrastructure where already limited resources are being made even scarcer.
Server virtualisation benefits include cost savings, business flexibility and agility inherent in the emergent private and public cloud architectures.
The benefits of virtual servers in terms of cost savings, application flexibility and uptime are now driving customers to deploy more critical applications within a virtual machine context. These critical applications come with the most demanding SLAs for application uptime, granular recovery points, and rapid recovery times.
Typical server consolidation ratios of 10 to 1 mean there are a fraction of the resources there once were for even routine IT management tasks like backup and recovery. In addition to fewer resources, massive data growth coupled with the expanding number of virtual machines is leading to an ever larger and more consolidated amount of data that must be managed and protected.
With this shift to virtualised data centres and round the clock operations, there is a need to rethink the traditional data protection techniques. Data protection and data recovery must have minimal front end impact and cannot exclusively rely on the legacy methods of streaming copying data from the production to the backend.
A modern, effective solution minimises the load on production systems, reduces administrative effort, enhances data protection and recovery, eases the transition to a virtualised data centre, and will enable cloud-based options when they are desired.
The fundamentals of virtual server data protection include exploding backup windows, where a combination of high server consolidation and high virtual machine (VM) density concentrates data ownership to a small number of physical servers with most resources dedicated for production workloads; and unprotected virtual machine data, where the ease of deploying new VMs leads to a virtual machine sprawl, making it tedious and time consuming for administrators to keep track of new virtual machines and to ensure correct data protection.
It also includes application integration, where the same level of protection and recovery capabilities for critical applications must be provided; delivering recovery points, where it is necessary to be able to recover data to a few hours agao, in order to minimise data loss and its impact to the organisation; and ensuring restore granularity, where an integrated approach to restore data granularly at the volume, file or application object level much be possible.
If Middle East enterprises want to reap the benefits of virtualisation, they need to overcome the challenges of virtual server protection. To do this, they need a new approach that will allow the organisation to rapidly modernise data protection and management. - TradeArabia News Service
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