VMUG Voice Article: Adopting a Data Protection Strategy for Virtualization

VMUG Voice Article: Adopting a Data Protection Strategy for Virtualization

I

was given an opportunity to share my thoughts on how you adopt a data protection strategy for virtualized environments.  The whole article can be read by clicking here.

Lets face it, traditional backup solutions were built for physical infrastructures.  But even physical infrastructure struggle with the pressures of growth, variety and complexity of data.  In virtual environments, it gets worse for traditional backup solutions.  It doesn’t struggle, it simply fails.  Therefore, the data protection solution you choose MUST be optimized for virtualization with the flexibility to scale and grow in lock step with the environment, all the while still protecting the physical resources supporting it.

Overhauling or redesigning the backup process is one approach, but if you fail to begin with a focus on understanding the business requirements and validating them on a reoccurring basis, it will not matter how capable the data protection solution is. Virtualization is likely to remain a permanent fixture in the modern data center.  Adopting a data protection solution optimized for virtualization makes it well suited for distributed environments such as remote offices, off-premise locations, and even CLOUD (why is this all caps?  I’m not yelling at you, read the article to get my take on CLOUD) models.  Take time to review the data protection capabilities of your current solution, the processes required to perform a backup and recovery operation, and the percentage of automation versus scripting needed.

As you look to addressing the items that surface from the review, t miss out on the chance to have product roadmap discussions, proof of concept deployments and ask to see feature release schedules to evaluate the innovativeness of the vendor and the robustness of the solution.  Do not base your decision solely on the capabilities of the current product version, or worse, the price.

Finally, sometimes disasters happen, be it acts of nature, user error or malicious activities.  Remember that disasters don’t have to be newsworthy – they can be as small as spilling coffee on a server or a laptop being stolen.  Ensuring the data protection solution you choose can support site-to-site and offsite backups as well as granular and bare-metal- restores will be the closest you can come to being prepared for any disaster.

Oh… and one more thing – remember that the sole purpose of backup is to facilitate recovery.  Test recovery often.  We should all hope to never have to recover, but so long as there are users, there will be issues that necessitate recovery.  Did I mention that you should test your recovery process often?  If not, test your recovery process often.  Make sure that everyone in your IT organization is well practiced in the art of recovery.

Thanks for reading and I’d welcome feedback.

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