- Understanding the Paradigm Shift in Backup Approaches for Virtual Environments
It goes without saying that virtualization has become the new standard and foundation for delivering IT applications. So, if your organization hasn’t gone through this type of paradigm shift yet, consider this fair warning. Organizations of all sizes from SMBs to large enterprises are looking to cut IT-related OPEX costs while at the same time boosting efficiencies to allow more resources to be spent on new opportunities, and virtualization over the last several years has clearly proven to do just that.
Let’s take a breather for a sec (sometimes hard to do, I know) and think about all virtualization has enabled us to do.
From the compute perspective, we can run more applications per processor die and memory stick than were able to a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, etc. With enhanced high-speed networking infrastructures interconnecting the compute engines, we have much greater flexibility than we ever had, enabling us to actually migrate an entire data center’s worth of applications to another physical location. (And boy do I wish some of these high-speed networks would find their way to my house to help with my iTunes downloads.) And last, but certainly not least, storage, ah yes, the spinning platters of magnetic medium in our data centers where little tiny valuable bits and bytes are packed like people in a subway car at rush hour. Advancements in disk economics certainly have enabled the virtualization journey.
While the data center is changing – even transforming – the overall end-user functions and expectations of the IT organization haven’t really changed all that much … at least not yet. But as we virtualize more of our mission-critical business applications, expectations around reliability and recoverability will inevitably increase, and data protection practices and processes that once “worked” will be tested in ways we never before imagined, necessitating a paradigm shift in the way we think about and architect backup. As IDC says, “Data protection paradigms and architectures (especially backup and recovery) must change in order to adapt to virtualized environments.”
Now, this doesn’t mean that traditional backup and recovery methods can’t be used; after all, a virtual machine (VM) is still a server running an OS with a file-system and can be protected in the same way we protect our physical servers. However, it does mean there are changes that can be made to enable a smoother journey.
Something to consider.