By Tom Giuliano, Senior Product Marketing Manager, EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division
There’s an interesting phenomenon going on in IT environments today. The same virtualization initiatives that have saved us significant time, money and space across our data centers are now costing us confidence and sweat on the backup side of the house.
Ensuring your vital business data is protected and available requires backup processes that are fast, efficient and offer rapid recoverability; this requires a backup architecture and processes that are built for the “fluid” nature of virtual environments, not physical infrastructures. In virtualized environments, VMs are constantly being created, moved around and deleted, and traditional physical backup applications and policies just can’t keep up. There are plenty of articles that discuss updating backup and recovery processes to address the challenges virtualization creates for backup and recovery. As Alex pointed out in his previous post, the better option – one that industry analysts support – is to re-think traditional backup approaches. But what does this mean?
Data protection management solutions to the rescue…
Some say re-thinking backup amounts to adding deduplication and implementing backup and recovery tailored for virtual environments. While this may work okay in small, slow-growing, or single-product backup environments, it still means administrators need to change the way they think about data protection. But if your company has multiple, disparate backup products, it can be challenging at best to implement standardized backup processes across the virtualized environment. How can administrators monitor the changing virtualized environment to ensure backups are completing correctly and on time?
Effectively managing backup jobs across all data protection platforms – physical and virtual – requires comprehensive, centralized monitoring of data growth, backup success and failure, compliance, etc. , and data protection management solutions, such as EMC’s Data Protection Advisor (DPA), can be very helpful, providing resource usage, capacity planning and optimization statistics and assisting with troubleshooting. Additionally, EMC DPA provides visibility into the virtualized environment, automatically discovering VMs that may be undetected and therefore unprotected. DPA also has the ability to predict VM backup workloads, which might impact server or application performance.
The bottom line is that businesses need to know with near certainty that 1) their critical application data, virtualized or not, is protected, 2) they can prove the data is protected and 3) if there are issues, they can find them and fix them quickly. Data protection management software offers an effective method to ensure vital business data is backed up and meet compliance requirements, along with a variety of other benefits.