Concerns over rapid adoption of virtualisation

Friday, 25 February, 2011

Acronis is warning small and medium businesses (SMBs) about the potential concerns associated with the rapid adoption of virtualisation, as the complexity of managing migration, backup and recovery between physical, virtual and cloud environments sets in.

The warning stems from results from the recently released Acronis Global Disaster Recovery Index 2011, showing that 73% of SMBs worldwide agree that virtualisation has either completely or partially changed the way the business manages its backup and disaster recovery.

While the introduction of virtualisation was fuelled by server consolidation and cost efficiency, this so-called next phase or second generation of virtualisation adoption poses challenges to traditional backup and recovery processes, as users struggle to implement known backup and disaster recovery practices in a new hybrid environment.

“The introduction of server and workstation virtualisation was not about backup, it was largely driven by cost and consolidation. As we progress into widespread virtualisation adoption, IT managers are learning that traditional physical server backup solutions are inadequate for virtual machine backup, while maintaining separate backup strategies for physical and virtual confuses the backup scenario even more,” explains Karl Sice, General Manager - Pacific at Acronis.

“Many traditional backups are agent based. Simultaneous initiation of agent-based backups can cause serious virtual machine disruptions, including total failure of the underlying physical host. The next phase of virtualisation has to include backup best practices leveraged for a hybrid environment, a central solution for all environments.”

Agent-based software has been adapted to provide some of the functionality required for backup and recovery in a virtualised environment. However, experts warn that these workarounds have proven to be hard to implement, ineffective and added costs to the virtualisation programs.

These issues, combined with the complexity of managing data across physical, virtual and cloud environments, are being noted as potential obstacles in the path to effective virtualisation and creating disaster recovery strategies.

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