Jul
10

Are You Freaking Out About Virtual Application Downtime?

Are You Freaking Out About Virtual Application Downtime?

July 10
By

I know, I know – you’re probably sick of my recent obsession with virtualization . But Casey Morgangave me this Aberdeen Group report titled Preventing Virtual Application Downtime, which was written by senior research analyst (and former eWeek colleague) Jim Rapoza, and I thought it was too important not to share.

First off, did you know 59% of business applications are now virtualized, as of June 2013? That’s a 10% jump from the last time Aberdeen checked in March 2011.

And that’s not as shocking as Aberdeen’s prediction. Rapoza writes:

In [a] previous Aberdeen report, we noted the 2011 milestone that virtualized applications had reached the 50% mark. At this point, that milestone has been shattered, and we can easily see a world where at least 80%, and in many cases 100% [emphasis mine], of all applications are virtualized.

This forecast makes sense. We already know virtualization offers even small businesses major benefits, including:

  • Better utilization of hardware resources
  • Increased flexibility
  • Cost savings

But I haven’t yet touched on another benefit that may be the most important one of all (and a StorageCraft specialty): Improved disaster recovery options!

Rapoza writes:

After all, it’s much easier to build redundancy into virtual machines and spin up a new virtual instance whenever it’s needed.

In today’s 24/7/365, you can’t afford downtime. In case you’re skeptical, here are the average monetary costs of one hour of downtime, according to this Aberdeen report:

  • Large company: $686,250
  • Medium-sized business: $215,637
  • Small business: $8,580

The short version of the report doesn’t specify how Aberdeen came up with these figures. I’m guessing it’s some combination of:

  • Lost sales
  • SLA penalties
  • IT resources being redirected from revenue-generating work to handle troubleshooting

It probably didn’t take into account such intangibles, such as:

  • Loss of potential customers, who click to a competitor’s site and never return to yours
  • Loss of reputation when these customers tell their friends (or tweet to the world) to avoid your business because you’re not seen as reliable

Are you freaked out yet?

Fortunately, the Aberdeen report offers several recommendations on how to prevent such an ignominious fate. Here are a couple that stick out:

1. Don’t skimp on hardware. Rapoza advocates spending money on high-end hardware because you want your virtual environment to have a strong physical underpinning. You are already saving money by getting better utilization of this hardware, so don’t make the mistake of buying cut-rate crap—or you’ll end up paying more on repairs and troubleshooting in the long run.

2. Invest in best-of-breed disaster recovery software and fault-tolerant systems—and pair them with good actions and processes. You want to make sure you have great software to protect your virtual investment, like StorageCraft’s ShadowProtect Virtual. But to make sure you’re well protected, you need a trusted solution that joins great software with smart processes that address the monitoring and management of your disaster recovery and business continuity strategy.

As Rapoza says:

If you don’t measure the performance of something, how can you ensure it has high availability and no downtime?

StorageCraft offers a complete solution Recover-Ability that tackles the specific points Rapoza raises. So if you want more information on how to prevent virtual application (or virtual anything) downtime, consider talking to StorageCraft or one of their partners. Rather than freak you out, they’ll give you plenty of ways to overcome this thorny problem!

Photo credit: Gabriel Jorby via Flickr.