Virtualization is already ubiquitous, with 92 percent of businesses reporting that they used some form of server virtualization according to Spiceworks’ 2020 State of Virtualization Technology report. The same study also found that the most common virtualization use cases are for storage, application virtualization, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and software-defined infrastructure (SDI).
But there’s one critical piece of any IT infrastructure that’s missing from this list: backup and disaster recovery (BDR). With the risks that come with today’s shift to a remote workforce, and ever-looming natural disasters like fires and hurricanes, having a solid BDR solution in place is more important than ever. In this post we’ll look at the reasons you should seriously consider virtualizing BDR for your business.
Why Go Virtual?
Leaving BDR out of the equation for the moment, let’s look at these important reasons so many businesses are implementing some form of virtualized infrastructure and why you should too:
- Reduced capital and operating costs: Virtualization means less hardware, cooling, and power consumption.
- Faster, easier server provisioning and deployment: Clone existing virtual machines (VMs) in minutes instead of wasting time installing multiple physical servers.
- Increased productivity: Maintaining fewer physical servers means less maintenance and reduced risk of downtime.
Virtualization and Recovery
Restoring a large system can take a lot of time. Virtualization eliminates that problem. Here are some of the benefits that come with a virtualized recovery platform:
With virtualization solutions like StorageCraft® patented VirtualBoot™ users can boot a backup of a system volume into a virtual machine (VM) within milliseconds—even if a VM is TB-sized—for temporary failover or permanent recovery. VirtualBoot is built on a VMware-certified VAIO filter and performs advanced intelligent I/O read-ahead to deliver the data before it’s needed.
Simple Recovery Tests
VirtualBoot also makes it easy to test backups by letting you boot a backup image into a virtual machine to make sure a restored system will function properly. That provides you with a fast, easy, and reliable approach for regularly verifying that your backups are on track.
These benefits also come into play if you’re testing software, with VirtualBoot providing you with a virtual sandbox to test new applications. Just launch a VM of the production system’s latest backup file and install the new application on the VM. That makes it possible for you to evaluate the software’s performance within your actual IT environment without putting your production system at risk.
Backups and Virtualization
Because virtualization decouples data, applications, and operating systems from physical servers, replicating backups is simple. Backup best practices, as described in our post on the 3-2-2 Backup Rule, call for multiple replicated backups—local, offsite, and in the cloud.
Virtualization makes adding virtual servers to store replicated backups fast and easy. That helps you meet your recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPO) because you can replicate as frequently as needed, especially for critical systems. Data protection solutions like StorageCraft®ShadowXafe® offer simple, dependable physical and virtual system backup and disaster recovery, too, so setting backup schedules is a snap.
If benefits like reduced costs, simplified IT management, and productivity isn’t enough to convince you to embrace virtualization, the BDR benefits should tip the scale. Take a closer look at how virtualization can help you optimize your organization’s backup and recovery strategy— especially in today’s work from home era.