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Virtualization Needs a New Backup Strategy

When enterprises decide to migrate from the physical world to the virtual world, they find out that disaster recovery and data backup strategies change with the new virtualized world.  Internetnews.com reports that Deepak Mohan, senior vice president of Symantec's data protection group, said the following during a press briefing a the company's offices. 

There are two major reasons why virtualization requires a new approach to data backup and disaster recovery, Mohan said. One is virtual sprawl, which is the unchecked proliferation of virtual machines (VMs) (define). "Virtual machines are easy to deploy and propagate like rabbits, and that causes complexity of management from the data perspective," Mohan explained.

The other reason is the difficulty of protecting and recovering applications in virtual environments. Distributing applications across VMs or across both VMs and physical servers further strains the backup and recovery systems. Finally, VMs can be easily moved from one physical server to another, using applications like VMware's VMotion, which makes them more difficult to track and back up.

Mohan recommended that CIOs consider restructuring their data backup and disaster recovery strategies as soon as they begin to virtualize. In the traditional backup approach, where perhaps 20 virtual machines are running on one physical server, IT would have to back up each of those VMs and take one snapshot of the entire environment so it could recover one file or a number of files with a data protection product, Mohan said.

Symantec's NetBackup enterprise-class flagship product offers a new approach -- it lets users take only the one snapshot of the environment (instead of many) and conduct granular recovery of files from that single snapshot image.

This sort of granular recovery capability is getting more important as virtualization moves from development and testing labs to production environments where transaction-intensive applications are being used.

Read the rest of this article on Internetnews.com.

Published Monday, July 28, 2008 6:09 AM by David Marshall
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