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CommVault's 2009 Virtual Predictions: Companies will need to focus on backing up data as virtual environments grow

What do virtualization executives think about 2009?  A VMBlog.com Series Exclusive.

Contributed by Zahid Ilkal, Product Manager, CommVault

CommVault’s 2009 Virtual Predictions: Companies will need to focus on backing up data as virtual environments grow

In an era with sluggish spending and economic uncertainty, companies today are seeing a need to do more with either the same budget or a smaller budget. In fact, the numbers are grim for storage spending in 2009, as many storage managers are facing budget cuts up to 50 percent. What adds to the problem is not just the fact that IT spending will be slashed, but the notion that companies will need to add storage capacity - not subtract to mirror budgets - to house and save their data for longer periods of time, due to compliance and eDiscovery issues. With all of these factors in place for the next 12 months, companies are faced with many questions when it comes to storing their data and are turning more and more to virtual machines as a cost-effective way to house their information. And with many organizations seeing VMware as the gold standard for virtual environments, and continue to add VMs to their environment, they are looking for vendors who can work hand in glove with them to ensure that they have constant access to their data, no matter what.

What many companies need to consider in the upcoming year is that VMware is going to thrive and prosper. With budgets being cut, VMware provides a cost-effective way to have access to their data and applications. But what storage and IT administrators also need to concern themselves with is how do they backup, recover and replicate the data in their virtual environment. They understand that VMware is a means to consolidate server systems but are now also facing mounting concerns about the complexities of managing production data in virtualized environments.  And while overall IT spending may be down and storage spending growing at a slower pace than in previous years, data protection tools are going to be an important piece to the puzzle for any organization implementing a virtual strategy.

VMware is useful for reducing the equipment required to rebuild a production environment at a disaster recovery location. However, certain data management software solutions may have its own requirements for identical servers and storage which prevent you from taking full advantage of VMware's capabilities. In 2009, organizations need to look at the best tools for protecting their data within a virtual environment and will need to learn to best leverage VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) to protect virtual server image files to get crash-consistent recovery of the entire virtualized server, and backing up individual files for faster recovery of data.

For instance, when working with VCB, companies need to learn best practices to backup virtual server images and files on VMware ESX servers with exceptional integration. The integrated support leverages VCB proxy server to offload data protection in virtualized environments, while allowing for granular recovery, coupled with separate data management policies for each VM including scheduling backup, file level deduplication, encryption, and compression.

While some of this may not seem like rocket science, backing up data and making sure it’s readily available is going to be main a concern for organizations of all sizes. If the economy continues to move in the direction it currently is, organizations are going to be faced with additional regulatory requirements and will face increased scrutiny. As such, we predict that the data protection market will blossom in 2009 as virtual environments grow.   

About the Author 

Zahid Ilkal has over 11  years of experience in the technology industry, last 9 of which have been with CommVault. He has performed different roles including Software Engineer, Integration Manager and Program Manager. Currently, he is Product Manager in charge of the Replication and Virtualization products. He has a Master in Computer Science from University of Pune and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from New York University.

Published Thursday, December 18, 2008 7:29 PM by David Marshall
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