Virtualization Technology News and Information
Virtualization Mass Adoption is Stifled by Data Protection Fears

Veeam Software, innovative provider of VMware data protection, disaster recovery and VMware management solutions for virtual datacenter environments, today released the full findings from its first annual report on the impact of virtualization on data protection strategies – Veeam’s “VMware Data Protection Report 2010.” According to the independent survey of 500 chief information officers (CIOs), fears around data protection are stifling mass adoption of virtualization.

Included in the findings:

  • 44 percent of CIOs say they are avoiding using virtualization for certain mission-critical workloads due to concerns about backup and recovery.
  • Currently organizations only back up two-thirds (68 percent) of their virtual estates.
  • 61 percent of enterprises using physical-based tools for backup and recovery will now change their approach specifically because of virtualization.

“Despite the prolific adoption of virtualization, when it comes to mission-critical workloads, it’s clear that organizations have concerns around data protection,” said Ratmir Timashev, Veeam President and CEO. “This isn’t surprising. Sixty-three percent of respondents admitted that they use a single product to back up both their physical and virtual servers. With this approach, they are still treating virtual machines as physical servers, and thereby limiting their ability to use virtualization to its full potential. Consequently, enterprises do not have the optimum level of protection needed for virtualized mission-critical workloads.

“Education and a change to virtual-world management strategies will address this,” Timashev continued. “When organizations use dedicated tools for virtual environments, they will find that not only are backup and recovery faster and simpler, but that there are a host of other data protection benefits.”

Survey respondents are recognizing this problem. When asked to identify the shortcomings of using traditional, physical-based backup tools in a virtual environment, more than half (51 percent) stated it was too expensive. Beyond this, 40 percent cited slow recovery, while 40 percent also identified the need to install a software agent. In fact, with traditional backup tools, IT departments stated that performing a standard recovery process (such as a file-level restore) is made more complex. Most (66 percent) either recover the entire virtual machine first and restore the individual file, or keep two backups, one at a system level and another at a file level.

IT directors are also beginning to reevaluate their approach to data protection. Sixty-one percent of those using physical-based tools said that they are changing their approach specifically because of virtualization, while 59 percent are planning to deploy a virtualization-specific solution to deal with their virtual servers. The reasons given for taking this route are clear: faster recovery (63 percent), faster backup (56 percent) and lower cost (54 percent).

“The message is simple: without the correct strategy, organizations will never unlock virtualization’s full potential,” said Timashev. “What is needed is a change of perspective. Businesses must stop looking at a virtual environment as simply an extension of physical infrastructure. Instead, they must realize that virtualization can bring a host of extra benefits to data protection, but only if they change their approach to management. If they can do this, then organizations will be able to reap the benefits of virtualization. If not, then businesses must resign themselves to the fact that they will never be able to fully trust or exploit their virtual infrastructure.”

Challenges such as these are highlighted in Veeam’s first annual survey report, which examines changes in enterprise data protection strategies as a result of virtualization. The full report is available for download at

Published Monday, November 01, 2010 5:47 PM by David Marshall
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