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Zetta 2016 Predictions: Virtualization Driving Disaster Recovery Changes

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Eddie Tsiao, Vice President of Engineering, Zetta

2016: Virtualization Driving Disaster Recovery Changes

In 2016, virtualization will be a little like the sleek race car you get a chance to drive. It's fast and powerful but, on the other hand, you may be a little overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles. In the enterprise community, virtualization is gaining even more ground, driving the need for organizations to examine their disaster recovery (DR) environment and determine whether it can support virtualization. As a result, the trend is moving toward direct-to-cloud backup and offsite recovery. Legacy solutions, such as appliances, cannot support full recovery of operations in the cloud. In addition, appliances do not have the resources to spin up all of the services to run a business in today's complex environments, and they are counter to the model of a truly virtualized environment.  For business continuity and retrieval after a disruptive event, the cloud and virtualization are the answer.

Next year will see enterprises grappling with the race car promise of virtualization while facing the need to get control of the wheel, so to speak, by putting into place DR planning and solutions that can handle modern backup and recovery needs. 

Some of the recovery related trends driven by virtualization are:

Compliance Pressures.  Enterprises are increasingly getting hit with new compliance requirements. For companies in most industries, compliance regulations require reliable and provable business continuity plans, including the implementation of offsite DR protection processes. As a result, DR is no longer an option, but a necessity so that the organization is well prepared to pass its next compliance audit. Moving into 2016, DR in the cloud will become a key initiative for most organizations looking to assure a compliant enterprise as it addresses the need for business continuity without heavy investments in additional physical resources or the need to build an offsite datacenter.

Moving from Physical to Virtual. As enterprises become more virtualized the "last mile" of virtualization can be hard to complete. Older applications and operating systems can be difficult to virtualize making the truly virtual datacenter nearly impossible to achieve. During 2016, this challenge will become easier as operating systems and applications are upgraded to become more virtualization-ready. As a result, enterprises may finally be able to migrate those legacy applications to their virtual infrastructure.

Offsite Recovery No Longer a Luxury.   Virtualization is prompting a more comprehensive look at whether the enterprise has a sufficient DR plan in place.  How do you handle DR when physical servers go down?  It's scary how many organizations have not yet considered offsite redundancy, to ensure critical data has been backed up to the cloud, and can be recovered in the cloud, when a disruptive event occurs.  In 2016, more organizations will be looking to a secondary continuity plan utilizing offsite recovery to ensure business continuity.  While some resist the idea of paying for a remote data center, the opportunity cost of taking weeks to get back up to full operation makes offsite redundancy a smart decision.

DRaaS Gaining Traction.  Disaster Recovery as a Service, or DRaaS, is the natural evolution as enterprises want their backup and recovery solutions to provide more functionality.  Historically, a remote site provided limited options, such as on-demand spin up services.  The most advanced solutions now can do more than spin up servers and run applications in the cloud.  These providers will put all the pieces together, as an infrastructure-as-a-service model.   They will create a usable environment so your business can have true continuity.

DR Expanding Scope.  In line with the need to take a more holistic approach to recovery and continuity, is the market trend toward more critical services now being integrated with auxiliary services. Gone are the days of requiring DR only for your most critical applications. Today, applications - both critical and operational - are interdependent, creating the need to assure they are all recoverable in the event of a disaster. For example, CRM applications are deeply integrated with email and other business systems, thus a DR strategy to protect the CRM application also requires that the supporting systems are equally protected. As such, moving into 2016 and beyond all business systems need to be part of the business continuity strategy to assure desirable recovery times or even continuous availability.

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About the Author

Eddie Tsiao, vice president of engineering, Zetta, brings more than 15 years of engineering leadership experience to the team. Prior to joining Zetta.net, Eddie was director of engineering at Barracuda Networks where he led an engineering team responsible for Barracuda's cloud-based email security product and for delivering content to all Barracuda appliances worldwide. Prior to that, Eddie held positions at Cisco, eBay and was a founder at a start-up responsible for building and leading engineering, IT/operations, and support organizations. 

 

Published Friday, December 11, 2015 11:32 AM by David Marshall
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