Heard, and overheard

Apr 13 2010   6:54AM GMT

Virtual machines = DR for the masses

Anilpatrick Anil Patrick Profile: Anilpatrick

After many years of tracking IT, I’m finally glad to see that Indian organizations are making noteworthy investments in disaster recovery (DR). While this trend has been noticeable over the past couple of years, there are some key differences on this front, if we go by TechTarget India’s recent Data Center Purchasing Intentions Survey results for 2010. The trend focuses on cost-effective disaster recovery using server virtualization, instead of the mammoth DR infrastructure that only corporate bigwigs can afford.

According to our survey, almost 40% of the surveyed Indian businesses are testing how virtual server environments can be leveraged for DR requirements. This is a significant trend, and we are right now in the process of assessing its significance. More on that later, but the advantages that server virtualization provides when applied to a DR requirement are as follows:

(1) First is obviously the cost benefit, since that’s one of the primary aspects that have hampered adoption of DR in India. Earlier, a CIO could not afford to axe his own career by trying to justify the huge costs of a DR setup. Today, the cost benefit offered by server virtualization in DR setups increase with rising RPO and RTO goals, which is quite tempting for most mid-sized Indian organizations.

(2) Effective hardware utilization, without the bank of unutilized servers that lie idle in an equivalent non-virtualized server setup.

(3) Easier manageability of your DR setup, even from a remote location.

(4) Dry runs to ensure DR availability become easier.

(5) Space savings, since you don’t need to mirror data center hardware in your DR setup.

(6) Live migration may still not be smooth in most virtual server environments, but it’s still an interesting option from a DR context.

I’m not sure about the software licensing aspects in virtual server setups when used for DR, so it’ll be great to hear from you on this aspect. Do write in with your valuable inputs on apatrick at techtarget dot com.

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