TotalCIO

Sep 30 2010   6:46PM GMT

Managing expectations for DR in a virtual server environment

4Laura Laura Smith Profile: 4Laura

We’ve been looking at evolving technology strategies around disaster recovery in a virtual server environment this week at SearchCIO.com, but some of the best advice I heard came down to managing people’s expectations.

“With DR, you need a Get Out of Jail Free card,” said Edward Haletky, CEO of The Virtualization Practice LLC, in Wrentham, Mass. Testing a disaster recovery system can be an opportunity to wave the IT flag and, rather than suffer the frustration of impatient users, spin the event to make them understand the miracle of recovery. IT needs to adopt and share the general hot-site mentality, he said. When you switch to a hot site, be sure to send an email to let users know that the system will be slower than normal but, remarkably, is running, he added, emphasizing the last word.

“Don’t expect your hot site to be as fast as your production environment, and reinforce it to your staff: ‘We’re running in a reduced-capacity environment — but we’re still running,'” he said.

Haletky, a virtualization evangelist since 2004, consults with enterprise companies and mentors other enterprise consultants. He is an architect — both physical and virtual (because “you can’t just be in the virtual world”) — who had an opportunity to test the beta version of VMware Workstation. He also helped to judge the products at VMworld 2010.

“I always dreamed of having a machine that, no matter what I had, would run everything. Now I can do that with virtualization,” said Haletky, who is also author of two books: VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing the Virtual Environment and VMware ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers.

One of the keys to disaster recovery in a virtual server environment is reducing the amount of time it takes to make a backup, and that depends on such strategies as deduplication, as well as on bandwidth. Next week on SearchCIO.com, learn how to deal with the top concerns for virtual disaster recovery: bandwidth, testing the system, and deciding whether virtual DR should be located in the cloud.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Laura Smith, Features Writer.

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