The Virtualization Room

Jan 30 2008   2:27PM GMT

Technosium 2008: Virtualization takeaways for business continuity

Rick Vanover Rick Vanover Profile: Rick Vanover


I am blogging from the inaugural Technosium Global Conference and Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I’ll be signing on intermittently to provide you with everything I consider beneficial to the virtualization space.

First off is storage business continuity. I had an opportunity to attend a breakout hosted by Eric Herzog, the vice president of operations for Asempra Technologies. While business continuity is a topic we all are familiar with, attendees had the chance to look at the building blocks of a successful strategy for continuity, and how it applies to storage for virtualized systems. What I took away from this breakout was that there needs to be clearly defined goals that the business requirements define the following within an organization’s service level agreement (SLA):

  • Ability to measure availability and uptime
  • Data loss tolerance for your business needs (financial and operational)
  • Disaster recovery time frames made specific to your environment
  • Solutions that reduce costs with combination of technologies with reduced complexity
  • Ensuring that the SLA leverages the existing infrastructure (hardware, software, networks) as much as possible
  • Ensuring that there will be usable data on first recovery

Traditional approaches to data continuity to virtualization systems tend to respond with multiple technologies, various products, limited manageability and control, increased costs and expense, and a cumbersome process that limits successful execution of the SLA. While each storage business continuity strategy has positives and negatives, the right solution will depend on your virtualization availability requirements. Among the newer storage technologies are drive snapshots, data deduplication, and remote replication. Some solutions address actual virtual machines, where some address the shared storage systems that host virtual environments. Remote replication provides the fastest recovery time for a virtualized storage system, but also at the highest expense.

In summary, the business continuity strategy for virtualized systems needs to resolve primarily around the technology behind the storage systems in use. The other challenge to virtualization management is to define the goals of virtualization continuity via an SLA.

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