More and more organizations are adopting virtualization in order to realize the benefits that the platform has to offer: reduced infrastructure, lower costs, greater automation and more. But the reality is that it will take time for entire infrastructures to become virtualized environments. Companies, whether for issues of vendor support or better performance, continue to use physical servers for many of their tier-1 applications.
With this in mind, it is critical that organizations plan not just for their virtualized infrastructure, but for their hybrid environments—until they are 100% virtualized. And in the meantime, for these virtual/physical infrastructures, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to disaster recovery.
There are tremendous advantages that virtualization brings when it comes to disaster recovery. Lower costs, greater automation… the same benefits we already mentioned. But if companies still have physical servers in the mix, they can face a conundrum.
Many virtualization solutions for disaster recovery do not have capabilities to protect physical servers in addition to the virtualized ones. This means you can’t truly ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster using only these solutions… especially if your physical servers are holding those critical tier-1 applications that run your business.
On the other hand, trying to protect those physical servers on their own leaves you looking at multiple business continuity solutions. Maintaining multiple solutions can greatly increase costs, thereby wiping out a major benefit of deploying virtualization in the first place.
So how to proceed?
- Do your research. Moving to virtualization can bring great benefits, but rather than just jumping on the virtualized bandwagon because it’s the hot trend, evaluate how it will fit into your business in a careful and considered manner.
- Investigate solutions. You don’t have to have different disaster recovery solutions for your two environments, despite what you may hear. There are solutions that exist to protect the hybrid environment.
- Look for ease of use. You’re moving to virtualization because it’s easier and saves time and money. Your disaster recovery solution should be easy and cost-effective too. Solutions that integrate well with multiple platforms will save you headaches and help ensure business continuity when you need it most.
Ask yourself if your physical servers still have critical business applications running on them. If the answer is yes, it could be critical to your business that you protect them.
“Clocks” image by Salvatore Vuono