The Virtualization Practice

Virtualization Backup

Virtualization Backup focuses upon data backup, recovery and protection in virtualized and cloud environments. Data protection is no longer the realm of just backup but is about recovery while maintaining business continuity. The recovery of data is important. ...
Backup, Data Protection, Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, and Continuous Data Protection are all covered as they pertain to virtualized and cloud environments; the passing of data between environment; and the increasing scale of data to be protected in shorter periods of time. Virtualization Backup looks at how applications and data interact to allow for speedier recovers with less data loss while making use of onsite and cloud based technologies.

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The next generation of data protection is not just about backup or replication into and out of the cloud, but about inexpensive recovery directly into a cloud in a hypervisor agnostic manner. Recovery is the key to backup and while we spend many hours ensuring that our backups happen in a timely manner, we spend very little time testing those backups and ensuring that recovery can happen at any time for any workload, not just those that are mission critical. Next generation data protection must also be extremely simple to use, setup, and configure. Is your data protection tool a next generation tool or lost in the past somewhere?

Data Protection for the Hybrid Cloud

In many cases, when we mention Data Protection for the Hybrid Cloud, we are usually talking about backing up to the cloud. The cloud becomes a repository of our backup images and in some cases those backup images can be launched within clouds that use the same technology. Being able to send data to the cloud is becoming table stakes for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) data protection. However, once we move outside the realm of IaaS to Platform or Software as a Service (PaaS or SaaS), data protection is hit or miss.

VirtualizationBackup

In a recent set of announcements the make virtualization backup and data protection companies have announced support for tape. Tape has always been supported indirectly by virtualization backup companies such as Veeam, Quantum, and PhD Virtual as well as directly by Symantec, HP, CommVault, etc. It is interesting to note that there is a convergence on tape support using two distinct methods. The first is to add support for tape libraries directly into their products: Veeam. The second is to add tape support by better integration with their existing product suite: Quantum. Even so, we know that tape still reigns for storing of large amounts of data. We just cannot seem to be rid of it nor do I think we ever will.

DesktopVirtualization

Data Protection and patch management of virtual desktops, while not a sexy topic, is one that should happen on a regular basis within any organization implementing or working to implement virtual desktops. Recently, we have been testing virtual desktop software and there is a huge difference between patching and protecting data in a small number of instances and 1000s of instances. There are scale considerations as well as ease of use for file level and system recovery as well as issues with patching virtual desktops (not to mention other security issues).

VirtualizationSecurity

There is a dilemma for all tenants of a public or private cloud: Scope. For the tenant, they want everything to be in scope. For the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) they want to limit scope to the bare minimum. What does it mean for a Cloud to be ‘PCI Compliant’ and why is this a requirement for some tenants. The real issue, is what is in scope for PCI-DSS while your data is in the cloud and how can you as the tenant meet those requirements.

VirtualizationBackup

One aspect of SDDC that does not get a lot of attention is Data Protection, instead we are concentrating on SDN and automation. Yet, this leads me to Data Protection. There is a clear marriage between Data Protection and SDDC that needs to be added to any architecture. As with all things, we start with the architecture. Our SDDC architecture should also include data protection, but what data are we really protecting? Within SDDC there are three forms of data: tenant, configuration, and automation. Without one or the other, we may not be able to reload our SDDC during a disaster. What is required to get these three types of data, what really are these types of data? and how can we add data protection into SDDC cleanly?