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).
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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?
The Virtualization Practice recently moved their systems to the Cloud, being cost conscious we chose one of the public clouds to use. The reality of such a move is much different than the hype. We expected stellar support, better performance, improved security, improved DR, and 5 9s uptime, and the hypervisor is a commodity. In essence, it should be better than we could do ourselves. That is the promise of the cloud; the hype of the cloud. What we have seen is something far different.
A typo report on twitter has lead me to a set of thoughts with respect to data. Where are your Datasores? What is a datasore? Unlike a Data Store which holds data, a datasore is a place where data becomes either painful to manage or protect. Or where the data exceeds your capability to handle it. A data sore should never happen, but with the explosion of data being moved, protected, managed, and mined we have exceeded certain limits of our existing set of tools. How do we find data sores and alleviate them? Does alleviating them require us to re-architect our entire data usage and storage mechanisms?
It is possible to get data protection for your virtual and cloud environments for free today, but there are are often limits. Trialware as it is called provides just enough of a taste for the data protection tool to convince you to buy the versions with more capabilities. However, for the SMB, the free versions may be good enough. The concept of ‘good enough’ is one that travels through the virtualization and cloud environment architectures with respect to security, data protection, and hypervisor feature sets as often as higher licensing levels are mentioned, why, because cost matters. But from a data protection perspective what do you get for free? Here is a short comparison of the free products and features.
The east coast is experiencing the tail end of a very large storm named ‘Sandy’. We all had plenty of time to prepare for the storm, but did we? Individually, we probably did, but what about our data? Those 24/7 critical processes to allow our customers to view and respond to the data our organizations provide? We were lucky—we had no issues during the storm, but now we await issues during storm clean up. So how do you prepare for such disasters? Do you move to the cloud?