While participating in the GestaltIT Virtualization Field Day #2, I was asking Symantec about Application Aware Backups. In other words, could one backup an entire application, regardless of how the application was defined. This concept goes hand in hand with Application Aware Security measures. We can always backup VMs and their data to remote locations, but can we backup or maintain the application interactions within a multi-VM Application regardless of how it is defined.
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One of the questions I get from time to time is, can I store my data in the cloud? At the NEVMUG, this came up once more. There is currently a lot of uncertainty about cloud storage, specifically when it comes to critical and highly regulated data. Where should I store my data, dovetails nicely with discussions of going to the cloud as well as data protection is a key component of such a migration.
Data Protection techniques should be implemented and tested long before they are needed. This is a necessary component of any IT organization. However, the most recent VMware communities podcast brought to light several implementation aspects of Data Protection, specifically about Disaster Recovery: organizations still do not test their DR plans and organizations are waiting for a hardware refresh to implement a DR plan.
The first issue is about services that are too important to fail, and the other is about planning. However, what they both boil down to is dollars and the Fear that either loss of money, or that data protection is too expensive to implement properly without the latest hardware. In both cases, it is a political debate.
In the APM Digest, Andi Mann VP of Strategic Solutions for CA, predicted that “in 3-5 years Virtual System Management vendors will no longer survive, as virtualization becomes a core part of the enterprise compute fabric. Three years later this trend has definitely started, and will accelerate in 2012 as IT turns instead to hybrid IT management, recognizing that silos of standalone virtualization management is a costly and inefficient burden. Maybe 2012 is not the end of Virtualization Management, but it is going to be the start of the demise“.
Data Protection is still an issue with many small businesses and smaller enterprises who virtualize; Specifically around the Data Protection Process and eventually where to store the data. When I speak to people they are struggling with whether or not to place the data on tape, blu-ray, into the cloud, or other disks. Medium and Large Enterprises already have such policies in place, but like everything else, when they virtualized the policies may have fallen by the road side and now need to be recovered, dusted off, and put into practice. The choice of where the data will ultimately reside when disaster strikes is an ongoing discussion in the virtualization community. Ultimately, Data Protection is just that, protecting the data from loss, destruction, and allowing for quick recovery.
2011 saw an increase in virtualized and cloud data protection solution partnerships and advancements. One of the biggest advancements is the growing support for Microsoft Hyper-V from long-time VMware specific backup solutions. Included in the new partnerships are team ups between performance management and data protection solutions, as well as an increase in the methods for replication and other forms of data protection. 2011 was a very big year in the Data Protection arena of cloud and virtualization. This is the 2011 Year in Review for data protection.