Welcome to the Virtualization is the Future series. This is a three-part series where we will explore why virtualization is the future of IT environments. In Part 1, we will discuss how prevalent the adoption of virtualized devices is and the different set of challenges in regards to protection solutions.

A study by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), integrated, full-service IT analytics and business strategy firm, published a whitepaper titled How to Accelerate IT Resiliency Through Virtualization which dove in to the topic of virtualization as it related to protection solutions. Information and statistics from this white paper are used in this blog.

Among the top 5 IT spending priorities, improving data backup and recovery and increasing use of server virtualization consistently fell in the top 5 in an annual survey done by ESG since 2012.

There are two primary issues. The first is related to performance challenges associated with legacy approaches to virtualization protection. Legacy approaches do not typically include host-based VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) or Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) APIs that can cause major hindrances to host performance.

Traditional solutions used on physical servers typically behave as if their jobs are to replicate everything from the source to the target as fast as possible. This is based on an assumption that the physical server underutilizes resources during non-peak hours. This gives the protection solution much more resources to complete replication jobs quickly.

With virtual machines, that is not the case because resources are shared across the host by multiple virtual instances. This end result is that VMs do not have unused resources to spare. This causes the Legacy protection solutions result in degraded performance that affects the underlying host and ultimately the VMs themselves.

Secondly, optimizing and troubleshooting challenges exist with VMs because you can’t directly interact with the hardware, OS, storage or network park of the VM. The flexibility allotted to you by virtualization typically impairs visibility and reliability.

The top challenges IT professions face when it comes to optimizing and troubleshooting VM environments are:

  • Recoverability of data
  • Validating backup success
  • Validating recovery success

While virtualizing IT environments, for all its benefits, still has its fair share of technical hurdles to overcome. Do these issues sound familiar to you? If so, check out the next blog in the 3 part series exploring how virtualizing the IT infrastructure enables IT resiliency.

To read the official ESG whitepaper, click here: How to Accelerate IT Resiliency Through Virtualization

 

Yoav Naveh