All workloads are not created equal, and neither are disaster recovery plans. To enhance the flexibility and security of their systems, many companies are taking advantage of virtualization – an increasingly popular trend in DR.
Virtualization takes your physical resources and makes a virtual version of them by utilizing software that simulates the existence of hardware. In particular, virtualizing physical servers makes a huge impact on your system backups.
Unlike tape data storage, which can take a relatively long time to backup and restore, virtualized environments are significantly quicker thanks to their “snapshot” feature. These snapshots capture the state of each virtual machine (VM) at that point in time. By only capturing the changes that take place between each snapshot, rather than re-copying your entire production each time, snapshots need less space for storage and less bandwidth to replicate and synchronize between different sites.
As a result, snapshots are incredibly storage- and time-effective, giving remarkably low recovery time objectives (RTOs). Since snapshots occur rapidly, and in real-time, production doesn’t need to stop while they are taken.
More Virtualization Benefits
From data security to storage efficiency and ease-of-use, the benefits of virtualization are numerous. Some of these include:
- Unobtrusive testing
- Prioritization of restoration
- Hardware-agnostic systems
- Nearly eliminated user disruption
- Easier migration, backup and recovery
With virtualized systems you can prioritize data stores by choosing to backup critical virtual machines (VMs) more frequently and thoroughly than others. Because business loads become hardware-agnostic, they also become easier to recover and work with.
Some companies avoid testing their DR plans because they fear it will interrupt their production environment. Virtualization solves this problem entirely. In a virtualized environment, testing won’t affect your work environment. Plus, restorations occur quicker and with less likelihood of errors. Virtualization significantly widens the toolset that companies can use to manage their systems.
False Sense of Security?
While virtualization has some great features, this doesn’t mean you can or should scrap your traditional DR plan. Virtualization focuses on resilience, rather than recovery; while it is a great complement to DR solutions, it isn’t the whole picture.
Virtualizing legacy systems also poses a unique challenge, since this is typically more difficult to accomplish than with other systems. This highlights one of many instances where the right DR provider can make all of the difference. Your DR provider should be able to virtualize your systems for you, simplifying and securing the entire process. That’s why virtualization is one of many services we offer in addition to our battled-tested disaster recovery (DR), cloud storage, and system management.