10 Oct 2012

Road to recovery

Why virtualisation and the Cloud have put Disaster Recovery in the fast lane. Australia’s susceptibility to storms, floods and fires makes us more conscious of disaster than most. But it’s not only these natural events that threaten business operations. From accidentally cut cables to hardware failures, unexpected interruption has no shortage of causes. With estimates suggesting that in any five year period, 20% of mid-sized organisations will suffer some form of major incident, Disaster Recovery (DR) solutions are receiving understandable attention. In fact it can be argued that a small renaissance is occurring. The coming-of-age of ‘DR to the Cloud’ means that disaster regimes can be more comprehensive while providing faster recovery. Indeed, popularity is such that Gartner is predicting that 30% of mid-size companies will adopt recovery to the Cloud in the next 24 months. In doing so, businesses are seeking a range of benefits – from operational continuity and reputation protection, to improvements in customer loyalty and even staff morale. For many, DR is now falling under the larger umbrella of business resilience, something which IBM defines as ‘the ability to rapidly adapt and respond to business disruptions and to maintain continuous business operations’. The role of virtualisation Putting the Cloud to one side, the technology that’s having the biggest effect on DR is virtualisation. “Australia and New Zealand are running some of the most virtualised infrastructures in the world,” observes Don Williams, Regional Sales Director APJ at Veeam. “To date, it’s a strategy that’s been pursued primarily to optimise costs. But it’s also one that’s put businesses in a strong position to embrace increasingly robust Disaster Recovery, backup and protection regimes,” says Williams. Virtualisation is providing flexibility and speed for how servers are deployed and managed. “You can do things with virtual backups that aren’t possible in the physical world,” Williams says. “If your Exchange server fails and your infrastructure is virtual you can have a backup copy online within minutes – something that might previously have taken hours or even days.” Williams has also seen 10 hour backup windows on physical infrastructure cut to just 3 hours with virtual tools. For mid-sized organisations in particular, virtualisation has made faster Disaster Recovery, Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) more affordable. This may be one reason why Vanson Bourne research reveals that 94% of CIOs say virtualisation is transforming data protection2. 52% of servers are already virtual, according to Forrester research. By 2014, that number will rise to 75%, making virtualisation the norm. This post is from the article “Road to Recovery” published in the first edition of The Buzz. To read more, click here: The Buzz Magazine.