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Server virtualization is changing the face of the modern data center. CIOs are looking for ways to virtualize more applications, faster across the IT spectrum. Selecting the right data protection solution that understands the new virtual environment is a critical success factor in the journey to cloud-based infrastructure. This guide looks at the key questions CIOs should be asking to ensure a successful virtual server data protection solution.

IT has reached an inflection point in the adoption of virtual server technologies. In fact, Gartner recently reported that 75% of x86 server workloads are virtualized, fueled by virtualization technologies becoming more lightweight, supporting more workloads and agile development. And, investment in virtualization isn’t slowing any time soon as organizations continue to expand their virtual server use cases. According to Enterprise Strategy Group 61% of IT organizations expect their 2015 spending in virtualization and private cloud infrastructure to increase.

No longer is the question: “Why virtualize?” Instead, the question has been flipped to: “What to virtualize next” – and rightly so. The benefits from virtualization now extend well beyond the benefits of cost savings through resource consolidation and reduction in operational overhead. Businesses now see that many applications can realize improvements in availability, reliability and even performance by running in a virtual context. As a result of this shift, many organizations are looking to rapidly scale out their virtual infrastructure to encompass most, if not their entire, data center.



Data protection and management of the virtual environment continues to be a challenge for most organizations. Industry research has consistently ranked “improve backup and recovery” and “managing data growth” among their top IT priorities for 2015.3 Why? Simply put, most existing tools for backup and data protection of virtual machines are limited either in terms of:

  • Scale – Most backup solutions do not adequately address the scale challenges of a deployment quickly growing into the hundreds of VMs and beyond.
  • Recovery Capabilities – The do not deliver adequate granular recover options to support business requirements.
  • Scope of Support – They are limited to support for only a single virtual platform, such as VMware, whereas many organizations are looking at more than one platform due to cost and benefit profiles of the applications they want to virtualize
  • Application Integration – It is not enough to integrate with the virtual platform. The successful data protection solution should provide deep application integration to enable rapid recovery and meet the most stringent SLAs.

In fact, many traditional storage and backup vendors are simply force fitting legacy solutions into the new virtual environment hoping it will work. In each case, as virtual environments grow in scale and complexity, users continue to struggle with tools that are not optimized for these problems. This adds cost, increases complexity and potentially increases overall risk to the business.

Normally these challenges might remain under the purview of storage and backup teams within the IT organization. However, organizations are seeing the need to re-evaluate and re-architect legacy data protection strategies as the virtual infrastructure grows in scope and scale. This can result in significant delays to the overall virtualization initiative as CIOs are forced to take a step back and realign data management strategies with the burgeoning virtual infrastructure.

Like never before. CIOs should be looking to storage and data management teams to ensure they are ahead of the challenges created by the tidal wave of consolidation and infrastructure convergence that is upon them in the form of server virtualization.