Virtual cloud hosting an effective disaster recovery measure

by Xtium Research


Natural disasters played a prominent role in 2012′s narrative - not just in their destruction of neighborhoods, but in the damage they caused businesses as well. As a result, the need for disaster recovery surged to the top of the priority list for many company and IT leaders.

“It’s not just the usual suspects, such as healthcare and financial services, that require BC [business continuity] and DR [disaster recovery] anymore,” Matt Kimball, product manager at AMD, recently told BizTech Magazine.

A recent ComputerWeekly and TechTarget survey revealed that business continuity and disaster recovery were voted the top backup and storage projects for IT departments in the U.K., cited by 44 percent of respondents. The study also found that many organizations plan to leverage virtual cloud hosting to accomplish these goals.

“Having dedicated equipment that matches everything in the production environment but sits unused 90 percent of the time is an expensive proposition,” George Ferguson, marketing manager of continuity services at HP, told BizTech Magazine. “The stars have aligned around virtualization, the cloud model and lower-priced disk storage.”

According to the ComputerWeekly/TechTarget survey, 41.5 percent of IT professionals plan to implement virtual server backup in 2013, while 36 percent cited storage virtualization as a top priority. Another 21 percent of respondents said they planned to adopt cloud storage and backup solutions.

Benefits of cloud computing, virtualization
As the BizTech Magazine report noted, cloud-based backup services tend to be extremely cost-efficient – Kimball told the source that the economics are “a no-brainer” – while server virtualization provides the best business continuity.

In a recent blog post for Data Center Knowledge, Bill Kleyman, cloud and virtualization architect at MTM Technologies, highlighted some of the benefits of using the cloud and virtualization for disaster recovery, including:

- Replication: Kleyman noted that with improved storage capacity and better control over the WAN, the cloud allows organizations to “replicate their environments” better. In addition, he said that cloud computing can also enhance disaster recovery capabilities because its cost-efficiency and flexibility allow companies to customize plans that fit their needs.

- Backup and recovery: At the same time, virtualization can also increase data backup and recovery capabilities. According to Kleyman, virtual machines are better at recovering data than physical devices.

- Customized plans: In all likelihood, virtual cloud hosting provides organizations with the most sophisticated disaster recovery measures available. In an Infrastructure-as-a-Service environment, administrators can design their own solutions – along with disaster plans – in a cost-effective manner, Kleyman said.

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