Virtualized Disaster Recovery: Obvious Benefits, Hidden Obstacles
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Virtualized Disaster Recovery: Obvious Benefits, Hidden Obstacles

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Virtualized Disaster Recovery: Obvious Benefits, Hidden Obstacles Virtualized Disaster Recovery: Obvious Benefits, Hidden Obstacles Document Transcript

  • issue number 1 // april 2008 Virtualized Disaster Recovery: Obvious Benefits, Hidden Obstacles Virtualization alone—no matter how advanced— will not be enough to save you in a disaster if you haven’t planned for a virtual recovery. “are you ready to expand your virtual machines?” As an IT Director of a medium-sized (or any-sized) company with virtual servers, you’ve experienced the benefits of virtualization. Virtual machines (VM) have cut your infrastructure costs and increased your flexibility to respond to changing business demands. Senior executives and internal departments have seen the advantages inherent in virtualization and want to increase the number of virtual servers. You want to expand the number of virtual servers to meet the growing need, but you also worry about “server sprawl” given your budget and ROI requirements. When you overlay the need to protect these additional virtual servers and their applications in the event of an unplanned outage, you worry even more about the complexity of it all and your ever-tightening budget.
  • “or, are you ready for your first virtual machines?” servers on the same brand or kind of physical x86 hardware. As an IT Director of a small or mid-sized business with A virtual server tuned for virtual recovery doesn’t know the limited IT resources, you’ve been evaluating virtualization difference. but want to make sure you plan and execute a cost effective solution. As you bring the significant benefits of VMs into the power of Green it your data center for the first time, you also need to think Fewer servers operating at higher utilization rates can about what a disruption means to your disaster recovery reduce the energy needed to run and cool data centers. plans and RTOs in a virtualized production and back-up Energy savings are attractive to customers and vendors environment. alike when paying out the initial investment in virtualization. Whether you are expanding your virtual capacity Better yet, your customers (and ours) are increasingly or are about to embrace virtualization, will you be seeking green suppliers as concern increases over their own and vendors’ carbon footprints. ready for vm disaster recovery? If you get that dreaded “call in the middle of the night”— the one that tells you the cooling has failed and the server virtualization heightens both opportunities is fried, or that the data center is soggy from a flood, or and risks. the power is down and out for the count — will you have Virtualization’s single biggest benefit, more servers a disaster recovery plan and processes that back-up and with less hardware, is the much needed solution to the restore your virtual server environment? geometric increase in applications and data, the rising expectations of IT, and the ever-tightening budget and So, before you exploit virtualization even more or introduce productivity demands. IT Directors can now increase it into your data center, now is the time to prepare the utilization, respond flexibly to internal and external plan, processes, personnel, and configurations necessary priorities and reduce infrastructure costs. Virtualization for virtualized DR. has given IT directors and staff more control, agility, and sunGard availability services helps you capacity to transform IT from its support role to a strategic maximize the benefits and navigate the obstacles driver of core competencies, competitive advantage and in a virtualized disaster recovery plan and business results. Yet, it is not without multiple layers of risk. implementation. it directors and staff who are new to virtualization may think virtual back-up and recovery are easier. Obvious Benefits: How it’s more difficult. here’s why. virtualization improves DR portability Hidden Obstacles: Today, virtualized disaster recovery represents an Look before you leap. innovative, yet practical application of virtualization’s greatest feature—portability. Virtualized DR facilitates a common mistake failover from one partition to another partition in the same It’s impossible to ensure the true availability of VM within server or to another server located in the same data center. the same server or to another server within the same data This same portability facilitates faster recovery times when center when a disaster compromises an entire data center. third-parties, like SunGard, provide off-site back-up and These single location environments are vulnerable to the restoration in virtualized environments. same devastating threats as non-virtualized environments. Remote back-up is the only solution. What’s more, the Faster recovery times re-staging of images increases the need for remote-back SunGard takes snapshots (images) of your infrastructure and up. Recovery time and recovery point objectives go out the replicates them in virtual servers off-site. So when there is window if images are undocumented and must be rebuilt an outage, you don’t need to rebuild the server, application from scratch. and operating system separately. SunGard reboots the virtual server image with all of its patches and updates included. This same process makes disaster recovery testing look to sunGard simpler and less disruptive. SunGard is a pioneering provider of off-site disaster recovery. With four million square feet of secure facilities, Flexibility SunGard offers a complete range of information availability Your servers can be restored to SunGard’s pool of hardware, solutions that include managed hosting, consulting and which eliminates the need to restore Microsoft® Windows® business continuity services.
  • “Virtualization is a disruptive technology with great transformational potential, but it is in danger of becoming all disruption and little benefit to companies’ infrastructure and businesses without the people, processes, and technologies working in harmony.” don norbeck, sunGard availability services director, product development vms: higher criticality than non-virtual servers As virtual machines replace multiple physical servers, VMs become increasingly critical in their support of operating systems, applications, processes and data that drive your business. Despite the overall “green’ advantage of reducing the number of servers, a single server hosting multiple VMs requires more power and therefore more cooling. Something as simple as a pulled plug could cause a major failure. look to sunGard SunGard’s virtualization-based infrastructure and services help simplify recovery, testing, quality assurance and production applications for enterprises striving for information availability at all times. SunGard’s disaster recovery and AdvancedRecoverySM capabilities provide businesses with options for risk mitigation; for data monitoring, managing, and protecting; and for rapid hardware provisioning. new dimensions of complexity Virtualization places greater emphasis on a comprehensive understanding of interdependencies—that is, how a change to a particular hardware element may impact another infrastructure element and the applications and operating system instances that element supports. With virtualization, the task of taking and maintaining inventory of servers, their application workload roles or identities (including systems and application software tied to each specific server model) becomes more difficult and critical, while the interdependencies multiply and become more complex. Most virtualization initiatives consider the basics— overlapping input/output or scheduling around peaks—but do not consider the importance of availability requirements in the overall design. Managing complexity within the tense situation of an unplanned outage can not depend on ad hoc actions. look to sunGard talk to us about your SunGard understands the criticality of virtual servers and the business workloads that run on them, which is why we developed a SunGard Virtualization virtualization needs and Assessment consulting solution. This offering maps availability infrastructure questions. and the business impact of individual workloads and helps companies like yours develop strategies to leverage advanced technologies such as virtualization and call automation to run, restore and recover IT environments. 1-800-468-7483 not all costs go down to schedule a Total cost of ownership does go down with the reduced need for servers and the more efficient use of existing servers. However, the increased complexity meeting. of the environment (including software installation, configuration, performance monitoring, testing, and trouble-shooting) may make labor savings minimal.
  • the virtualization skills gap virtualization and automation technologies—combined You have to make a frank assessment of your IT staff’s with its portfolio of IT and end-user recovery services, skills and abilities across a range of new challenges: high availability solutions and managed services—to help migrating physical servers to VMs, ensuring security companies reduce recovery times and help mitigate risks within VMs, and virtualized DR to name just a few. Finding, quickly and cost-effectively. hiring, and retaining virtualization-savvy IT people is SunGard Availability Services supports partitioned operating expensive with long-term cost implications. According to systems, both for unIX® and AS/400® systems, and for Dan Golding, vice president and senior analyst at Tier1 x86 systems. SunGard now also supports VMware® ESX Research, “There’s a virtualization skills gap—many Server 3.x and the distributed services that are part of companies do not have the expertise to manage complex VMware Infrastructure through its Operating System (OS) virtual implementations and ongoing support. Turning to a Management Service. SunGard provides full management of third-party provider with experience in partitioning can help customers’ systems running in a virtualized environment on get a head-start on virtualization, particularly over the next the VMware Infrastructure platform. Our service includes a 18-24 months.” VMware Virtualcenter management server to monitor and manage a customer’s virtual machines, as well as complete look to sunGard monitoring, management and reporting of the physical SunGard can be the “extra pair of hands” when you need servers. SunGard’s Virtualization Strategy and Design them, from the planning and implementation to testing and solution can help you configure your optimal virtualization recovery. SunGard provides organizations a cost-effective solution. way to achieve recovery timeframes of four to twelve hours. And for times when business situations require companies to scale up their operations for short-term requirements, SunGard provides “capacity-on-demand.” talk to us about your virtualization needs and questions. vendor turbulence cycles of vendor consolidation, expansion, and re- call 1-800-468-7483 to consolidation have already begun and will continue. Adding schedule a meeting. to the complexity, software licensing models have not caught up with the on-rush of infrastructure virtualization. For more information about sunGard Are you waiting to see what Microsoft® will do in 2008? availability services, visit Will they disappoint both in market entry timing and www.availability.sungard.com. product robustness? no matter the market conditions, can your organization afford to delay receiving the significant about sunGard availability services benefits of virtualization any longer? SunGard Availability Services is the pioneer and leading provider of information availability look to sunGard services, helping to ensure that 10,000 customers Stick with an independent source who will guide you in north America and Europe have access to their to optimal solutions no matter the market conditions. business-critical information systems. With four SunGard can help you sort out your best options. million square feet of operational space, SunGard offers a complete range of information availability What do you need? services for more than 30 technology platforms, Whether you are increasing the number of VMs or from 48-hour disaster recovery hotsites to always- considering virtualization for your IT shop, engage the on, high-availability infrastructure, and electronic best possible resources and experience to help you plan vaulting services. SunGard also provides and implement your VM DR. Have you prepared your technology and systems management services for virtualized servers for a disaster? Have you assumed that application and data center outsourcing, as well virtual recovery mimics physical server recovery? We hope as business continuity consulting services and not. Whatever your VM status, whatever your questions, SunGard would like to listen and respond. planning software. Why look to sunGard? More and more, as companies need to recover more © 2008 SunGARD AVAILABILITY SERVIcES LP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. quickly from IT interruptions or disasters, agility has become a business and IT requirement. SunGard leverages ©2008 SunGARD AVAILABILITY SERVIcES LP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. WAS-01-03/08 SG-WAS-01-04/08