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November 1, 2010

Virtualisation being held back by lack of trust?

Companies need a 'change of perspective' to realise full benefits, says survey

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A lack of trust is hindering virtualisation adoption, according to a new survey.

Nearly half (44%) of the 500 CIOs quizzed for Veeam’s VMware Data Protection Report 2010 said that they are avoiding using virtualisation for mission-critical workloads due to concerns about backup and recovery. The survey also revealed that organisations only back up two-thirds (68%) of their virtual estates.

Most worrying, according to Veeam CEO Ratmir Timashev, was the revelation that most organisations are simply using the wrong tools for backing up virtualised environments.

"Sixty three percent of respondents admitted that they use a single product to back up both their physical and virtual servers. With this approach, they are still treating virtual machines as physical servers, and thereby limiting their ability to use virtualisation to its full potential. Consequently, enterprises do not have the optimum level of protection needed for virtualised mission-critical workloads," Timashev said.

However most (61%) of those currently using physical-based tools for backup and recovery are in the process of changing their approach specifically because of virtualisation, the survey found. Over half (59%) said they are planning to use a virtualisation-specific platform for virtual servers.

"When organisations use dedicated tools for virtual environments, they will find that not only are backup and recovery faster and simpler, but that there are a host of other data protection benefits," Timashev said.

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Organisations are moving away from traditional physical-based backup tools in a virtual environment because it is considered too expensive (51%), slow (40%), and needs additional software (40%). To get around these issues 38% said they recover the entire virtual machine first and restore the individual file while 28% said they keep two backups, one at a system level and another at a file level.

"The message is simple: without the correct strategy, organisations will never unlock virtualisation’s full potential. What is needed is a change of perspective," Timashev said. "Businesses must stop looking at a virtual environment as simply an extension of physical infrastructure. Instead, they must realise that virtualisation can bring a host of extra benefits to data protection, but only if they change their approach to management."

"If they can do this, then organisations will be able to reap the benefits of virtualisation. If not, then businesses must resign themselves to the fact that they will never be able to fully trust or exploit their virtual infrastructure," Timashev added.

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