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Hot Spots: Step one for DR: Server virtualization

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Remote replication on virtual machines adds up to a disaster recovery plan that can really work.


When it comes to disaster recovery (DR), the 80/20 rule typically applies: 80% of a DR budget is allocated to 20% of the systems in the environment. While many of the applications run by organizations are business critical, often only the top tier of servers are protected by failsafe mechanisms such as clustering, synchronous replication and other continuous availability solutions. This leaves the majority of lower tier systems underinsured.

Interruptions such as a server or disk failure, software fault, data corruption, computer virus, natural disaster or manmade errors can occur at any time. These interruptions affect not only the bottom line but the IT organization, which has to allocate time and resources to get the system up and running as quickly as possible. Acquiring replacement hardware, rebuilding the system and recovering data is a time-consuming process, especially if recovery is dependent on tape-based backup.

Server virtualization technology can help. It offers considerable benefits for organizations that want to implement remote replication for DR purposes, including reducing recovery time objectives (RTOs) and the costs associated with remote site server infrastructure, and improving ease of implementation of remote DR. Research from Enterprise

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Strategy Group (ESG) finds that 26% of organizations are replicating virtual machine images to a remote DR site and another 39% plan to do so.

This was first published in April 2008

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