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The New Drivers of Virtualization

Created: 13 Sep 2011 • Updated: 12 Dec 2011 • 1 comment
Michael Parker's picture
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New Drivers of VirtualizationThe drivers of virtualization have changed.
That is what VMware’s Chief Development Officer and co-President, Richard McAniff, said in February, 2011. And in the months since, we’re finding out how true that statement was. According to McAniff, the new drivers are resiliency, high availability, backup, disaster recovery, and of course, security.

Why are they important?
These new drivers are important because businesses are moving from virtualizing test, print, web, and other non-critical servers and applications to business line applications and servers – for example – your CRM, HR system, accounts payable system, and transaction-based customer facing website.

Visibility is key.
While virtualization brings a flexibility and efficiency necessary to drive businesses, it also brings real challenges if the new drivers are not addressed. And key to each of these new drivers is visibility – being able to see exactly what is happening in your virtual environments to ensure they are secure, backed up, and available.

Better security should not negatively impact performance. Of course, randomized scans are critical. That helps ensure resource leveling. However, it is more important to eliminate and deduplicate scan workloads. Why scan files you don’t have to or that have already been scanned? Leveraging innovations like scan elimination and scan deduplication can reduce I/O performance by up to 90%. Combined, these approaches to securing virtual environments mean improved overall security without a drag on performance.

Visibility is also key for application availability. Many tools today are only focused on infrastructure outages, not application failures. And, manual workarounds are error-prone and don’t take full advantage of virtualization. That presents a barrier for businesses and IT looking to move business critical applications into virtual and private cloud environments. They are missing the visibility needed to keep applications running in virtual environments. Symantec has worked with VMware to overcome this issue with its solution for application availability. Any solution IT selects should let you see which applications are up and running in your virtual environments and which are not. Otherwise, your business is vulnerable.

Visibility is, additionally, key for backup and disaster recovery. Growth of virtual environments, particularly high density ones, means more information in a time when backup windows are already under pressure. So, you have to reduce the amount of information you backup. One of the best ways is to deduplicate data at the source – even in virtual environments. There is no need to drag that information across the network. Performance and agility is why many organizations are using virtualization. Don’t let your backups be the drag on your resources that reduces the overall benefit of virtualizing.  

And let’s not forget the ‘rogue’ virtual machines. Those need to be backed up too. That’s where visibility comes into play again. You need to auto-detect new virtual machines as they come online and protect them. Otherwise, you can be in a situation where critical data is not protected. Or worse, you have a compliance issue.

The new drivers of virtualization are clear: uptime, high availability, backup, disaster recovery, and security. And, the new drivers require better visibility into virtual environments. With that visibility brings the control and confidence to move into what VMware calls “the next third” of virtualization – your business line or business critical applications. But, you need complete visibility into your virtual environments, because you can’t protect what you can’t see.

Watch Video: V-Ray – Protecting Virtual Environments

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Rich Lam's picture

I think deduping and visibility make a lot of sense especially when it comes to business-critical apps.

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