Alarm sounded on lack of virtualization disaster recovery plans

CommVault ANZ user survey reveals 25 per cent of respondents have no DR plan

Only 22 per cent of CommVault's ANZ customers are backing up their virtual server environments while another 25 per cent do not have a disaster recovery (DR) plan, according to the results of a global survey conducted by the vendor.

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CommVault Asia Pacific and Japan product director, Paul McClure, said that the lack of DR plans is a product of IT departments' focus on data protection rather than data recovery.

"This could also be due to a lack of resources where other immediate fires need to be put out as a higher priority than making sure the disaster recovery plan has been revisited," he said.

"IT managers must focus on recovery time and recovery point objectives that match the evolving business environment but are also consistently aligned with their changing technical environments."

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McClure said that many organisations only use virtualization for development and disaster recovery.

"As this data is a third hand copy of the original, it potentially doesn't need to be backed up. Also, in cases where an organisation's primary data holdings are on network-attached storage [NAS] infrastructure it is most likely they will protect the data at that layer."

He said that often virtual machines are deployed from templates and that in this case one 'golden image' template backup is usually enough; however, if an organisation is not using virtualization in this manner then backups of VMs were advisable.

He said the lack of DR processes for data protection was partly a product of IT department's limited resources, as well as the focus on IT "keeping the lights on."

"Unfortunately this lack of effective disaster recovery processes is a symptom of that, despite the efforts of providers to highlight during implementation projects [how critical these processes are], and the business risks associated with possible disaster recovery failure," he said.

However, CommVault has noticed increased focus on DR following disasters such as the Brisbane floods and the earthquakes in Christchurch, NZ.

"We are now seeing many organisations looking a lot closer at Cloud- or pay-as-you-go-based disaster recovery facilities, both from an inter-state and inter-country location perspective," he said.

In addition, 92 per cent of customers in the ANZ region are re-evaluating data protection strategies because of data growth.

"When combined with the business demanding shorter operational and backup windows, together with the expectations that this is delivered with the same amount of resources, both in terms of people and infrastructure, this has meant that organisations need to re-address data protection strategies. The other problem is that traditional technologies and legacy processes cannot keep pace."

He added that taking a holistic data management approach ensures that only business-critical data is being protected on a daily basis, while stale data can be archived into more cost-effective storage tiers for longer term retention.

The ANZ region represented 15 per cent of the global respondents to the survey, with the majority holding the title of applications/system administrator (40 per cent) or storage administrator (31 per cent), while 6 per cent of respondents were C-level executives. Another 10 per cent were IT directors.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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