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Harnessing your data with a virtual infrastructure

Mark Bentkower, Director of Enterprise Solutions Asia Pacific, CommVault Systems | Oct. 23, 2014
Organizations are looking to virtualization and towards leveraging cloud services for both compute and storage, as a way to mitigate costs while maintaining availability and data integrity. Although virtualization can eliminate the complexity and cost of physical infrastructure deployment, storing data in virtual machines and within the cloud could jeopardize data security.

Need for visibility into the virtualized infrastructure

While most organizations do not deploy VM management tools in their virtual environments, backup and recovery tools are de rigueur to ensure business continuity. The addition of automated, customized policy-driven processes to the backup and recovery tools already in place on a singular platform makes it simple for organizations to eliminate VM sprawl.

Fortunately, there are now specific tools and management software available in the market that can optimize VM backup and recovery, while offering more complete cloud management. To help organizations achieve a more agile and cost-effective virtual computing infrastructure in a cloud environment, there are three basic rules to remember about VM management: 

1.       Pick the right tool for the right job

Not all VMs are created the same way, and therefore cannot be protected the same way. It is critical for organizations to choose the most cost-effective data protection method to meet the recovery requirement. There are many VM backup methods that can align with each use case - for instance, using agentless streaming backups, hardware snapshots, VM replication, global deduplication; WAN accelerated dedupe-aware replication, and more. Companies should look for solutions that can balance cost and management requirements with VM recovery and retention needs, preferably in a single, scalable approach that can apply each method where it makes the most sense.

2.       Reduce, reuse and reclaim VM resources 

Organizations can get more from their VM investment by controlling the proliferation of VMs, managing software licensing costs and reducing hardware spend. The appropriate governance policies can also control how the VM is built and the amount of resources it can consume. IT administrators can delegate the provisioning process downstream to resource users so they can dictate the lifecycle of a VM, while process automation ensures easy management. Inactive VMs containing valuable data can be backed up, archived or safely deleted, to be restored later, if needed. This frees up valuable CPU, memory, storage and networking resources to improve the overall utilization of the virtual computing infrastructure. 

3.       Build your private or hybrid cloud the way you want it

By automating cloud resource management, businesses can maximize agility and flexibility. They can streamline processes for provisioning, managing, protecting and retiring VMs. They can rapidly deploy VM workloads across multiple virtualization and cloud platforms. They can leverage their infrastructure investment for faster and easier disaster recovery, and for simplifying application development and testing to reclaim resources that could otherwise sit idle and wasted.

As enterprises deploy private and hybrid clouds to increase business agility, there are new solutions in the market that can effectively speed cloud adoption and data center modernization by delivering next-generation software innovations. Supporting mobile productivity and improved self-service access, the solution sets will enable virtual machine administrators and end users to build, protect and optimize cloud infrastructure.


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