Is Virtualisation / Agile IT Exposing Businesses to Data Loss?

Virtualisation is fast becoming the standard in IT infrastructures, giving IT managers decreased deployment time, and increased flexibility.  Regardless of where that virtual environment resides, the cloud or onsite, IT professionals now have the ability to spin up new servers in minutes.  With all the positives that Virtualisation brings (there are numerous), is this new ease of deployment leading to careless planning and deployment which is leaving business exposed to data loss?

For example, if a new SQL server was required for testing or development of a new business application, traditionally a new server would be required.  This process includes an application for the expense to management or the finance department, there was then the waiting time for delivery, deployment and configuration.  Standard practice would then be to add the new server to the backup routine during the deployment or configuration stage.

In a virtual environment,  that new SQL server can now be agreed, spec’d and deployed in a morning through the Hypervisor GUI or Cloud provider’s interface.  All to often backups are not included in that process, or everything is backed up including elements that shouldn’t.  This careless or blasé attitude to deployment and backups could be costing business money, in more ways than one. Let’s not forget that this scenario only deals with a test server. In virtual environments, business critical servers, such as exchanges or live database servers are often hosted, meaning that backing up that virtual server (or preferably the entire environment) becomes a necessity.

Consider the company is using a capacity based backup model, being billed on a per GB or per TB basis.  The new server has 2Tb of data residing on it, some needed some irrelevant.  The addition of the whole server would see a dramatic increase in the business’s backup costs.

Now consider that the server wasn’t added to the backup cycle and 4 months of development work for the new application all resides on said server.  However the day before deployment of this application, the underlying storage fails, and 4 months work is gone forever, or at the very least is difficult to recover, costing more time and ultimately money.  

With the importance of IT systems growing each day, it has never been as important to ensure that effective and efficient backup systems are in place that give your business the protection and recovery capabilities that are needed to minimise impact and cost to the company. Company networks and infrastructures are becoming increasingly diverse, as more products become available. Having a backup product in place that can manage all important aspects of a business’s IT infrastructure is a vital part of good business practice.

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