Virtualisation is top of agenda for disaster recovery

The Storage Expo closed its doors on October 15th after another successful event at Olympia in London. In the run up to what was the self-proclaimed definitive event for data storage and information management, a study of the most important growth areas of storage technology was commissioned by the event’s organisers. Over 400 high-level IT professionals were contacted and quizzed as to their predictions and preferences for the future of storage and backup solutions. An interesting picture is emerging based upon their responses.

Of the IT professionals questioned, 28% already worked for an organisation which had switched to a virtualised IT platform. A further 67% of those yet to make the leap were preparing for virtualisation over the coming year.

When asked why virtualisation was riding high on the list of priorities, the vast majority of those questioned cited the amelioration of the available disaster recovery choices afforded by a virtualised environment. Storage Area Networks (SANs) were also seen as integral to the development of virtualised infrastructures, with 30% already utilising SANs within their organisations.

One of the Storage Expo’s keynote speakers echoed many other industry experts in his analysis of the significance of virtualisation. John Abbot of The 451 Group spoke before the expo began, citing the benefits of the separation of workload and hardware that a virtualised environment facilitates.

Abbot continued by highlighting the cost benefits of virtualisation which go hand in hand with the flexibility of a virtualised platform. Without the need for hardware costs, upgrades or redundancy contingencies, virtualisation can have a positive financial impact.

Abbot did, however, point out that for businesses new to the concept of virtualisation, the preparation and planning for the switchover could be seen as an insurmountable obstacle. That said, with such a large proportion of the professionals questioned in the report before the expo ready to make the switch, it seems that the positive aspects of virtualisation far outweigh the associated learning curve. It is the potential for automated backup, disaster recovery and business continuity which many believe will signal the explosive growth in virtualisation.

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