Most of us are aware of the importance of backing up data, but there’s a lot more to disaster recovery than backup alone. It’s important to recognize the fact that disaster recovery and backup are not interchangeable. Rather, backup is a critical element of disaster recovery. However, when a system failure occurs, it’s not just your files that you need to recover – you’ll also need to restore a complete working environment.
Virtualization technology has come a long way in recent years to completely change the way organizations implement their disaster-recovery strategies. Consider, for a moment, how you would deal with a system failure in the old days: You’d have to get a new server or repair the existing one before manually reinstalling all your software, including the operating system and any applications you use for work. Unfortunately, disaster recovery didn’t stop there. Without virtualization, you’d then need to manually restore all settings and access credentials to what they were before.
In the old days, a more efficient disaster-recovery strategy would involve redundant servers that would contain a full system backup that would be ready to go as soon as you needed it. However, that also meant increased hardware and maintenance costs from having to double up on everything.
How Does Virtualization Simplify Disaster Recovery?
When it comes to backup and disaster recovery, virtualization changes everything by consolidating the entire server environment, along with all the workstations and other systems into a single virtual machine. A virtual machine is effectively a single file that contains everything, including your operating systems, programs, settings, and files. At the same time, you’ll be able to use your virtual machine the same way you use a local desktop.
Virtualization greatly simplifies disaster recovery, since it does not require rebuilding a physical server environment. Instead, you can move your virtual machines over to another system and access them as normal. Factor in cloud computing, and you have the complete flexibility of not having to depend on in-house hardware at all. Instead, all you’ll need is a device with internet access and a remote desktop application to get straight back to work as though nothing happened.
What Is the Best Way to Approach Server Virtualization?
Almost any kind of computer system can be virtualized, including workstations, data storage, networks, and even applications. A virtual machine image defines the hardware and software parameters of the system, which means you can move it between physical machines that are powerful enough to run it, including those accessed through the internet.
Matters can get more complicated when you have many servers and other systems to virtualize. For example, you might have different virtual machines for running your apps and databases, yet they all depend on one another to function properly. By using a tightly integrated set of systems, you’ll be able to simplify matters, though it’s usually better to keep your total number of virtual machines to a minimum to simplify recovery processes.
How Can the Cloud Help?
Although virtualization is carried out on a CPU level by a powerful server system, it’s cheaper and easier for smaller businesses to move their core operations to the cloud. That way, you don’t need to worry about maintaining your own hardware and additional redundant server systems for backup and disaster recovery purposes.
Instead, everything will be hosted in a state-of-the-art remote data center complete with redundant systems, uninterruptible power supplies, and the physical, technical and administrative security measures needed to keep your data safe. That way, your team will be able to access everything they need to do their jobs by connecting to a remote, virtualized desktop from almost any device with an internet connection.
With virtualization on your side, you can enable limitless accessibility and flexibility while also simplifying maintenance and disaster recovery. If you’re ready to disaster-proof your business, give WhiteOwl a call today.