Included in the findings:
44 percent of IT directors say they are avoiding using virtualisation for mission-critical workloads due to concerns about backup and recovery.
Currently organisations only back up two-thirds (68 percent) of their virtual estates.
61 percent of enterprises using physical-based tools for backup and recovery will now change their approach specifically because of virtualisation.
“Despite the prolific adoption of virtualisation, when it comes to mission-critical workloads, it’s clear that organisations have concerns around data protection,” said Ratmir Timashev, Veeam Software President and CEO. “This isn’t surprising. Sixty three percent of respondents admitted that they use a single product to back up both their physical and virtual servers. With this approach, they are still treating virtual machines as physical servers, and thereby limiting their ability to use the technology to its full potential. Consequently, enterprises do not have the optimum level of protection needed for virtualised mission-critical workloads.
“Education and a change to virtual-world management strategies will address this,” Timashev continued. “When organisations use dedicated tools for virtual environments, they will find that not only is backup and recovery faster and simpler, but that there are a host of other data protection benefits.”
Survey respondents are recognising this problem. When asked to identify the shortcomings of using traditional, physical-based backup tools in a virtual environment, more than half (51 percent) stated it was too expensive. Beyond this, 40 percent cited slow recovery, while 40 percent also identified the need to install a further software agent. In fact, with traditional backup tools, IT departments stated that performing a standard recovery process (such as a file-level restore from a backed-up virtual machine) is made more complex. Most either recover the entire virtual machine first and restore the individual file (38 percent) or keep two backups, one at a system level and another at a file level (28 percent).
IT directors are also beginning to re-evaluate their approach toward data protection. Sixty one percent of those using physical-based tools said that they are changing their approach specifically because of virtualisation, while 59 percent are planning to deploy a virtualisation-specific solution to deal with their virtual servers. The reasons given for taking this route are clear: faster recovery (63 percent), faster backup (56 percent) and lower cost (54 percent).
“The message is simple: without the correct strategy, organisations will never unlock virtualisation’s full potential,” said Timashev. “What is needed is a change of perspective. Businesses must stop looking at a virtual environment as simply an extension of physical infrastructure. Instead, they must realise that virtualisation can bring a host of extra benefits to data protection, but only if they change their approach to management. If they can do this, then organisations will be able to reap the benefits of virtualisation. If not, then businesses must resign themselves to the fact that they will never be able to fully trust or exploit their virtual infrastructure.”
Challenges such as these are highlighted in Veeam’s first annual survey report, which examines changes in enterprise data protection strategies as a result of virtualisation. The full report is available for download at www.veeam.com/survey.