The views from the two authors seem to focus on training and awareness activities as an ROI issue when getting IT staff up to speed on virtualization. That's a good point, but not the only one. Here are my tips for selling virtual disaster recovery:
- Virtualization provides a way to move critical information to a safe, presumably off-premise location with minimal added expense, using reclaimed hardware.
- Consider using managed business continuity(BC)/DR services instead of in-house arrangements, as many outside suppliers use virtualized infrastructures.
- Take baby steps with regard to BC/DR activities: Start by reusing reclaimed infrastructure from virtualization efforts and set up a small backup arrangement for non-mission-critical systems and data.
- With more experience, consider migrating to a balanced strategy combining in-house DR along with an external solution (e.g., managed BC/DR services) to create a cost-effective solution. As your in-house expertise grows, reduce your dependence on (and investments in) external suppliers
Your goal should be to create a staged, evolutionary strategy for BC/DR that supports DR needs, is flexible and adaptable to changing (or unplanned) needs, and can evolve into a single- or multi-element solution using virtualization technology as a key underpinning.
This was first published in January 2011