Q

Server virtualization enables cloud failover for disaster recovery

Can a company use cloud-based DR if they haven't virtualized the servers yet? In other words, is it possible to fail physical servers over to virtual servers in the cloud?

There are some cloud vendors that give you full bare metal access. With the right configuration, you might be able to fail over a physical server to a physical server in the cloud. However, with most cloud DR services that typically isn't the case.

Most cloud DR technologies are based on virtual server technology. So if you have not yet virtualized, you probably should address that before you're going to start thinking about cloud-based DR. One of the biggest benefits of virtualization is the ability to easily move a server around and turn it up somewhere else regardless of the physical hardware that is running on.

So I would really point to that as the number one step, you know, before you go down the cloud DR path.

OK, what if an environment has a mix of VMware and Hyper-V virtual servers? Do you need to use two separate cloud DR services?

If you are just backing up data elsewhere, than you can probably send those disc images regardless of the hypervisor. But if you actually want the ability to run those virtual servers in the cloud, that might be more of an issue with compatibility and what the cloud provider supports.

So, you have to carefully evaluate it. If you want to do a true DR failover to the cloud, then you need to know that your application is compatible to actually run in that specific cloud. There may be a fairly significant level of effort to port your application to something that's compatible with a given cloud provider.

This was last published in November 2014

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