koya979 - Fotolia
In the past, data backup and disaster recovery (DR) were primarily treated separately. Backup was about making a recoverable copy of data or entire servers, while DR was concerned with continuity of business -- the idea of moving workloads to new hardware and remote locations in the event of a major disaster.
There now seems to be a convergence between backups and disaster recovery, and a great deal of it can be attributed to server virtualization. Most organizations are heavily virtualized, and server virtualization provides a degree of flexibility that simply was not possible until somewhat recently. Not only does the hypervisor deliver new capabilities, but many backup vendors have design features that exploit the portability of virtual machines (VMs).
To give you a more concrete example, consider the instant recovery feature found in many of the newer backup applications. Restoring a server from backup used to take hours, and in some cases days, to complete. Instant recovery features leverage the hypervisor and disk-based backup to allow the backup copy of a VM to be brought online almost immediately.
An organization can use the backup VM copy just as it would use the production virtual machine. A traditional restoration is still eventually required, but it occurs in the background after the backup VM has been brought online.
This is a great example of how backups and DR are converging. The backup application is still making point-in-time copies of the VMs, but instant recovery capabilities have reduced the recovery time objective to levels that were previously only attainable using expensive, high-availability features such as virtual machine replication or failover clustering.
Best practices for performing backups and DR planning
Look at data backup through DR eyes
Backup and recovery tips to aid your DR efforts
Dig Deeper on Disaster recovery planning - management
Related Q&A from Brien Posey
When IT deploys virtual apps, it must plan for the applications' capacity needs. Two common planning methods are monitoring app performance and load ... Continue Reading
Unpredictable user behavior and boot storms can cause VDI resource usage fluctuations throughout the day. IT can take steps to identify and curtail ... Continue Reading
Expert Brien Posey breaks down why flash storage may not be the best choice for medical imaging archiving in terms of speed and cost, and how it may ... Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.