Storage

Why data protection for VMs is vital to your business

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This is part two of a guest blog post series about the challenges of data protection in a VM-intensive computing environment. In my previous post, I discussed the importance of making data protection easier for a wide group of personnel responsible for working with virtual machines (VMs) and the associated data. In this post, I discuss the business impact of efficient data protection for VMs and VM-centric computing.

There is no question that virtual machines (VMs) have changed enterprise computing. Virtual machines give organizations the ability to quickly spin up applications and compute resources, to scale out and to add capacity to respond to changes in business conditions.

But the rapid growth of VMs also brings some data-protection challenges: the complexity of backups, data retrieval and data recovery. Often, these problems surface when organizations are confronted with mission-critical applications deployed in VMs. That’s when the task of preserving business data  –  the data that supports business processes  – becomes paramount.

Data protection is reaching more job roles

Business managers are paying attention to data protection more than ever as the sheer amount of data grows. It is clear that data is becoming more distributed throughout an organization, spanning all the way from the data center to the network’s edge – reaching sensors in factories and consumer electronics in homes.

That means that more job titles, or roles, are becoming involved in managing VMs and the data associated with those VMs – even though they are not directly tasked with ensuring data protection, backup and recovery. New job roles that should be paying more attention to data protection include VM admins and DevOps personnel.

Business executives are well aware of the financial costs associated with inefficiency. Managing data storage and data retrieval across large numbers of VMs usually demands a major commitment of IT time and money – whether companies are large, medium or small. However, automation and ease-of-use controls give administrators, developers and data managers the tools they need to protect and manage the rapidly growing data across their entire organization.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus for VM data protection

IBM recently developed a new software platform designed to bring many enterprise capabilities to scale-out, VM-intensive environments supporting demanding workloads and large datasets.

Now, IBM Spectrum Protect Plus addresses many data protection challenges, providing important support for mission-critical, demanding workloads. It is an all-software solution that automatically backs up all VMs and application data associated with workloads that are running on the hundreds, or thousands, of VMs that live inside an organization’s network.

IBM designed this new software – built from the ground up for virtualized environments – to work in mixed environments that include both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines. The presence of both of these hypervisors mirrors the mixed-vendor environments seen in many customers’ virtualized infrastructure. IBM developed this VM-centric software as a standalone solution, but it can also integrate with the IBM Spectrum Protect product, and it is complementary to it, for multi-tier storage solutions. These multi-tier solutions include cloud APIs and links to cloud data stores.

Data protection and reduced operational costs

What’s the business approach to data protection? As data gets more and more distributed, companies are relying more and more on VMs – and the data associated with those VMs. The biggest threat to companies is not whether they can build and deploy something quickly – but how they are going to protect the data on which their business depends. They have to secure it, manage it, and back it up.

The bottom line: Business leaders want their teams to spend less time managing data-protection processes for backup, restore, high availability and disaster recovery. They want to reduce operational costs by reducing the time and effort spent on data-related administration.

By leveraging advanced data management software tools, admins and data owners will become more efficient, achieving data-protection tasks more quickly.  Data protection that supports automation and is easy to use will improve data integrity and data availability – bringing efficient and effective data protection to a wider group of data managers.

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