The bane of every IT professional’s existence is when vendors start calling everything related to data management “the cloud.” This hasn’t necessarily helped the public cloud cause any, but the truth is that when it comes to virtualization the public cloud is an excellent, complimentary resource for private virtualized environments. For example, the cloud can serve as an off-site backup and disaster recovery tool for both simple and robust virtualization environments. In this post we’ll attempt to unpack three ways the open or public cloud can help businesses achieve their virtualization objectives more quickly and effectively.
Three Ways the Cloud Complements Virtualization
1. Backup – From the very beginning, one of the most common uses of cloud-powered storage is as a third-party backup tool. Initially, cloud storage was used as a way to back up simple data sets from laptops, desktops and mobile devices. These days, cloud backup has gone to the enterprise. Now companies are using cloud storage to backup robust virtualization data online. Offsite storage and backup is an essential component of any sustainable virtualization system. However, the problem lies in seamless integration. It’s virtually non-existent. For instance, most virtualized environments can’t integrate directly with a virtualized environment upon configuration. It needs to be added afterwards through some sort of data integration appliance, which makes for an added element of unnecessary complexity.
2. Disaster Recovery – Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the cloud can serve as a powerful disaster recovery option. Many IT pros and analysts think – sometimes wrongly – that their internal virtualized disaster recovery measures are enough to save the day when disaster strikes. However, this defeats the purpose once a disaster strikes and leaves your organization’s local servers vulnerable, or worse, down completely for extended periods of time. In the cloud, businesses of all sizes need to provide adequate data restoration processes to their entire virtualized environment simultaneously. Ideally, this would allow for minimal to zero instances of downtime.
3. As a Bursting Option – As robust as your virtualized infrastructure is, sometimes I/O data loads are too much for the system to take. Cloud bursting allows your organization to off-load mission-critical applications to the cloud when data hits your data center and overloads server capacity. In very simple terms, cloud bursting allows you to be agile when it seems impossible to do so. Not unlike the challenges facing virtualized backups in the cloud, there are similar issues that plague cloud bursting. For instance, ensuring that virtualized data integrates properly with the cloud provider is an expensive and complex process almost to the point of impracticality, depending on infrastructural resources.
The reality is that the cloud is actually built on virtualization technology, so inherently, it makes perfect sense to integrate the open cloud with your private virtualization infrastructure. The difference really comes down to how you integrate data, and how you use the technology together. Whether you choose to implement the open cloud in your back up, disaster recovery or bursting processes, it’s important to have a game plan in place to approach the implementation of the proper cloud services and technology.
About the author: Dawn Altnam lives and works in the Midwest, and she enjoys following the business tech world. After furthering her education, she has spent some time researching her interests and blogging of her discoveries often. Follow her on Twitter! @DawnAltnam
License: Creative Commons image source