Using Virtual Environments for Disaster Recovery – Managing Configuration
Creating a virtual environment for your server system is part of every disaster recovery plan. Off the shelf virtualization technology such as VMWare, Hyper-V and Virtual Box, allow you to create a software representation of all the hardware and software associated with a server. Essentially you’re taking a physical server and translating all that hardware into software.
When we describe the virtualization part of the process, it sounds a bit like magic, but it is not. There is significant configuration to put in place in order to make it work.
Translating the hardware into software is necessary so that the entire “workload” – which is everything that server does whether it’s a email server or application server, or whatever that particular server’s function is – can be duplicated and moved to the cloud. This virtual machine must function just as its physical machine twin, so if something happens in the real world environment, there is an exact duplicate in a virtual environment.
This magical process becomes complex when the time comes to recover or fail over to the virtual machine you’ve created. Ensuring the correct hardware/driver configurations can pose a formidable challenge in the virtual environment.
This image represents all the virtual devices that have to be configured correctly before your VM environment will function properly:
- Disk interfaces
- Network interfaces
- Video drivers
- Communications ports
- Optical drive controllers
- Printer ports
- USB drivers
For the virtualization and failover to be successful, the virtual machine has to have the exact specifications of what the finished machine is supposed to look like before the conversion is performed, including memory, what kind and how many processors, network cards and interfaces how many and what, etc.
Configuring these environments is a sophisticated project that can be time consuming for even the senior IT professional. For most 5 – 8 server environments, a day should be allocated for this project alone — and that’s if the virtualization goes smoothly.
Global Data Vault Builds Clients Virtual Environments
An added benefit of Global Data Vault’s disaster recovery solution is that we take care of all this for you. Our competitors make this a client-run project but GDV is different. We build the virtual environment for our clients before even installing the databases, and we continually monitor all the components that make up your network servers for any changes.
Building the virtual environment is quite expeditious (typically only requires about an hour) and we monitor any hardware and software revisions on an ongoing daily basis. By updating your virtual environment in real time, we eliminate your downtime when a real disaster occurs.