In this whitepaper, IDC examines the solutions from EMC and explains how they speed the benefits of virtualizations while modernizing the backup and recovery process. Firms enjoy the benefits of this modernization on two fronts: they gain the cost, mobility, and recovery advantages of VI at the same time that they increase their backup and recovery ease and efficiency - all while reducing costs.
WHI T E P AP E R M o d e r n i z i n g Ba c k u ps t o Ac c e l e r a te th e J o ur ne y t o V i r t ua l i za t i o n Sponsored by: EMC Laura DuBois December 2010 E X E C U TI V E S UM M AR Y For datacenter managers today, the advantages of virtual infrastructure (VI) are real and compelling. Although virtual infrastructure has many dimensions, its primary defining characteristic is in separating logical structures from physical structures, thereby unleashing operational and capital savings in the process. Nowhere is this phenomenon and the positive impact of VI made clearer than in the operational imperative of backing up an organization's most valuable asset its data. Backup and recovery processes are fundamental to controlling business risk regardless of the infrastructure in use. The arrival of VI does not reduce the importance of these operational requirements. Instead, it makes them become more paramount as physical servers are shared by an increasing number of virtual machines (VMs). Fortunately, EMC solutions make the backup and recovery process for VI more efficient, less time consuming, and more cost-effective. These solutions have been optimized for the virtual environment, meaning a firm's backup and recovery processes can be modernized simultaneously with a firm's journey to virtualization. In this paper, IDC examines the solutions from EMC and explains how they speed the benefits of virtualization while modernizing the backup and recovery process. Firms enjoys the benefits of this modernization on two fronts: They gain the cost, mobility, and recovery advantages of VI at the same time that they increase their backup and recovery ease and efficiency all while reducing costs. S I TU AT I O N O V E R V I E W P r o l i f e r a t i o n o f V i r t u a l i z a t i o n As reported by IDC, the deployment of virtual infrastructure is widespread and growing. It is expected to continue to grow for the foreseeable future. A few notable statistics are as follows:  In terms of shipments, the number of virtual servers shipped has exceeded the number of physical servers shipped.  Spending on VI was estimated at 1.5 billion in 2009 and is forecast to grow to 3.7 billion by 2014, an 11.7% CAGR.  The average number of virtual machines per physical host is 6 today and will grow to 12 by 2014. Untitled Document2 #225961 2010 IDC The significant growth characterized above should not be unexpected because of the implicit advantages that a modern virtual infrastructure brings to the organization. What is surprising is that these benefits pay off so quickly in terms of savings and efficiencies. In challenging economic times, these projects should be undertaken proactively rather than reactively because delay represents a lost opportunity to modernize and cash in quantifiable benefits and operational gains. Companies are looking for quick payback improvements in their IT infrastructure and this qualifies. M o d e r n B a c k u p A p p r o a c h e s Y i e l d O p e r a t i o n a l G a i n s There  are  many  benefits  of  rearchitecting  backup  and  recovery  for  virtual infrastructure. Designing for VI addresses several challenges, including dealing with resource contention, achieving application- and data-consistent backup and recovery, and mitigating the overhead of virtual machine sprawl. Other operational benefits include:  Reduction of backup data footprint resulting in reduced purchasing of storage arrays and the space they consume  Power/cooling savings because of less storage hardware as backup data is deduplicated  Faster, more efficient backups  Reduced network traffic because data has been deduplicated prior to being sent through the network Many customers point out that the savings gained from replacing tape and its infrastructure of libraries, media, and storage is enough to fund their expansion of VMware and perform a backup redesign. It is one of the few projects that can generate funding and improve service levels at the same time. Savings are on both the operational side and the capital side of the business. Operational expense (opex) savings come from lower electricity and cooling costs, less floor space consumption as reflected in rent and leasing costs, fewer staff performing mundane tasks (headcount costs), and improved efficiencies such as more optimal usage of networks, servers, and storage. Capital expense (capex) savings come from buying fewer hardware elements or at least postponing their acquisition. The organization then has an important choice to make: let savings fall to the bottom line or fund virtualization projects quicker, thereby enjoying virtualization benefits sooner. Most likely, the organization will choose a combination of the two strategies. Untitled Document 2010 IDC #225961 3 S t a g e s o f V i r t u a l I n f r a s t r u c t u r e A d o p t i o n The adoption of VI has tended to follow overall stages of technology adoption going from test/development only, to technology maturity, to technology expansion. Interestingly, the backup and recovery approach is one indicator of how far along the virtualization adoption curve the firm finds itself. Phase 1 Efficiency. In this stage, firms are conducting proof-of-concept (POC) projects and using VI in test and development environments to prove and quantify potential benefits without exposing mainstream applications (and their users). User interfaces are thoroughly evaluated by IT-savvy experts. There is low corporatewide exposure until more experience is gained and quantified. IT managers institute consolidation projects to reduce physical server sprawl, thereby reducing capital expenditures.  Operational  and  ease-of-use  improvements  are  quantified  in  a controlled environment. However, the emphasis is on efficiency improvements such as operational ease of use and cost savings rather than new business opportunities. Phase 2 Increasing Quality of Service. In this stage, virtual infrastructure becomes more a default server build as it permeates the organization. Emphasis elevates to improving response times and quality-of-service (QoS) promises made to users. Service-level agreements (SLAs) can now be more rigorously written. Users see their procedures and processes conclude faster than ever before. Sometimes datacenter managers can step up to higher-level services such as full disaster recovery (DR) or at least DR with better recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) metrics. Phase 3 Business-Level Agility. With this last stage, the firm is expanding the use of VI throughout the organization with the result that the firm can react quickly and appropriately to changes in the core business so-called business agility. Both tier 1 (i.e., file, print, test/development, etc.) and tier 2 applications (i.e., email, database, ecommerce, etc.) are virtualized. Datacenter managers entertain new projects such as consideration of virtual desktop integration (VDI) for endpoints and remote offices. Use of virtualization with higher-priority applications brings about more stringent scalability, security, continuity, and recovery requirements. Internal auditors demand accountability for safety of mainstream applications. The difference in phase 3 is that business is being conducted differently, whereas in phase 2, business was being conducted similarly but faster. In phase 3, the organization likely sees positive revenue impact. Throughout the journey to virtual infrastructure, but especially as mission-critical applications come online, there are increasing data protection needs. The success of VI projects hangs on the ability to meet the SLA commitments of tier 1 applications with confidence. The goal is to win over business line managers and skeptics to the point that they will be willing to be responsible for the safety and availability of their data without assistance from dedicated professionals. In other words, they become self-confident and self-reliant. Untitled Document4 #225961 2010 IDC CH AL L E N G E S P AR T I C U L AR T O V I RT U AL I N F R AS T R U C T UR E B AC K U P Modern backup and recovery methods highlight the use of deduplication to reduce the amount of data needing to be saved. Only unique segments need to be captured, thereby dramatically reducing capacity requirements. Once the "dedupe effect" has been realized, however, the following challenges that are specific to the virtualization environment remain. R e s o u r c e C o n t e n t i o n D u r i n g B a c k u p s During backups, the virtual infrastructure can be strained by an increased rate of I/O operations, network contention and bandwidth sharing, and ESX host overhead with resulting negative impact on VMs. A p p l i c a t i o n - a n d D a t a - C o n s i s t e n t B a c k u p a n d R e c o v e r y Application consistency is achieved by integration of agents with classic third-party software providers. The goal is to reach a logically consistent point including all necessary data that is still in the infrastructure pipeline prior to its commitment on physical disk. M a n a g i n g V M S p r a w l VMs are transient, coming and going as needed by the infrastructure. Any backup and restore product for the virtual infrastructure must be able to discover and manage these processes with differing classes of protection. A c h i e v i n g E f f e c t i v e D i s a s t e r R e c o v e r y A common motivation for VI is improved disaster recovery. VI uses encapsulation to improve mobility, but this approach can stymie effective remote replication. LAN and WAN links in the infrastructure may not be able to keep up with the sheer volume of data that needs to be moved. The solution to this issue lies in reducing the amount of data that is necessary to achieve cost-effective DR. E M C S O L U TI O NS FO R V MW AR E B AC K U P AN D R E C O V E R Y Modernizing backup processes for virtual infrastructure involves several technologies, including deduplication, the use of disk and replication that allows a firm to retain longer, replicate smarter, and recover reliably.  Retain longer Keep more data onsite; utilize less disk by leveraging deduplication. Less data means smaller storage footprint.  Replicate smarter Move less data over the network, minimize bandwidth needs, faster time to recovery. Untitled Document 2010 IDC #225961 5  Recover reliably Use disk for better reliability, fault detection and self-healing, built-in daily recovery checks. Traditional backup solutions based upon tape and compression are not suited for VMware environments, so modernizing them provides a great opportunity to use transformational solutions based upon data deduplication and disk. EMC products represent breakthroughs suitable for new VI deployments: E M C D a t a D o m a i n Data Domain reduces the amount of raw backup data that must be stored on disk because duplicate data has been removed. Less backup data to store means lower costs as well as faster remote replication times over congested LAN or WAN links, thereby fitting inside a replication window and fulfilling SLAs with the user. Key benefits of Data Domain for backing up VMware environments include:  Seamless integration with classic third-party backup applications and support for multiple backup workloads, leverage of VMware support provided by those backup applications  Scalability and high ingestion performance  Support for the Data Domain Boost feature where parts of the deduplication process are assigned to the backup server  Encryption support to safeguard data  Reduction (up to 99%) of replication traffic E M C A v a m a r Avamar provides backup and recovery with data deduplication. Avamar identifies and backs up only unique data at the client, thereby reducing the amount of data that needs to be backed up. Key benefits of Avamar for backing up VMware environments include:  vStorage API for data protection integration. This allows efficient image backup with support for change block tracking.  Client-side deduplication. This reduces I/O contention problem during backup of VMs.  Load balancing. Avamar's load balancing leverages pools of vStorage API proxy servers and load balances VM backups across the servers in round-robin fashion. There is no need to manually assign hosts to a proxy.  File-level restore from image backups. Avamar cracks the VMDK and exposes the directory structure. Storage administrators can restore individual files without the need to mount the VMDK. Untitled Document6 #225961 2010 IDC  vCenter integration. This integration allows the launch of vCenter from the Avamar management console and autodiscovery of new VMs that vCenter sees, including their protection status. CH AL L E N G E S AN D O P P O R TU N I T I E S There are always things to consider for vendors and users alike when introducing infrastructure changes. However, they represent significant opportunities if they are addressed in a timely fashion and ultimately can lead to true differentiation and leveraged success for the vendor and for the user.  Innovation and staying current. It is important to stay in front of infrastructure changes migrations to vSphere v4 and keeping up with new backup approaches.  Proliferation of VDI. The development of a strategy to protect virtual desktop images is on many IT calendars.  Integration with physical backup infrastructure. Provisions for the movement of certain data to physical tape for long-term archive and legal compliance purposes will remain a requirement for some.  Virtualization at scale. Historically, backup scalability has stymied large-scale deployments of VMs. In most cases, the reason has been the sheer volume of data that needs to be backed up. Deduplication technologies that allow for ever smaller increments of unique data will enable ever larger implementations as data proliferates. C O N C L US I O N Firms are gaining material value from virtual infrastructure. The savings and benefits are immediate and exhibit themselves in easier, more intuitive operations using disk rather than tape. The efficiency of servers in the datacenter is increasing as more virtual machines are hosted per physical server. Virtualization continues to proliferate to more critical servers in the datacenter and also into remote office and branch office operations and desktop endpoints (VDI). EMC solutions have been developed that address these emerging environments. As firms move to increased use of VI, IT managers need to consider the impact on infrastructure, especially from a scalability and performance perspective. They also need to assess the impact on SLAs for their users as well as data protection and security. Users will demand the same or better quality of service than they had before VI was introduced. Implementing modern backup processes for virtual infrastructure results in operational and budgetary gains. Both capex and opex improvements are immediate, which is quite helpful during tough economic times. Projects undertaken proactively rather than reactively will succeed sooner with attendant benefits realized more quickly. Untitled Document 2010 IDC #225961 7 Modernizing backup processes starts with several components deduplication solutions to reduce the amount of data that needs to be captured, disk-based rather than tape-based approaches to backup and restore as well as archival processes, and offsite replication for avoiding disasters. The bottom line is that because of its extensive portfolio, EMC is well positioned in all three areas. EMC is a longstanding leader in storage systems, in storage replication, and now in deduplication solving today's real-world problems around backup for VI as firms continue the journey to virtualization. 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