Virtualization

It was a dark and stormy afternoon. IT administrator John was shaking, nervously traversing the dark corridors of his normally familiar office. He’s trembling in the sight of moving shadows, squeaking office doors and abnormally pale, almost ghoulish faces inside dark rooms of various company departments and offices.

He was in a rush to help Jane with her innocuous problem – “My PC does not work!” – that she just reported. To John, it sounded just like hundreds of other IT issues that he has resolved over his illustrious IT admin career.

But, Jane’s face was pale and she looked scared. And, that’s not even what really concerned John. It was the huge FBI logo on Jane’s PC screen, next to a timer counting down, and something about paying money that got John’s attention.

According to a recent Enterprise Strategy Group study, only 8% of organizations have virtualized the majority of servers that could be. Another study from Techaisle shows that only 60% of servers were virtualized in 2014, and while the figure is expected to rise, total virtualization is nowhere in sight. The same study also noted some of the major challenges of virtualization, including costs and management complexity.

Since its launch on May 28, 2003, Windows Server 2003 has become the backbone of many data center operations. More than twenty million servers worldwide still use Windows Server 2003. According to W3Techs, 25 percent of the Windows-based web servers still run IIS 6.0, running on Windows Server 2003. Now after 12 years, Microsoft has said it will discontinue Windows Server 2003 support on July 14, 2015.

In 2014 alone, Microsoft released 67 security bulletins for Windows Server 2003, deeming 27 of them ‘critical’. As with Windows XP, governments and large corporations can pay Microsoft millions of dollars for out-of-band support. If your organization cannot afford the high cost of extended support, it is time to move away from Windows Server 2003. There are six reasons why you should migrate from Windows Server 2003:

Virtualization is rapidly becoming the norm in small to medium-size IT environments, with solutions like VMware vSphere®, Microsoft® Hyper-V®, Citrix® XenServer®, Red Hat® Enterprise Virtualization, Linux KVM, and Oracle® VM Server. According to the Acronis / IDC Disaster Recovery Survey released in May of 2014, 61 percent of SMBs use virtual technologies, 79 percent use physical servers and 48 percent of the respondents have a new generation environment consisting of both virtual and physical servers. We call this a hybrid environment.

Safely Migrating Server Workloads

By Frank Jablonski

Most businesses have physical servers, virtual machines, or a combination of both supporting production operations.  These organizations also have a variety of production workloads such as Microsoft® Exchange for email, SharePoint® for collaboration and content management, and various vendor-supplied or internally-developed applications running SQL database servers.  Workloads such as these are your company’s lifeblood, and many times, you need to migrate these workloads to different hardware or virtual machines (VMs).

What to Look For Next Week at VMworld

Next week marks the start of VMworld 2014, what's sure to be a whirlwind look at the latest and greatest in cloud and virtualization software. IT pros in attendance can expect to learn where the virtualization leader is headed and its vision for virtually managed data centers, among other topics. Here are some wishlist news that the InfoWorld team hopes to see:

  1. Private cloud software and a package that combines public cloud and on-premises software
  2. Encourage mainstream adoption of SDN offerings
  3. Easy integration of virtualization for data storage
  4. Focus on mobile
  5. Secure data center information using the hypervisor

The Acronis team will be on hand all week. Be sure to stop by booth #1904 to talk all things data protection! 

Read more at InfoWorld

Safeguarding Data During Virtual Migration

According to a recent SpiceWorks report, three-quarters of businesses surveyed already use virtual machines. But for those yet to make the leap, what are the virtualization issues to look out for? And as all IT pros know, the landscape is constantly shifting and new solutions come up all the time. As IT infrastructure becomes increasingly divided among physical, virtual and cloud solutions, how can IT managers ensure their systems are working optimally and data is protected across multiple platforms?

Here, Sam Roguine, director of product marketing at Acronis, talks about the common pitfalls of migration to a virtual environment and how to make sure company data stays safe throughout the journey:

What to Consider for Hypervisor Backup: The Configuration and the Data

As more companies invest in virtual machines, IT pros are presented with the need to integrate these virtualization environments into the data protection plan. The trouble is that while the data is usually backed up, often the hypervisor configuration is forgotten.

Virtualization technology is all the rage — and not just for big business. With small and medium-sized businesses alone shelling out an estimated $1.2 billion a year on virtualization, here's a look at the latest insights into how virtualization bolsters any business:  

1. Spending Too Much on Storage Hardware? Flash Virtualization Can Help 

In 2010, IDC forecasted that by 2014, 70 percent of all servers would become virtual