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Although virtualization has become a popular buzzword for the data center, it may not be a solution you are ready for... yet. Deciding whether you want to add virtualization to your data center management arsenal takes careful thought because there are upfront considerations.
If you are considering virtualization for your data center, you have company. An April 8-15 ChangeWave corporate spending trends survey shows a deterioration in second quarter software purchases with little relief in sight. But there's good news on the virtualization front with noticeably robust findings for VMware and suggestions of increased sales for Citrix.
As virtual servers and storage gain in popularity, one of the significant questions to address is data preservation. From SMB to the Fortune 500, drivers like disaster recovery, corporate policy making, regulatory compliance, and litigation support/e-discovery require due consideration to backing up virtual machines.
It is customary for many to consider file virtualization as its own discipline. But, in fact, file virtualization is actually a Hungarian goulash of supporting technologies, including mirroring, replication, disk images, point-in-time copying, data movement, archive, elements of hierarchical storage management (HSM) and data abstraction across all storage tiers. These features can be implemented as software running on off-the-shelf servers.
Here's a tip for the integrators and VARs who follow Tips and Tricks. The rising popularity of iSCSI solutions in the technology market's "sweet spot," small to medium businesses, offers VARs and integrators an opportunity to expand their offerings in a sound technology direction. An iSCSI infrastructure can help customers with crippling budget problems as well as growing performance needs. iSCSI is not an incidental technology; quantitative analysis from International Data Corporation shows that it is one of the fastest-growing areas of the storage market, reaching $5.1 billion by the year 2010.
Content on servers has gotten out of control. Users at all levels of the enterprise create, send and store all types of different corporate content throughout a variety of systems within the organization — all of which is subject to legal discovery and regulatory requirements. The USA is a litigious country, and federal, state and local governments are not shy about cranking out new rules and regulations for the storing and availability of many kinds of information. Recently a series of new federal rules on discovery and retention were passed and will take effect this December.
Congratulations...you might be one of the few businesses around that is not burdened by a regulatory compliance duty. But if you think you are off the hook as far as thorough data protection is concerned, think again.
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