Do we still need VM-specific backup tools? [video]

This is one of the big questions in 2016 (and each of the past few years as well). 

Have the “traditional” unified data protection solutions caught up in reliability and agility to the degree that the need for “point products” that only protect VMs are no longer necessary? To help answer the question, I've recorded a short video:

Topics: Data Protection VMware Information and Risk Management Jason Buffington Video openstack Hyper-V Server Virtualization VM-backup-recovery

There are Clouds out on the Verizon

I’ve been watching the cloud scene for a good number of years now and the first iteration of most of the clouds were, well, boring. I’d call these version 0.4 clouds on a good day. Basically they seemed to be made up of standard enterprise storage and servers, running VMware, single tenant except for the rare case of some ‘shared’ storage that was walled off by having the service provider (mostly Telcos) provision and attach storage to specific servers.

Then along came some advances in the software and hardware that actually enabled some basic multitenant capabilities. Of course with the new capabilities came a whole lot more competition as well. To differentiate themselves, some providers went down the acquisition route pretty early with Verizon being one of them (2011). They quickly acquired Terremark for their managed services and their beginnings of a cloud platform. In addition to Terremark, Verizon also acquired CloudSwitch, a cloud software technology that allowed companies to create hybrid clouds between on-premises data centers and public cloud providers as well as between public clouds.

Topics: Cloud Computing cloud VMware Private Cloud Infrastructure Hyper-V Verizon Public Cloud Service

Virtualization Protection re-cap of 2013

Backing up and recovering VMs” is not solved. There are lots of options in market, and the dynamics seem to shift by the day:

The unified (physical plus virtual) backup solutions are trying to take back share from the virtualization-specific folks, now that some of them are catching up (or passing) on VM protection methods and recoverability features.

The virtualization-specific backup solutions are protecting their share from the unified folks (above) and the hypervisor vendors (below), while continuing to innovate and differentiate.

The hypervisor vendors are offering their own backup solutions, instead of just the VADP/VSS APIs that enable their ecosystems.

There are some disruptive startups that are forcing folks to reconsider everything they know about “backup” via advanced appliances that warp one’s imagination of consolidated protection, copy-data management, etc.

And everything that any of them are doing … are now or soon could be also going to the cloud (if the cloud-backup providers don’t beat them to it)

So, as IT organizations of all sizes continue their maturation from simply “consolidation” to the “private cloud” and the “software-defined-whatever,” 2014 promises to be even more interesting.

To celebrate that, here is a list of some of my virtualization protection posts, just from the 2nd half of 2013:

Topics: Backup Data Protection VMware Information and Risk Management Jason Buffington Virtualization Hyper-V

Microsoft and the Software Defined Cloud

Last week Microsoft made a slew of important announcements. The important thing to remember here is that while all the others are rabble rousing about cloud and ‘software-defined-something’ – Microsoft continues to build out a very well rationalized approach to converting its massive installed base from virtualization to cloud, just like it has done helping its customers go from physical to virtual. The truth is Microsoft has the software-defined data center already – they’ve been running it at scale for a decade and now they have packaged it up for everyone else with their Cloud OS.

Cloud OS is Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V, Systems Center, and Windows Azure Pack. These are the core parts needed to build out an IaaS with Microsoft Windows Azure – on premises. Add to this Microsoft’s long heritage with .NET as a natural PaaS on top of the IaaS layer. Multi-tenancy, check--chargeback, check--single pane of glass managementm check--fidelity between private and public Azure, check.

Topics: Cloud Computing Microsoft Private Cloud Infrastructure Dell Windows Server Hyper-V CSP Public Cloud Service

vBlog: What to look for in Virtualization Protection in 2014

I spend a lot of time talking about protecting highly virtualized environments because so many people still struggle with it. In fact, ESG published a whole report on it earlier in 2013:

Topics: Backup IT Infrastructure Data Protection JBuff VMware Private Cloud Infrastructure Information and Risk Management Jason Buffington HyperV Hyper-V

Channel and Service Provider Opportunities in Protecting Virtualized Environments

As VMworld kicks off, I wanted to share some insights from ESG's recently published Trends in Protecting Highly Virtualized Environments report. In a new research brief that ESG published this morning, we look at the 'skills gap' for data protection and virtualization. Click Here to check it out.

Topics: Cloud Computing Data Protection VMware Private Cloud Infrastructure Information and Risk Management Jason Buffington VMworld Virtualization Hyper-V

vBlog -- Using a Separate or Unified Solution for protecting VMs

As many in the IT industry are getting ready for VMworld, my mind always wanders back to what seems to be the perennial question – “Use a separate backup solution for protecting VMs … or a single solution for physical and virtual servers?”

It used to be that the Virtualization-specific solutions did an inarguably better job than the Unified players did, because they had done the extra effort to make up for insufficient backup APIs in the hypervisor(s). But those days are over. VMware vStorage APIs for data protection (VADP) and Microsoft Hyper-V’s Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) mechanisms ensure that every backup solution that wants to do a good job of protecting VMs can. That is NOT to say that all VM backup solutions are equal!! What it does mean is that “can I back up a VM?” is no longer the right question.

Topics: Microsoft IT Infrastructure Data Protection VMware Private Cloud Infrastructure Information and Risk Management Compute Jason Buffington Virtualization Video Backups Hyper-V

Thinking about Xbox Home Server

My friend Mark Bowker recently blogged about the hypothetical microsoft-surface-server-for-your-datacenter/index.html" target="_blank">potential of a Microsoft Surface Server. Since he covers virtualization for ESG, he has a lot of opportunities to think about converged infrastructure, as well as the impressive hardware stacks of converged infrastructure that are powering today’s data centers. At the same time, another friend, Rod Trent at Windows IT Pro, wrote an article about Xbox One.

And that got me thinking…

Topics: Cloud Computing Storage IT Infrastructure Data Protection Private Cloud Infrastructure Information and Risk Management Jason Buffington Windows Server Hyper-V

New Insights on the Trends for Protecting Highly Virtualized Environments

Easily one of the most revolutionary changes to IT over the past few years has been server virtualization.

Topics: Cloud Computing Backup IT Infrastructure Data Protection VMware Private Cloud Infrastructure Information and Risk Management Compute BCDR Hyper-V

Trends in Virtualization Protection (video)

Easily one of the most discussed topics with me in 2012 is how virtualization is changing data protection strategies.

Topics: Cloud Computing Backup Data Protection VMware Private Cloud Infrastructure Information and Risk Management Jason Buffington Virtualization Hyper-V