The modern day infrastructure is a complex machine with numerous interconnected components. There are so many moving parts that there’s always a risk something will go wrong. And when it does, downtime is inevitable. Converged infrastructure can play an important role in resiliency and availability. Let’s take a look at how it can benefit your backup and disaster recovery strategy.
The Need For Convergence in Business Continuity Planning
Backup systems traditionally had different components procured from different vendors – all managed by a single team. This not only included the software, but the servers, storage, and networking components as well. These systems became more costly and difficult to manage as their networks continued to grow and accumulate more data. Teams in the IT department struggled to manage backup and recovery operations along with the various underlying infrastructure components.
Converged infrastructure presents a solution to the problem by pooling resources from different components into one centralized unit. It’s easier to manage backup and recovery operations as your servers, storage, and networking components are unified under a single system. Leading vendors bundle converged solutions with functions automate and streamline disaster recovery. Armed with ultra-efficient de-duplication capabilities, easily scalable storage capacity, and intuitive web-based control, IT admins can simplify BDR operations on an all new level.
Thanks to its holistic approach to IT, converged infrastructure can help round out a comprehensive data protection strategy. In addition to BDR features, many converged systems run on platforms with fail-over capabilities. They will automatically shift workloads to another node should the primary node fail. This level of resilience minimizes disruptions and does wonders for business continuity.
Potential Concerns for Converged Infrastructure
The benefits of converged infrastructure make it a very tempting option for almost any IT environment – almost being the keyword. There are some scenarios in which you may not be able to use this promising IT model. Below are a few examples:
- Legacy systems: Not all converged solutions support all legacy systems. This could be problematic when your backup needs involve data running on incompatible applications.
- Tape libraries: Since most converged solutions don’t backup to tape, organizations that rely on tape for compliance and retention purposes may be better suited with a standalone BDR solution.
- Granular recovery: Some integrated solutions tend to be limited in their ability to restore granular backups of database tables, emails, and other specific file items. Be sure to look into each provider’s abilities to do granular recovery before committing to a contract.
- Data security: One reason converged systems stand out is because they simplify IT operations by abstracting resources from underlying hardware. One thing they can’t do just yet is facilitate logical abstraction between backup storage and production environments. In turn, this makes it much more difficult to encrypt and protect backups against security threats. So be sure to ask about encryption, before you sign on the dotted line.
Staff reductions, ever shrinking budgets, and strained resources are forcing organizations to squeeze IT responsibilities into fewer functions. Converged infrastructure turns the idea of doing more with less into a strength. From servers and storage to cabling and networking technologies, the convergence of infrastructure resources brings the promise of simpler IT management and substantial cost savings over time.
Providers such as Exablox will offer a flexible and easy to manage appliance that allows you to consolidate primary data as well as the backup and archival data in a single, simple to use storage infrastructure with global namespace.
Consolidating backup and recovery responsibilities into a single solution can be risky, but also deliver big benefits when strategically deployed and managed across the converged data center. Take the time to see if it makes business sense for you!