Being able to support a virtualized environment is a key responsibility for any IT firm. However, basic issues such as backup, recovery, and restore should also be put as a priority. State IT departments usually provide backup solutions that work perfectly for in-house and cloud-based environments. They also seek to provide products that will operate even in a virtual environment.
The US-based Census bureau has a data-directed mission. Therefore backup and recovery is a key function of this organization. Over time, many agencies have been virtualizing their systems and backup tools to support these virtual environments are necessary. These tools need to have recovery capacity to provide a workable recovery plan in cases of a disaster. Another necessary feature in these tools is deduplication, which will make it possible to make the best use of available disk space.
For this reason, Census Bureau have been exploring backup and recovery options for virtual environments. The firm has expanded the current operations and policies in the cloud and virtual environments and at the same time incorporated more advanced backup and recovery tools to be used for virtual networks. This has been made possible by the use of multiple platform commercial and off-shelf software for backup and recovery.
According to the Bureau’s enterprise backup branch chief, Jan Dickerson, the firm has shifted from use of back-end storage to use of deduplicated disks which provide an extra layer of a quick and portable storage for disaster recovery. Also, for backup of the application servers found in the cloud is done through in-cloud backups. However, this doesn’t offload an onsite backup to a cloud. This is mainly because onsite data is of large volume hence offloading is too costly.
However, the firm uses two distinct cloud platforms. In one, it makes use of similar off-the-shelf software as that used in onsite backups for providing services that are familiar to the users. On the other platform, they make use of a platform-specific software to maximize on the storage features offered by the software and also to minimize on the utilization costs. Actually, most of the backup tools currently used can support any virtualized environments and they do not require the previously needed hand coding. Most of the applications in place do not require script writing. Any backup solution that is put in place today must be in a position to back up your virtual machines and also provide a seamless embedded technology that will back up VMs.