Our technical world is evolving to become faster, smarter, and more efficient. As consumers and distributors of technology we are experiencing a large scale transformation in the infrastructure of our digital world. Computer hardware has always been tied to a single operating system and operated as either a server or workstation. This meant that building an IT infrastructure would require several physical units, with each playing a part in the tasks of the network. That was until virtualization and hypervisors were created to offer different ratios of hardware to operating systems.
This technology has changed the way IT is built and managed by managed service providers (MSPs) and solution providers everywhere. From deployment to licensing to data security the game has changed and the products and services we provide must also change, to adapt to this new environment. When it comes to data protection and seamless continuity the solution must to be able to adapt to virtual infrastructure as well as support existing or legacy systems. I’d like to discuss the three big check marks needed for a comprehensive virtual infrastructure protection solution.
This is the most basic point of the three and extremely valuable for small- to medium-sized businesses that have a transforming environment. Versatility means being able to support both physical and virtual systems on a single hybrid cloud-based solution. To protect businesses from downtime and data loss you need all critical systems protected within a single solution that is capable of spinning up failover VMs at any time. With virtual infrastructure this is easier because of the abundance of available resources. The backbone of virtual infrastructure is purchasing resources as RAM and CPU cores in bulk and using them on multiple machines. Using a virtual host with available resources as a failover for a physical system is smart and efficient.
The other challenge of versatility is support for exporting and running virtualizations across multiple hosts. The optimal business continuity strategy recreates infrastructure as it was in production. That means if you are running on a host and backing up to a different host, you want to run on the same host in a disaster scenario. Implementing a versatile solution allows for a business to run as close to normal under all conditions.
Software licenses are sneaky costs that seem to multiply exponentially as you integrate more companies and vendors. Consolidation is key to implementing a cost effective solution. At Datto we use multiple factors of consolidation to keep costs as low as possible for our Partners. We include unlimited software licenses as well as pricing per TB. If a customer needs protection for 7TB of data we don’t want them to have to pick between a virtual appliance of 10TB or 20TB. Having the exact size needed helps keep costs down, and as they grow installing new machines is completely free. Cost is a sneaky problem with virtual infrastructure and can lead to near zero margins or cut rate services.
Picture it: The server catches on fire and boom, the sprinkler system kicks in! Now what? Cloud continuity applies for physical and virtual environments. Having the cloud be a cost effective and safe repository not just for data, but also systems, allows businesses to run remotely.
Datto brings something brand new to the virtual cloud market; that is consistent cloud pricing. We offer cloud pricing based on retention date instead of cloud storage. It’s much easier to discuss with a customer how long they should retain their data vs. how much data storage they should have. Promise a customer 1, 3 or 7 years of cloud data, and deliver with a single price and no overages. Cloud is the final piece of virtual infrastructure protection, but also the last line, and arguably the most important part of insurance for business against downtime or data loss.
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Ian McChord, Product Director, Datto Inc.
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