Frontier Technology, Microsoft and Double-Take Software recently ran a roundtable open discussion focused on business continuity. The meeting was attended by a mixed group of firms; multinationals, financial institutions, legal firms, public sector organisations and SME’s. Each had different business continuity requirements, yet with the financial climate still being rocky, budget and affordability was high on the agenda.
Due to an influx of affordable and reliable virtualisation solutions on market and with finances being tight, 70% of the delegates present stated that they were either considering or currently using virtualisation to enhance their business continuity. It was unanimously considered faster, more affordable and more reliable than traditional disaster recovery options. One delegate present had recently installed a virtualisation solution and was already realising the benefits “Traditional disaster recovery solutions are often expensive and complex. Testing our systems was always a nightmare. Our new virtualisation solution has enabled us to perform speedy tests, eliminating the need to perform numerous manual steps.”
Leading IT solution providers Frontier Technology have seen an increase in their clients using virtualisation for business continuity, Managing Director, Edwin Wong explains; “With the recent recession and further cuts due to the new coalition, we have seen an influx of our clients wanting to switch to virtualisation. It eliminates the cost and unpredictability of traditional disaster recovery solutions and simplifies backup and recovery of data and systems.”
There are a host of virtualisation players in the industry, VMWare, Microsoft and Citrix. However, when budgets are tight Microsoft solutions are certainly a good option. Julian Datta, Development Manager, Virtualisation & Management, Microsoft UK, talked to the meeting attendees about Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. It is a free download hypervisor that offers a compelling, cost-effective virtualisation platform, with high levels of performance, and scalability. “As Microsoft’s Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is a free download, it allows organisations to start their virtualisation journey regardless of budgeting and funding.” He stated.
Charlotte Cooper from Vision Solutions explained how Hyper-V can be combined with Double-Take Availability to provide real-time replication and failover for virtual machine environments. “The solution continuously captures changes as they happen and replicates those changes to one or more servers at any location, locally or globally. It is cost- effective and truly safeguards your firm,” she explained.
Some of the smaller firms present felt that their even if all of their servers and applications were virtualised there was still the issue of limited in-house resources and staffing. Gareth Jones, Business Development Manager, Frontier Technology recommended cloud computing “Outsourcing business continuity is an excellent solution for firms who have limited resources, funding and time. Frontier Continuity Service is a hosted business continuity solution which uses private cloud technology to securely connect your network to our data centres. With no capital investment required it is affordable regardless of your size or industry sector.”