Business Continuity

Power outages. Severe weather. Cyberattacks. Today’s IT space can be a downtime nightmare. What’s an IT pro to do? Our business continuity topics can help you plan for disasters and get you back to business as usual if the worst happens.

Challenges and solutions with server virtualization (article)

Despite its widespread adoption and benefits, the server virtualization is not without its challenges. Deploying advanced power management software significantly eases the complexities of keeping critical applications continuously available during power outages.

  1. VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and other popular server virtualization software vendors all offer “live migration” products that can swiftly transfer virtual machines from one host server to another for load balancing purposes or when the original server experiences operational problems or requires maintenance. However, none of those systems include built-in functionality for responding to power outages.
  2. Furthermore, most power protection systems for virtualized server environments come with their own command console. As a result, technicians are forced to use one tool for virtualization management and a separate one for power management, which hampers productivity and can delay response time during utility failures. Because a high level of monitoring and management is essential to IT professionals, new software must deliver these crucial capabilities.
  3. A third challenge is acquiring a solution that has undergone sufficient testing. While most applications will operate in a virtualized environment and are certified as “virtualization ready,” prospective users should approach this claim with caution. The reality is that many manufacturers have not fully tested their software on virtualized hosts, or their applications have encountered some kind of problem in the virtualized environment.

In principle, server virtualization can be instrumental in helping IT and facilities managers prevent downtime during power failures. However, the caveat to achieving that promise is to ensure that your data center is equipped with the proper power management software.

Deploying advanced power management software significantly eases the complexities of keeping critical applications continuously available during power outages. With the proper software-defined power solution in place, IT managers can maintain business continuity even during a prolonged power cut. Software-defined is the continuous management of power via virtualization platforms and disaster recovery techniques to optimize power and cooling consumption and ultimately save users money, improve operational flexibility and avoid unplanned downtime.

A solution that integrates closely with leading virtualization management products—such as VMware vCenter Server, Microsoft SCVMM and Citrix XenCenter—enables users to view, monitor and administer all of their critical devices through a single console.

In addition, the more sophisticated power management software will automatically and transparently move virtual machines from host servers that are impacted by a power outage to unaffected servers elsewhere in the cluster.

Modern software goes beyond business continuity with more enhanced features for saving time, saving money and reducing risk. For example, an intelligent load shedding feature can suspend noncritical virtual machines, thereby increasing system uptime while extending battery runtime and minimizing generator load. In addition, a software solution that offers a site recovery manager failover helps avoid data loss and ensure data integrity.

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