Can virtualization and disaster recovery mix?

Symantec Corp.

(Nasdaq: SYMC) today released the results from its sponsored 2009 Disaster Recovery Research report, which this year found that more general education and awareness is needed in the virtualization and disaster recovery space.

The fifth edition of the Symantec-sponsored report was commissioned on behalf of Applied Research. The study was conducted for a week in June and included responses from 1,650 organizations from around the world. Survey participants came from organizations that had disaster recovery (DR) plans, enterprise IT involvement with DR management and at least 5,000 employees. Three-hundred and fifty responses came from North America and 50 came from Canada.

Sean Derrington, director of storage and availability management group at Symantec, said the objective with the Disaster Recovery Research report is to increase general awareness and education around DR and to also serve as a benchmark for companies to compare themselves with respondents from the survey.

“We found a lot of organizations aren’t thinking about DR as holistically as they need to be, especially when it comes to server virtualization,” Derrington said. “Many organizations are under the impression that virtualization equals disaster recovery and that’s not the case. It’s a complex problem that crosses both physical and virtual environments.”

Overall, 66 per cent of worldwide survey respondents believe their organization’s disaster recovery budgets will stay the same in the next 12 months, compared to just 46 per cent in Canada. Twenty-nine per cent of worldwide respondents believe their budgets will increase, while 52 per cent of Canadian respondents believe this to be the case.

Derrington says this is excellent news for the channel since partners can incorporate software and service offerings into their disaster recovery offerings too.

Last year, 46 per cent of worldwide respondents said their chief information officer, chief technology officer or IT director was involved in its organization’s DR committee. This year, 67 per cent stated this, whereas 70 per cent of Canadian respondents said this.

“By getting executive-level visibility, partners are more likely to get that budget buy in, which ultimately leads to an execution of the project,” Derrington added.

What the survey also found was that about 35 per cent of organizations only test their DR plans once a year or less than once a year. Some of the barriers for running more tests include testing being too resource intensive with people and budgets.

“The channel can work from a services perspective and also offer software without having to disrupt the customer’s business,” Derrington said. “We can help customers test their DR plans without having to bring down applications and also (run this) on an un-intrusive basis. Our software solutions work across physical and virtual environments.”

On the education front, partners can also play a role in raising awareness with their end-users, Derrington explained.

“Partners can ask their customers questions like, when’s the last time you ran a DR test and was it successful,” Derrington offers. “They can also ask what their customer’s risk assessment looks like. These are all opportunities for partners to be able to work with their customers.”

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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