One of the well-known drawbacks to server virtualization is a drop in performance, along with an increase in storage requirements. As storage continues to drop in price, the second factor becomes less of a problem, as the benefits of virtualization far outweigh these drawbacks. But today's technology provides solutions; IT directors and organizations no longer have to make sacrifices to enjoy the benefits of virtualization.
One solution to the performance issue is a storage hypervisor, a virtual appliance offered by a number of different manufacturers. The hypervisor is installed on each physical virtualization host and intercepts I/O requests before they get to the server, writing them to a log file and then to a pool of shared heterogenous storage. This can improve performance by 10 times normal while reducing storage requirements up to 90 percent. Virtual disks are “thin provisioned,” to make the most of storage capacity in a virtual environment.
Most virtual servers have the capability to perform thin provisioning, but not every organization uses this as a solution to the wasted storage capacity inherent in a virtual server. Experts warn against using thin provisioning in applications where storage requirements vary significantly and change quickly, or in applications where mission critical data is stored on the virtual server.
Data Recovery Challenges in a Virtual Environment
When data resides on a virtual server and is further stored in a heterogenous data pool, such as exists when using a hypervisor appliance, do-it-yourself data recovery becomes extremely difficult. Few IT directors have the expertise to recover lost or corrupt data from hard disk drives used in a virtual environment.
In spite of the benefits of virtualization, many organizations are hesitant to face the challenges of moving to a virtual environment. They worry that if a hard disk or RAID array fails in a virtualized environment, no one will have the expertise to recover the lost data.
Because of their back-up methods, virtual servers are less prone to data recovery emergencies than nearly any other storage technology. But, just in case, 24 Hour Data's recovery experts stay up-to-date on the latest virtualization technology in this rapidly changing field. Whether you're using VMWare or other virtual server technology, our data recovery specialists are here to help recover your lost data and help you rebuild your virtual server, all in record time.