Virtualization -- the creation of virtual servers to maximize data storage and improve efficiency -- has many benefits. But there are certain vulnerabilities inherent in a virtual operating system. Understanding these vulnerabilities, and following best practices when a virtual server is established, can minimize the chances that you'll need emergency data recovery services.
Here are five ways to take good care of your virtual servers so that they will take good care of you.
1 - Practice “good housekeeping” with your virtual servers.
When your IT staff practices proper maintenance and care with virtual servers, this minimizes the chances of a failure requiring professional data recovery services.
One example of good housekeeping is avoiding “server sprawl.” Every virtual server that has been created should have a specific purpose, reason for being, and a clear record of its creation.
2 - Make sure staff is trained in the use of virtual server environments. - The front-end control panels of a virtual server environment can be very user-friendly, but proper training can help avoid accidental deletion of mission critical files -- or even a whole virtual machine file system.
After all, 85 percent of the data recovery cases we see here at 24 Hour Data are due to user error. Proper training of anyone using your virtual machines can help your company avoid the need for emergency data recovery services.
3 - Restrict access. - Because virtual machines are easy to use once they are set up, employees may be tempted to make changes they are not authorized to make. Restrict access to your virtual servers with passwords and make sure employees can access only the apps they require to do their jobs.
4 - Make sure your VMware is configured properly. - Loss of mission critical data often occurs when companies make the switch from experimental virtual servers to actual use. If the physical server or operating system experiences failure during the transition, this can result in the loss of data and the need for emergency data recovery services. Make sure your IT staff is well-prepared to handle any emergency during the transition to virtualization.
5 - Back up your data. - It's especially important to have up-to-date back-ups in place when your company transitions to storage virtualization. But once the virtual system is in place, that doesn't mean your data is safe indefinitely. Snapshots performed by virtual servers protect your data to some degree, but you still need off-site data storage and you must make sure that the physical location where data is stored is secure and protected from theft and natural disasters.