Organisations address virtual server backup but disaster recovery top priority in 2015

Computer Weekly survey shows fewer UK IT departments prioritise virtual server backup in 2015, but disaster recovery remains a key task

UK IT departments are increasingly able to say “job done!” when it comes to virtual server backup. At the same time, the number of disaster recovery, cloud storage and solid-state flash storage deployments continue apace.

Those are the findings of the IT Priorities Survey for 2015, which questioned 111 UK IT professionals about their planned IT spending priorities for 2015.

This year, virtual server backup is a key priority for 28% of respondents. That’s a decrease from 36% in the 2014 survey, which was also down from 41.5% when readers were questioned in 2013.

As server virtualisation swept UK datacentres, organisations have been compelled to revamp backup systems to cope with many virtual servers running on one physical device.

The survey figures seem to indicate more organisations have dealt with virtual server backup. A roughly similar amount of those questioned (26%) cited storage for virtual environments as a key project in 2015.

But the survey also found several key storage and backup priorities remain as important as in previous years.

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Growing awareness of disaster recovery

Disaster recovery, for example, is a key project for 45% of those questioned. That’s up a little on 2014, when 40% declared it their top priority, but in keeping with the figure of 44% in 2013.

This is also possibly a knock-on effect of the tide of virtualisation sweeping datacentres, but also of a greater awareness of the importance of disaster recovery.

On the one hand, the need for legal and regulatory compliance dictates that organisations implement effective disaster recovery provision. On the other hand, the rise of server virtualisation has allowed for new, and often more effective methods of data protection, such as snapshots/replication and failover.

Crossover with cloud projects

The cloud is also emerging as an option in disaster recovery. In this year’s survey, 35% of those questioned cited cloud storage as a key priority, while 30% indicated cloud backup as a key task for 2015.

The likelihood is that there is a great deal of crossover between those two groups, as the cloud is hardly used for production data due to issues of latency. Most cloud deployments are used for backup, archiving and disaster recovery.

Those figures reflect a continuing interest in cloud storage; 33% indicated it was a key project in 2014.

Interest in flash storage seems to have plateaued, with 19% indicating it a key priority for 2015. That’s about the same as last year (20%), and 2013 (18%). The upward gradient in the graph came from 2012, when only 9% had flash storage on their radar.

Finally, there is notable interest in data reduction techniques such as compression and data deduplication, both for primary data (18%) and backup data (17%). These figures are a reflection of concerns over growing amounts of data in the organisation.

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