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Data Protection for Virtual Data Centers

By Jason Buffington
Wiley Publishing, Inc| English | 530 pages | PDF | 7.874 KB | Download | Password: datacenter

When an operating system or an application is initially created (version 1), there are lots of features that cannot be included. After all, if the manufacturer waited until every feature was included, it would never ship. Instead, it is released as a hopefully high-quality product but with several missing features or use scenarios that are left for third-party partners to fill. Certainly, that was true for most aspects of data protection or resiliency in regard to Windows. For the first several years, from Windows NT 3.1 through Windows Server 2003, an ecosystem developed that offered richer backup solutions and more flexible data replication and failover solutions to meet the needs of Microsoft customers.

But around 2003, some of those needs started being met by the core products themselves. This included improving backups via Volume Shadow Copy Services (VSS) and distributed file systems. It continued with SQL database mirroring and Exchange replication technologies. With the release of Windows Server 2008, we saw failover clustering become infinitely more accessible, and the past few years have seen not only continued evolution within the products, but also new standalone products such as System Center with Data Protection Manager. And on top of everything, virtualization is quickly becoming a mainstream game changer.

These technologies and their implementations are no longer just for advanced data centers with expensive IT staffs and high-dollar budgets. This book is meant to be your better backup, higher-availability advisor, help you be more virtualized and well managed, and keep your business continuously operating and regulatory compliant.

Backup Folks You are my peeps. If your career description or passions are similar to how I described myself, then you have probably been frustrated about how to gain the knowledge to do your tasks. This book was written as potentially one of the only books that you need (or at least get you started in all the right directions).

Midsized Organizations without Deep IT Staffs I started out working at a few resellers that service local or regional accounts. Later, I was a freelance consultant servicing small and medium-sized organizations. Eventually, I started working for software companies that sold through channel partners and finally landed at Microsoft. But for most of my career, I have had the opportunity to take datacenter, expert-level capabilities and try to apply them to the smaller-scale but just as pressing needs in midsized companies.

If you are in a midsized organization, you need high availability, arguably more than large companies, because when something breaks, you don’t have deep IT staffs onsite and ready to fix it. High availability, reliable backups, and even systems management do not have to be hard, and they certainly are not only for large enterprises. That is one reason why this book’s title includes the words Virtual Datacenters. The IT assets of a midsized organization may take up a small workroom, or perhaps is its own room with an extra air conditioner, and not the glamorous raised floor, rows of racks, and wire plants that some enterprises have. But to you, it is still all your data and your business is relying on it. It is your datacenter. This book was written to put a backup and availability expert on your IT team, or at least on your IT bookshelf.

Large Enterprise BC/DR Architects and Consultants There are usually two ways that someone gets into business continuity or disaster recovery. You either started out as a backup/availability/ systems person or you started out as an operations person who understands the business practices. If you are the latter, then this book was written to help you understand the technologies that you will need as part of a holistic business continuity or disaster recovery plan.

Microsoft Windows Planners and Consultants It often surprise me when a company has a highly resilient Exchange solution but standalone file servers. They might have great high availability architecture but unreliable backups. Many companies have an advanced corporate datacenter, with branch offices that are unreliable and unprotected. Often, this is because they have an expert managing one server workload, so that is the only workload that is well managed. It doesn’t have to be that way. This book was written so that you could look across your organization and see the symmetry of data protection and availability solutions that can be applied across the entire organization.

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