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February 2011 Vol. 2, No. 1

Virtualization for disaster recovery offers flexibility

Technical architect Steve Hannah originally began deploying server virtualization to reduce demand for physical servers in a data center that was running out of floor space. But Hannah and the IT team at School Specialty Inc., a Greenville, Wisconsin-based provider of supplemental learning products, realized that the agility and flexibility of virtualization for disaster recovery could also reinvent the company's standard approach. School Specialty's original disaster recovery strategy depended on a traditional hot site service provider that would spin up physical servers using backups of the servers in the company's primary data center. “With a recovery of physical servers, we had to be continually aware of the exact hardware, including model types and BIOS levels, to make sure it was replicated in the hot site,” Hannah said. But getting the traditional hot site up and running required the physical transfer of backup tapes from the company's data center. Hannah estimated that it would take a week to recover School Specialty's ...

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