When I was still in school I dabbled a bit with the sport of power lifting. I spent hours in the gym, read as many training books as I could find, and even attended a few competitions. I never did that well, but I managed to build enough strength to give an awkward teenager a small boost in self esteem. Going to the gym every day also allowed me to meet some pretty interesting people.
One friend I made, Eddie, was the strongest guy I have ever met. He trained just for power and his specialty was the bench press. Eddie got to a point where he could put up a 500 pound bench press in the gym on any given day like it was nothing. In a competition his numbers were even more impressive.
The funny thing about Eddie was how very specific his strength was. Almost all his training was geared around building a bigger and bigger bench press. So although he looked impressive in a t-shirt and threw around massive weights, his strength wasn’t very applicable to anything outside of the gym. He was terrible at using his strength for everyday tasks, like moving a couch for example. Even worse, if you asked him to go for a run, his bodyweight alone prevented him from being able to go more than a few hundred feet without getting tired.
In many ways the field of disaster recovery has built out its’ strengths in the same way Eddie built up his bench press. By focusing on one platform at a time, or one operating system, vendors have been able to build sophisticated protection solutions for each specific area IT has to manage. The problem is that as IT continues to carry more responsibility each year, and as datacenters have grown in both scale and heterogeneity, it is no longer reasonable to manage multiple solutions for multiple platforms.
Virtualization is one of the great equalizing technologies. It has allowed administrators to run multiple operating systems on one flexible virtual platform; abstracting applications away from the different hardware platforms they used to be tied to. This flexibility is one of the reasons why virtualization is an ideal platform to build out next generation disaster recovery solutions.
Products like PlateSpin Protect and PlateSpin Forge use virtual machines as flexible backup archives, and a virtual hypervisor as an agnostic recovery environment. This effectively breaks down the walls between the isolated disaster recovery solutions of the past, and gives administrators a single pane of glass view into managing all of their DR needs. With products like this DR can be an all around athlete like a decathlete or NFL linebacker, rather than single focused like Eddie, allowing protection of physical and virtual servers, running both Windows and Linux all with one solution.
Oh and as far as how my gym regimen looks like today. Let’s just say I should probably spend a little less time lifting cheeseburgers and a little more time back on the bench press. Hey maybe we can start a Novell community weight loss club… Who’s game?