To be properly readied for any disaster, it is essential to be able to quickly get mission-critical servers and applications up and running. It's one of the reasons why the virtualization of both servers and desktops has become such a central part of many business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) plans. If those virtualized servers and systems are stored at another site, and backups are regularly performed, it is possible to have a great percentage of the business back up and running within hours, rather than weeks.
Yet, more businesses are finding a rapid growth in the amount of bandwidth needed to maintain near-real-time synchronization of data and systems across their wide-area networks (WANs).
Rising bandwidth demand likely explains, in part, why investment in networking is growing, while many parts of IT spending are stagnating. Research firm Forrester Research found in a recent survey that 53 percent of organizations plan on increasing their budget for networks and communications equipment. That was topped only by the 58 percent that pla to increase spending on service management, while spending on servers, storage, and client systems all face significant declines.
"We are seeing enterprises increase network and telecommunication spend; much of that is earmarked for building bandwidth efficiencies," Forrester analyst Chris Silva said during a recent Webcast. "Many companies had thought of increasing bandwidth effectiveness by adding more bandwidth, when in fact that is not always the case."
That was the exact conundrum recently faced by the maker of specialty products for concrete construction, Dayton Superior Corp. The company has 40 locations in the U.S., its primary data center located in its Dayton, Ohio, headquarters, and an outsourced BC/DR site located in Chicago. While replicating its virtualized servers and data across the two sites, the company found it hit a bandwidth bottleneck.