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There are a couple of virtualization-related trends that probably are driving the sudden urgency that seems to be surrounding backup monitoring.
The first of these trends is something that has been going on for a very long time. That trend is VM sprawl. When server virtualization first gained mainstream acceptance, VM sprawl became a big problem almost overnight. At one point it seemed as though the problem of VM sprawl was starting to go away. However, the move to private clouds or hybrid cloud environments has greatly compounded the problem. Private clouds allow authorized users to create VMs on a whim. As such, the number of VMs being created is exploding. Putting an automated backup monitoring solution into place is the only reliable way to keep track of VM backups in a large-scale environment.
The other trend that I think is contributing to the increasing need for backup monitoring tools is that of heterogeneous hypervisor environments. For a long time, organizations tended to pick a hypervisor vendor, then stick with their choice. Today this is not necessarily the case.
Maturing technologies and evolving licensing policies have led some organizations to deploy hypervisors from competing vendors. Needless to say, doing so increases complexity. Backup monitoring tools can help to cut through some of the complexity by providing a single pane of glass view that helps administrators tell which resources have been successfully backed up and where problems may exist.
Ultimately, I think that the push for backup monitoring software is probably most closely related to the ever-increasing number of resources that need to be protected – which, in turn, can be largely attributed to server virtualization.
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