If I picked up the phone, called any IT administrator I know, and asked what technical part of their job they like the least, the answer would almost invariably be backups.
Nobody likes backups. In the complex world of mixed physical and virtual environments, it sometimes seems nearly impossible to build a backup regimen that just works every time. Instead, it's much more common to see a few resources fail to back up or to get some kind of ambiguous error that takes hours to properly diagnose and resolve.
[ Read Matt Prigge's High-Availability Virtualization Deep Dive Report. | Discover the key technologies to speed archival storage and get quick data recovery in InfoWorld's Archiving Deep Dive PDF special report. ]
Too often, the amount of effort required to yield even the appearance of a consistently successful backup rotation takes so many hours that it crowds out other crucial tasks -- such as testing.
Recently, I got my hands on a survey commissioned by Veeam, a developer of backup tools for virtualized VMware environments, that polled 500 CIOs of companies with more than 1,000 employees. Like many commissioned surveys, this one tilts toward being a sales tool for the sponsor, but it also reveals shocking findings that underline the troubles many organizations have with backups. Several results jumped out at me: