Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Contact Center Virtualization Can Help Disaster Recovery

September 09, 2008

Companies throughout the world and in nearly every industry have to examine the best way to store and protect information. In the contact center industry, this information is used to advance the initiatives of the organization by delivering more personalized service that can help drive sales.

Double-Take Software recently announced the results of a survey that it ran in collaboration with the organizers of Storage Expo 2008. Key findings from this survey reveal an overwhelming interest in virtualization, with 38 percent of respondents having already virtualized their production infrastructure and 52 percent plan to do so.

For those companies that have already gone virtual, the most common reason given for this move – by 48 percent of companies – was the increase in infrastructure flexibility. Cost reduction was cited by 21 percent of respondents.

Companies have also identified a key addition benefit to virtualization as 82 percent stated that improved disaster recovery is a significant feature. For the contact center, disaster recovery is a critical element in proper management, yet research has shown that many still lack the necessary technologies in place to protect their information and processes.

Natalie Booth, event manager with the storage conference, commented in a Tuesday statement, “Virtualization has seen dramatic adoption rates in recent years. From our discussions with CIOs and analysts we expect this trend to accelerate.”

Ian Masters, UK sales and marketing director at Double-Take Software, said, “We could have predicted that reduced costs would appear as a major factor in the adoption of virtualized infrastructures. However, the high interest expressed in the flexibility of virtualized infrastructures was less predictable and is very significant.”

“It demonstrates that organizations are unhappy with the constraints native to traditional physical infrastructures and are actively seeking ways that can make the management of their infrastructure more fluid and open to innovation,” added Masters.

“Although, 82 percent of respondents believe that improved disaster recovery is a key additional benefit of virtualization, Double-Take Software maintains that it is not an automatic by-product. All instances of virtualized systems rely on the physical hardware on which shared data is stored. If physical systems are not adequately protected and fail, then virtualized systems will also fail,” Masters explained.

This statement by Masters is significant in that it highlights the importance of a robust disaster recovery plan and encourages companies to not rely strictly on virtualization. While it can deliver measurable benefits to the contact center, it is not enough to initiate a virtual strategy and expect to be protected. Contact center managers must be proactive in their approach to disaster recovery, ensuring that any downtime is perceived as seamless to the customer to ensure consistent service.
 
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Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart

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