Messaging consolidation not always backed up

Half of companies are consolidating their email servers into a single data centre, but just one per cent are protecting these systems with redundant servers in case of disaster, according to new research.

The research, conducted by messaging analysis specialist Osterman Research, also discovered less that nearly three out of five organisations consider enabling continuous operations as an important or critical driver for adopting virtualisation.

"I was surprised to see that, despite a strong interest in virtualisation to enable cost and resource savings in the data centre, there wasn't more interest in virtualising messaging servers," Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research told IT PRO.

This is despite the fact that messaging system reliability and uptime was a serious problem for one in five organisations questioned on behalf of the disaster recovery (DR) specialist vendor Neverfail.

Yet three out of four respondents did not see messaging as an important part of their virtualisation project. Osterman said this meant that they must look to alternative technologies to provide DR and business continuity in what is often a mission critical part of business operations.

"Companies have historically paid their email servers, for instance, less attention than other areas of the IT infrastructure," he continued. "And they often look to outsourcing to de-risk this area of the business. But for some organisations to whom owning the data is mission critical - including those that are heavily regulated, like pharmaceutical and financial services industries - that hasn't been an option."

He predicted a significant increase in uptake of messaging DR technologies in the next 12 to 18 months. "As they move to Microsoft Exchange 2007 or Lotus Domino 8, they may consider virtualisation as part of the overall lifecycle upgrade," he said.