IT departments do not trust virtual infrastructure to form the backbone of their IT environment, according to new research.

Some 44 percent of IT Directors say they avoid using virtualisation for mission-critical workloads because of concerns about backup and recovery. At the same time, only 68 percent of virtual servers are, on average, backed up, according to the study of 500 IT directors across Europe and the US, commissioned by virtualisation management vendor Veeam.

The survey found that 63 percent of respondents use the same tools to manage both their physical and virtual servers, though 51 percent said this approach was too expensive, 40 percent said slow recovery was a drawback of this approach, while the need to install extra backup agents was also highlighted by 40 percent of respondents.

Things are changing though, according to the survey. Some 61 percent of those using physical tools say they are changing their approach to deal with virtualisation, while 59 percent are planning to deploy a virtualisation-specific solution.

Ratmir Timashev, Veeam's CEO urged organisations to stop managing virtual machines with the same technology and approaches as physical servers. "When organisations use dedicated tools for virtual environments, they will find that not only is backup and recovery faster and simpler, but that there are a host of other data protection benefits."

As a symptom of the problem, the survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne, found that IT directors who just want to retrieve a single file from a backed-up virtual machine must either recover the entire machine from scratch (38 percent) or keep separate backups at both system and file level (28 percent).