VMware today is announcing a new service that brings full disaster recovery capabilities to its users. The new VMware vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) Disaster Recovery (DR) solution allows virtualized data centers and enterprises to seamlessly enable DR services in their existing deployments.
Mathew Lodge, VP of Cloud Services Product Marketing and Management at VMware, explained to Datamation that anything that is running on a VMware vSphere host can be replicated, regardless of what kind of storage the customers has — vSAN or anything else.
The new service offers what VMware is referring to as continuous replication to enable DR.
“It’s a replication rather than a back-up, and it’s continuous as in the data is continuously copied from the protected site to vCHS,” Lodge said. “The VM state is captured at intervals, the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) interval, to ensure all VMs are consistent in the DR set.”
While the DR solution is continuous, it is not a fully active load balanced approach that would be used to load balance VM workloads. Lodge explained that VMware vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery is designed for what is known as active-passive DR.
“It doesn’t support active-active, though today many apps contain code to allow active-active configurations,” Lodge said. “In that situation, you’d run the same VM at vCHS as you ran on-prem, and you would do state sharing between the two (built into the app) across the network.”
VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) first officially became available in May of 2013. The vCHS is attempt to provide a public cloud option for VMware’s enterprise users that integrates directly with their existing virtualization deployments.
While the vCHS is a remote cloud service, Lodge noted that given the data intensity that a DR operation can include, additional acceleration technology might be a benefit for some customers. Lodge said that there isn’t a requirement to use it, but network acceleration hardware can help compress data and manage bandwidth and transfers. He noted that the DR data stream is delta-compressed with only changes from the last set of updates being sent to vCHS.
From a deployment perspective, there are a few steps that an existing VMware customer will need to take. Lodge explained that a user first needs to download the vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery replication virtual appliance from vmware.com. The virtual appliance is then installed into the VMware vCenter applications where the administrator clicks the DR icon and configures it.
“To do that, the customer enters the API URL for the vCHS site to which they want to replicate, identifies the VMs to be protected, sets any VM-specific options, and selects the recovery point objective (15 mins – 24 hours),” Lodge said. “They then monitor from the vCenter console, and/or from the vCHS console.”
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist
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