Thursday, September 13, 2012

VMware Offers Disaster Recovery To The Cloud

I sat in on a VMware call today where they reviewed the new features in VMware 5.1.  The one that caught my eye was the ability to use the Cloud as a disaster recovery point.  In my article “How to Get Started With Cloud Computing”, I mentioned that one way was to use the cloud was as an inexpensive backup data center for your private cloud.  VMware just made this easier for customers that upgrade or implement VMware 5.1.

VMWare says that cloud service providers are offering Disaster Recovery to the Cloud Services leveraging VMware 5 and VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.  VMware calls it “Disaster Recover to the Cloud”.  In addition, VMware asserts that this can be done automatically and tested with “non-disruptive testing tools” in VMware.

The advantages are clear, much lower costs to deploy a secondary site to achieve high availability.  What’s not clear is what disaster scenarios this would cover and exactly how it works.  I’m guessing that the reason only certain “partner cloud operators” are approved is that the partner needs to be running VMware within their datacenter.  

I would look closely at the cost and scenarios that are covered and where the weak points are.  Understand what happens when there is a failure and how you move from a low-cost maintenance mode deployment in the cloud to a scaled environment to take over.  How is the backup site kept current, how is it updated (data, application and configurations) and how do you monitor the health of that site.

References & Related

- Chris Claborne

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