VMware Gets Into Recovery

VMware (NYSE:VMW) has launched a new disaster recovery offering that helps users protect virtualized workloads, and storage vendors are lining up to support it (see VMware and Symantec Virtualize Disaster Recovery).

VMware says its new Site Recovery Manager, announced last fall and shipping next month, simplifies the arduous task of disaster recovery spelled out in datacenter runbooks. Non-virtualized systems depend on hardware configurations, making “consistent automation of the process extremely difficult if not impossible,” according to the company.

The server virtualization vendor hopes to change that with Site Recovery Manager — and the help of storage vendors.

The new offering integrates management of disaster recovery plans so they can be created, updated and documented directly from VMware VirtualCenter. Recovery plans can be tested automatically in an isolated testing environment, hardware configuration dependencies eliminated, and testing can occur without affecting production systems.

What’s more, Site Recovery Manager automates failover and recovery, automatically executing the recovery process and eliminating manual processes used in traditional disaster recovery.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Mark Bowker said VMware Site Recovery Manager “helps automate the DR [disaster recovery] and the recovery process for virtual machines,” with adaptors from storage vendors bringing storage array replication functionality to VMware VirtualCenter. Site Recovery Manager helps automate the failover process and steer admins through the failover process should a data center outage occur.

“Site Recovery Manager is not meant to be a technology that replaces existing DR implementations,” said Bowker. “It is a solution that enables business to protect their other workloads that they have virtualized and not been able to be built into the existing DR process due to expense and/or complexity.”

A recent ESG survey of current and planned server virtualization users found that 86 percent are using networked storage to support their virtual machine infrastructure — and DR is becoming a primary motivation for server virtualization implementations.

Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO, calls VMware Site Recovery Manager (VRSM) “the glue that ties the various third-party technologies and data protection functionalities from different vendors into the VMware frameworks to enable an enhanced data protection approach for virtual server environments. Consequently, anyone looking to do data replication or remote mirroring … will want to take a look at VSRM-enabled solutions for a common data protection management interface, essentially a virtual management interface across different vendors’ real data protection-enabling technologies.”

VMware Site Recovery Manager works with storage replication software from 3PAR (NYSE: PAR), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), EMC (NYSE: EMC), FalconStor (NASDAQ: FALC), Hitachi Data Systems (NYSE: HIT), HP (NYSE: HPQ), IBM (NYSE: IBM), LeftHand Networks and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP).

Site Recovery Manager can be purchased separately and is also included in the VMware Management and Automation Bundle.

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Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for Time.com, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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