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Category Archives: Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery

It’s Here: Affordable, Manageable Disaster Recovery

It’s a fact of life. Disasters happen, and when they do they can sweep away your company’s data. This reality makes disaster recovery a requirement for all businesses.

But here’s where things get harder. Traditional backup and data recovery solutions, which write data to tape, tend to be expensive, slow, and complex. For these reasons, some companies have implemented disaster recovery for only their most critical applications, leaving many workloads—and a lot of data—vulnerable to disasters.

Today, all of this is changing. When you virtualize your systems, you can now choose from a menu of disaster recovery options that are affordable, easy to manage, and reliable.

That’s the story of the flexible portfolio of disaster recovery solutions from VMware. You can now look to VMware for solutions that deliver disaster recovery on your terms. Consider these options:

  • On-premises solutions that give you complete control of your disaster recovery operations
  • Cloud-based services that allow you to pay for your solution out of your operating budget—and avoid upfront capital expenditures
  • A dual approach that leverages a combination of on-premises and hosted-cloud service solutions

There are advantages to each of these approaches. The key is to identify the right solution for your organization, and then put a robust disaster recovery plan in place—a plan that covers all of your applications.

For a fuller look at your options for reliable, cost-effective disaster recovery that is easy to implement and manage, check out the new information brief Disaster Recovery: Any Way You Want It.

BCDR made easy? Virtualization can make you a believer

Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions represent a form of business insurance of your IT. Important? By all means. But traditional BCDR solutions are costly and complicated–frankly, a gold-plated policy for the privileged few. And even for those who can afford to pony up for the premiums, there is the added challenge of integrating and supporting products from multiple vendors.

It’s no wonder organizations continue to harbor doubts about the value of BCDR, even with so much–productivity, revenue, compliance and reputation–all relying on IT. But today, BCDR doubters are turning to disciples. And it’s virtualization technology that is giving them reason to believe. In fact, 68 percent of companies say upgrading existing BCDR is important.

Why the change of outlook? Because many of the same characteristics of flexibility that have made virtualization a cost-cutting revelation for IT leaders can be applied to driving a modern and accessible BCDR solution. Consider the advantages that virtualization brings to your BCDR strategy:

  • Affordability. You can embrace modern replication technology – which can now be pre-packaged with storage appliances or as stand-alone software solutions – as well as infrastructure consolidation.
  • Simplified management. You can say goodbye to manual runbooks. Virtualization means you can automate your disaster recovery plan to suit your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
  • Reliable execution. You can test your recovery process without disruption, so you know your recovery plans area always prepared when disaster strikes.

With virtualization as a foundation for your BCDR strategy, the three critical components of a BCDR solution–application availability, data protection, and disaster recovery–are more accessible than ever before. It’s IT insurance that makes sense.  To learn more about how you can virtualization can make it easier to protect your business, and how VMware’s solution portfolio can provide a single, proven platform, explore our new eBook “Building Your BCDR Strategy: A Blueprint for a Safe Voyage.”

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Why Your Organization Should Consider Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery

For many small or mid-sized organizations, downtime caused by a disaster can have a detrimental impact on the business. That’s because most SMBs lack the datacenters, internal expertise or budget to have a full-blown disaster recovery solution in place.

However, according to a recent IDG market survey, many organizations are looking away from traditional disaster recovery solutions and to the hybrid cloud. Earlier this year, we announced vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery, a comprehensive, affordable and easy to use recovery-as-a-service solution that allows SMBs to leverage comprehensive cloud-based disaster recovery at a price they can afford, while using the tools they’re already familiar with.

Built on vSphere technology, vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery enables mid-size businesses to easily protect their business or mission-critical applications running in a vSphere virtual environment, without heavy investment or complex restrictions that are typical of traditional DR solutions.

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Hybrid Cloud: A New Way of Thinking About Disaster Recovery

This post was originally published on the vCloud blog.

Protecting business applications against outages, failures, disasters and other causes of downtime is a top priority for many organizations, but as we discussed in our last blog, not all companies have the budget, expertise, time or staff to spare to improve their IT resiliency. For organizations that do have DR services in place, the challenge lies in maintaining the solution on an ongoing basis – this has led many to look into refreshing their options, in order to cut on spending and leverage existing investments as much as possible.

Customers want DR to be faster, cheaper and simpler. And with only 5% of today’s applications protected by DR, Gartner predicts that mid-size enterprises are the expected growth market for recovery-as-a-service. For those that lack a comprehensive DR plan or the expertise and resources to configure, manage, and test an effective DR plan, the answer to disaster recovery is in the hybrid cloud.

With hybrid cloud, organizations can easily extend their on-premise DR solution on- or off-premise, without heavy upfront investment. Hybrid cloud also allows DR to be within reach for more customers, giving them the ability to cost-effectively cover tier 2 applications not included in their existing DR plan. And even more importantly, it enables companies to utilize the same tools and technology they currently run and are already familiar with in their datacenters. Continue reading

VMware Online Webcast Schedule for SMB IT Pros Now Available

Join us this month for our upcoming live and on-demand online webcasts! Find out what’s new with VMware Horizon, and take a technical deep-dive into disaster recovery in the cloud or vSphere Data Protection Advanced. Sign up today to reserve a spot, and be sure to check back, as some webcasts may also become available on-demand.

What’s new with VMware Horizon DaaS: Desktops as a Cloud Service

Available On-Demand. Originally recorded on Thursday, May 22, 2014, 10:00 AM PDT.

Cloud-hosted desktops or desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) is an excellent option for organizations looking for more predictable costs and the ability to get up and running quickly. The new VMware Horizon DaaS simplifies the delivery of Windows desktops and apps as a cloud service, without sacrificing IT needs around security and control.

Attend this webcast and learn:

  • How IT can deploy cloud-hosted desktops while still ensuring the security of corporate data and applications
  • How to deliver a great end-user experience to end users on any device
  • How you can support current market trends such as mobility, BYOD, and desktop migration 

Technical Deep Dive: Disaster Recovery in the Cloud          

Available On-Demand. Originally recorded on Thursday, May 29, 2014, 10:00 AM PDT.

Cloud-based disaster recovery is a flexible, cost-effective way to protect your business critical applications and data in the event of a disaster or disruptive event. Join us for this technical webcast and get a deep dive on VMware vCloud® Hybrid Service™ – Disaster Recovery, a new recovery-as-a-service offering for VMware vSphere® virtual environments. You’ll get an in depth look at how to get Disaster Recovery set up and running. This webcast will include a demonstration overview of the service.

Attend this webcast and learn how to:

  • Deploy the Disaster Recovery service
  • Configure a remote site for replication
  • Perform a test failover of a virtual machine

You may also be interested in these on-demand webcasts:

What other topics would you like to see covered in an upcoming webcast or whitepaper? Let us know in the comments below!

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Debunking Myths About vSphere Data Protection

This post originally appeared on the Virtual Reality blog and was written by Jim Armstrong

The release of VMware’s vSphere Data Protection 5.5 (VDP) seems to have caused a stir in the virtual backup industry. It appears we have hit a soft spot with some of the other vendors offering backup solutions for vSphere and have seen some confusing messaging coming from our partners/competitors in this market. While we’re certainly proud of the technology partner ecosystem built around VMware solutions I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight on vSphere Data Protection.

The Myths

  1. Other vendors claim they never need agents to perform backups, where VDP Advanced does
  2. If you cannot directly view your backup files you may lose your ability to recover from a disaster
  3. Replicating your backups off-site requires expensive “WAN acceleration” technology
  4. VDP lacks any kind of fast VM recovery technology
  5. VDP cannot automatically verify the recoverability of a VM

We’ll dive in to each of these a little bit to get to the truth about vSphere Data Protection.

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What Should You Look For in a Backup and Recovery Solution?

For small and midsize organizations that leverage the VMware vSphere platform, there are many backup and recovery options. So how do you know which option makes most sense for your virtualized environment?

For starters, look for a solution built to back up a VMware environment, as opposed to the many traditional data protection solutions that have been retrofitted for a virtualized world. In our experience, retrofitted solutions can be expensive, slow, complex, and unreliable.

Beyond that initial screening, there are three attributes to focus on. You want a solution that is highly efficient, resilient, and simple to use:

  • An efficient backup and restore solution should minimize storage and bandwidth consumption, which is one of the keys to making data protection affordable.
  • It should be built on reliable, mature technology that has proven resiliency—to give you the confidence that your mission-critical applications are adequately protected.
  • And it should be easy to use and easy to manage, which is one of the keys to reducing the operational costs associated with backup and recovery.

Infographic

You’ll find all of these attributes in VMware vSphere Data Protection Advanced, a solution built from the ground up for backup and recovery in virtualized environments.

For a closer look at how vSphere Data Protection Advanced can help your organization, check out our new infographic exploring six advantages of a backup and recovery platform built for your virtualized environment. Take a technical deep-dive in this on-demand webcast, and then head over to the VMware Hands-on Labs Online Portal to give vSphere Data Protection Advanced a test-drive, no download required.

Questions about backup and recovery for your environment? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below!

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Why Your Organization Needs a Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery Plan

Businesses know they need to back up their data, their workloads and their applications in the event that disaster strikes. Downtime of business-critical applications or data loss could cause a major disruption for organizations caught without a comprehensive disaster recovery (DR) plan in place. In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, approximately 25% of businesses that are affected by a disaster fail to reopen.

Organizations don’t need to wait for a disaster to strike to start thinking about disaster readiness. As recent natural disasters have taught us, such as Hurricane Sandy or the Fukushima earthquake, catastrophes can strike with barely a moment’s notice, and having a workable, well-thought-out disaster recovery plan is crucial to help a business get back on its feet and recover quickly following a disaster.

Today, pretty much every organization makes backups, typically every 24 hours or more. In a disaster, that means hours or days of data can be lost, and it takes hours or days to restore everything from backups. Disaster recovery protection (continuous replication) offers a much higher level of protection, allowing an organization to set a recovery point measured in minutes or hours, and the organization can quickly restart applications rather than having to restore them from different storage. Yet many small-to-mid sized businesses simply don’t do DR at all because implementing DR has been either too complicated, too expensive or both.

DR services have sprung up to address the complexity challenge, but in almost all cases they don’t make it any simpler – they just transfer the complexity to a managed services team, who manually manage the DR on a customer’s behalf. As a result, these services remain relatively expensive because the complexity is still there, and the customer is being billed for people time as well as the cost of the infrastructure.

We think there’s plenty of room to make DR faster, cheaper and simpler for everyone by applying the tenets of large-scale, standardized hybrid cloud computing to the problem. The cloud is changing how IT organizations operate, and disaster recovery should not be an exception.

To learn more about vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery

Learn more about vCloud Hybrid Service and be sure to subscribe to the vCloud blog, follow @vCloud on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook for future updates.

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Announcing VMware vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery: Making DR Simple and Affordable for Businesses

This post originally appeared on the VMware vCloud blog

The vast majority of IT applications are not protected by Disaster Recovery because it’s too expensive and too complicated – that changes today with the availability of vCloud Hybrid Service Disaster Recovery.

A worrying minority of applications, both Tier 1 and Tier 2, are protected by DR because of that cost and complexity. vCloud® Hybrid Service™ – Disaster Recovery  is simple to install and operate, and costs just $835 per month for:

  • 1TB of storage
  • 20GB of RAM
  • 10 GHz of stand-by capacity

That’s less than half the price of competing DR offerings, and there is also no initial set-up fee and no requirement to buy professional services.

It works by replicating your virtual machines to vCloud Hybrid Service, where they are stored in a recovery virtual data center. You decide the recovery point objective, from 15 minutes to 24 hours. At any time you can start the VMs to conduct a test or recover from a disaster.

This new disaster recovery service is ideal for organizations that don’t want to have to build and maintain tertiary DR sites – it’s much more cost effective. It’s also useful for organizations that want to protect more applications from data loss and downtime during a disaster, but could not justify the cost and complexity of traditional DR.

Installation is simple: you download and install the replication virtual appliance into your vSphere environment, provide the API address for the vCloud Hybrid Service location of your choice, decide which VMs to protect and the recovery point objective(s) and then you can begin replicating. You can also ship VMware a disk containing your existing VMs to seed the initial replication process, and then only the changes (deltas) are replicated to vCHS.

Many DR services simply throw people (managed services) at the complexity of DR, which is why they’re expensive – and the complexity hasn’t gone away, which can be problematic when you want to recover. vCHS DR was designed to be simple from the outset, which helps to keep costs down – but you don’t have to manage everything yourself if you don’t want to. VMware partners are standing by, ready to help you plan and manage your business continuity and DR strategies.

Other cloud DR solutions only work with a narrow set of operating systems and applications. vCloud Hybrid Service supports the widest range of certified operating systems (90) and applications (more than 5,000) because it’s based on vSphere. No tricky VM conversions are required, which is vital when you have a real disaster and need to be sure you can run all of your applications right away. vCHS runs more versions of Windows than Microsoft Azure, and more versions of Linux than AWS and Google Compute Engine combined.

In the event of a disaster, you can run your applications on vCHS as long as you like, and transfer your VMs and data back to your own site at any time.

Don’t just take it from us though – watch Planview discuss how vCloud Hybrid Service – Disaster Recovery has enabled the organization to cut costs and expand their Disaster Recovery services for customers while enjoying a flexible disaster recovery environment that’s easy to deploy (within a day), suits their needs without requiring a secondary location and is backed up by rock solid support:

To learn more about what VMware Hybrid Cloud – Disaster Recovery can do for your organization, visit vCloud.VMware.com and discover how you can protect your apps. Don’t forget to follow VMware vCloud on Facebook and Twitter for the latest in hybrid cloud news.

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Your Grandfather’s Backup Tools Weren’t Built for Today’s Virtual Environments.

When the health of your business rides on the availability of your virtual machines and the applications they run, you shouldn’t be working with legacy backup and recovery tools. You’re not in your grandfather’s data center, so why use his data protection tools?

Yet that’s the case in many data centers. Instead of deploying backup and recovery solutions built for virtual machines, many organizations are using legacy data protection solutions that were designed for physical environments and retrofitted for use in virtualized environments. And here’s the bottom line: Some are finding they aren’t getting everything they need.

In particular, conventional backup and recovery solutions that were not built with virtualization in mind can be expensive, slow, complex, and unreliable. What you really need for your virtualized environment is a backup and recovery solution that is specifically designed to protect virtual machines.

That’s vSphere® Data Protection™ Advanced, a backup and recovery solution with built-in backup data replication for VMs. vSphere Data Protection Advanced is purpose-built to:

  • Deliver highly efficient, resilient, and simple backup and recovery in midsized vSphere environments
  • Minimize storage and bandwidth consumption using an industry-leading and patented variable-length deduplication algorithm powered by EMC Avamar
  • Simplify backup operations through integration with the vCenter Server and end-to-end management through the vSphere Web Client

For a look at what it takes to implement vSphere Data Protection, download our tech tips, Backup and Recovery for Your IT Environment.This technical brief is loaded with valuable tips, from steps you can take to determine your capacity needs to insights into the protection of your all-important business applications. Download today.

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