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In today’s digital world, businesses need to run 24×7 at global scale without IT service interruptions just to stay competitive. Even a few hours of application downtime can impact productivity, cause revenue loss and damage a business’ reputation. Protecting data and applications against outages is consequently a top priority for IT.

The Software-Defined Data Center architecture is the foundation to build a resilient infrastructure that helps you achieve application availability and mobility across sites. By leveraging both private and public cloud resources, the SDDC enables business continuity in hybrid cloud environments.

The VMware vision is to deliver a solution that leverages the core tenants of the SDDC architecture to enable hybrid cloud availability and mobility, i.e. use network virtualization to pool data centers resources across distances, software-defined storage to allow you to perform application-centric, policy-based management and vCloud Air to enable hybrid multi-site topologies.

Today, we have announced two major additions to the Site Recovery Manager family that lead us towards that vision: VMware Site Recovery Manager Air, and VMware Site Recovery Manager 6.1.

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VMware Site Recovery Manager Air

Before I walk you through the SRM Air announcement, let me first provide some market context.

Cloud-based disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS), also known as DR to the cloud, has emerged as a great alternative for midsized customers, who see in this option an interesting value proposition, as it enables access to on-demand infrastructure that leverages a service provider’s economies of scale through an OpEx model for faster time-to-market.

In April of 2014, VMware introduced vCloud Air Disaster Recovery, our very own cloud-based DRaaS, offering simple and secure failover and failback of VMs. Since then, we have experience enormous success with this service, adding hundreds of customers and securing early industry validation. Now we are taking this service to the next level. Enter SRM Air.

SRM Air is a new DR orchestration solution that will be fully integrated with vCloud Air Disaster Recovery to enable simple, fast and reliable recovery of VMs protected in vCloud Air. SRM Air will provide self-service management, centralized recovery plans and automated orchestration workflows for testing, failover and failback of VMs between your on-premises data center and the cloud.

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True to its name, SRM Air is deployed as a software-as-a-service application in vCloud Air and managed through the vCloud Air portal. The SaaS operational model eliminates single points of failure and enables management anytime, anywhere. It also eliminates on-premises installation and potentially disruptive upgrades.

SRM Air is based on the mature, award-winning technology of SRM, which has been tested and proven in thousands of on-premises deployments across all customer segments and industries.

SRM Air will be offered as a standard feature of the vCloud Air Disaster Recovery service. It will first be available on an Early Access Program during the fourth quarter of 2015.

VMware Site Recovery Manager 6.1

Now let’s talk about SRM 6.1, the latest version of our industry-leading software for disaster recovery automation that introduces new enterprise-level capabilities, greatly increasing the relevance of this solution in private cloud environments.

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Delivering on the promise of the SDDC, SRM 6.1 enables policy-based management to simplify protection of VMs. SRM adds a new type of protection groups, called “storage-profile protection groups” that use pre-defined vSphere storage profiles to identify protected datastores and automate the process of protecting and unprotecting virtual machines and adding and removing datastores from protection groups.

Given the accelerated adoption of network virtualization with VMware NSX by our customer base, we are extremely excited about this one. SRM 6.now integrates with VMware NSX 6.2. Leveraging the new NSX logical switches that span vCenter Server boundaries, SRM automatically maps networks across sites when creating a recovery plan, which lowers OpEx and reduces time to protection. After failover, network and security settings, such IP addresses, security groups and firewall settings are automatically preserved on recovered VMs, greatly accelerating recovery times.

Finally, SRM 6.1 adds support for metro-distance stretched storage solutions from major storage partners. This new active-active data center topology fundamentally reduces recovery times for SRM users. In the case of planned events, such as in a disaster avoidance use case, SRM 6.1 can migrate live VMs at scale by orchestrating cross-vCenter vMotion operations, enabling zero-downtime application mobility. This integration also increases the already vast ecosystem of storage vendors that certify their solutions with SRM. At GA, SRM will support three of the major stretched storage solutions in the market today: EMC VPLEX, IBM San Volume Controller and Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform, with more to come in the near future. Here is some of what our storage partners have to say about this announcement:

“We are excited to announce support for Site Recovery Manager 6.1 with the upcoming EMC VPLEX 5.5 release. By integrating these two industry-leading solutions, we allow our customers to experience the best of both worlds. VPLEX customers will enjoy industry leading VPLEX availability while adding orchestration of planned and unplanned migrations leveraging the automation of VMware SRM, while SRM customers will be able to perform live instantaneous migration of virtual machines across Metro distances leveraging the Active-Active architecture of EMC VPLEX.” – said Peter Smails, Vice President of Product Marketing, Core Technologies, EMC.

“IBM is excited to be a design partner with VMware and have day zero support for stretched storage configuration with Site Recovery Manager 6.1. We hope to provide added value to our shared customer base by enabling our users to leverage VMware SRM to perform live migrations of VMs at scale and orchestrated testing when using IBM SAN Volume Controller. ” – said Bina Hallman, Vice President and Business Line Executive, IBM Storage.

“Hitachi continues to innovate to provide simplified and agile IT infrastructure for customers to deploy and manage their mission critical applications.  Hitachi is an early VMware partner to offer stretched storage cluster capabilities aligned with VMware Site Recovery Manager 6.1. This integration with the Hitachi Virtual Storage Systems (VSP) family will enable automated application mobility and improved recovery point and recovery time objectives, ideal for business critical applications” – said Renee Lawrence, Director of Solutions Marketing, Hitachi Data Systems

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SRM 6.1 will be generally available in Q3 2015.

With these announcements, you will be able to consolidate your needs for business continuity and disaster recovery around VMware solutions: the Site Recovery Manager family, together with vCloud Air Disaster Recovery, will provide you with a simple, fast and reliable solution to achieve and ensure hybrid cloud availability and mobility.

Come back in the next couple of days for more detailed information about SRM 6.1 and SRM Air from our technical experts.